Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Last night the Evanston Police Department participated in the annual National Night Out, and for the first time the event took place at the Arrington Lagoon on the lakefront. The city provided food, snacks, a DJ and showed the season’s first Starlight Movie in the Park. RoundTable photographer Richard Cahan captured (from left) Officers Corey McCray, Enjoli Daley and Cesar Galindo relaxing together during the celebration. Now, on to more local news.

City of Urbana Administrator Carol Mitten, the lone finalist in Evanston’s city manager search, has withdrawn her name in a mutual decision with the city that she was “not the right fit.” This was the third failed city manager search this year and the fourth search the city has conducted since longtime City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz left in September 2019. A news release from the city said that “City Council is currently in discussions with Interim City Manager Luke Stowe to determine next steps.”

Evanston Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings has been on paid administrative leave for a personnel matter since July 5, according to Cummings and City of Evanston officials. No one would comment further. Community and Employee Engagement Coordinator Jessie Mayo said the leave has no designated duration. Attorneys from the firm Ancel Glink have been contracted to fill in as interim corporation counsel.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 20 cases were reported on Monday, Aug. 1, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 25.6 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Basketball and beyond: New FAAM president talks importance of mentors for middle schoolers. Omar Brown, the new president of the nonprofit Fellowship for Afro-American Men, first became involved with the middle school basketball league 17 years ago as an assistant coach. Whether it’s hard work, being a good teammate or being in situations you can’t control and learning how to control yourself, Brown said he saw the importance of mentorship from men like himself for the middle school participants.

Volley4Change seeks to level the playing field in girls sports. The newly formed nonprofit, created by three rising ETHS seniors, aims to help girls overcome racial and economic barriers to entry in competitive volleyball – the second most popular sport for girls in the United States, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Credit: Najiah Osborne

Sports, activism, education excellence all add up to ETHS sophomore Olivia Ohlson. Ohlson, a standout athlete in basketball, golf and softball and a community activist and fundraiser, founded and runs a program called Diversify Golf to teach children the sport’s basics. Based at Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, the program is aims at reaching young girls of color, but all are welcome.

Les Jacobson: Beethoven splains it all for you. Our RoundTable columnist analyzes a single movement from a Beethoven string quartet to reveal “a lifetime of sonorous beauty and worthwhile lessons. In his deafness, illness and loneliness, Beethoven endured years of hardship and tragedy. But still another lesson, perhaps the most important: One can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds with effort and determination to give the world something beautiful and profound.”

REVIEW: “Where the Crawdads Sing.” The long-awaited film adaptation of Delia Owens’ first novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, hit the screens July 13 and grossed $17 million on its first weekend, hastening the novel back to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Our reviewer gave it a thumb’s up, saying, “The film is a slow-burn toward freedom from hardship and provides a well-timed reminder to look around at all we do have.”

Picturing Evanston. Things you’ll find in Evanston’s alleys, like this 1954 Packard Clipper Super Sedan. It was in an alley just south of Dempster Street and west of Sherman Avenue. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

It Could Feel Like 105 Degrees Wednesday With Potential Thunderstorms In Afternoon, Evening. A nationwide heatwave is expected to sweep through the Chicago area today, with temperatures hitting the mid-90s and the heat index possibly reaching 105 degrees. Dangerous humidity could also combine with damaging winds and thunderstorms from the afternoon into the evening.

Highland Park Shooting Suspect to appear in court today. The man accused of carrying out a mass shooting in Highland Park on the Fourth of July is set to appear in court Wednesday for his arraignment. The suspect, Robert Crimo III, is facing 117 charges for allegedly killing seven people and injuring more than 30 others.

Holocaust ‘doesn’t even compare’ to abortion deaths, says GOP nominee for Illinois governor. In a video posted on Facebook in 2017, Darren Bailey, who is up against JB Pritzker in this coming fall’s race for governor, said that “the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion.” Pritzker condemned Bailey’s comments as “disqualifying” and “offensive to Illinoisans everywhere.”

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Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...