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Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Sunday morning, Evanston!

Baby, it’s cold outside. The National Weather Service has a Hazardous Weather Outlook in effect for the area, with more flurries and temperatures expected to keep dropping, down to a dangerous 2 degrees by Tuesday. Still, these tourists from Thailand were thrilled at the snow and even enjoyed a frozen treat from Frio Gelato (though they’re eating it outside at photographer Richard Cahan’s request!).

We hope you are warming up to the RoundTable’s new Sunday format, where we feature the week’s top 10 most-read stories, along with a few new ones for your Sunday perusal.

Speaking of warming, Evanston’s economic picture may start heating up next month, when a report on the city’s business districts is due. The retail vacancy rate may be just 11%, but “from a pedestrian perspective, it sure doesn’t feel that way,” said a member of the Economic Development Committee.

On Monday, city council delayed action on awarding a lease for the Harley Clarke mansion’s grounds to the Jens Jensen Gardens of Evanston group. Earlier this month, another nonprofit organization, Artists Book House, dropped its 40-year lease of the mansion, and RoundTable reporter Bob Seidenberg took a deep dive into what happened and why the group decided to walk away.

Letter to the editor: Aaron B. Cohen calls the former Dyche Stadium “a hallmark of the city’s human scale and grace” and warns, “If Northwestern University has its way this Wildcat home could soon be replaced by an ostentatious, for-profit mega-entertainment venue.”

Do you like to write? Are you curious about the varied and dynamic life of Evanston? The RoundTable is looking for feature writers to cover human interest stories and produce profiles about our fair city. If you’d like to write, we’d love to hear from you! Send us a query at news@evanstonroundtable.com.

District 65 enrollment projections predict it will drop another 456 students in the next five years. Students who left have largely not returned, according to Sarita Smith, manager of Student Assignments. The RoundTable’s Larry Gavin explores the data for each school and reports on the district’s planning.

Evanston police received substantial pay hikes for Evanston police officers (23% over four years) and sergeants (30% over four years) as well as additional pay for those with long service in the city. The city also added Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

At least six apartment buildings have recently changed hands in southeast Evanston, including five sold by Wirtz Residential. New owners are handing out lease non-renewals, notices to vacate and stiff rent hikes. Tenant Geoff Wayton said monthly rent was going from $1,950 to $2,500, up 28%.

Credit: Michael Kellams/thatphotodad.com

The ETHS boys basketball team notched two victories this weekend, upsetting Glenbrook North High School on Friday and defeating Notre Dame College Prep on Saturday. Above, Wildkit Prince Adams soars above the fray.

Minding Our Own Businesses columnist Isabelle Reiniger reports on three local GoFundMe efforts: Body Works by Carla (above, owner Carla Eason), Edzo’s Burger Shop and Bookends & Beginnings all have turned to crowdfunding for help.

Evanston Township High School Superintendent Marcus Campbell sat down with the RoundTable’s Duncan Agnew to talk about his vision and challenges facing ETHS, covering topics such as metal detectors, academic gaps and teacher morale.

As a 9-year-old, Zuri Ransom used to hang out in Beardsley Gym while her father coached the ETHS boys basketball team. But Eli Cohen writes that the girl who once admired the Wildkit players has turned into a standout herself.

The city council sent an ordinance to ban cashless businesses back to the Equity and Empowerment Commission and the Economic Development Committee for review. The council also amended a proposed revision to city cannabis and alcohol ordinances and will review it again in February.

Northwestern’s MLK “Dream Week” ends: NAACP attorney Sherilyn Ifill referenced the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech and stressed the crucial role of dreaming in social justice work: “To be a civil rights lawyer or activist is to suspend disbelief.”

Evanston recently started an unconditional cash payment program that pays 150 randomly selected applicants $500 a month. Alicya Dennison writes that research shows such payments have direct correlations to faster brain speed in children.

A week ago, the city celebrated Lunar New Year with a lion dance along Dempster Street, and RoundTable photographers captured the event. This child is feeding fruit to the lion. Tangerines and oranges are symbols of luck and prosperity.

A fire broke out Tuesday afternoon at a residential building on Emerson Street. Firefighters put out the blaze within half an hour, Evanston Division Chief Kimberly Kull said, but water seeped through the structure, making it uninhabitable. Six residents were displaced.

Evanston Township High School may give the police access to school surveillance camera footage in the event of a crisis. The city council approved the move on Monday; the ETHS School Board will consider the idea next month.

The city and District 65 initially were tackling the Fifth Ward Foster Park Campus project together, but the city decided to separate from the fast-paced schedule. The district has scheduled three meetings to discuss plans for the new school.

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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.

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...