2015-top-100-stories

Want to know what your fellow Evanstonians read most on Evanston Now in 2015? Here’s a rundown of the top 100 stories of the year.

  1. One dead in rollover accident on Dodge — Sept. 27 — Evanston police says a passenger in a car that rolled over on Dodge Avenue early this morning has died and the car’s driver is hospitalized.
  2. Owner shutters Dixie Kitchen — Oct. 20 — Dixie Kitchen owner Carol Andresen says that at age 71 this seemed like the right time for her to close the Church Street restaurant that’s served southern style breakfast, lunch and dinner to Evanstonians since 1998.
  3. Dining: La Principal to replace Lupita’s — June 10 — The owners of Evanston’s Lucky Platter — Eric Young and Derek Gaspar — have leased the restaurant space at 700 Main St. that until this month housed the long-running Mexican dining spot Lupita’s.
  4. Alleged gunmen hide in apartment — Nov. 11 — A large contingent of Evanston police surrounded a building at the corner of Lake Street and Darrow Avenue this afternoon and sought to have people inside the building come out after officers said they saw suspects in a shots-fired incident flee into the building.
  5. Chief: Emerson shooting linked to earlier homicide — Sept. 15 — Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington says the shooting this evening at 1932 Emerson St. that has left a man critically injured with a gunshot wound to the head appears to be related to the fatal shooting last month of a Niles man in Evanston.
  6. Evanston woman accused in two bank robberies — Dec. 10 — A 19-year-old Evanston woman is facing federal charges of robbing a Winnetka bank last month and is suspected in another bank holdup this fall.
  7. One dead in early morning shooting — Aug. 31 — Two gunmen on bicycles shot two men in the 1800 block of Dodge Avenue in Evanston early this morning — leaving one victim dead, the other hospitalized.
  8. Chicken & Waffles restaurant closes — April 24 — The Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles restaurant on Evanston’s west side — which received a $200,000 loan from the city — closed this week.
  9. Four charged in auto burglaries — July 17 — Evanston police arrested three men early Thursday and a fourth early today in separate auto burglary incidents.
  10. City fried over Chicken & Waffles — Jan. 7 — The City of Evanston will hold a liquor license suspension hearing Thursday for Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles, which — the city’s attorney says — has failed to renew its state liquor license and is substantially behind on tax and city loan payments.
  11. Man dead after fall from garage — Oct. 28 — Evanston police say a man died when he apparently either jumped or fell from an upper floor of the Sherman Plaza garage about 11:45 this morning.
  12. Man critically hurt in shooting on Emerson — Sept. 15 — Evanston police are investigating a shooting incident that happened shortly before 5:30 p.m. today.
  13. Three shot on Howard — Oct. 13 — A shooting incident in the 700 block of Howard Street in Evanston about 8:30 this evening reportedly has left three people injured.
  14. Reached our limit on pizza? — March 9 — The flock of new pizza joints opening in Evanston will have one less competitor to deal with. The Giordano’s Pizzeria at Chicago Avenue and Davis Street downtown closed over the weekend.
  15. New transgender TV series set in Evanston — March 27 — A new unscripted television series about a teenager whose father is transitioning to become a woman is set here in Evanston.
  16. New restaurant planned for Howard Dairy Queen — July 16 — Evanston zoning officials are reviewing a proposal to remodel the interior of the old Dairy Queen building at 999 Howard St. to turn it into a new restaurant.
  17. Pedestrian killed crossing Dodge — June 6 — Evanston police are investigating an incident in which a 52-year-old Lincolnwood resident was struck by a car and killed in the 800 block of Dodge Avenue shortly before 10:30 this morning.
  18. Amy Morton plans another Evanston restaurant — July 13 — Amy Morton, who runs Found Kitchen on Chicago Avenue, is planning another restaurant in Evanston — this one in a former stable building on Church Street.
  19. Police seek missing 14-year-old — Dec. 3 — Evanston Police are asking the public’s help in locating a missing juvenile, 14-year-old Noah Feldman.
  20. Death prompts ‘drug house’ concerns — Nov. 4 — The so-far-unexplained death of a 31-year-old Evanston woman whose body was found over the weekend in the yard of a home at 1716 Dodge Ave. prompted discussion by aldermen this week of what can be done about what they called “drug houses” and nuisance properties in the community.
  21. Man shot on Emerson dies — June 8 — Evanston police say a man injured in a shooting incident this afternoon in the 2000 block of Emerson Street has died.
  22. Plans for Whole Foods on Green Bay approved — Jan. 14 — A city panel today approved plans to renovate the exterior of the former Dominick’s on Green Bay Road in Evanston to convert it to a Whole Foods Market.
  23. Evanston pot shop plans to open next month — Oct. 19 — The medical marijuana distributor PharmaCannis plans to open its dispensary at 1804 Maple Ave. in Evanston next month.
  24. Fire strikes home on Harrison — March 20 — It took more than two hours, but Evanston firefighters extinguished a fire in a house at 2814 Harrison Street.
  25. Two arrested at high school — Dec. 18 — Police say two students were arrested at Evanston Township High School after a disturbance broke out in a hallway at the school about 12:30 this afternoon.
  26. Fire hits home on Harrison — Jan 9 —  It took nearly three hours in extremely cold weather for fire crews from Evanston and several neighboring towns to extinguish a house fire at 2519 Harrison St.
  27. Police investigate incident at Starbucks — April 23 — Two customers got into a dispute at the Starbucks on Dempster Street at Chicago Avenue about 7:35 this morning that left one of them hospitalized and the other at least temporarily in police custody.
  28. Police continue shooting probe — Sept. 16 — A 45-year-old Evanston man clings to life at Evanston Hospital as police continue to try to determine who opened fire on him as he stood on the back porch of a building at 1932 Emerson St. about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday.
  29. Fini for Bravo! in Evanston — Oct. 19 — The Italian restaurant Bravo! that has anchored the northeast corner of Church Street and Maple Avenue in downtown Evanston for the past several years is closing.
  30. Separate stops lead to two gun arrests — Nov. 4 — Evanston police say they recovered two handguns and arrested two men for possessing them in separate incidents Tuesday.
  31. Sandwich shop bids adieu — Feb. 13 — The British sandwich shop chain with the faux French name, Pret a Manger, has bid adieu to Evanston.
  32. Sex, drugs and parking on Sheridan Square — May 28 — City officials say they hope to cut down on drug dealing and prostitution by changing parking rules on Sheridan Square in Evanston — but the changes may mean fewer parking spots available for people visiting South Boulevard Beach.
  33. La Principal opens tonight on Main — Sept. 29 — La Principal, the new Mexican restaurant on Main Street in Evanston from the owners of Lucky Platter, opens for dinner service this evening at 5:30.
  34. Two shot on Payne — July 30 — Two men were shot about 3:50 this afternoon in the 1700 block of Payne Street in Evanston.
  35. Wilmette neighbors fear influx from Evanston — Nov. 4 — Plans to build low income housing on the former site of an American Legion post in Wilmette have brought complaints from neighbors that the new building will cause crime problems similar to those experienced in Evanston.
  36. Another traffic stop, another gun arrest — Dec. 18 — A traffic stop Thursday night led to the arrest of an Evanston man on firearms violations.
  37. Evanston named one of 20 best towns in America — May 23 — Evanston has been named one of the best 20 towns in America by the ratings website Niche.com.
  38. City to consider tearing down mansion — Jan. 4 — Evanston aldermen Monday will consider whether to move toward tearing down the city-owned lakefront Harley Clarke mansion.
  39. Evanston shooting victim dies — Sept. 18 — Evanston police say the 45-year-old man who was shot early Tuesday evening died this afternoon at Evanston Hospital, becoming the city’s third homicide victim of the year.
  40. Rauner budget hits Evanston with $3.75 million cut — Feb. 18 — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first state budget, unveiled today, would cut income tax revenue shared with local governments in half — punching a $3.75 million hole in Evanston’s city budget.
  41. Search continues for killer in first homicide of year — June 9 — Evanston police continued to follow up leads today investigating a fatal shooting in an alley off Emerson Street Monday afternoon.
  42. New, affordable … and a crime hotspot — Nov. 17 — A city-developed affordable housing complex includes one of the 11 properties police identified Monday as the biggest crime and nuisance hotspots in Evanston.
  43. Principal Daniels resigns at Oakton Elementary — Apr. 15 — Churchill Daniels, principal of Oakton Elementary School in Evanston since 2007, announced his resignation, effective at the end of the school year, an administration spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
  44. Dortch fumbles at forum — March 6 — During a lightly-attended forum that featured similar answers to most questions from all four Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board candidates, Adrian Dortch managed to stand out Thursday evening by fumbling two of the baker’s dozen of questions asked.
  45. Central-Ewing 7-Eleven to close — June 9 — The 7-Eleven convenience store at Central Street and Ewing Avenue in northwest Evanston will close at the end of this week, according to a store employee.
  46. Report: Evanston has a ‘hottest’ neighborhood — Jan. 22 — The Redfin online real estate site says Evanston’s Lakeshore Historic District is one of the five “hottest” neighborhoods in the Chicago metro area.
  47. Rollover accident on Emerson — April 19 — A rollover accident on Emerson Street at Darrow Avenue about 6:30 this morning knocked down a street light pole and severely damaged the car involved.
  48. Two arrested after fight on Brown — June 28 — Evanston police say two large groups of people started fighting in the 1900 block of Brown Avenue about 6 p.m. this evening. The confrontation brought all available Evanston police units to the scene as well as several from Skokie.
  49. CTA to test evening Purple Express run — Feb. 6 — In a move city officials hope will help stimulate business for downtown Evanston restaurants and perhaps encourage more people to live and work here, the CTA has agreed to test adding a new evening Purple Line Express run to its schedule.
  50. Fingerprint leads to arrest in entry attempt — Nov. 18 — Evanston police say fingerprints left on a bedroom window have tied a suspect to a break-in attempt near the Northwestern University campus early Monday morning.
  51. D202: ‘We continue to be at an impasse’ — July 1 — In an unprecedented move, the Evanston Township High School Board failed Wednesday to agree on a replacement on the board for William Geiger, who resigned effective May 27, and passed the decision on to Regional Superintendent Bruce Brown.
  52. Report: Evanston not attractive to minorities — Aug. 20 — Picking up on a national study of metro areas, Evanston officials have applied the study’s data framework to Evanston and concluded that the city ranks relatively low in attractiveness to ethnic and racial minorities.
  53. Police continue homicide investigation — Sept. 1 — Evanston police today are continuing their investigation of Monday’s shooting incident on Dodge Avenue that left one man dead and another injured.
  54. NU hires six Evanstonians to learn skilled trades — April 28 — Northwestern University has hired six young adults from Evanston for a new training program in partnership with the city to teach skilled trades to local young people and prepare them for full-time jobs.
  55. High rise planned for site on Emerson — Aug. 29 — Northfield-based Focus Development has submitted plans to construct a 14-story rental apartment building at 831 Emerson St. in Evanston.
  56. Alderman: Relatives put homes in peril — Nov. 20 — Evanston Alderman Delores Holmes says some of the 11 properties identified as crime hotspots this week are occupied by homeowners who’ve told her they didn’t know that the relatives they’ve shared their homes with were creating a nuisance in the neighborhood.
  57. Four youths charged in strong-arm robbery — Nov. 14 — Evanston police have arrested four Evanston teenagers in connection with the robbery of a 21-year-old man on Simpson Street early this morning.
  58. Ice house could be your house — July 9 — A developer is hoping to turn a vacant industrial building in Evanston constructed in the 1920s as an ice production and storage facility into 16 condominium units.
  59. Shuttered bakery may become Greek restaurant — May 12 — The shuttered Central Street shop once known as Rose’s Wheat-free Bakery may be turned into a Greek restaurant.
  60. City plans nuisance property crackdown — Nov. 16 — Evanston city officials have scheduled a news conference for this afternoon to announce what City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz describes as “increased enforcement efforts” against properties associated with violent crime and public nuisances.
  61. Police expand effort to respond to hangun violence — Sept. 18 — Evanston police today announced a new violence reduction strategy to respond to community concerns about recent shooting and shots-fired incidents in the city.
  62. Reached our limit on Starbucks? — Jan. 19 — It seems we may have — at least temporarily — reached our limit on Starbucks coffee outlets in Evanston.
  63. Evanston teacher wins Chicago triathlon — Sept. 9 — Jeremy Rielley, who teaches physical education at Dawes and Orrington elementary schools in Evanston and coaches soccer at Evanston Township High School, is celebrating his Aug. 30 victory in the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon.
  64. D65 girds for stormy board meeting — Dec. 12 — A discussion of results of statewide standardized tests on English and math are on the agenda for Monday’s monthly meeting of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board, and already a group of African-American parents has called for a demonstration at district headquarters.
  65. Driver in fatal crash faces felony DUI charge — Sept. 29 — Evanston police say the driver of the car involved in the early Sunday morning rollover accident on Dodge Avenue now has been charged with a felony — aggravated driving under the influence — in the crash that killed her passenger.
  66. One hospitalized after shooting near Wesley and Foster — May 28 — One person has been transported to Evanston Hospital after a reported shooting incident near Wesley Avenue and Foster Street about 6 p.m. this evening.
  67. Prosecutors cite Evanston case in call to defeat encryption — Aug. 11 — In a New York Times opinion column today, the Manhattan district attorney and leading prosecutors from three other countries cite an Evanston murder case as an argument for overturning new privacy protection systems on smartphones.
  68. Bicyclist hit by car carrying gunshot victims to hospital — Oct. 30 — Evanston police say a 59-year-old employee of St. Francis Hospital was struck by a car as she road her bicycle on the sidewalk in the 900 block of Austin Street near the hospital about 10:23 p.m. Thursday.
  69. Too many restaurants in Evanston? — Feb. 26 — Evanston officials fretted at Wednesday night’s Economic Development Committee meeting about how to attract a more diverse range of retail businesses to the city’s shopping districts.
  70. Smylie Bros. wants recycling center — July 6 — Evanston’s Economic Development Committee is scheduled to consider a proposal Tuesday from Smylie Bros. Brewing Co. to expand into the city’s former recycling center on Oakton Street.
  71. Aldermen reject ‘wrongheaded’ Rauner plan — May 5 — Evanston aldermen Monday night rejected out of hand a request from Gov. Bruce Rauner that they endorse his “Illinois Turnaround Agenda.”
  72. Mansion site could hold nine homes — April 16 — City staff told members of the Harley Clark Committee Wednesday night that if the mansion building were torn down, the Evanston lakefront property potentially could be redeveloped for as many as nine single family homes while still maintaining public ownership of the beach and parking area.
  73. Parsons, Phillips join incumbents on school boards — April 7 — Complete but unofficial returns show that Parsons, Baum and Metz have won in the five-way race for three seats on the Evanston Township High School board
  74. Evanston woman dies in Englewood shooting — Nov. 3 — Chicago police say an Evanston woman was killed Monday night in a shooting in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.
  75. ETHS celebrates sale of its affordable house — Oct. 1 — Officials from Evanston Township High School and the City of Evanston were among about 60 persons who gathered Wednesday afternoon at the newly completed and sold house constructed two years ago by an intrepid band of geometry students.
  76. Viewpoint: In love with wretched excess — April 22 — The hard-working taxpayers of Evanston need to stop subsidizing a shrine to conspicuous consumption.
  77. Teen faces multiple charges in shots-fired incident — Nov. 12 — Evanston police say the juvenile who was arrested in a two-flat at 1802 Lake St. after a shots-fired incident Wednesday afternoon now has been petitioned to juvenile court on five felony charges.
  78. DNA backs Evanston woman’s story of Harding love child — Aug. 14 — Nan Britton, a woman who for many years lived quietly in Evanston, scandalized the nation 88 years ago with a book claiming that she’d carried on a long-running affair with President Warren G. Harding and that Harding was her daughter’s father.
  79. Juvenile charged in Emerson shooting — July 30 — Police have charged a 16-year-old Evanston youth who they say is a street gang member with several felonies in connection with a shooting Wednesday afternoon in the 1700 block of Emerson Street.
  80. Police seek man who jumped from ambulance — Nov. 14 — Evanston police continue to search today for a man who jumped from the ambulance transporting him to Evanston hospital Friday afternoon after he’d made suicidal threats.
  81. Panel backs brewery at recycling center — July 8 — Evanston’s Economic Development Committee Tuesday night unanimously recommended that the City Council direct the city manager to negotiate an agreement for Smylie Bros. Brewing Co. to expand into the city’s former recycling center on Oakton Street.
  82. Big firm seeks city relocation aid — Jan 29 — ZS Associates — described by Evanston officials as the city’s largest for-profit, property-tax-paying company — is seeking taxpayer assistance to relocate to new quarters at One Rotary Center.
  83. Construction starts at new restaurant site on Davis — May 1 — A groundbreaking ceremony was held this afternoon at 1026 Davis St. — which by next January is scheduled to become home to two familiar Evanston restaurants and a new one.
  84. D65 could lose $7 million due to PARCC testing — March 26 — Preliminary estimates indicate that the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is in danger of losing up to $7 million in state funds due to the refusal of a small number of students to take state-mandated tests.
  85. Partial building collapse closes Ridge Avenue — July 12 — The partial collapse of a building overnight is expected to keep Ridge Avenue blocked to northbound traffic between Clark and Emerson streets in Evanston at least until sometime Monday.
  86. Both former Dominick’s markets opening this month — July 20 — Just over 18 months after Safeway closed its Chicago-area Dominick’s supermarket chain, the two affected stores in Evanston are scheduled to reopen with new owners a week apart this month.
  87. Recording studio moving out — blaming noise — June 4 — Studiomedia Recording Company, which has occupied the southeast corner of Davis Street and Oak Avenue in Evanston for over three decades, is moving out — blaming noise from nearby construction projects.
  88. Three promoted at police department — June 5 — Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington late this afternoon announced the promotion of three officers in the wake of the retirement this week of Deputy Chief Jeffrey Jamraz.
  89. Curt’s Cafe opens La Taqueria at night — July 27 — Curt’s Café, a non-profit restaurant and coffee shop in Evanston, is expanding to offer a Mexican-themed dinner menu at its Central Street location developed by a Lake Bluff restaurateur.
  90. Restaurant on Orrington getting a makeover — May 29 — The owners of JT’s Bar & Grill at 1639 Orrington Ave. in downtown Evanston have shuttered the place and are planning to give the sports bar a makeover — reopening soon as a Mexican restaurant called Las Marias.
  91. Black parents to board: Repair the gap — Dec. 15 — Although only about a dozen black parents showed up at Evanston/Skokie School District 65 headquarters at 6 p.m. Monday for what was billed as a “silent protest,” by the time the district’s monthly board meeting began at 7 p.m., there was standing room only in the large board room.
  92. Demo starts to clear way for new restaurants — Jan. 21 — The construction — or should we say demolition — fence is up behind the old Tom Thumb building on Davis Street.
  93. Plastic bag ban starts Aug. 1 — June 8 — Beginning Aug. 1, large Evanston retailers will no longer provide free, point-of-sale disposable plastic shopping bags to customers under an ordinance the city adopted last year to decrease the use of disposable plastic shopping bags.
  94. Pritzker acquires another lakefront home — Jan. 27 — An entity controlled by billionaire Jennifer Pritzker has acquired another home near Evanston’s lakefront.
  95. NU student found dead in dorm — May 20 — An autopsy is scheduled for today for a Northwestern University student who was found dead in his campus dorm room Tuesday afternoon.
  96. Sudden storm leaves 1,500 without power — Aug. 2 — About 1,500 ComEd customers are without power after Evanston was hit with what city officials describe as a severe microburst of rain and hail just before 3 p.m. today.
  97. Evanston cop saves man from suicide attempt — May 26 — An off-duty Evanston police detective saved a 22-year-old Evanston man this weekend from jumping off the top of the Maple Avenue parking garage.
  98. Overnight snow blowing not banned — Jan. 14 — Evanston Now has received email messages from two local residents this week asking us to “remind” readers that overnight snow blower use is banned under city ordinance. Trouble is, there isn’t any such ban.
  99. Appeals court affirms dismissal of suit against police — Aug. 14 — Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington Thursday said he’s extremely proud of the work officers did in a burglary investigation nearly three years ago that led to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an officer’s action in detaining a 13-year-old youth as a suspect.
  100. Alderman: 85 percent of Valli workers live in Evanston — July 22 — Valli Produce opened its enlarged, 70,000-square-foot store in Evanston with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site of the former Dominick’s market in the Evanston Plaza shopping center this morning.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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