Developer Mitch Goltz and the movie theater his company owns. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Good Thursday morning, Evanston, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here are the latest news and feature stories from around the city.

The grand opening of AMC Theatres in the location of the previous Century Theaters complex may be the summer blessing downtown Evanston needs, according to the property’s developer.

The goal, said Mitch Goltz, is to have screens turned on in time for the wave of movies that typically drops from around Memorial Day through the Fourth of July.

“They want to make sure that, when they’re opening for that first customer experience after … two years, that it’s an inviting, safe and fun experience,” said Goltz, co-founder and co-owner of GW Properties, the developer that purchased Church Street Plaza in November.

Learning Bridge Early Education Center, at Asbury Avenue and Emerson Street in Evanston. (Photo by Duncan Agnew)

As both school districts in Evanston, as well as the city itself, have lifted indoor mask requirements over the last two weeks, some of the last remaining locations with universal mask mandates still in place are local day care programs and preschools

The child care facilities still requiring kids and staff to wear masks mostly attribute their policies to the fact that children under 5 are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. But some local parents argue that continued mask mandates at early childhood centers are putting more of the burden of the pandemic on the youngest kids, who are still learning to communicate and express emotion. 

COVID-19 by the numbers: 10 cases were reported Tuesday, March 15, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 10 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At This Time: March 16, 2022. First day of gardening for James Sulton, who digs a trench for his new pansies. Sulton will wait for his kids, Ava, 11, and Emile, 13, to plant the flowers after they return from school. “If not, they’ll be playing Xbox or on their iPad,” Sulton said. He will plant two other flower beds in the front of his home on Hamlin Street near Sherman Avenue and a vegetable garden out back. “I work on it almost all year.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

The Carlson Greenhouse. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Evanston parks named after pioneering women. Among almost 100 parks in Evanston, 10 that are named after women stand out, and you don’t have to search all over town to find them. The Evanston History Center created the Women’s History Tour of Evanston, online at Clio, to guide you on your journey, from Cornelia Lunt Park to the Carlson Greenhouse to Butler Park and Reba Park.

The 1400 block of Emerson, viewed from the alley, through a gap in the fence. (RoundTable photo)

The Lighthouse Keeper sees … With temperatures up near 70 degrees on Wednesday, this week’s edition of the Lighthouse Keeper focuses on trees, plants and the Spring Bulk Trash Pickup that starts April 1.

“Aerial Encounters I and II” by Joan McLane. (Photo by Ellen Galland)

Art Review: Gorgeous abstract paintings by Joan McLane. Evanston artist Joan McLane’s paintings, which represent more than 10 years of work, are gorgeous – suggestive, slippery, but far from amorphous. The works are on display at Space 900 on Dempster Street until March 20.

Peggy Tarr: Eyes on the Irish. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, our columnist wrote about her connections to Irish culture, and remembered how her mother would sing an old tune called “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

(Composite image provided by Evanston Scholars)

Evanston Scholars seeking applicants for the Class of 2024. Evanston Scholars, a nonprofit that helps Evanston youth access and graduate from college and launch careers, is accepting applications for its next class of high school sophomores, the Class of 2024.

Evanston Police announce results of tobacco compliance checks. The compliance checks were performed at 33 Evanston businesses to determine if local retailers are complying with the minimum-age laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco products to those under 21. Only establishment failed to pass the check.

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Around the web

Chicago officials ‘watching closely’ As COVID cases climb globally, but city’s numbers remain low. Experts think a subvariant of omicron called BA.2 is causing case surges in Europe and Asia, but for now, Chicago’s top doctor says another mask mandate is only necessary if case counts worsen at home.

Eight Republicans file to run for Illinois governor and Pritzker draws a Democratic primary challenger. June’s GOP primary is expected to be competitive, with Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin leading the pack thus far thanks to a $20 million donation from billionaire Ken Griffin.

In the next decade, all new cars will carry technology that monitors for impaired drivers. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) worked to get the safety measures to detect drunken and impaired driving included in the $1 trillion federal infrastructure package.

The Chicago Cubs owners are launching a bid to buy EPL club Chelsea. The iconic London soccer team is forcing out owner Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch sanctioned by the British government in response to the war in Ukraine, and the Cubs owners are leading a group submitting a bid for the team.

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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...