Evanston RoundTable
District 65 plans to close Bessie Rhodes school in 2024 and build a new school in the Fifth Ward. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Here are the latest news and feature stories from around the city.

While the community buzzes about recently announced plans to build a K-8 Fifth Ward school, questions remain about how Evanston/Skokie School District 65 plans to pay for the new school. 

Addressing District 65 committee meetings on March 7 and 9, District 65 Chief Financial and Operations Officer Raphael Obafemi described a funding model he developed that Superintendent Devon Horton called “miraculous.” Obafemi’s model involves using lease certificates to pay for the new Fifth Ward school, which the district estimates will cost $40 million to build.


ETHS Principal and Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell

In a Wednesday message to the Evanston Township High School community, the District 202 School Board announced that current ETHS Principal and Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell is a “top candidate” to succeed Eric Witherspoon as district superintendent.

“Dr. Campbell has the experience and national reputation to be considered a top candidate for the ETHS District 202 superintendent position. Dr. Campbell has been at ETHS for more than 21 years and has served in his current leadership position for more than nine years,” the board’s news release stated.


COVID-19 by the numbers: 12 cases were reported on Tuesday, March 8, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is seven cases per day.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Fountain Square in 2021. (RoundTable photo)

Downtown Evanston fountain to remain off for 2022. The city announced Wednesday that the fountain in downtown Evanston’s Fountain Square will have to remain off for the rest of the year due to water loss from the fountain pipes. The city is demanding $5 million in damages from the contractor.

Mayor Daniel Biss offers thoughts on report on sexual misconduct at lakefront. “The report is just profoundly troubling. Its findings essentially come in two parts: descriptions of misconduct that occurred among lakefront employees, and descriptions of how the City did and did not react to reports of that misconduct,” Biss wrote to the community.

At This Time: Wednesday at 7:50 a.m. The view of Main Street and Dodge Avenue from the second floor of the Robert Crown Community Center. The black dots on the window are part of a pattern that was installed to reduce the number of bird strikes on the building, said Don Wilson, former 4th ward alderman who oversaw construction of the Crown Center. “It’s been working,” said Lara Biggs, city engineer. “Birds are avoiding the building.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

William “Bill” Logan Jr. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Honorary street naming proposed to honor William ‘Bill’ Logan Jr.’s many accomplishments. Logan, who served as Evanston’s first Black Police Chief, has been nominated to have a street named in his honor under a resolution backed by the City Council’s Human Services Committee. 

“People You Should Know”: John Hewko interviewed by Annelise Rise

A Rotary perspective on Ukraine. For the latest episode of “People You Should Know,” John Hewko, general secretary and CEO of Rotary International, who has deep ties to Ukraine, was interviewed by Annelise Rise, executive director of the Buffett Institute of Global Affairs at Northwestern University.

The current location for Gordon Food Service on Oakton Street may become a Salvation Army resale shop. (City of Evanston photo)

Proposed Salvation Army store in south Evanston gets commission OK. Members of the Evanston Land Use Commission voted 8-1 on March 9 to recommend a proposal for a Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center at 2424 Oakton St. A Gordon Food Service store is currently at that location.

Picturing Evanston. Archway of Lake Street Church at Chicago Avenue and Lake Street. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Theatrical poster for the 1947 film “The Bishop’s Wife.”

Les Jacobson: When we wuz grand. Our columnist reflects on the confidence, entertainment and fun of America’s postwar years.

City announces 2022 alley maintenance plans. To find out when an alley zone is next scheduled to be graded, weather permitting, community members are encouraged to view the 2022 Alley Maintenance Schedule.


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Around the web

As U.S. COVID deaths near 1 million, advocates press for a memorial day. As of Wednesday night, the U.S. had registered more than 960,000 deaths from COVID-19, and activists are asking for the first Monday of every March to become a memorial day for the lives lost in the pandemic.

CTA doubling security guards on trains, buses and adding more cops amid uptick in crime. The CTA is trying to tackle a rise in crime on public transportation by increasing the number of unarmed security guards patrolling platforms, trains and buses.

Skokie Police pair with mental health professionals to de-escalate dangerous situations. In a pilot program, police in neighboring Skokie are partnering with social workers in an effort to calm potentially risky situations.

At the bottom of an icy sea, one of history’s great wrecks is found. Researchers using underwater drones found Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s long-lost ship, the Endurance, 106 years after it sank to the bottom of the Weddell Sea.


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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...