Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Bagpiper Kevin Chapman plays Amazing Grace Tuesday morning to mark the 117th anniversary of the Clayton Mark Foundry fire. “You never forget the fallen brothers and sisters,” said firefighter Tim Gobat, who organizes the annual event in Evanston Plaza, southwest of Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, site of the fire. The civilians at far right, Jim Swanson and Patti Prion, are great-grandchildren of George Stiles, who died in the blaze along with fellow firefighter William Craig.

After honoring that solemn moment of Evanston history, we turn to today’s news:

Evanston Township High School leaders and board members spoke at a meeting this week about urgent public safety concerns for some young Black students. “There are students where if we don’t intervene, it’s a matter of life or death,” said board Vice President Monique Parsons, who is also the McGaw YMCA president.

Until February, the city’s Participatory Budgeting Committee is in an idea-collection phase: Anyone 14 or older with a connection to Evanston can share their thoughts on how to allocate $3 million in federal pandemic relief funds. The panel especially wants to hear from the city’s undocumented and underserved communities.

Support the RoundTable

The RoundTable’s fall NewsMatch campaign is ongoing. Through Dec. 31, all donations to the RoundTable are being matched by generous national and local partners, so please support Evanston’s nonprofit newsroom and donate today!

COVID-19 by the numbers: 12 new cases and no new deaths were reported Monday, Dec. 12, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 21.7 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Shopping local just got lots easier thanks to RoundTable reporter Nancy McLaughlin. Scroll through her finds: 24 great Evanston gift ideas, all priced at $25 or less.

Duke Ellington + Tchaikovsky? You heard that right. The annual “Duke It Out!” Nutcracker lit up a sold-out Nichols Concert Hall over the weekend.

Credit: Richard Cahan

Yes, your RoundTable photo feature writer is a bit behind. But the good news is that we now have some amazing pictures to share. Check out scenes of holiday spirit and seasonal beauty around Evanston. And submit your photos to

If everyone can agree on one thing, it’s that getting stuck in traffic stinks. But At This Time photographer Richard Cahan caught city workers Brad Kolff (up high, in the crane) and Joe Cesario preventing Ridge Avenue traffic chaos.

Credit: Charles Chessler

Get ready to string your winter blues away: Six performances are coming to Northwestern’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall next month as part of the Winter Chamber Music Festival.

Hoping to keep your kids busy this winter break? Stop by the Main or Crown Branch libraries starting Sunday, Dec. 18 to pick up a Winter Reading Challenge sheet. Kids can drop off completed sheets between Dec. 27 and Jan. 15 to claim a prize!

Encountering Evanston History

The perfect holiday gift for any EvanstonianEncountering Evanston History, a book benefiting the Evanston RoundTable Media not-for-profit, features 75 stories from 18 authors. Find out more at the book’s official website and plan on attending the Bookends & Beginnings book launch reception at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for writing opportunities in our editorial department.

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.

Around the web

Still little movement in R. Kelly’s Cook County cases, but singer could be in attendance at arguments next month. R. Kelly is facing four Cook County indictments for sexually abusing or assaulting four people, three of whom were underage girls at the time.

Illinois SAFE-T Act faces next test in court, where opponents say it violates state Constitution. The lawsuit alleges the SAFE-T Act violates the separation of powers, improperly addresses multiple subjects and amends the state constitution. There are about 60 lawsuits against the SAFE-T Act.

With respiratory illnesses on the rise in Chicago, health care providers warn children’s medications may be hard to find. Soaring demand for drugs like children’s Tylenol, amoxicillin and Tamiflu has sometimes resulted in empty shelves.

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Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...

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...