Evanston RoundTable
ETHS will receive $3.7 million in federal aid
to support students returning to the classroom.

Good morning, Evanston.

Evanston School District 65 and District 202 will receive an estimated $14.3 million in combined federal aid to support students returning to the classroom, according to information released yesterday by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The funds — allocated under the new American Rescue Plan Act — will be released over a three-year period. District 65 will receive an estimated $10.6 million and District 202 will receive $3.7 million. Annualized, these payments represent about 2.5% of District 65 and 1.3% of District 202’s fiscal year 2021 budgets.

What are the metrics required to move to the next phase of reopening in Illinois – the so-called “bridge phase” between Phase 4 and Phase 5? And how is the State doing? Some of the key metrics:

  • 70% of the State’s population 65 years and older must have received at least one dose of the vaccine;
  • ICU bed availability must be higher than 20%;
  • New COVID-19 hospital admissions, total COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and death rates must not have increased significantly Statewide over the most recent 28 days.

The State meets the vaccination metric, but new case and hospital admission figures are trending in the wrong direction. Health officials continue to urge all residents to continue to mask up, socially distance, and avoid crowds to reduce transmission.

To the winner goes the fire hydrant! In one of the State’s longest-running — and tightest — rivalries, the Evanston and New Trier soccer teams have each posted 43 wins in head-to-head match-ups and the two schools have tied 22 times. But Tuesday night, the Trevians prevailed 2-0, claiming the storied fire hydrant.

Is your property tax bill sharply higher this year? We can’t lower your property tax bill, but the Evanston RoundTable does keep you informed on how your tax dollars are spent by our public school districts and City government. Join our community of engaged citizens who value local, fact-based journalism by becoming a member of the Evanston RoundTable today!

Local Election News: Early in-person voting is open now at the Civic Center for the April 6 election. Residents have until today to request a mail-in ballot.

See Voting in the April 6 General Election and our Election Guide.

COVID-19 by the numbers: We are checking in with many sources to keep you updated on COVID-19 cases and vaccine information.

Cases are climbing again in Evanston, suburban Cook County and Illinois. Please be careful.

  • Thirty-seven new cases were reported yesterday in Evanston, the seven-day average is now 14.
  • Northwestern students are back from spring break. Northwestern reported 13 news cases for the seven days ending March 28. 
  • There were no reported fatalities yesterday. Evanston has lost 114 residents to the pandemic.
  • Our City’s positive test rate for the past seven days is now 2.3%; in suburban Cook County it is 5.0%, and in Illinois it is 3.3%. 
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 131 in Evanston, 123 in suburban Cook County and 132 in Illinois.
  • Illinois received just over 1 million doses and used 765,500 doses of the vaccine in the past seven days. Illinois has used 80% of the 7.3 million doses received to date.
  • About 2.2 million or 17.0% of total Illinois residents are fully vaccinated, including 270,600 in the past seven days.

Variants – The Illinois Department of Public Health reports 267 cases of more infectious COVID-19 variants including 19 cases of variant P.1, first identified in Brazil. 

Evanston Vax Facts:

Suburban Cook County announced yesterday that it has expanded vaccine eligibility to remaining essential worker groups in Phase 1C. Evanston residents can schedule appointments at mass vaccination sites in Cook County.

Evanston received about 500 doses of the vaccine this week through yesterday. The City has “substantially vaccinated” individuals 65 and older and is now vaccinating Phase 1B and 1B+ individuals. More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.

The RoundTable is adding journalists to our stable of writers. As we expand coverage, we’re seeking reporters interested in covering topics related to Evanston schools, arts, business, and City news. Interested? Please email us at news@evanstonroundtable.com.

Upcoming events: 

Vigil in Solidarity with Asian Americans, tonight, 5 p.m. Join elected officials, community organizations and your fellow Evanstonians to show solidarity with the Asian American community. Attend virtually or in-person at Lovelace Park, please register.

For a list of upcoming events and meetings, check the Round Table calendar. Have a event to share? Submit a calendar event.

Elsewhere On the RoundTable Website

ETHS Seniors Followed Their Muses During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Meet Evanston Township High School senior Noam Hasak-Lowy. Noam and other students have stayed plugged into the high school’s remote learning, have goals for the future, have pursued their creative passions, and are grateful for their mentors and peer support along the way. Part 2 of a Series.

Community Alert: Evanston Experiences Multiple Street Robberies Over Last Two Days. The Evanston Police Department alerted the community of seven street robberies that have occurred over the past two days. Robberies occurred between noon and 2 p.m. in the south and central areas of Evanston and are believed to be committed by the same offenders.

Mayor-Elect: Aldermanic Candidates Not to Be Blamed for Group’s Mailings. Mayor-Elect Daniel Biss appended a brief note to his initial statement several days ago which sharply criticized Evanston Together LLC, a group behind several political flyers sent to Evanston households.

Write As If Your Life Depends On it”, the value of writing. Columnist Les Jacobson suggests that writing is like a gift to yourself, because it can make you a better person.

A Curt’s Café Memoir by columnist Peggy Tarr. It is March, Women’s History Month, a month to honor women for their accomplishments and contributions to history, culture, society, and support of each other.

Around the Web

The Machine: Lincoln Towing Upset Ship Dislodged from Suez Canal Before They Could Haul It Away

Make public transit free? The CTA, Metra and Pace should test sharply reduced bus and train fares — or have no fares at all — to lure back riders who abandoned mass transit during the pandemic suggested MarySue Barrett, retiring president of the Metropolitan Planning Council.

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