Evanston RoundTable
Haven Middle School Friday morning, after social media messages warned of a potential shooting threat. (Submitted photo)

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

On Thursday night, social media messages warned of a potential shooting threat at Haven Middle School on Friday, Dec. 10. After an initial investigation conducted by the Evanston Police Department, authorities dismissed the threat as not credible.

According to screenshots sent to the RoundTable, Snapchat messages warning of a Friday shooting at the Evanston middle school began to circulate among Haven students Thursday evening.

“The Evanston Police Department has conducted an assessment of the situation, including speaking to the individual involved and their family, and has made the determination that there is no credible threat or safety concern for the Haven Middle School community at this time,” District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton wrote in an email to Haven parents and teachers Thursday night. “It was reported that this all stemmed from a comment that was intended to be a joke in response to a planned safety drill at the school.”

Council member Devon Reid (right) at an Oct. 18 meeting of the Evanston City Council. (Photo by Bob Seidenberg) Credit: Bob Seidenberg

At Monday’s gathering of the City Council Rules Committee, council members discussed a referral from their colleague Devon Reid, 8th Ward, proposing that they create a committee to oversee the city’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act as well as the Open Meetings Act.

Reid, who served as the city’s primary FOIA officer in his previous role as City Clerk, asked for a formal review of FOIA requests and denials over the last two years.

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

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Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

COVID-19 Update as of Dec. 9: 35 new cases in Evanston, 9,391 in the state. This week, amid the spread of the recently discovered Omicron variant, new cases in Evanston and Illinois continued to rise, with Evanston reporting 35 new COVID-19 cases of local residents on Dec. 9. The seven-day average jumped to 27.8.

1:37 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 9. Holiday lineup. At the Evanston Main Post Office. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

At This Time. In the latest installment in our new series, Evanston photojournalist Richard Cahan snapped the above photo of the holiday rush at the Main Post Office.

The Cradle announces new president and CEO. The Cradle’s Board of Directors has hired a new president and CEO, Jason Friedman, effective Jan. 10, 2022. 

Hearty winter greens add fiber and flavor to your meals. Check out these recommendations from Julie Chernoff on how to incorporate winter greens like cabbage and kale into your dishes.

Around the web

American Buffalo Spotted Roaming Chicago Suburbs. An American buffalo named Tyson the Bison has recently been spotted grazing in western Lake and eastern McHenry Counties.

Is Chicago’s School Staffing Crunch About To Get Worse? Amid rising COVID-19 cases in the region and concerns about the Omicron variant, many are worried that staffing shortages plaguing schools might only get worse.

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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...