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

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

On Wednesday, Interim City Manager Kelley A. Gandurski announced the appointment of retired Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington to serve as the city’s interim Police Chief.

Eddington led the Evanston Police Department from 2007 until his retirement in 2018. He will fill the role of interim Police Chief Aretha Barnes, who will retire from the Evanston Police Department on Jan. 3.


Amid an ongoing rise in COVID-19 cases among students, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 announced Wednesday an “adaptive pause” to in-person learning at four of the district’s five middle schools: Chute, Haven, Nichols and King Arts. Students at those schools will conduct their class days remotely today (Thursday, Dec. 23), the last scheduled day of school before the district’s winter break.

Evanston reported 132 new positives on Wednesday, the second highest daily total registered during the pandemic. That number brings the seven-day average of daily new cases up to another record of 113.


A note to readers: The newsletter writers will be taking a winter break starting tomorrow and lasting through next week, but we will be back in your inbox bright and early on Monday, Jan. 3.


In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

Through year-end, your donation to the RoundTable will be matched through commitments from national and local partners.

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Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Evanston Fire Truck 22 responding to the scene of a fire at 1242 Asbury Ave. in Evanston Wednesday night. (Photo by Kalman Slater)

Fire at 1242 Asbury Ave. Evanston Fire Department vehicles were dispatched to 1242 Asbury Avenue shortly after 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22 due to “a working fire with flames showing from the roof,” according to a witness.

Alyssa Tillmon. (Courtesy “Wheel of Fortune”)

Evanston intern takes a spin on ‘Wheel of Fortune’. Alyssa Tillmon, an intern for the City of Evanston working in the City Manager’s office, will appear on an episode of the game show at 6:30 p.m. tonight on ABC-7 Chicago.

Evanston Police Officer Mike Jones launched Badge Brew Coffee Roasters five months ago. (Photo provided)

Evanston police officer brews up a coffee roasting business. Officer Mike Jones has been in law enforcement for 18 years – the last 14 with the Evanston Police Department – and as he nears retirement, he said he didn’t want to fall into a pattern of isolation that he has seen retirees do in the past.

At This Time: 9:24 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 22. Shaquill Green carries a floral wreath to a waiting car on Green Bay Avenue in preparation for a funeral. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Peggy Tarr: Seasonal. Our columnist takes a look at winter holiday traditions.


Around the web

Chicago hospitals struggle with staffing, beds as omicron surge hits. “Nearly all are unvaccinated. The vaccinated patients we have are few and far between,” the chief nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital said.

Case drop may show South Africa’s omicron peak has passed. In South Africa, where the omicron variant was first identified, new positives are declining as fast as they rose earlier this month.

FDA authorizes 1st antiviral pill for COVID. Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral pill designed to fight COVID-19 infection and prevent hospitalization, received federal approval Wednesday.


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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...