Credit: Michael Kellams/

Good Friday morning, Evanston. Hope you’re keeping warm.

Photographer Michael Kellams strolled through Evanston with camera in hand on Thursday to capture black and white images as stark and stunning as a Frank Capra movie. His pictures of cold are silent, haunting, dramatic and deceptive – in making a life-threatening storm look so beautiful.

Before we get to the news, an editor’s note: This is the RoundTable’s last regular weekday newsletter of 2022. You’ll still be hearing from us in shorter newsletters, and longer versions will return to your inbox early next year. Until then, visit our website whenever you want to catch up on the latest in Evanston.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

A major winter storm rolled into the area Thursday, dumping several inches of snow on Evanston and bringing strong winds and subzero temperatures capable of causing frostbite to anyone outside for more than a few minutes. From school closures to snow plows, here’s what you need to know about the storm.

Credit: Becky Kremin

Frigid temperatures aren’t just dangerous for humans. Evanston Animal Shelter Executive Director Vicky Pasenko warns owners to keep their pets indoors as much as possible for the next 48 hours or so. If you spot strays outside, Pasenko advises you to call the police department’s non-emergency line, 847-866-5000.

If you’re feeding birds, keep it up, so that birds know where to find a source of food, writes Libby Hill of the Bird Conservation Network. And if you have a heated bird bath, keep it filled. But birds that over-winter in Evanston have evolved methods to cope with the cold, Hill notes. After all, they’re all wearing a down coat!

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COVID-19 by the numbers: 25 new cases and no new deaths were reported Wednesday, Dec. 21, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 21 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Santa’s not the only one working Christmas Eve: Working on the holidays is a drag, but some professions demand it. The RoundTable checked in with some Evanston mainstays to find out what it’s like to be on the clock for a major holiday.

Evanston resident Ben Gaines just turned 100. A local postal carrier for decades, he has been a part of RoundTable reporter Elizabeth Handler Krupkin’s life for as long as she can remember. In honor of his landmark birthday, he shares some thoughts on longevity and a life well-lived.

Since 2017, the group Evanston Latinos has worked to amplify the voices of the city’s Latinx community and Rebeca Mendoza has been the face of its efforts. But that chapter is coming to a close: In the new year, a new Latinx leader will lead the nonprofit.

Hours before Thursday’s snowstorm, and just days before Christmas, Amazon driver Robert Lazcano was busier than Santa’s elves. At This Time photographer Richard Cahan was able to ask just a few questions before Lazcano was back in his truck and on his way.

Credit: Heidi Randhava

The Evanston branch of the NAACP held a forum on Ryan Field and Northwstern’s plans to build a new stadium. Most questions focused on the impact of the project on the community – especially local businesses, job opportunities, traffic and youth.

A woman who worked at the CVS on Central Street in Evanston was rehired this week following a filing with the National Labor Relations Board. Lynn Gray, the CVS worker, alleged managers had fired her for refusing to join or pay dues to the union.

Credit: Michael Kellams/

The Evanston Township High School girls wrestling team celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. But Dec. 17 turned out to be a tough day on the mat for the team.

Pandemic update: Dr. Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, warns that Covid-19 is rising among children and the elderly. He advises taking preventative steps before any holiday gatherings.

Credit: Richard Cahan

The ETHS boys and girls basketball teams played at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena on Thursday; both teams faced squads from rival New Trier High School. In the boys game, New Trier pulled away with a 7-0 run in the third quarter on its way to a 42-36 victory. And Evanston’s girls team, which isn’t playing at full strength, fell to the Trevians 52-31.

Credit: Manan Bhavnani

The participatory budgeting process – a democratic endeavor centered around people shaping how the city spends $3 million in ARPA funding – continues to face a familiar hurdle: outreach.

Picturing Evanston. This old-fashioned neon sign lights up Mike’s Shoe Repair, 2905 Central St., in Christmas colors every day. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Evanston a ‘pioneer’ in environmentally-friendly mixture to keep roads clean of snow. CBS Channel 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot went to Evanston’s salt dome where about 3,500 tons of salt can be used to create a brine mixture.

Photos: A look back at some of Chicago’s gnarliest snowstorms. WBEZ dug into the archives to look back at some of Chicago’s biggest snowfalls.

Cook County opens lottery for first marriage license of 2023. County Clerk Karen Yarbrough will select the winning couple next week.

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Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...