A good news story drew the most reader interest on Evanston Now in December — tipping readers that a popular coffee shop chain plans to fill a vacant storefront downtown. But traffic dangers, school dress codes and even horse drawn carriages also drew attention.

Here’s a rundown of the top 10:

  1. Coffee shop to replace Radio Shack downtown — Dec. 2 — Milwaukee-based Collectivo Coffee plans to open its second Chicago-area cafe at the site of the former Radio Shack store in downtown Evanston.
  2. The fate of Bessie Rhodes school has been decided — Dec. 5 — Evanston/Skokie District 65 Board members surprised no one Monday night approving a staff recommendation that will see Bessie Rhodes become entirely dedicated to Spanish-English bilingual instruction.
  3. ETHS Board ignores legal wanrings in passing resolution — Dec. 11 — Despite assertions of the two lawyers on the board that it could be in violation of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board voted 5-2 Monday night to pass a resolution that would curb disclosure of communications from its president and superintendent.
  4. 22 wrecks this year at Ridge and Lake — Dec. 19 — Evanston city officials say they’re considering options ranging from cutting the speed limit to adding new traffic signals as they struggle to reduce accidents along Ridge Avenue.
  5. Gentrification? What gentrification? — Dec. 14 — Opponents of new high-rise developments in downtown Evanston often claim that they cause gentrification.
  6. The most dangerous intersection in town — Dec. 20 — Ridge Avenue has had at least six of Evanston’s 10 worst intersections for traffic accidents over the last five year — and the worst of all at least for the last two years has been Ridge Avenue at Lake Street.
  7. Evanston police get their man…finally — Dec. 4 — Evanston police say they have captured a suspect who slipped through their fingers in August, but  was arrested  when he happened to be a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped in the early hours of Sunday morning.
  8. City considers ban on horse-drawn carriages — Dec. 3 — Evanston’s Human Services Committee is scheduled Monday to consider an ordinance that would ban operation of horse-drawn carriages in the city.
  9. Another shout-out for Evanston’s dining scene — Dec. 18 — An online magazine has declared that Evanston is one of “the country’s best suburbs for people who love food.”
  10. Evanston School District 65 mulls dress code change — Dec. 11 — Some Haven Middle School and Evanston Township High School students urged District 65 board members to Monday night to update what they call an antiquated dress code.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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