Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Surveying roofs and gutters can be daunting and take up to an hour, but the task is simplified by a drone. “It saves me a lot of time,” Carlos Medina, an estimator for Etruscan Gutters and Roofing, said of the $600 drone that takes airborne video.

A view from a different angle can give you a new perspective – that’s something we at the RoundTable hope to provide. Our nonprofit newsroom depends on donations, and we’d like to thank readers for your generous support during NewsMatch, our end-of-year fundraising campaign. Your contributions helped us exceed our goal of raising over $150,000 from more than 1,200 donors.

Now, on to today’s news.

At Evanston Township High School, participation and scores on Advanced Placement exams have largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. “We do not know if these scores represent a one-year rebound, a sustained recovery or a new norm,” said Pete Bavis, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Research links AP participation to postsecondary success, so we dive into the data.

Evanston-based Awe-Sauce is trying GoFundMe to help expand its hot sauce production, writes business columnist Isabelle Reiniger. “Now we have 11 flavors, the latest one was introduced two Fridays ago,” said owner Verzell James. Business is hot enough that the small company is outgrowing its kitchen space.

Credit: Wikipedia

Legendary authors (clockwise from top left) Mark Twain, Susan Sontag, Charles Dickens and Joan Didion all got their start in journalism. Will you be next? Columnist Les Jacobson invites you to consider writing for the RoundTable.

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COVID-19 by the numbers: Eight new cases and no new deaths were reported Monday, Jan. 16, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 13.43 cases per day.

More RoundTable reads

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Indigenous women face murder rates more than 10 times the national average. Kim Vigue, executive director of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, says a new exhibit puts a spotlight on the “invisibility” that powers the epidemic of violence against Native women.

Credit: Michael Kellams/

After a 56-42 loss Tuesday against Glenbrook South, the ETHS girls basketball team, now 8-11 overall for the season, is trying to put together a strong finish ahead of the Illinois High School Association postseason tournament.

Credit: Parisa Taghizadeh / Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Studios

RoundTable critic Doris Popovich praises Empire of Light, starring Olivia Colman (above left) and written and directed by Sam Mendes, as “a thoughtful, delicate, heart-wrenching, ultimately hopeful cinematic experience about living life on life’s terms.”

Several local artists have designed light installations for Tallmadge Park, 927 Noyes St., as part of Light the Night on Saturday, Jan. 21, Evanston’s newest winter event. The city invites you to sip hot chocolate and wander through the park.

The 10th anniversary of the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival prepares for its second weekend on Jan. 26-29. This weekend of film commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for feature writing opportunities in editorial.

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Around the web

Evanston Animal Shelter seeks to expand capacity and reopen this fall. The construction bid for the new building is set to go before city council next month.

Gun rights advocates file legal challenges to assault weapons ban. The two lawsuits are the first in what’s expected to be a flurry of litigation against the new law that next year will ban the sale and manufacture of assault weapons in Illinois.

ComEd seeks record-high $1.5 billion rate hike over next 4 years. The utility says the nearly 18% increase will fund improvements to the electric grid. But a consumer watchdog group called it “an excessive profit rate for shareholders.”

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Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...