Good Sunday morning, Evanston!
It was a day to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month on Saturday at Elks Park and RoundTable photographer Richard Cahan captured the city’s celebration in the smile of Yanet Salgado (right), who came with her daughter Denisse Olea (background) and two sons.
There were a number of things to celebrate this week, including the fact that Schenita Stewart is coming home to Evanston to serve as the city’s top cop. City Manager Luke Stowe announced Friday he hired East Dundee Deputy Chief Stewart as the next police chief. The ETHS graduate and 23-year law enforcement veteran will start on Monday, Oct. 10, taking over a downsized department, which has not had a permanent chief since Demitrous Cook retired on June 7, 2021.
More than 35 years ago, Evanston-author Scott Turow (above) released Presumed Innocent, a genre-defining novel that spent 44 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and showed the world what a smart courtroom thriller could look like. Since then, the best-sellers haven’t stopped. Turow’s newest title, Suspect, was released Tuesday, Sept. 27. Turow talked to the RoundTable’s Nancy McLaughlin about the new book, the law and Evanston.
They Do: After slow growth, love blooms. As a landscaper since age 9, William Herring always understood that plants require patience, maintenance and time. It was a lesson that he also learned about people and relationships. So perhaps he was prepared when years later he met Sasha Charles, the woman who would later become his wife. Follow our latest installment of love and marriage in “They Do.”
Now here is a roundup of what you might have missed this week in the RoundTable. To get our complete day-to-day coverage in your inbox, just change your preferences and never miss a story.
Evanston preparing to house migrants bused to Chicago from Texas. No one is yet certain how many or when people will arrive, but City Manager Luke Stowe told the RoundTable that earlier this month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office and the Illinois Department of Human Services talked with Evanston leaders about housing some of the more than 1,000 refugees that have been bused to Illinois.
The latest installment of our Reparations 101 series examines the restorative housing program in Evanston. RoundTable reporter Gina Castro dives into how the city is funding the initiative through taxes on recreational marijuana. There are still 132 “ancestor” applicants awaiting their grants – there isn’t enough money to disburse, in part because there is just a single cannabis dispensary in the city.
Evanston leaders, residents and organizations discuss Margarita Inn’s neighbor agreement. It’s been months of listening sessions, ward meetings and gradual updates about local nonprofit Connections for the Homeless turning the Margarita Inn into a permanent homeless shelter and it will likely be more months. The permit has yet to be signed and submitted to the city, but Council member Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th Ward) said that leaves time for anyone who wants to help develop the Good Neighbor Agreement to sign up here.
Library supports 3.9% tax increase after 3 years without one. Evanston Public Library trustees directed staff on Wednesday, Sept. 21, to prepare a 2023 budget with a 3.9% tax levy increase – the first tax increase sought by the body after three years of flat budgets. Library Board trustees voted unanimously for the increase to cover a deficit pegged at close to $800,000.
All Evanston beaches to provide wheelchair access to the lake. Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Thompson outlined a plan to make all six Evanston beaches wheelchair accessible as well as provide beach wheelchairs at at least two beaches. The plan comes just over two weeks after the RoundTable’s Richard Cahan detailed the lack of access to the water for wheelchair users, as paths for ordinary wheelchairs to reach the lake at only one beach.
Participatory Budgeting 101: The public makes spending decisions. The City of Evanston has set aside $3 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for a pilot participatory budgeting program. RoundTable reporter Alex Harrison explains how the pilot program came about, how it will work and how the process will allow Evanstonians to take a direct role in the city’s budgeting process.
New Evanston Council Member Harris looks to deepen community ties. Evanston’s newest City Council member is Kristian Harris, who was appointed by Mayor Daniel Biss to fill the Second Ward seat. She was confirmed unanimously by her new colleagues on Sept. 12 to fill the vacancy left by former Council Member Peter Braithwaite when he retired in July. The RoundTable talked to her about her plans and her new job.
Minding Our Own Businesses: Library highlights Latinx shops. Please welcome our new business columnist Isabelle Reiniger, who is making Evanston’s businesses her business. This week, she highlighted the Evanston Library program that runs through Oct. 15 to support Latinx businesses in Evanston in honor of National Hispanic American Heritage Month. Pick up a punch card at one of our two library locations. And if you know of a business open or closing, send Isabelle a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Safety and Health
Photo essay: A long day of fire, smoke and rescue next to the Orrington. RoundTable Operating Manager Evan Girard photographed the Evanston Fire Department during a training exercise downtown.
Woman’s death near ETHS ruled a suicide. The body of Kathy L. Judge, 63, was found Tuesday outside Evanston Township High School and her death was ruled a suicide, according to the autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Review: ‘YAMOLAND: The Sketchiest Place on Earth’ The Evanston Township High School new YAMO show was sold out right after it opened Thursday, Sept. 22. The premise of YAMOLAND imagines Evanston as a community in an amusement park, with consistent themes stringing these 27 scenes together. It is delightful, reviewer Wendi Kromash tells us, and a team effort.
District 65 board approved a final budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which will continue the trend of increasing staff despite declining enrollment. The budget shows an operating surplus of $574,886. Business Manager Kathy Zalewski said at an earlier meeting that the district was able to balance the budget primarily due to a reduction of 25 teaching positions.
Tanyavutti announced her immediate resignation as a member of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board. A member since 2016 and former president of the board, Tanyavutti unsuccessfully sought appointment to the Second Ward City Council seat. She said she will be transitioning to a new job in youth development and focusing on her writing projects.
Olasimbo appointed to District 65 board. Tracy Olasimbo, the family engagement coordinator at Evanston Public Library, will fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Marquise Weatherspoon.
Free Haircut Day. Ji-Aire Bamberg, 9, gets a bald fade on the side at Free Haircut Day along Dodge Avenue near Church Street. “It teaches them to keep their glamour together,” said barber Reese Taylor, one of many who donated their work at the Ebony Barber Shop and Cutting Edge Hair Gallery. With haircuts came free school supplies, food and music for more than 100 middle and high school students.
Art & Life
Edwin B. Jourdain Jr.: Laying the foundations for Black political power and a citizen-equal future in Evanston, part 2. Although over the years, Alderman Edwin B. Jourdain Jr.’s nonstop mission and numerous accomplishments, as well as his farsighted dreams, have often been recited, a few achievements deserve perpetual memory. So begins the second installment of this two-part series focusing on the legacy of Edwin B. Jourdain Jr., Evanston’s first Black alderman, written by his son, historian Spencer Jourdain. Click here to read the first part.
Art of Making Art: Jim Parks. Meet Jim Parks, an Evanston artist who creates paintings and multi-media sculptures. He has spent this summer painting hummingbirds surrounded by nature in his own backyard.
Evanston Essays: Rev. Dr. Michael C. R. Nabors. Our lives have been enriched in the most unimaginable ways because of the City of Evanston. My wife and I first visited Evanston nearly 20 years ago when the Second Baptist Church was looking for a senior pastor. This is the latest installment in our ongoing series of Evanston Essays, highlighting people’s thoughts, memories and opinions of Evanston. If you’d have an essay of about 500-600 words you’d like to share, please send it to email@example.com.
ETHS field hockey team shuts out Homewood-Flossmoor. Evanston exploded for a single game school record nine goals Saturday, Sept. 24, and buried visiting Homewood-Flossmoor 9-0 at Lazier Field. Freshman Sascha Hammond and juniors Gigi Hogan, Makayla Clark and Maddie Nimrod each scored two goals apiece and freshman Sienna Seyferth also scored in the rout.
The look on these three Wildkits’ faces says it all. The football team’s fourth quarter rally fell short Friday and despite outplaying their New Trier rivals for most of the night, it ended in the team’s fourth consecutive defeat, 17-10. Evanston, now 1-4 overall, will have to win out to qualify for the Illinois High School Association Class 8A state playoffs. ETHS hosts Niles West Friday in the school’s Homecoming game.
Romisher places second in 500-free at ETHS invitational. Abby Romisher, an ETHS junior placed second in the 500 freestyle at Saturday’s 18th annual Evanston Invitational. The team finished fourth in the six-team field.
ETHS girls golf: Koecher scores rare top 10 finish at CSL South meet. Amelie Koecher made history as the first Evanston female golfer to reach the sectional level of the Illinois High School Association state tournament series more than once. The ETHS senior earned a rare top-10 finish in individual competition Wednesday at the Central Suburban League South division meet. Her next challenge is to become the first player in the program to reach the IHSA state finals.
ETHS boys golf: Freshman Low leads Wildkits at CSL South tourney. Evanston’s boys golf team put it all together Wednesday at the Central Suburban League South. The Wildkits placed third in the team standings with a score of 305 that matched their best-ever performance at the league championship meet. And it was a freshman – Kieran Low – who showed them the way.
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