Evanston RoundTable
Evanston Township High School ranked No. 41 in the state. Credit: RoundTable file photo

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

U.S. News & World Report published the latest edition of its Best High Schools list on Tuesday, and Evanston Township High School came in at No. 955 out of over 24,000 high schools nationwide and No. 41 in Illinois for 2022. ETHS received an overall score of 94.65 out of 100.

“The consistent ranking of ETHS among the top three percent of high schools in the state and in the country is a credit to our dedicated teachers and staff,” Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said in a news release. “Even with the impact of a global pandemic and the challenges to the academic, social and emotional wellbeing of students, ETHS is committed to preparing students for career, college, and life.”

U.S. News tweaked evaluation methods for its Best High Schools list after the 2018 version, and ETHS has slightly dropped in the rankings each year since then. ETHS ranked No. 27 in Illinois in 2019, No. 37 in 2020 and No. 41 in 2021. Back in 2016, under the old assessment rules, ETHS was No. 13 in Illinois.

Evanston Police Department released video of a suspect (far right) setting cars on fire. Credit: EPD

Evanston police and fire officials are turning to the public for help in tracking down an arson suspect, who more than a week ago set two cars ablaze after apparently pouring an “accelerant” on both.

According to a Wednesday, April 27, Evanston Police Department news release, the front ends of the two cars, a Honda and Toyota, were “engulfed in flames” and a third car, a Honda, was damaged by the heat. No one was injured.

Two black-and-white surveillance videos and a photograph police released show a person on the evening of April 19 apparently pouring a liquid on the hoods of the cars, parked in an alley behind a building at 2300 Sherman Ave., and then lighting them on fire. 

Sketchbook Brewing taproom. Credit: Sketchbook Brewing Co.

Have a beer on us and support local journalism 

We’re kicking off our Spring Membership Drive with News and Brews, a celebration of local journalism featuring live music and free beer! 

Join us from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, May 9, at Sketchbook Brewing Co., 821 Chicago Ave. All attendees will receive two free beers, and we’ll have some light refreshments provided by our friends at Firehouse Grill.

RoundTable editors, writers and other contributors will be on hand for the evening, along with members of our board and advisory committee. We’ll also have a short music program featuring performances by RoundTable Racial Justice Fellow Debbie-Marie Brown and Steel String Highway, the alt-country/rock band led by RoundTable VP Mark Miller and friends. 

Here’s a huge thanks to our friends at Sketchbook and Firehouse Grill, our event sponsors! Attendance is limited, so RSVP today to reserve your spot!

COVID-19 by the numbers: 20 new cases were reported Tuesday, April 26, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 30.3 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Albany Care
Albany Care, at 901 Maple Ave. north of Main Street. Credit: Provided photo Credit: RoundTable file photo

‘It was headed for disaster,’ says former Albany Care staffer. As the state considers whether to pull the license for Albany Care, a psychiatric rehabilitation clinic just east of Grey Park, a former staff member repeated previous reports about the facility being understaffed and poorly managed, resulting in diminished care for the approximately 300 residents who live there.

At This Time: Wednesday at 8:43 a.m. He’s a fixture around Evanston. Alonzo DeVaul rides through the Ladd Arboretum on his way to work as a custodian for the Evanston Ecology Center. “I see birds,” he says. “The robins around here nest in the building. I see people in the garden. I see people coming to the park. Bikers. Hikers. Walkers. Gardeners.” DeVaul, known as Zo, has worked at the arboretum for more than 25 years. He gets around town on his three-wheeler, decorated with things he loves. “I want people to know I’m happy. I enjoy life.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Tomo Japanese Kitchen is based on Japanese street food. Credit: Sam Stroozas Credit: Sam Stroozas.

Japanese street food comes to Evanston. Penny Mohr and her husband, Chris Mohr, opened Tomo Japanese Street Food in Evanston on April 19, with a line stretching down Sherman Avenue. They have been perfecting their ramen recipe through the years, beginning at the Revival Food Hall in Chicago in 2018.

Dawn Okamoto founded Secret Treasures Antiques nearly 30 years ago. Credit: Ned Schaub

Innovation selling old stuff: Secret Treasures Antiques shifts business model during pandemic. For almost 30 years, Secret Treasures Antiques, which touts vintage items “at wow prices” – ranging from 5 cents to $100 – has thrived in Evanston’s Main-Dempster Mile commercial district. The business has also evolved, but never as rapidly or as much as it did over the last two years. 

Official 2013 portrait of first lady Michelle Obama, whose quotes grace columnist Peggy Tarr’s column. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/White House photo

Peggy Tarr: April is International Black Women’s Heritage Month. A proclamation for April to be Black Women’s Heritage Month was made in 2016 by the Atlanta City Council. Sha Battle, who led the effort for the proclamation, expanded this April focus to become the International Black Women’s Heritage Month, to include all women of African descent.

Picturing Evanston. A delightful mosaic by Evanston artist Hope Washinushi at Grandmother Park, 1125 Dewey Ave., brings some joy to this little gem of a neighborhood park. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

ETHS girls soccer: Viamille’s 3 goals spark Kit girls on Senior Night. Head Coach Stacy Salgado couldn’t start all 13 seniors on the roster, but they all saw significant action in a 5-0 blanking of Maine South that moved the Wildkits one step closer to the program’s possible first conference title since 2016.

ETHS baseball: Liss strikes out 11 in 2-0 triumph over Glenbrook South. Hank Liss pitched a three-hit shutout – his second shutout of the spring – and struck out 11 while dominating the Glenbrook South Titans and leading the Wildkits to their 13th victory in 16 outings. 

Registration to join historic Fourth of July Parade is open. The Evanston Fourth of July Association has announced this year’s theme: Celebrating For 100 Years. Early Bird Registration ends on April 30. There is a $25 discount for early registration. 

Rank and File | ETHS ties for 5th at All-Girls Chess Nationals. At the tournament, held in Chicago last weekend, the team of Isabela Maiewski, Lucia Scrimenti and Orlagh Reardon ably represented Evanston Township High School, tying for fifth place in the tournament’s oldest (under 18) age division.

Celebrate spring on Central Street this Saturday. Special Mother’s Day promotions will be featured on Central Street on Saturday, April 30. Check out the list of participating businesses offering spring discounts and deals.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial, development and advertising sales.

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Around the web

Here’s why Dr. Fauci says the U.S. is ‘out of the pandemic phase’. While Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said the country has moved into a more controlled phase of COVID-19 thanks to factors like immunity from vaccinations and previous infections, he added Wednesday that “there’s no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing.”

Pritzker signs 4 laws to tackle shortage of teachers, aides. The new laws lower the fee to reinstate a lapsed teaching certificate, allow student teaching by college seniors, lower the minimum age for classroom aides and extend the number of days in a row a short-term substitute can spend in one classroom.

Northwestern, 7th Ward residents form working group to discuss Ryan Field rebuilding. Dave Davis, Northwestern’s Executive Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations, and 7th Ward Council Member Eleanor Revelle have created a group to gather community feedback.

Applications for lifeguarding jobs at Chicago’s beaches and pools drop sharply. Last summer, WBEZ Chicago uncovered a sexual harassment and abuse scandal among lakefront employees at Chicago’s beaches. Now, the city has fewer applications for lifeguarding jobs in summer 2022 than open positions.

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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...