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Committee approves earlier curfew

The Human Services Committee Monday recommended that the City Council tighten Evanston’s youth curfew ordinance to match changes to the Chicago curfew.

The vote came after Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said the discrepancy in the ordinances "creates a tremendous problem for the south end of town" along the border with Chicago.

"People can step across the street and not be in violation of curfew," Rainey said, "and that’s exactly what we saw happen over the weekend."

The ordinance change, which is expected to be considered by the full City Council on April 28, would require that persons under 17 years of age not be in any public place or establishment after 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and after 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Both times are an hour earlier than under the current ordinance.

The curfew restriction would still be lifted at 6 a.m. each day.

The ordinance provides several exemptions, including for children attending school events or running errands at the direction of their parents.

The new ordinance would change one exemption — increasing from 18 to 21 the minimum age for a "responsible companion" that would exempt the child from the curfew rule.

The ordinance provides penalties ranging from $10 to $750 for violations and makes parents and business owners as well as children liable for violations.

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