Evanston RoundTable
A sign at LA Fitness states vaccination and mask-wearing is required. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

City officials are still deciding how long to continue Evanston’s mask mandate, but some frustrated residents are demanding more concrete answers about masks

Adam McCostlin, for one, wants to know what metrics the city must meet in order to lift its mandate and make masks optional, especially in schools. He created an online petition calling for transparency.

“At what point do we say, and declare, we’re no longer in an emergency?” McCostlin said in an interview. “No one has an answer for me.” 

The Century movie theater in Church Street Plaza (RoundTable file photo) Credit: RoundTable file photo

Movie theater chain AMC Theatres has signed a long-term lease to return movie-going to downtown Evanston, the developer of the property has announced.

Mitch Goltz, co-owner of developer GW Properties, said AMC will reopen the 12 screens formerly operated by Cinemark as Century Theatre as early as this spring. Goltz said GW has also reached agreement with Sky Zone and Belong Gaming, to bring more entertainment aimed at younger users.

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

City News

With lateral recruitment and referral bonuses, Evanston taking steps to stop the loss of police officers to other departments. Down by 22 officers, the Evanston Police Department has begun a campaign to recruit police officers from other law enforcement agencies.

Some residents filter their drinking water. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Evanston’s lead pipes called an environmental justice concern. In the final part of our series on lead pipes in Evanston, RoundTable Reporter Adina Keeling dives into the inequities of local water testing and the racial disparity of lead exposure.

COVID-19 Update: 19 new cases in Evanston on Feb. 9 and 5,419 in the state on Feb. 10. Coronavirus cases in Evanston and across the state continue to show significant declines.

Developer adds affordable housing units to Chicago Avenue high-rise proposal. A developer is making a second try on a plan to build an 18-story residential building at 1621-31 Chicago Ave.


Haven Middle School in fall 2021. (Photo by Larry Gavin)

District 65 lifts outdoor masking requirement. Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will no longer require students to wear masks when outdoors, matching a demand from some parents.

In a survey, 24% of students reported bullying. (Photo by Bessie Mbadugha) Credit: Bessie Mbadugha

District 65 to battle bullying with recess activities, lunchroom training. As Evanston/Skokie School District 65 students reacclimated to in-person learning this year, there has been an increase in reports of bullying.

Walker School’s Fifth Grade Variety Show wows online, in-person audiences. The treasured tradition “felt normal in a year that has been anything but normal,” said Principal James Gray.

Outside ETHS near the water main break. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

ETHS back in session after water main break sends students home for the day. Evanston Township High School had to shift to e-learning again, this time because of a nearby water main break.

AP course participation, performance slip at ETHS amid pandemic. Data shows Black and Latino students’ Advanced Placement test-taking and scores have been affected the most.

District 202 board approves separation agreements for HR officials on leave. Members approved the resignation of ETHS’ top two human resources officers but gave no answers to the months-long saga shrouded in mystery.

Art & Life

Storyteller Akbar Imhotep (Submitted photo)

Black History Month Levy Lecture: Akbar Imhotep brings Frederick Douglass to life. Imhotep, a professional storyteller based in Atlanta, has honed his craft since 1985, performing throughout the Southeast.

Exhibition curators (from left) Fran Joy, Indira Johnson and Lisa Degliatoni.

New exhibition offers perspectives on visible and hidden violence. The Visible/Invisible exhibition, on view at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, showcases artists’ response to violence in various media.

Library’s birdwatching kits let you check out feathered friends. Is birdwatching in your future? If you are not sure but bird curious, just borrow an Evanston Public Library birdwatching kit.

Midwest Clay Guild says goodbye to Evanston. After 50 years in Evanston, the Midwest Clay Guild has moved to Skokie.

Library’s Black History Month series continues with health talks Feb. 16 and 17. Learn from nationally recognized experts who are fighting ongoing health disparities in Black communities.

The Feb. 6 Daddy-Daughter Dance (Photo by Heidi Randhava) Credit: Heidi Randhava

A joyful Daddy-Daughter Dance. Fathers and daughters put on their dancing shoes and stepped out together for an early Valentine’s celebration at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center.

The purple line chugs through the snowstorm. (Photo credit: Adina Keeling)

The week in photos: Jan. 31 – Feb. 7. Check out the RoundTable’s previous photo roundup. And email your photos from this past week to news@evanstonroundtable.com and we will post them later this week.

Artwork on display at Prairie Avenue Gallery. (Photo via Instagram)

Is secretly serving chicken broth to vegetarians OK?. Dear Gabby, I had to wipe my hands on my apron to write this. I am having people over for dinner, some of whom are vegetarian.

A collection of table items and housewares. (Andryea Natkin photo)

The Art of Making Art: Andryea Natkin. Sgraffito – pronounced skrah-fee-toh – is the art of applying layers of plaster, paint or glaze to a surface and then scratching to show the colors underneath.

Public Square

Les Jacobson observing the yellow-bellied St. Ives Bay Line train. (Photo by Ronna Jacobson)

Les Jacobson: Magic bus. Join our columnist and his wife on their magical mystery tour of Cornwall, England, including the worst car trip and best bus ride ever.

Michael Nabors: A response to Spotify’s Daniel Ek on Joe Rogan. A day after news broke about Joe Rogan’s use of the N-word, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has made the situation 100 times worse, says the pastor of Second Baptist Church of Evanston.


Wildkits tie 3-point single game mark in rout of Niles West. Nothing pleases a high school basketball player more than watching the ball go through the net. And ETHS found plenty of satisfaction Friday.

ETHS girls basketball: Blowout win helps Banks boost confidence. Even games like this one – a 58-19 slaughter rule victory for Evanston over Niles North – can serve a purpose.

ETHS girls basketball: Regular season ends with a thud for Wildkits. The Wildkit coach will have to find that momentum in the practice gym over the next couple of days after the Kits saw their five-game winning string snapped in a 67-50 loss to Hersey on Thursday.

ETHS #33 Emery Jones collects a loose ball. (Photo by Joel Lerner)

ETHS boys basketball: Wildkits lose rematch to New Trier 55-38. The Wildkits endured another long scoreless streak in the third quarter and bowed to the Trevians 55-38.

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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...