Evanston RoundTable
ETHS student board member Barbara Tomaradze (left) criticized the school’s handling of complaints against Color Guard Coach Lorenzo Medrano at the November School Board meeting. (Screenshot)

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

In September, former 61-year-old Evanston Township High School Color Guard Coach Lorenzo Medrano was arrested on child seduction charges in Indiana.

Today, documents and emails newly acquired by the RoundTable reveal that ETHS students came forward in March 2021 alleging inappropriate touching and behavior committed by Medrano, who had been coaching the color guard team at ETHS since 2016.

After those accusations, the school cleared Medrano of the charges and allowed him to continue coaching after officials spoke to him and two assistant color guard coaches, according to the documents obtained by the RoundTable through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Egea Spa. (Photo retrieved via website)

While Egea Spa suddenly closed its doors under the ownership of Chris and Kathy Pappas last week, it is not the end for the business. The Pappases told the RoundTable Wednesday evening that it will be reopening under new ownership on Thursday morning

6:47 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 8. First ones up. Near Hinman Avenue and Grove Street. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

The Evanston RoundTable is introducing a new feature—At This Time. Our idea is to explore Evanston in one photograph a day. Portraits, landscapes. Images that are unique; moments that are universal.

Evanston journalist Richard Cahan will take the pictures. He worked for 16 years as the picture editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, ran a Chicago documentary project called CITY 2000 and is currently co-publisher of CityFiles Press. A RoundTable fan, Cahan wants to explore how a community publication can use photographs to reflect daily life. His assignment: roam the city and create a single image that shows Evanston that day.

COVID by the numbers: 37 cases were reported yesterday in Evanston. The seven-day average is 27.

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.

We have ambitious goals for the future – but we can’t do it alone. 

Invest in Evanston. Invest in local non-profit journalism.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Members of the Dearborn Realtist Board sit behind a welcome desk. (Photo by Debbie-Marie Brown) Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

A real estate workshop aims to prepare Black Evanstonians for restorative housing grants. As the city slowly begins to roll out restorative housing grants for Black residents, The Dearborn Realtist Board is aiming to help Black Evanstonians take advantage of those grants.

ETHS girls basketball: Wildkits stay ahead of learning curve in 6th straight win. Evanston breezed to its sixth straight victory Tuesday night at Beardsley Gymnasium, besting Niles West to improve to 7-2 on the season.

Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, are seen in a photo from the 1950s. (Library of Congress photo)

Family’s response as FBI closes Emmett Till case: ‘Even though we don’t feel that we got justice, we still must move forward’. On Tuesday, the FBI told the family of Emmett Till that it has not uncovered sufficient evidence to support a federal prosecution of any living person, including Carolyn Bryant, the white storekeeper who accused the Black teenager of harassment before his 1955 murder.

City seeks community input towards ADA Transition Plan Update. Residents are encouraged to share their visions for a more accessible Evanston by completing an online survey available through Saturday, Dec. 18.

A cappella holiday concerts to ring out Dec. 11 and 18. After a long COVID hiatus, Coriolis classical a cappella is resuming its regular concert schedule this month. 

Around the web

Gov. Pritzker announces a $42 million effort to help Illinois residents with water debt. After a recent WBEZ investigation revealed that thousands of Chicago residents are saddled with debt for their water bills, Gov. Pritzker unveiled the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.

Pfizer Vaccines, Booster Shot Could Offer Protection Against Omicron Variant, Vaccine Maker Says. Pfizer announced Wednesday that its initial COVID-19 vaccine combined with a booster shot appears to offer significant protection against Omicron, although early tests showed people without a booster were more vulnerable to infection.

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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...