Have a problem seeing newsletter images? NEW: Please help us track down the issue.
And you can read this newsletter on the web instead.

Evanston RoundTable

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

With a little imagination (and a slight color shift) this vintage Evanston apartment building near Sherman Avenue and Main Street appears to be straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. (Photo and color shifting by Joerg Metzner.)

In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the most-read stories from the RoundTable, with a few new ones thrown in as well.

After an incident in January in which an Evanston Public Library security guard pointed a gun at a homeless man following a physical altercation between the two, the city’s library staff told the EPL board that two new positions for a social worker and a safety manager have been budgeted. Library staff members are already interviewing candidates and making hiring decisions for the two new jobs.

Lea Pinsky (above) of Art Encounter and Angela Lyonsmith of Studio 3 won $1,000 grants from the Evanston Arts Council. Pinsky is putting the money toward a mural at the Clark Street CTA underpass honoring notable women in Evanston history. Lyonsmith and Studio 3 are using the funds for the third annual Umbrella Arts Festival coming to Fountain Square on May 13.

District 65 announced it will host a community-wide healing space addressing youth violence in the wake of the Clark Street Beach shooting April 12, at which 18-year-old Jacquis Irby was killed. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center.

The DeKalb County school board voted 6-1 to hire current District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton (above, with his family) to lead its Georgia district. Horton and the board still have to negotiate an employment contract. In an email to Evanston families, Horton said he will serve at District 65 through June 30. School board President Sergio Hernandez announced Thursday that the board plans to appoint an interim replacement for Horton by the end of the current school year.

More than 100 Northwestern students gathered on campus to demand more support for Black students and changes to campus policing after patrols increased in response to last week’s fatal shooting at Clark Street Beach. The group also listed four demands from the 1968 Bursar’s Office takeover that it said the school still hasn’t met.

Should Northwestern University fund the city’s reparations program? Shorefront Legacy Center founder Dino Robinson and the Rev. Michael Nabors, president of the Evanston/North Shore NAACP chapter, say the time is now for the university to start paying back for past injustices against the local Black community. “That would send a signal that … [Northwestern is] completely dedicated to repairing damage and building a brighter future,” Nabors said. (The oldest building on campus, University Hall, isn shown above.)

Discipline incidents and suspensions are down significantly at ETHS over the past decade, but racial disparities persist. Black students, who make up less than 25% of enrollment, received 66% of all out-of-school suspensions last year.

A District 65 school board committee gave initial approval for the $1.1 million purchase of a new literacy curriculum and instructional materials. The full board is expected to approve the change later this month. A 2020 study by an education nonprofit criticized the English and language arts curriculum currently in use, and the district has been testing potential alternatives since November.

The Land Use Commission voted 5-2 to recommend approval of zoning variations for the proposed new Fifth Ward school (shown in the rendering above). One sticking point was the playing field currently planned for the middle of the campus, which calls for artificial turf. The Land Use Commission is proposing natural grass.

Students at Lincolnwood Elementary School were briefly placed on lockdown and Evanston Police responded after an 8-year-old student told his teacher he had a loaded handgun magazine in his bag. No guns were found on campus and the magazine came from a firearm belonging to a relative, police said later. “There were no threats to the school and the investigation did not reveal any intent by the juvenile to cause harm,” an EPD news release said.

Become a member!

From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality and in-depth journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.

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...