Welsh-Ryan Arena, 2705 Ashland Ave., where neighbors have been complaining about an “obnoxious” whining noise for years. (Photo by Bob Seidenberg)

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

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 a university official did have information about a noise issue, ongoing for four years, troubling neighbors in the stadium area. A “whining” noise apparently emanates from Welsh-Ryan Arena’s mechanical equipment, including from the chiller yard north of the arena.

“This irritating sound has been compared to a neighbor’s leaf blower, lawnmower, car alarm or siren, but in our case, the sound is usually on all day,” wrote Mike Miller, a Wilmette resident who has led neighborhood efforts on the sound.

At the March 23 meeting, held over Zoom, Steven Himes, the university’s Senior Project Manager, spoke of plans to bring in more experts to conduct tests around the arena, 2705 Ashland Ave., concerning the noise.

ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon – “Spoon” – and Willie take time out for a photo at the “Wild for ETHS” benefit on April 2. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Evanston Township High School District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, who announced last fall he planned to retire at the end of the school year, was honored April 2 at the ETHS Educational Foundation benefit party, “Wild for ETHS” at Robert Crown Community Center.

More than 200 community members gathered to celebrate the superintendent’s achievements and legacy and raise funds to benefit ETHS students. Witherspoon accepted the inaugural Crystal Spoon Award with the phrase he has come to be known for during his 16-year tenure: “Well, it’s a great day to be a Wildkit,” he said.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 11 cases were reported Monday, April 4, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 13 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

The relatively short-lived North-Western Female College was on land including the current 1406 Chicago Ave., the site of what later became the Pembridge Hotel. (Northwestern University Archives)

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians. The Evanston History Center’s Jenny Thompson takes us through the fascinating history of the property at 1406 Chicago Ave., which has been the site of a family home, a women’s college, a “bachelor hotel” called The Pembridge Hotel, a college dorm for women, a nursing home and now a specialized mental health rehabilitation facility. Mary Jane Ward, a one-time resident and wife of the Pembridge’s manager, was the author of the 1946 novel The Snake Pit, based on her own life experiences, which is credited with bringing the topic of mental health issues into public discussion.

At This Time: Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. A foggy day in Evanston. Caitlyn Hill comes out of the fog near the Arrington Lagoon at Dawes Park. “I started taking walks in the morning,” said the first-year Northwestern student. “It helps me keep my state of mind.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Nancy E. Anderson: Let’s talk about church. Or not. Our columnist reflects on the growing secularization of American society and the plummeting number of people who actively practice a faith or religion. Why still go to church? She has her reasons.

The North Shore Choral Society joins the Evanston Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth on April 10. The two groups are coming together to present their much-anticipated performance of Beethoven’s groundbreaking Ninth Symphony at 2:30 p.m. April 10 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University campus.

ETHS boys baseball: Gutowski, Kits get back on track. The Wildkits, who still haven’t been able to play an actual home game yet this spring, ended a brief two-game losing skid with a 10-5 victory over Hersey at Miller Park on Monday and improved to 4-2 on the season.

(City of Evanston image)

Howard Street to be closed from Dodge to Grey avenues this morning. A portion of Howard Street will be closed to traffic throughout the morning of Wednesday, April 6, due to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Illinois headquarters for the Lubavitch Chabad organization. 

The 10 Second Film Festival will showcase environmental films created by District 65 students. Celebrate Earth Week with District 65 Climate Action Teams and Citizens’ Greener Evanston at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 22 in the Rotary auditorium, 1560 Sherman Ave. The event will feature a screening of 10-second environmental films created by District 65 students.

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Around the web

Transgender Day of Visibility turns somber as participants mourn the murders of Black trans women. According to a report from the Human Rights Campaign, more transgender and gender nonconforming Americans were killed in 2021 than any other year on record.

Northwestern hosts Russia-Ukraine virtual panel on geopolitical turmoil. Kyiv School of Economics President Tymofiy Mylovanov and academics from across the globe spoke Tuesday about the invasion and discussed sanctions, human rights violations and the conflict’s broader geopolitical implications.

Study: Many birds nesting, laying eggs earlier in Chicago. Research by the Field Museum’s curator of birds has found that many species of birds in the Chicago area are nesting and laying eggs nearly a month earlier than they did 100 years ago. Climate change may be the cause.

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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...