Evanston RoundTable

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

In the morning light near Northwestern University, Mari Kang-Clark (above) reads the Bible and takes notes. “It was kind of crowded where I usually sit,” she said, “so I found this nook.” Kang-Clark, 23, is a Christian campus minister at the university. “Students feel drowned out by the world,” she says. She’s most interested in teaching about the character of God. “People don’t realize that God has emotions.” (At This Time photo by Richard Cahan)

Now, in today’s morning light, here’s a look at Evanston’s top stories:

Credit: Alex Harrison

Police called a news conference Wednesday to read a news release about a 17-year-old Sauk Village boy charged in the July 25 shooting in a backyard on Fowler Avenue. A 13-year-old girl who was shot in the neck and remains hospitalized with a “serious spinal cord injury” was not the intended target, police said. But they took no questions and would not reveal much else.

District 65 tentative budget puts $153.3 million to operating expenses, $20.7 million for Fifth Ward school. The RoundTable’s Larry Gavin takes a close look at the District 65 budget, gains and losses as one budget year closes and another budget is proposed. A few quick facts: Enrollment is likely to decline by 58 students, putting the district’s loss at 985 students in the last three years. Twenty-six teaching positions will be eliminated in FY’23, yet 46.3 new positions will be added. Supt. Devon Horton (above) said 90% of the new positions were added for safety or equity.

Credit: Alex Harrison

The city is considering partnering with two national nonprofits to build an alternate response system for less urgent 911 calls, members of Evanston’s Human Services Committee discussed Wednesday. The two proposed agreements were introduced by Fifth Ward Council Member Bobby Burns, above.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 18 new cases and no new deaths were reported as of Tuesday, Aug. 16, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 13.4 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

American Legion Post 42
Credit: Heidi Randhava

American Legion celebration makes first post-COVID appearance. The American Legion Post 42 knows the recipe for a perfect summer picnic: great location, delicious food and people to enjoy it. Then add games, live music and laughter. The event drew about 150 members and guests this past weekend to the Post 42 Patio and grounds of Canal Shores Golf Course.

Credit: Gay Riseborough

There is a message attached to Attached. The RoundTable’s Gay Riseborough writes the eighth installment in her series on public art in Evanston created by women, telling us about Janet Austin’s fascinating sculpture in Burnham Shores Park along the city’s lakefront.

Credit: Brett Beiner Photography

Review: Zorro is a musical tale of adventure. The regional premiere of Zorro: The Musical, a production of Music Theater Works, has a lot going for it, according to our reviewer Cissy Lacks. The energy, the set design, the story, the costumes, the music, the dancing, the singing and the performers make it an entertaining event. Zorro runs through Aug. 21.

Credit: Supplied

Peggy Tarr: Honoring Maya Angelou. The RoundTable columnist talks about the woman whose birth name was Marguerite Annie Johnson, but became known to a world of people as Ms. Maya Angelou (above), author, artist, dancer, screenwriter and civil rights advocate.

Rank and File | USA women surprise, men disappoint at Chess Olympiad. Chess columnist Keith Holzmueller looks at a game from the 44th Chess Olympiad, a global team competition in Chennai, India, that ended Aug. 10 and was filled with upsets. The USA women upset the expected champs in the last round.

Highland Park Hospital: Strength in tragedy, and the preparation that came first. Sarah Farley, head of emergency preparedness and management at Highland Park Hospital, talked with the RoundTable about the events of July 4th, and what it was like inside the hospital that day, dealing with the aftermath of a massacre in which a gunman killed seven people and wounded dozens more.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston: Sunny chairs and a new mural invite guests at the Custer Oasis on Custer Avenue and Main Street to enjoy a beverage and some tacos from La Principal. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Illinois health department urges schools to watch for monkeypox; COVID-19 measures pulled back. Monitoring students and staff at Illinois schools for new and unexplained lesions is among the new monkeypox prevention guidance recommended this week by the state’s health department as officials pivot away from COVID-19 restrictions.

Elite colleges – including Northwestern and the University of Chicago – lose bid to end suit alleging admissions collusion. More than a dozen schools, including Notre Dame, will now face antitrust litigation alleging a conspiracy to hold down financial aid packages while telling the world they admit applicants regardless of financial need, a federal judge in Chicago ruled earlier this week.

Rogers Park neighbors debate a new men’s shelter. Ald. Maria Hadden is supporting a 72-bed men’s shelter at 7464 N. Clark St., north of Touhy Park. It would be the only shelter targeted at homeless single men on the North Side.

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Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...