Evanston RoundTable
ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon at Monday’s School Board Meeting. (Screenshot)

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

At Monday night’s gathering of the Evanston Township High School District 202 School Board, Superintendent Eric Witherspoon opened with a statement that “ETHS could have done better” in handling complaints of harassment and inappropriate touching against color guard coach Lorenzo Medrano.

The meeting also featured an update on student well-being and a discussion of the role played by school resource officers at ETHS. Members of the district’s discipline committee presented data collected through student, staff and parent/guardian surveys on opinions toward SROs.

Evanston City Council members approved an honorary street name for Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste, recognizing his contributions as the City’s first Haitian-American alderman, as well as the early light he shined on the issue of reparations. A segment of McDaniel Avenue between Crain Street and Dempster Street will be renamed  “Honorable Lionel Jean-Baptiste Way.”

Jean-Baptiste served as alderman of Evanston’s 2nd Ward for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011. He left his seat to fill an open judge position in the Cook County Circuit Court. 

Giant Olaf the Snowman at 504 Florence Ave. with polar bears next door.

The latest Lighthouse Keeper takes a look at some of the most festive and fun holiday light displays across Evanston. Consider bundling up and going for a walk or drive through Evanston on your own scavenger hunt to see what the Lighthouse Keeper sees!

COVID by the numbers: 41 cases were reported yesterday in Evanston. The seven-day average is 30.

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

Through year-end, your donation to the RoundTable will be matched through commitments from national and local partners.

In the spirit of giving, several community organizations have donated gift items and certificates to be raffled off to RoundTable donors. This week’s raffle is two tickets to any one of the four remaining productions of Northlight Theatre’s 2021-2022 season. All donors to our fall fundraising campaign will be included in the raffle.

Invest in Evanston. Invest in local non-profit journalism.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Here’s how ETHS students did on the SAT. In 2021, ETHS students scored similarly to 2019 on the English/Language Arts portion of the exam but showed a slight decline in math.

Levy Lecture: Pearl Harbor 80 years later. In the latest installment of the Levy Lecture Series, historian Robert Watson presented a Zoom webinar Dec. 7 on the aftermath and impact of Japan’s surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base, exactly 80 years after it took place.

At This Time: 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14. Carlos Esquivel picks up scrap for recycling in an alley near Grove and Chicago. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Around the web

Illinois families in crisis want the state to do more to help children with the most dire needs. More and more children across the state are experiencing mental, behavioral and physical health crises, but there aren’t enough resources to support the increased need.

Study shows winter tornadoes will get more powerful as the world warms. After severe weekend tornadoes killed dozens and destroyed homes in Kentucky, southern Illinois and other parts of the Midwest, experts fear such catastrophic weather events will only become more common.

Unvaccinated Chicagoans With COVID-19 5 Times As Likely To Die During Post-Thanksgiving Surge, Officials Say. In addition to the increased risk of death, research has also shown the unvaccinated have been three times more likely to contract COVID-19 during the current case surge.

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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...