Evanston RoundTable
Teachers greet students at Haven Middle School on the first day of school. (File photo by Larry Gavin) Credit: Larry Gavin

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

In an interview with the RoundTable, interim Police Chief Richard Eddington gave new details about Thursday’s police response at Haven Middle School. Evanston Police Department officers arrived at Haven shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday after getting calls of a “rather large disturbance” where a teacher suffered injuries, according to Eddington.

At that point, Evanston emergency medical services treated the teacher and transported her to a local hospital, and EPD officers determined that the injured teacher was “inadvertently knocked down” amid a fight that resulted in a “mad scramble,” Eddington said Friday.

But just hours later, the school called Evanston Fire Department paramedics due to “suspicion of a student that was intoxicated,” according to Eddington. An ambulance arrived for that student, but EFD later called for police officers because another student was interfering with the treatment and transportation of the intoxicated student, he said.

Thursday night’s vigil. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

A group of Northwestern University undergraduate students, including several native Ukrainians and Ukrainian Americans, organized a candlelight vigil at Alice Millar Chapel on Thursday evening in honor of Ukrainian refugees around the world and those killed in Russia’s war on the democratic nation in eastern Europe.

The event featured speeches from Ukrainian students and professors who spoke about the anguish, fear and desperation experienced by their families, friends and all people across Ukraine since Russian soldiers invaded their home on Feb. 24.

Violinist Jeff Yang has scheduled a benefit concert for April 22. (Photo by Callie Lipkin)

Musician and impresario Jeff Yang’s journey has been a long and unusual one, starting in Taiwan, where he was born in 1971; continuing in Seattle, where he moved with his family when he was 8; and concluding in Evanston, where he got his master’s degree in music performance from Northwestern University.

Today he owns and operates the music store Chicago Strings at 1642 Orrington Ave. in downtown Evanston. He is also a violinist with the Chicago Philharmonic and other ensembles and organizes concerts with his nonprofit organization, In the Realm of the Senses.

Yang and In the Realm of the Senses will perform Mussorgsky’s renowned piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition at 8 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave. Tickets are $50 and all proceeds go to Ukrainian relief charities.

In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable.

City News

Construction on Benson Avenue. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Once-in-a-lifetime construction projects underway in Evanston. Spring has sprung and there’s no surer sign of the new season in the Chicago area than the launch of major public works projects. Construction signs, equipment and pieces of pipe 30 inches in diameter line Benson Avenue and Emerson Street.

Credit: Pixabay

Evanston won’t change terms of first reparations grants to allow rental assistance. Wary of legal complications, Evanston’s Reparations Committee has decided it will not adjust the first housing reparations program to accommodate renters who are unable or unwilling to get a mortgage.

COVID-19 update as of April 7: Seven-day average of new cases in Evanston increased from 10.1 on March 31 to 13.6 on April 6. New COVID-19 cases in Evanston, Chicago and the state increased again in the last week. New cases in the state increased by almost 20%.

Twiggs Park (RoundTable photo) Credit: RoundTable photo

City skate park rolls forward to final design. After starting from scratch nearly a year ago, a city team is moving closer to a final design for a state-of-the-art skate park at Twiggs Park, which lies along the North Shore Channel between Green Bay Road and Bridge Street.

Unveiling of cannabis cultivation lab. (Photo provided)

Oakton Community College opens first-in-state cannabis cultivation lab. At a dedication ceremony held Wednesday morning, Oakton Community College administrators, professors and students celebrated the grand opening of the PharmaCann Cannabis Cultivation Lab at the college’s Des Plaines campus. 

Welsh-Ryan Arena (Photo by Bob Seidenberg)  Credit: Photo by Bob Seidenberg

Northwestern will try to capture ‘whining’ noise near stadium to identify source. Northwestern University officials, still in the early phases of a Ryan Field stadium project, did not have many details about the plan at a recent Seventh Ward meeting. But an official did have information about a noise issue.

Evanston City Council. (Image via City of Evanston YouTube Channel)

Lobbyist post has come up big for the city in the past. Evanston has employed a lobbyist representing the city’s legislative interests off and on for more than four decades. At the March 28 City Council meeting, city staff recommended hiring Drexwood Partners to fill the lobbyist role.

(City of Evanston photo) Credit: submitted by city of Evanston

Evanston beach passes available beginning Monday, April 11. The City of Evanston’s Parks and Recreation Department has announced that Evanston beach passes will be available beginning Monday. This year, the city will provide the passes free to Evanston residents, who must provide proof of residency.


ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Superintendent Witherspoon thanks his ‘Wildkit family’ at ETHS Foundation benefit. Throughout his 16-year tenure as superintendent of Evanston Township High School District 202, Eric Witherspoon, affectionately called “Spoon” by many ETHS students, has been widely recognized for his educational leadership. He was the guest of honor at the “Wild for ETHS” party.

Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Center. (Roundtable file photo by Adina Keeling) Credit: Adina Keeling

District 65 board members discuss homophobia, toxic masculinity in school settings. At an April 4 board meeting, a conversation on climate and culture grew into a discussion about homophobia and toxic masculinity in schools. Board President Elizabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan said despite the district’s LGBTQ+ education, homophobic and misogynistic comments are frequent.

Analysis: New goal adopted by District 65 School Board expects ‘average’ growth, which may reinforce existing achievement gaps. The District 65 School Board entered into a new five-year contract with Superintendent Devon Horton on March 14. An analysis shows the new contract significantly reduces the board’s expectations for Black and Latinx students.

Students gather in iKit Job Shadow Week program (Photo by Duncan Agnew)

ETHS celebrates iKit Job Shadow Week participants. At ETHS, 26 students participated in the inaugural iKit Job Shadow Week program in which students could explore career options by spending 20 hours working with local business partners in a variety of industries. 

Art & Life

The Woman’s Club of Evanston building. (Photo provided)

Woman’s Club remodels and makes room for men. The Woman’s Club of Evanston, established in 1889, at first had no permanent home. Almost 25 years later, the group moved into its present red brick clubhouse next to the main Evanston Public Library. The club’s closure during the pandemic brought an unexpected opportunity to make some overdue changes.

Credit: Pixabay

Bookends & Beginnings’ Top 10 March Bestsellers. Last month, the bookstore sold more copies of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro than any other title. In the book, an “Artificial Friend” views the world from a store window until the family of a gifted child brings her home to demonstrate the limits of humanity up close.

Mark Jones outside of Saville Flowers. (Photo provided)

After 80 years, Saville Flowers is still growing. Tucked on Sherman Avenue is Saville Flowers, a downtown Evanston fixture still at the same address where it opened in 1942. “It has always been a big part of my life,” said Mark Jones, the fourth-generation owner of the flower shop.

Greenwood Care, 1406 Chicago Ave. (Jenny Thompson/Evanston History Center)

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians. If you stand on the east side of Chicago Avenue and look up at the building at 1406, you can just make out the faded “Pembridge” inscribed at the top of the building. The Evanston History Center’s Jenny Thompson takes us through the history of the property and its link to the 1946 novel The Snake Pit, made into a film starring Oliva de Haviland.

“Bardo”-themed installation (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Dozens of local artists contribute to ‘Bardo’-themed installation on Sherman Avenue. Pedestrians walking by 1706 Sherman Ave. may have noticed the art decorating the windows at the former Gap store. The installation consists of 64 individual pieces of art, each by a different local artist.

Austin Brown, left, with Stacey Moragne Jr.

Getting to know NBA super-agent Austin Brown. In this edition of People You Should Know, meet Austin Brown of CAA Sports, who grew up in Evanston and has become one of America’s top sports agents for the NBA. He has represented six first-round picks in the past two NBA drafts.

Vanessa Filley in her home studio. (Submitted photo)

The Art of Making Art: Vanessa Filley. Vanessa Filley has a broad repertoire. As noted on her website, her work ranges from large-scale sculptural installations to tiny embroidery pieces to poems and photographs.

Trans Day of Visibility on April 1. (Photo by Debbie-Marie Brown)

‘Every child can find themselves in a book’: Bookstore celebrates Trans Day of Visibility. The Booked children’s bookstore in Evanston celebrated Trans Day of Visibility by hosting a party, as well as a Queer Lit Book Club meeting.

Is my daughter bullying her teammate? Dear Gabby, There is one girl on my daughter’s high school tennis team who was not vaccinated last year. She wasn’t going to be allowed to try out for the team this year, but now the rules have changed.

Evanston Fire Department Chief Greg Klaiber

EFD Chief Greg Klaiber – professionalism, tradition and service. In our fifth episode from Season 2 of the Evanston Rules podcast, we talk with Greg Klaiber, a native Evanstonian who rose through the ranks of the Evanston Fire Department to become Chief.

The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Five Evanston groups join up for festive Earth Month kickoff party. To kick off Earth Month, five local organizations collaborated to host a celebration for the whole community. More than 200 people registered for the free Friday event, held at the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse at 1245 Hartrey Ave. 

(Photo by Ravi Jhaveri)

The week in photos: March 28-April 4. Congratulations to all who completed the Evanston Running Club’s Chili Run, the first of its kind since March 2020. In this 4-mile run, runners must predict their finishing times.

Public Square

Les Jacobson: Earth Day all the time. Friday, April 22, is Earth Day and all of April is Earth Month, at least here in Evanston. There are many events underway, most of which are listed on the city’s website. Well and good, but there’s only one problem: Every day should be Earth Day.

First United Methodist Church of Evanston. (Photo by Eric Allix Rogers)

Nancy E. Anderson: Let’s talk about church. Or not. “I go to church. That feels like a weird thing to admit.” This was a woman’s thought bubble in a cartoon in The New Yorker not long ago. Wow, I thought. I can relate.

Jane H. Durfee, 1921-2022. Jane H. Durfee, née Hickok, of Evanston, formerly of Levittown, Pennsylvania, and Collins Center, N.Y., recently passed away at the age of 100. The RoundTable chronicled her 100th birthday celebration in January.


ETHS girls water polo: Kits sink rival for first time since 2015. Averylin Cummins scored three goals and Evanston’s girls water polo team ended years of frustration against archrival New Trier Thursday night.

ETHS baseball: Liss keeps focus with 3 more hits in Wildkit win. Even a five-tool baseball player like Hank Liss can use a little help once in a while. With a little help from his friends, the junior standout regained his offensive focus and pounded out his first career home run.

ETHS girls softball: Late rally lifts young Warriors over Wildkits. In a couple of years Maine West and Evanston could ascend to the top of their respective softball divisions in the Central Suburban League. Right now, they’re just the youngest teams in the league after an influx of talented freshmen has arrived at the same time for both programs.

ETHS baseball: Gutowski, Kits get back on track. Ben Gutowski helped get the Evanston Township High School baseball team back on track Monday at Northwestern University.

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Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...