Evanston RoundTable
Students leaving King Arts School in fall 2021. (Photo by Bessie Mbadugha)

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Evanston schools reported a record number of COVID-19 cases last week. For the week ending Friday, Jan. 14, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202 reported a combined 593 new positive cases of COVID-19 among students. That number represents about 5.5% of the 10,802 total students enrolled across both districts.

ETHS alone registered 311 new student positives during the week, while District 65 saw 288 students test positive over the same period. One hundred and five staff members also tested positive between the two districts.

Garrett Karp, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce
Garrett Karp, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce

People you should know. The Evanston Chamber of Commerce just welcomed a new executive director – Garrett Karp. He comes to Evanston after serving as program manager for the Wicker Park-Bucktown Chamber’s special service area.

Week in Photos: In tomorrow’s newsletter we’ll share a roundup of photos taken throughout the week. What were you up to over the last seven days? Please send us your photos at news@evanstonroundtable.com!

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Prairie Joe’s West Art Gallery. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Evanston’s smallest art gallery and the reincarnation of Prairie Joe’s Diner. When Prairie Joe’s Diner closed in October, owner Aydin Dincer knew it wasn’t the end. After working for 30 years in the restaurant business, Dincer now had a lot of free time on his hands. By the end of December, he had received his food license for his next endeavor, Prairie Joe’s West and Art Gallery.

(Photo by Richard Cahan)

At this time: 10:04 a.m. Saturday. A man of letters. Ben Blount, whose Black Lives Matter yard signs are seen all over Evanston, stands at the new mural he designed. Called “Resolved,” the mural will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. on Monday under the CTA tracks near Washington Street and Chicago Avenue. 

Kits fall short after Irby sparks comeback. Another boys basketball loss to a state-ranked team isn’t exactly the best situation for anyone to build on. But the learning curve for Evanston freshman Yaris Irby is something Wildkit fans should pay close attention to.

Wildkits claim first regional bowling title in program history. Evanston’s boys bowling team made history last weekend by capturing the Central Suburban League tournament championship for the first time ever. But the Wildkits didn’t stop there.

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Around the web

The U.S. surgeon general warns that Omicron has not yet peaked. Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, warned on Sunday that the Omicron surge of coronavirus cases had not yet peaked nationally, saying the next few weeks would be very difficult in many parts of the country as hospitalizations and deaths rise.

Who is dying of COVID-19 in Cook County? Black Chicagoans and 60-plus suburbanites. Black Chicagoans are dying from COVID-19 at rates not seen since May 2020.

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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...