Evanston RoundTable
The Feb. 21 fire at the Monroe Street apartments. (City of Evanston photo)

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston.

A dozen Evanston residents were displaced from an apartment complex in the 1600 block of Monroe Street and a firefighter was injured Monday after a fire left several homes uninhabitable, officials said. 

“My kids have no coats, so I’m at the thrift store,” said Renee Irons, who’s lived in the building since 2016. Her family lost all of their belongings in the fire. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

The fire reportedly began shortly after noon in a second-floor apartment. Irons said she wasn’t home but her daughter and son were. After hearing the fire alarm and seeing smoke, they left wearing only what they had on. 

At this time: Monday at 11:06 a.m. The babies are back. Temperatures in the 40s bring toddlers to Raymond Park, near downtown. They are (from left) Charlotte, Silas, Gabriel, Jude, Micah and Luna. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Daniel Biss
A news conference following the Nov. 28 shooting. (Photo by Duncan Agnew)

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to more conversations about mental health, crime and violence.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health struggles, concerns about safety and feeling insecure in the unstable environment of COVID-19. And experts say those challenges can lead to a desperate desire for attention, care and connection that may underlie many crimes.

According to a City of Evanston memo, nine local youth between the ages of 14 and 24 were shot in 2021, four of whom were killed.

Week in Photos: In tomorrow’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!

COVID-19 by the numbers: 17 cases were reported Sunday, Feb. 20, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 15 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Big field emerges for vacated Council seat in Ninth Ward. Eight candidates have stepped forward to fill Cicely Fleming’s seat and seven of these took part in a forum at the Civic Center.

Leland Chakos cuts fabric for the back of his creation. (Photo provided)

Artist makes breakthrough and one-of-a-kind garment with Sew Design Studio. Leland Chakos was having brunch when he saw an advertisement for one of Veronica Brackett’s beginning sewing classes at Sew Design Studio on Green Bay Road. He signed up and soon learned that it was the next step in his artistic career.

Colectivo Coffee’s turkey chili. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Taste-testing ‘hygge’ in Downtown Evanston: A review. Several Evanston restaurants offered pastries, meals and drinks inspired by “hygge,” the Danish word celebrating comfort and comfort. Our reporter decided to stop in and sample these menu items. 

Evanston Public Works Agency receives 2022 Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award. Evanston is one of only five cities to receive the award, presented by the American Public Works Association.

Help design Evanston’s future skate park. The city will host a virtual public meeting to review initial concept designs for a skate park at Twiggs Park. The meeting will be 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 22.

ETHS boys track: Kits get the jump on Glenbrook South in first indoor meet. A 1-2-3 finish in the final event of the day – the triple jump – lifted the Wildkits to a narrow 80-78 victory over GBS.

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

Become a member!

We look to you, our most loyal readers, to support our mission to report news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy.  

More than 90% of our budget comes from donations from readers like you, and almost all of our expenses in 2021 were news gathering, reporting and publishing.

Many of you have made a financial gift to the RoundTable in the past year and we are so grateful for your support. If you have not yet done so, please consider joining this community of supporters!    

Thank you to our recent supporters:

Tommy Clancy, Barbara Cleveland, Marjorie Goldman, Lester Jacobson, Kelly McCabe, Angela and Gary Schwartz and Julie Winsberg.

Around the web

Another Evanston official quits amid lifeguard abuse scandal at suburb’s beaches. Parks Director Lawrence Hemingway resigned Monday, becoming the latest of several top officials to leave.

As Evanston looks to post signs discouraging panhandling, some residents question the initiative. In an effort to curb what she called aggressive panhandling, interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski proposed the “Have a Heart, Give Smart” campaign.

Local rug shop imports Afghan rugs to support weavers. When Shams Frough graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he had two major goals: to make a little money before starting medical school and to support weavers in Afghanistan. 

Black History Month: Documenting Illinois’ first statewide Black political conference. A new digital history project by Northwestern University scholars profiles 25 antebellum activists engaged in the struggle for racial justice.

Like what you’re reading? Share it!

If you appreciate the RoundTable newsletter, please forward it to friends and suggest that they sign up!

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...