Stormy weather, declining population and a plan to expand the local tax on being amused were among the stories that drew a crowd on Evanston Now in January.

Here’s a rundown of the top 10:

  1. Evanston’s population has dropped. How to respond? — Jan. 3 — New U.S. Census Buread data shows the decade just ended has seen the population of Evanston decline by half a percentage point — proportionately more than the decline in Cook County but less than that of Illinois as a whole.
  2. Legal weed draws a crowd for first day of sales — Jan. 1 — A crowd of a few hundred people hoping to be among the first to buy recreational cannabis legally in Illinois lined up this morning in downtown Evanston.
  3. Wilmette eyes scattered-site affordable housing plan — Jan. 5 — The Plan Commission in Wilmette is scheduled Tuesday to review a proposal for a new planned development that offers an approach to providing affordable housing that may be of interest to housing advocates in Evanston.
  4. ‘Fargo’ filming in Evanston today — Jan. 30 — If you’re a fan of the FX television series Fargo, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Evanston in an upcoming episode.
  5. Hazardous storm is underway — Jan. 11 — Evanston’s Public Works Agency this morning says the latest forecasts indicate we should get less ice from this weekend’s storm than originally forecast — because temperatures are slightly warmer. But we still can expect freezing rain and as much as three inches of snow.
  6. TIF study OK’d for ‘hot dog island’ area — Jan. 23 — Evanston’s Economic Development Committee Wednesday approved a request from city staff to move forward with a preliminary study of whether certain properties at the northwest corner of Evanston should become part of a tax increment financing district.
  7. Barber shop on Dempster takes 3 shots — Jan. 21 — Three shots were fired through the window of a barber shop near Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue. No one inside was hit.
  8. Restaurateurs seek city aid on Dempster — Jan. 24 — Evanston’s Economic Development Committee recommended Wednesday that the City Council approve a $24,000 forgivable loan to help get the planned new restaurant Zentli open in the former Curt’s Cafe space at 1813 Dempster St.
  9. American tavern concept planned for Lulu’s space — Jan. 21 — After 29 years in Evanston, Lulu’s restaurant on Davis Street is about to go “virtual,” owner Dan Kelch says, with its physical location replaced by a new American tavern concept.
  10. Don’t laugh! Amusement tax may expand — Jan. 27 — Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to discuss ways they could expand the city’s amusement tax to reach more entertainment venues.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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