Happy Friday morning, Evanston.

Charles Smith, president of Jens Jensen Gardens, shows our photographer Richard Cahan a hemlock tree that Smith planted recently near the Harley Clarke mansion. His group is seeking a sublease of the grounds as part of an effort to refurbish the Prairie Style garden.

Growing a tree can be a tricky task – so is growing a local news nonprofit.

Last night the Evanston RoundTable won 48 awards at the Northern Illinois News Association awards. Each category has first-, second- and third-place awards, and the RoundTable swept a few categories, garnered two awards in a number of others and took home 12 first places. We will, of course, have to crow about it a bit more. So look for more coverage and a few cute pictures on our website later today. Be sure to join us for an online conversation about threats facing journalism and democracy, the kickoff for our fall fundraising drive. And tell your friends to check us out!

And now, more stories from Evanston’s award-winning news source:

The Economic Development Committee backed major assistance to two institutions looking to expand in Evanston. If approved by City Council, a workforce training nonprofit would get $1.2 million in federal pandemic relief funds and a popular local restaurant would get $650,000 of tax increment financing money.

Evanston strives to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. So far the city has met emissions reduction goals by pursuing “low hanging fruit – the least expensive and easiest interventions,” said city Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Cara Pratt. The next steps will be harder and more costly, she told the City Council.

In case you missed it: If you’ve received a “newspaper” in the mail recently called North Cook News, check out our explainer from last month on who’s behind the political mailers.

Coming up this weekend: With Halloween right around the corner, the Main-Dempster Mile is hosting a Spooky Saturday and the Robert Crown Community Center is throwing a community celebration on Saturday evening. Have any fun photos of your costumed kiddos or carved pumpkins? Send your pics to news@evanstonroundtable.com to be featured in a roundup next week!

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: City of Evanston

More than half of Evanston households spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Eighth Ward Council Member Devon Reid and housing advocates blame zoning laws and other city rules.

Someone who suffers an arterial wound will bleed out in three minutes unless a tourniquet is properly applied. Evanston police officers show how you can save lives in an emergency with basic trauma care.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are up slightly this week in Evanston. Here’s what you need to know about the latest pandemic trends.

The student athletes on Haven Middle School’s cross country team have had a busy fall season, competing in races across the Chicago area and performing well, too.

The seniors on the ETHS girls volleyball team had high praise for first-year head coach Paris McFall after they finished the season with a loss in the regional tournament this week.

Planning to attend the first Evanston Symphony Orchestra concert of the season this Sunday afternoon? The ESO will perform the Third Symphony of composer Florence Price, the first Black woman to write widely performed classical works. The concert also features works by Bernstein and Rachmaninoff. Meanwhile, community residents are invited to attend a free preview program at 1:30 today at The Merion, 1630 Chicago Ave.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for reporting opportunities in editorial.

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From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality and in-depth journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.

Around the web

The Daily’s 50 Years of Title IX Issue. Northwestern is celebrating 50 years of Title IX in women’s sports with many events this weekend. Check out this compilation from The Daily Northwestern on the history of women’s sports on campus and what players and coaches say still needs to be done for gender equity.

Illinois student test scores are in. They remain far below pre-pandemic levels in reading and math. Student performance on standardized tests at high schools across the state rebounded slightly from the lows of 2021, but math and language arts scores are still much lower across the board than in 2019.

The haunting of 92 Rainbow Road. The quiet northwest suburb of Barrington, with a population of 10,000, has more than its fair share of spooky lore. There’s the story of Baby Face Nelson, who died in a machine gun shootout in the 1930s. And an old haunted house on a mysterious street.

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Duncan Agnew

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...