Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Audrey Moy (above) was saluted as a Vision Keeper at a Sunday dinner that honored her and 30 others for service advancing their respective faith communities. Moy was nominated by Immanuel Lutheran Church for organizing a series of events to help churchgoers better understand racial inequities. “Her passion for justice and her work to make the world a better place helps us all,” said Immanuel Pastor Mark Sloss. “When people have a vision it’s contagious.” (Photo by Richard Cahan) See the rest of the 2022 Vision Keepers and read how they’ve helped others.

After that large helping of Evanston inspiration, here’s today’s news:

City Council has approved bonus payments for firefighters to make up for income losses they experienced during the pandemic. Back in September 2020, Evanston firefighters agreed to forego pay raises in 2021 and 2022, rather than previously negotiated 2.25% pay increases. On Monday, the council voted to use nearly half a million dollars from federal pandemic recovery funds to make up for their sacrifice. The council also approved bonuses for other city workers.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

The woman found dead just outside the Evanston Township High School building was identified Tuesday afternoon by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Kathy L. Judge, 63, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:48 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. “The likely cause and manner [of death] are not evident,” the Evanston Police Department said in a tweet. Judge was not a staff member at ETHS, Superintendent Marcus Campbell told students and families.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Three cases and no deaths were reported on Monday, Sept. 19, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 5.3 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Northwestern astrophysics professor leads early Webb Telescope project. In July, Northwestern professor Allison Strom and her research team got 40 hours of access to the new James Webb Space Telescope, now in orbit around the sun. Strom’s project uses images from the telescope to measure the chemical makeup of different galaxies in our universe. The RoundTable’s Meg Evans talked with Strom and also reports on the controversy over the telecope’s name.

Fire Department responds to residential house fire in 1000 block of Greenwood Street. Evanston firefighters are still investigating the cause for the fire they responded to Tuesday afternoon in a house at 1021 Greenwood St. Contractors had reported that flames were visible in a void space near the roof of the three-story structure. It took firefighters 45 minutes to contain the fire.

Credit: Richard Cahan

Letter from the Mayor: Ready to take the next step in civic engagement? On Tuesday, Mayor Daniel Biss put out a public call for citizen volunteers, writing that “perhaps the most straightforward way for residents to share their input is, for some reason I don’t fully understand, arguably one of the most overlooked: service on a City board, commission or committee (BCC).”

ETHS boys soccer: Trevians boot Kits 2-0, reclaim fire hydrant trophy. New Trier had the upper hand Tuesday in a wide-open game where no one possessed the ball for more than a couple of heartbeats.

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Around the web

West Ridge’s shuttered YMCA being used to house migrants bused in from Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has spent weeks sending buses of migrants from Central and South America to immigrant sanctuary cities like Chicago, and a recently closed YMCA in the West Ridge neighborhood, a few blocks south of Evanston, is operating as a temporary shelter for up to 120 of the migrants.

Smylie Brothers closes Lakeview brewery 1 year after opening. Smylie Brothers’ Evanston location is still open, but its Lakeview location closed permanently Sept. 5. A note on its front door says: “It has been an absolute pleasure to serve the local community for the near 12 months that we were open, and we are so grateful for the support you have given us.”

Let’s go hiking! 20 Midwest trails to conquer before winter sets in. September and October are an ideal time to hit the great outdoors in the Midwest. This list from WBEZ Chicago highlights hiking trails within three hours of Chicago where you can see fall colors and get views of Lake Michigan and the Illinois prairie.

The ‘cost’ of voting in America: A look at where it’s easiest and hardest. A new study from Northern Illinois University’s Scot Schraufnagel ranks Illinois in the top 10 states where casting a ballot is the easiest, primarily thanks to long periods of time reserved for early voting and voting by mail.

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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...