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Evanston RoundTable

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

Get ready to rummage! Saturday was the start of Evanston’s rummage sale season. Above, hundreds of bargain hunters fill the St. Athanasius School gym. Take a look at some of the treasures shoppers took home. (Photos by Richard Cahan)

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

Credit: Alex Harrison

An Evanston man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the fatal April 12 shooting at Clark Street Beach, the Evanston Police Department announced Saturday. EPD arrested Jalen Murray, 20, in Evanston on Friday. Murray is accused of shooting and killing 18-year-old Jacquis Irby and wounding Irby’s two 15-year-old brothers.

The Evanston family above (Louis and Isabella Ingraffia with mom Sue Bova, center, behind them) lost their camera while on vacation in Paris last year, but they got it back thanks to this photo, the kindness of a traveling stranger and a team of volunteer internet sleuths. Nancy McLaughlin reveals how the case was cracked.


News & Brews: Treat yourself to an evening of live music and drinks at Sketchbook Brewing on Sunday, May 7. Join us from 6 to 8 p.m. as the RoundTable celebrates 25 years serving the Evanston community. Your ticket includes two drinks and unlimited selfies with the folks who make local journalism happen!


Chicago-based Horizon Realty Group

At Wednesday’s Economic Development Committee meeting, Council Member Clare Kelly (1st Ward) objected to developers being allowed to discuss the proposed Legacy high-rise at 1621-31 Chicago Ave. without notice on the city web page for planned developments. If officials had followed the usual course, “this room, we all know, would be packed,” Kelly said. “It feels, to the residents, underhanded. I’m just going to say that.”

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Evanston police have made an arrest in connection with the March 17 incident that led to soft lockdowns at schools citywide and the dispatch of armored vehicles and officers in tactical gear. On Thursday, police arrested Evanston resident Adam Browne, 36. He was charged with a felony count of aggravated battery and a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, the Evanston Police Department announced Friday.

Credit: Trent Brown

After 18 years in downtown Evanston, the Celtic Knot Public House is closing. Its last night is tonight. Owner Patrick Breslin said the pub has struggled in the pandemic era with staff shortages, inflation and “getting people in the doors.” But he and his wife Liz hope to find a new location. “I’m from Ireland, and this feels like I’m leaving home again, because we have such a family within this community.”

Evanston native Ross Donnan – or Ross Clayton, as he’s known onstage – recently appeared on NBC’s The Voice, where he succeeded in turning all four judges around and ultimately joined Niall Horan’s team. Emma Urdangen covers his journey to becoming a musician, from musical theater in high school to national recognition.

Traute Lafrenz Page, a 40-year resident of Evanston, died last month at the age of 103. Page grew up under the Nazi regime in Germany, and columnist Les Jacobson writes that she was the last surviving member of the White Rose, a group that circulated leaflets calling for the overthrow of Hitler and the Third Reich. On April 14, 1945, she was three days from trial and probable execution in Bayreuth, Germany, when American troops captured the city. 

Thomas & Dutch has replaced Farmhouse Evanston in the Hilton Orrington Hotel. The space has been dramatically streamlined and painted a soft white, and the overhaul extends to the kitchen as well. Julie Chernoff reviews the food and decor, and rates it a rave.

After hearing testimony from real estate investor Cameel Halim (above) and rebuttal from Connections for the Homeless, the Evanston Land Use Commission tied 3-3 Wednesday on whether to allow the Margarita Inn to permanently operate as a homeless shelter. The case is expected to head to the City Council, which has final authority. Separately, Halim and Leonard Clifton of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, made a presentation about an apartment hotel proposal for the former King Home at Monday’s meeting of the Planning & Development Committee. Halim seeks to open a 67-unit extended-stay hotel. Neighbors were invited to a Saturday meeting to hear more.

Meanwhile, residents who live near the Margarita Inn proposed an alternative “good neighbor agreement.” The document would limit the shelter to 30 people (less than half its planned capacity), require occupants to prove prior Evanston residency and cap stays at 15 months. Nia Tavoularis, chief of development for Connections for the Homeless, called the proposal “more like a PR stunt.”

Credit: Jerryspringer.com

Jerry Springer, 1944-2023: Jerry Springer, 79, died Thursday, April 27, at his Evanston home after a brief illness, surrounded by family. Springer, known for The Jerry Springer Show, had a long career in law, politics, journalism and broadcasting.

District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton may have to pay $25,000 to the school district because of his early departure to join DeKalb County Public Schools in Georgia, according to his employment contract. That money would cover the cost of hiring a search firm to help find a successor. Horton’s District 65 contract runs through 2026, but his last day will be June 30.


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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...