Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

The City of Evanston reported 107 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, Dec. 21, bringing the seven-day average of daily reported cases to 103, up from the record daily average of 93.57 registered Monday, Dec. 20. Three COVID-19 deaths also occurred over the last seven days in Evanston.

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 also updated its COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday afternoon, reporting 117 new positives among students and 11 new staff cases since Friday, Dec. 17. The 117 student cases more than doubled the previous record of 58 positives between Dec. 14 and Dec. 17 reported last week.

Ryan Field. (Northwestern University photo)

Northwestern University is drawing closer to kicking off a major multiyear renovation of Ryan Field, with the goal of making the stadium one of the top venues of its kind in the country, university officials said in an initial preview to neighbors. 

Some key members of NU’s administrative team, who will be overseeing the project, spoke at a Dec. 16 virtual meeting hosted by Council member Eleanor Revelle, in whose Seventh Ward the stadium is located.

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

Through year-end, your donation to the RoundTable will be matched through commitments from national and local partners. Give this week to be entered in a raffle for a $100 gift certificate to The Barn Steakhouse or a gift certificate for a pound of chocolates and novelties from Belgian Chocolatier Piron. Join the more than 600 readers who have made a gift during our fall fundraising campaign.

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Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At This Time: 10:05 a.m., Tuesday Dec. 21. Jordin Kadiri, a junior at Evanston Township High School, begins biology class online at home. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Les Jacobson: Last year’s essential workers are still essential. Our columnist reflects on the importance of appreciating essential workers as we begin another pandemic winter.

Two new programs available to assist residents with their water bills.

JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival returns with social justice series. Now in its ninth year, the festival presents its second virtual Social Justice Series, featuring five films available for home viewing.

Around the web

Illinois is thought to be a blue state. So why is so much of the state so red? WBEZ Chicago breaks down how rural areas of Illinois are getting more conservative while liberal-minded Cook County leans farther left and what that means for our state’s politics.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccine required for Chicago bars, restaurants, gyms starting Jan. 3.

Northwestern goes remote for first two weeks of January.

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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...