Have a problem seeing newsletter images? Let us know the details.
And you can read this newsletter on the web instead.

Evanston RoundTable
Credit: Heidi Randhava

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

That leprechaun at Walker Elementary School’s book fair Friday is after good reading, not lucky charms. (And on Saturday, luck ran out for the Northwestern men’s basketball team, as it lost in the NCAA tournament’s second round.)

But today’s your lucky day, because if you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the most-read stories from the RoundTable, with a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Dozens of police vehicles and officers in tactical gear converged around Michigan Avenue and Main Street on Friday after reports of “an emotionally disturbed individual” thought to have been barricaded in an apartment. The incident, which caused soft lockdowns at Evanston schools citywide, ended safely Friday as police said the situation was “secure,” but the person was not located.

Credit: Mike Roche

Three years since lockdown

  • Tales of the pandemic’s early days: To mark the third anniversary of the initial COVID-19 lockdown, we asked Evanstonians from various walks of life for words and pictures about their pandemic experiences. A photographer, a teacher, a surgeon and a writer shared their stories.
  • COVID-19 in Evanston, by the numbers: The RoundTable looks at some grim statistics. Since March 14, 2020, the city has reported 19,006 cases of COVID-19. Local students spent about 235 consecutive school days learning remotely. The shelter-in-place order shut 45% of Evanston businesses. And 163 Evanstonians have died from the virus.

The Reparations Committee voted Thursday to back direct cash payments as an option for all Black ancestors to receive their $25,000 grants through the Restorative Housing Program. Now City Council must weigh in on cash payments, which have been long sought by some residents.

Northwestern professor kihana miraya ross and her team have surveyed more than 400 Black Evanstonians about local schools and the plan for a Fifth Ward school. The data overwhelmingly show that the city’s Black community remains distrustful of school leaders and teachers when it comes to taking care of Black students.

Letter to the editor: District 65 has suffered a 17% enrollment decline since 2018-19. “A school district that hemorrhages students at the rate this one has is not a healthy one – and the bleeding needs to stop,” writes District 65 parent Barry Doyle.

Screening surveys showed 51% of ETHS students met the criteria for depressive disorder in May 2020. But data shows mental health is improving: Just 25% of students qualified as clinically depressed in April 2022. “We’re really making an impact,” said Associate Principal for Student Services Mia Lavizzo (above, right).

Rad skateboard news: City Council approved a $1.757 million contract Monday to build a skate park in Twiggs Park. “A great thing for the youth in town and also us old guys who still skateboard,” said Council Member Juan Geracaris (9th Ward).

The library, established in 1907, has evolved. “I would honestly characterize Evanston Public Library as a social service agency as much as a place where you go to borrow books,” said Rachel Hayman, vice president of the EPL board of trustees. From cooking lessons to legal aid, check out what the library is up to these days.

Can you recycle that? For anyone who’s peered at the tiny numbers inside those chasing-arrow triangles and wondered what truly belongs in the bin, Meg Evans has the details on how to help the folks at Groot sort our plastics.

Yay! The popular YEA! Festival – for Young Evanston Artists – is back after a long pandemic hiatus. Student artwork from local schools will be displayed in Raymond Park on May 20. Music, dance and choral performances will accompany the event.

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.

Avatar photo

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...