Evanston RoundTable
Evanston police officers attend an event supporting Ovo Frito Café on Sept. 24. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Good morning, Evanston.

The Evanston Police Detective Bureau and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, are involved in the investigation of a growing number of fake court orders mailed to Evanston restaurants, according to information obtained by the RoundTable in an interview on Sept. 23 with Evanston Police Department Sergeant Kenneth Carter.

Sgt. Carter said the letters were “definitely threatening in nature – asking the restaurant owners to close down. … Each letter said, ‘You’re going to face some kind of gang actions, or some kind of consequence, if you don’t shut down.’ We understand how our business owners are … worried about that, because they don’t know where these letters are coming from.”  


Morton Civic Center (Photograph, Wikimedia Commons, 2010.)

Workforce development, hazard pay for employees and climate action strategies are among the items on the table as the Evanston City Council weighs spending $43.1 million in federal COVID-19 recovery funds

During the Council’s Sept. 20 meeting, several members suggested officials have more work to do weighing use of the American Rescue Plan Act money, which they regard as a once-in a-generation opportunity for a City that has long struggled with budget deficits. 

“I see this as really the investment dollars that we have always craved and never had in Evanston for so many of the projects,” Third Ward Council member Melissa Wynne said. “I want to make sure when we spend a good portion of this money, it’s all really investment in the future – on our capital projects, on the things that are going to last for decades.” 


The new high-rise at Ridge Avenue near Emerson Street is included in the proposed TIF district. (RoundTable photo)

With just days to go before the City Council will likely vote on the proposed tax-increment financing district, a group of residents who have long opposed the TIF is intensifying its efforts to persuade Council members to vote against it.

Among some residents’ concerns are the inclusion of certain properties, whether the City would use its powers of eminent domain to seize properties (though Evanston officials have said they would not do so), and whether the TIF would make the area ripe for gentrification.


Evanston Township rolled to a 38-24 victory over New Trier on Sept. 24, its first win over New Trier since 2010.

There probably were quite a few Evanston Township High School fans in the stands at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 24 who didn’t know what it felt like to beat New Trier in football. That’s because the last Wildkits victory over the rival Trevians came in 2010.

But the Wildkits ended more than a decade of frustration with a 38-24 victory on Homecoming weekend behind career performances from Sebastian Cheeks and Dylan Groff.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

City News

Evanston firefighters respond to a blaze on Foster Street on Sept. 25.

Seven residents displaced during morning house fire on Foster. At approximately 8:30 a.m. Sept. 25, Evanston firefighters responded to the 2300 block of Foster Street for the report of a residential structure fire. No injuries were reported, according to the Fire Department.

Landlord-tenant disputes: Council member Burns urges more outreach about aid, better tracking of cases. “Tenants in my ward feel like they’re on an island by themselves,” Fifth Ward Evanston City Council member Bobby Burns said at the Sept. 20 meeting. He added that information regarding tenant-landlord disputes is not in one centralized location, and requests made by tenants are often overlooked. 

COVID-19 Update on Sept. 23: 17 new cases in Evanston, 3,505 in the State. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its recommendations regarding who should receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

Northwestern announces $480 million gift, plans to redevelop Ryan Field. Northwestern University has received a $480 million donation, the largest single gift in its history, from the Patrick and Shirley Ryan family. The university says it will use the money to support research and education and redevelop its football stadium, Ryan Field.


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Schools

Students play at recess on Kingsley Elementary School playground shortly before the pandemic resulted in Evanston public school closures in March 2020. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Five years after petition from District 65 parents, new State law says kids must get 30 minutes of recess. Recess protection advocated by a District 65 parents group in 2016 became law on Aug. 13, when the bill was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “[This effort] wasn’t just a bunch of parents who were like, ‘Our kids should play more,'” parent Miriam Barnett said. “There’s so much research that backs this up.” 

Art & Life

An Apple a Day. There’s a hint of crispness in the air, and that’s all the impetus I need to usher in my favorite fall produce, starting with apples. They are supremely versatile and can go from sweet to savory with equal aplomb. Here are a few recipes you can use to make the most of them. 

Public Square

Chicago Harbor Lock (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo)

Opinion: Combined sewer overflows, climate change and the blue economy. The choice of whether to send floodwaters contaminated with raw sewage into our drinking water supply or allowing them to flow through our downtown streets is something Chicagoans take for granted. But should we?

Dear Gabby: My friend has a savior complex. An oft-told “savior complex” story, waiting to be intimate with one’s partner while dating and asking one’s mother to move back home post-vaccination are all featured in this week’s column.

Opinion: Haiti and the border: The Evanston/North Shore Branch of the NAACP condemns actions occurring on the border in Del Rio, Texas, aimed at over 12,000 Haitian immigrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

Sports

Swimmers take next step at Evanston Invitational. The Wildkits girls swimming team took another step on its learning curve Sept. 25th, earning a solid fourth-place team finish at the 16th annual Evanston Invitational meet. “I’d give them a high B because the effort has been there and the performances are there, too,” coach Kevin Auger said.


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