Ceremonial eagle feather and beaded cap that were banned from the ETHS graduation ceremony.

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

Early this week, Marcus Campbell, the incoming Superintendent of ETHS, called one of the graduating seniors at home and asked to visit.

It was not a normal request, but then, neither were the circumstances.  

Campbell and Pete Bavis, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Keith A. Robinson, Associate Principal of Educational Services, visited the home of Megan Bang and Lawrence Curley to apologize to their son, Nimkii Curley, and present him with his diploma.

The young man did not receive his diploma with his peers at the graduation ceremony last weekend. Instead, he was told he could not walk across the stage or sit with fellow students if he insisted on wearing the eagle feather and beading on his cap, an Ojibwe beaded stole and Navajo necklace. All four items represent his heritage – and some are considered sacred. 

Credit: Robert Seidenberg

Ann Arbor Assistant City Administrator John Fournier told the city he won’t be taking Evanston’s City Manager job, after the sides failed to come to a final agreement on his employment contract, according to a news release.

And it appears that the city news release and Fournier’s letter to the City Council clash as to the reasons for his withdrawal.

Fournier is the second top candidate to withdraw from the manager job in less than four months, despite the fact the city has engaged firms to conduct nationwide searches. He had been one of two candidates announced by the City Council who went through community leader interviews and a town hall with Evanstonians.  


In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of recent top stories from the RoundTable.

City news

Life expectancy calculations show differences and disparities in Evanston. Where you live in Evanston determines how long you live. And if you live in the city’s historically Black Fifth Ward, health officials said, you are likely to live, on average, 6.5 fewer years.

COVID-19 update as of May 26: Evanston’s weekly cases drop by 20%. Hospitalizations in the state have doubled in the last six weeks. Evanston, Chicago, Cook County and Illinois are all in the “medium” risk community level. But researchers are expressing increased concerns about what has been called “long COVID.”

Credit: Pixabay stock image

Advocates promote ranked-choice voting proposal. Larry Garfield, a board member for the nonprofit organization FairVote, explained at an Eighth Ward meeting how ranked-choice voting worked in elections with several candidates.

Credit: Adina Keeling

Margarita Inn permit is expired, city commission rules. The Margarita Inn’s 1974 “rooming house” special use permit is expired, the city’s Land Use Commission decided by a 9-0 vote during its meeting Wednesday, May 25. 

Police chief discussion session at First Church of God at 1524 Simpson St.

Hopes for ‘Peacemaker’ at listening session for next police chief. The Rev. Monté L. G. Dillard responded to the first question at a community listening session seeking input on the characteristics they would like to see in the next police chief. “I’d love to see someone who has a deep conviction about the appropriate way that policing should be done,” he said.

Participants confer at the Tuesday night police chief meeting at St. Nicholas Catholic Church.

‘Communication and no favoritism’ say Latino residents about the next police chief. Evanston’s new police chief must understand the city’s multicultural needs, treat all residents equally and with respect, and be focused on lowering crime in the community.

Credit: Richard Cahan

New teen center at Gibbs-Morrison opens. Mayor Daniel Biss (left) and Council Member Bobby Burns, 5th Ward, wield the ceremonial scissors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new teen center at the Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, 1823 Church St., on Tuesday.

Credit: Richard Cahan

Offloading crossing guard program promises financial, administrative benefits to city. The City Council backed a resolution handing off the crossing guard program to the city’s schools, which will save the city money and remove the administrative headaches that come with running the program.

Credit: Friends of the Robert Crown Center

Friends of the Robert Crown Center transfers another $600,000 to City of Evanston. The Robert Crown fund-raising group announced Monday that it transferred another $600,000 to the city for the new community center.

Council confirms Fournier as new City Manager in 9-1 vote. On On May 23 Evanston City Council members approved the appointment of Ann Arbor Assistant City Administrator John Fournier as the next City Manager. Subsequently he withdraw (see story above).

Credit: Submitted photo

Branch library in Family Focus an ‘ideal’ fit, says agency’s director. An Evanston Public Library branch in the Weissbourd-Holmes Family Focus building would be “ideal” and complement the other services intended to be housed in the building once its renovation is complete, the head of the organization told the Evanston Public Library Board last week.


Schools

Haven school families organize support for children and teachers, while pushing for updates on noose investigation. Community members plan to gather at 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every weekday through June 8 at Haven to support Black students and Black teachers following a recent disturbing incident where three nooses were found hung outside the school.

Corky Siegfriedt reads the award citations. Credit: Adina Keeling Credit: Adina Keeling

Two District 65 PTA presidents honored with Phyllis Ganser award. Kate Lister and Yoli Maya Yeh Joseph were honored Monday with Phyllis Ganser Outstanding PTA Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The Evanston Township High School Class of 2022 celebrated commencement Sunday morning at Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena. Meet the ETHS Class of 2022 and read the remarks by graduating senior Samara Wilson.

Credit: Adina Keeling

Here’s how District 65 plans to pay for 5th Ward school. District 65 is expected to receive a formal proposal from its Finance Committee May 23 to award a contract to PFM Asset Management for financial management of more than $44 million in lease certificates that will finance the new Fifth Ward school.

As he wraps up his final weeks at the school, Witherspoon reflects on 16 years as ETHS superintendent. The ETHS board picked Eric Witherspoon as superintendent in July 2006, and 16 years later, on June 30, he is set to retire as a figure beloved by many and a mainstay in the community.


Art & Life

Bookends & Beginnings battles pandemic effects and Amazon’s giant shadow. Evanston’s hidden independent bookstore is pushing through – and challenging the online giant in court.

Credit: Lisa Cyee

Evanston’s Umbrella Arts Festival celebrates local Asian, South Asian, Pacific Island American community. Korean pungmul drumming, Indian Bharatanatyam dance and world music blending Indian bhangra and Afro-Caribbean sounds all came to Evanston on May 14.

Credit: Sam Stroozas

‘Girls rule’: Teen-led event offers inspiration, empowerment. Nearly 100 girls from around Illinois participated in last weekend’s Girls Who Lead, a day of empowering workshops hosted by the young founder of the Her Rising nonprofit, Cherie Animashaun, a junior at Niles West High School.

Credit: Downtown Evanston

Thursday Night Markets return to Fountain Square this summer. Downtown Evanston is excited to host the second summer of Thursday Night Markets, an outdoor market featuring local shops, artists and makers.

Credit: Adina Keeling

Vintage Garage brings dozens of vendors to Evanston parking garage. More than 70 vendors piled into the Maple Avenue parking garage, to sell vintage toys, cashmere sweaters, midcentury furniture, retro lighters and everything in between.

Derrick Gragg (left) with interviewer Ira Mitchell. Credit: Patrick Hughes Credit: Patrick Hughes

Getting to know Derrick Gragg. In this edition of People You Should Know, Derrick Gragg, Vice President for Athletics & Recreation at Northwestern University, is interviewed by Wildcats super-fan Ira Mitchell.

Credit: Adina Keeling

Evanston Garden Fair returns after pandemic hiatus. The annual Evanston Garden Fair returned on May 21-22 after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Almost all the plants were grown by members of the Lincolnwood Garden Club of Evanston.

“Green alley,” photographed by Les Jacobson

The week in photos: May 16-23. This week’s spring photography is all purple and green, with falling lilac pedals and a “green alley.”

William H. Logan: The chief. This episode of the Evanston Rules podcast features William H. Logan Jr., also known as Bill or Chief Logan. Listen as Chief Logan talks about his family and growing up in Evanston.

Credit: Supplied

Beauty and Wellness Spotlight: Luna Delgado Botanicals. Take a stroll heading west down Greenleaf Street to Florence Avenue, and you’ll discover Luna Delgado Botanicals, a made-in-Evanston apothecary with a cult following. 

How does anyone stay married? Dear Gabby, I’m 25 years old and I’ve recently started dating a new guy, David, and he’s pretty awesome all round. We have SO much in common, and the things we don’t have in common make it interesting. But there’s this one big problem.

Film review: Elegant escape to ‘Downton Abbey’ offers movie therapy at its best. Evanston native Elizabeth McGovern reprises her role as Cora Crawley in the latest cinematic version of the beloved Masterpiece TV series.

‘My City, Your City, Our City’ initiative will host safe summer activities for youth and families. Evanston community members can enjoy a variety of free events and activities at parks and community centers throughout the summer.


Public Square

Patricia (Patty) Ann Buck. Credit: Family photo Credit: Submitted

Patricia Ann Harbrecht Buck, 1927-2022. Patricia (Patty) Ann Buck, 95, died Wednesday, April 27.  Passionate about education, she remained dedicated to teaching while raising her children. She was also an artist and sculptor with her own unique style.

Thomas McGurn. Submitted photo

Thomas Scott McGurn, 1932 – 2022. Thomas Scott McGurn of Waynesville, North Carolina, passed Sunday, May 22, at age 89. Tom graduated ETHS and Northwestern and served as a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Naval Reserve pilot. Later he enjoyed a successful business career.

Credit: chenspec/Pixabay

Peggy Tarr: Memories. “I am old, and the older I get, the more I appreciate the brain’s filing system,” writes columnist Peggy Tarr. “I am often amazed at how experiences and people from my early years come forth so vividly.”

Les Jacobson: Second chance. Columnist Les Jacobson lays out his vision of life after death: “As I imagine it, after we go over we are greeted in some nether realm of the hereafter by our family and friends who have predeceased us. Not their physical presence, of course, but some spiritual representation. Can you imagine the joy such a reunion would spark?”


Sports

ETHS girls soccer qualifies for sectional tournament. Just the fact that Evanston’s girls soccer team qualified for the Class 3A sectional tournament championship game at New Trier High School still hadn’t sunk in for co-captain Nadia Van den Berg Friday, May 27, as she and classmate Carly Menocal walked to meet the game officials prior to the kickoff. Kite flies high, saves sectional win. Evanston goalkeeper Ariel Kite’s leaping one-handed save, plus two more in the last 15 minutes, denied the Trevians and sent the longtime state power to the sidelines.

ETHS baseball: Vega celebrates 16th birthday with shutout win. Pitcher Eron Vega combined with Owen Brooks for a one-hit shutout as the Wildkits blanked Leyden 7-0 in a High School Association Class 4A regional tournament game.

Pollard scores a breakthrough victory for ETHS tennis. Finn Pollard scored a breakthrough victory for Evanston’s tennis team Saturday at the Niles North Sectional tournament, scoring a rare win over the New Trier tennis powerhouse.

ETHS girls track: School record run earns state relay title for Wildkits. Senior Dystonae Clark helped the Wildkits to a first place finish and a school record in the 1600-meter relay race on a soggy Saturday.


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Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...