Evanston RoundTable
Interim Police Chief Richard Eddington (City of Evanston photo)

Good Sunday morning, Evanston. (And a “spring forward” reminder to reset your clocks!)

Here’s a summary of top news and feature stories from the last week.

The loss of now 24 Evanston police officers to other jurisdictions will have its greatest effect moving forward with the department faced with replacing experience and training the officers brought to the job, interim Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington told a city committee.

“I think we’re going to see a continuing uptick in crime because we don’t have the resources to apply to the hot spots like we did before,” Eddington said at the March 7 meeting.

Council member Devon Reid, 8th Ward, said the data shows “crime has been steadily going down” in Evanston since the ’90s while the number of officers has stayed roughly steady. “So it seems as though there isn’t a correlation between the number of sworn officers that we have and crime,” he concluded.

As a fourth-generation restaurateur, the restaurant business was not new to Amy Morton. Her father, Arnie Morton, opened his first steakhouse in Chicago in 1978, and it soon grew into 70 locations across the globe.

Roughly three decades later, Morton pursued her own identity in the restaurant game and opened Found Kitchen in Evanston, a farm-to-table restaurant with an all-woman team. But it wasn’t necessarily on purpose.

Juniors Jonathan and Desiree interviewed at the March 12 job fair. (Photo by Wendi Kromash) Credit: Wendi Kromash

The doors at the ETHS gym opened at 8 a.m. Saturday and closed at noon, and during those four hours approximately 700 registered students ages 14 to 18, most from Evanston ZIP codes 60201 and 60202, showed up to meet and interview with prospective employers.

The purpose of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program Job Fair is to help Evanston youth get paid job experience with real-world labor expectations.

Week in Photos: In Tuesday’s newsletter we’ll share a roundup of photos taken throughout the past week. What were you up to in the last seven days? Send your photos to news@evanstonroundtable.com!

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

City News

(Evanston Fire Department photo)  Credit: Evanston Fire Department photo

Smoky basement fire kills 87-year-old Evanston man: officials. Noxious, heavy black smoke from a basement fire killed an 87-year old Evanston man Thursday when he was unable to evacuate, according to fire department officials.

COVID-19 update as of March 10: new cases in the state continue decline, slight uptick in Evanston. New cases in Evanston showed a slight increase in the last week. Hospitalizations have declined significantly.

 Arrington Lagoon building (Photo by Bob Seidenberg)

Proposal would allow beer, wine service at lakefront lagoon building. Members of the City’s Economic Development Committee appear ready to uncork beer and wine sales at one spot on Evanston’s lakefront.

Kelley Gandurski (left) and Clare Kelly

Kelley versus Kelly. Evanston interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski raised concerns about the behavior of a City Council member in an email last month, after a heated conversation that took place in front of other staff members. 

 Security footage at Autobarn early Monday morning.

About $1M worth of luxury vehicles stolen from Autobarn. A gang of thieves stole 14 automobiles beginning just after 2 a.m. Monday morning from the Autobarn Collection in Evanston.

(City of Evanston photo) Credit: City of Evanston photo / City of Evanston

Proposed Salvation Army store in south Evanston gets commission OK. Members of the Evanston Land Use Commission voted 8-1 on March 9 to recommend a proposal for a Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center at 2424 Oakton St., replacing Gordon Food Service.

William “Bill” Logan Jr. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Honorary street naming proposed to honor William ‘Bill’ Logan Jr.’s many accomplishments. Evanston’s first Black Police Chief has been nominated to have a street named in his honor under a resolution backed by the City Council’s Human Services Committee. 

Fountain Square in 2021. (RoundTable photo)

Downtown Evanston fountain to remain off for 2022. The iconic fountain in downtown Evanston’s Fountain Square will have to remain off for the rest of the calendar year due to an issue with water loss from the fountain pipes. The city is demanding $5 million in damages from the fountain contractor.

A recent protest in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. (Photo provided)

Ukrainians in Evanston watch from afar as destruction hits their homeland. Valeriia Rohoza is a second-year undergraduate studying computer science and physics at Northwestern University. She grew up in Chernihiv, Ukraine, just 60 miles from the Russian border. 


Bessie Rhodes (Photo by Adina Keeling)

District 65 proposal backs K-8 5th Ward school. After presenting two potential plans at a series of community events last week, Sarita Smith, director of student assignments, unveiled the selected option on March 7. The Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies would close, but its students and staff would relocate to become “a magnet school within a school” in the Fifth Ward.

District 65 looks at ‘lease certificates’ to pay for new Fifth Ward school. While the community buzzes about plans to build a K-8 Fifth Ward school, questions remain about how Evanston/Skokie School District 65 plans to pay for the new structure. 

Oakton Elementary School (District 65 photo)

District 65 talks TWI, but holds off on recommendations for future of English-Spanish program. One of the SAP committee’s programming proposals that was later revoked recommended shifting the Two-Way Immersion program at Oakton Elementary School to Dawes Elementary School. 

Nichols Middle School (Photo by Duncan Agnew)

District 65 officially lifts indoor mask mandate. Masks became optional, though still “highly recommended,” for students and staff members in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 classrooms starting Monday.

Purple coneflower, a plant native to northern Illinois. (Photo by Lauren Marquez-Viso)

PTA council revitalizes local ecosystem while redistributing funds. This year, the Evanston/Skokie Council of PTAs, the umbrella association for all school PTAs in the areas served by Districts 65 and 202, is hosting a native plant sale that will benefit all Evanston students and ecosystems alike.

Art & Life

A “bouquet of gratitude” (Photo by Heidi Randhava)  Credit: Heidi Randhava photo

Flower-delivery nonprofit finds way to keep the kindness coming, even through a pandemic. Inspire Through Flowers found opportunity in a crisis when pandemic mitigation measures initially forced the Evanston-based nonprofit to halt operations.

Christina Ernst (Photo by Matt Glavin)

A natural risk-taker, Evanston Dance Ensemble’s artistic director preps for 25th anniversary. It was painting and poetry, not dance, that first captured the imagination of Christina Ernst as a child growing up in Switzerland.

A Rotary perspective on Ukraine. John Hewko has deep ties to Ukraine and helped to author its constitution. He serves as general secretary and CEO of Rotary International, which has clubs in both Russia and Ukraine.

Rebcca Sanchez (Photo via Kombucha Brava’s Instagram)

Evanston resident takes over Kombucha Brava: ‘We had to keep it open’. Like many others, when Rebecca Sanchez tried kombucha for the first time more than a decade ago, she was surprised.

AJ Oda with his prototype cat beds (Photo by Wendi Kromash)

Prospective Eagle Scout helps Evanston Animal Shelter. AJ Oda has been involved with scouting through the Boy Scouts of America since he was in kindergarten. Currently he is a senior at ETHS, on the cusp of turning 18.

Maryam Kouchaki (Photo provided)

Levy Lecture: Reasons behind unethical behavior. Maryam Kouchaki, an Associate Professor of Management and Organization at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, studies moral decision-making in her quest to understand why people within organizations behave unethically.

A shot from Lion Birnecker’s winning film, “Take Action Against Lead,” about lead water pipes.

Eighth grader tackles lead pipe problem in winning environmental short film. Evanston eighth grader Lion Birnecker took a couple of online filmmaking classes and decided to enter the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest, which invites students to create a short film on an environmental topic.

Photo by Evan Girard Credit: Evan Girard

The week in photos: March 1-7. International Women’s Day is March 8, and Evan Girard snapped a photo of these festive cookies at Bennison’s Bakery.

Book Bird: Bringing world events to the Evanston Public Library. With the news fixed so firmly on the events in Russia and Ukraine, it’s little wonder that there’s been a marked increase in interest in books and materials about these countries.

Nina Weiss. (Photo by Jean Cunningham)

The Art of Making Art | Painting nature. Nina Weiss, a fine arts painter/teacher from Evanston, creates large-scale landscapes on unstretched canvas and smaller Waterways paintings.

Northwestern University “DM” 2022. (Photo by Jill Norton)

Northwestern’s 48th annual Dance Marathon navigates post-pandemic world. The 48th annual Northwestern University Dance Marathon raised $580,778. Not even severe weather late Saturday evening put a damper on the event’s success.

Alcove restaurant (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Tucked under the Metra line, Alcove keeps cooking. Elio Romero, formerly known as José Romero, was just 17 years old when he emigrated from El Salvador to the United States. 

YWCA web design class attracts moms looking for career shift. When Anita Perkins, 60, got an email in December 2020 about a free YWCA web design course geared toward women of color, she tried to get her daughter to attend.

Which is better, a good therapist or a good hairstylist? Dear Gabby, My best friend is really unhappy in her job (and has been for years) and won’t stop complaining about it.  

Ridgeville Park District does ‘a whole lot with a little’. Residents living in south Evanston may take advantage of camps, classes, a farmers market and community events offered by Ridgeville Park District.

Public Square

Theatrical poster for the 1947 film “The Bishop’s Wife.”

Les Jacobson: When we wuz grand. I find myself of late drawn to 1940 movies that portray American life as busy, well-ordered and prosperous, films like “The Bishop’s Wife” and “Miracle on 34th Street” and the “Thin Man” series.

Mayor Biss offers thoughts on report on sexual misconduct at lakefront. The report’s findings, the mayor writes, essentially come in two parts: descriptions of misconduct that occurred among lakefront employees, and descriptions of how the city did and did not react to reports of that misconduct. 

Letter to the editor: Put 5th Ward school plan up for a vote. Barry Doyle shares concerns about the actions that the District 65 school board seems poised to take with regard to closing schools and building of a Fifth Ward school.

Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell

ETHS board: Current D202 Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell is lead candidate for top job. After a comprehensive process to determine what ETHS community members are looking for in the next superintendent, ETHS board members determined their top candidate is already in their midst.

Nancy E. Anderson: ‘It will be OK’ and other things I don’t say anymore. I’m lying in bed reading a book about a woman who is terminally ill. She’s telling her therapist that people say the wrong things to her.


Elyjah Williams (Courtesy of Northwestern Athletics)

Elyjah Williams’ season at Northwestern brings ETHS alum full circle. Evanston Township High School alum Elyjah Williams has quickly become a jack-of-all-trades on the court for Northwestern University.

Become a member!

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-depthjournalism, 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.

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...