Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

In a meeting that lasted more than four hours, the city’s Land Use Commission late last night narrowly backed Connections for the Homeless’ request for a special use permit to operate the Margarita Inn as a permanent shelter. The 5-3 vote sends the matter to the City Council. Evanston residents packed the Civic Center for the vote. Above, Toni Rey leads building members from 1020 Grove St. in support of the nearby Margarita Inn. “We’re here, very united, to say we consider the Margarita good neighbors,” Rey told photographer Richard Cahan.

Now, here’s the rest of your Thursday news wrap up.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

Many key details about the city’s planned Fifth Ward school remain up in the air: The school’s projected opening has been pushed back at least a year from the original fall 2024 date, and the city and District 65 still must decide what to do with the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center that’s next to Foster Field, the school’s planned site.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a town hall meeting on gun violence Tuesday. “Please don’t think that because your son wasn’t killed in violence that you’re completely disconnected, because you’re not,” said Evanston mother Carolyn Murray, whose 19-year-old son was slain in 2012.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 25 cases and no new deaths were reported on Tuesday, Nov. 29, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 16 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: RoundTable file photo

Rat race: The fall months bring out the most rats in Evanston, Public Health Director Greg Olsen said at a Second Ward meeting Tuesday. He said residents should clean up their property and report stray garbage they see elsewhere to 311.

A final cup of Coffee with the Chief: Newly appointed Police Chief and Evanston native Schenita Stewart wrapped up her series of community engagement events at Double Clutch Brewery on Wednesday morning.

Evanston theater legends BJ Jones and Mike Nussbaum performed a staged reading of a David Mamet play for a hybrid audience at the Levy Senior Center on Tuesday. The show’s second act was Jones’ update on Northlight Theatre’s plans.

Kick off Hanukkah celebrations with a festive performance by the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation’s own Klezmer band, Heavy Shtetl, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and everyone is welcome.

Credit: Coriolis

A joyful noise: In its 35th season, a cappella group Coriolis will perform two holiday concerts in December at St. Mark’s (Dec. 9) and St. Luke’s (Dec. 18) churches in Evanston.

At This Time: Evanston photographer Monica Kass Rogers hangs a photo for her show, The Alley Project, which opens today at Perspective Gallery, 1310 Chicago Ave. For three years she has roamed nearby alleys looking for poetic details to create abstract photo prints. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

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Around the web

Tour LeTour, Amy Morton’s latest Evanston adventure. With their new French American brasserie with major Moroccan overtones, restaurateur Amy Morton and chef Debbie Gold have come full circle.

Here’s who’s running to be Chicago’s next mayor. Incumbent Lori Lightfoot could face up to 10 challengers in this coming February’s election.

Illinois’ weed workers are unionizing at a record pace. Now comes the hard part. Looking for a career beyond dead-end retail or restaurant jobs, Illinois cannabis industry workers have won an impressive 88% of unionization votes.

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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...