News in Evanston in May was mostly a chronicle of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the city’s residents punctuated by the death of one of the community’s best known citizens from the disease. But a protest over police violence and an outbreak of looting broke through as the month was ending.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most impactful stories from the month based on their readership. (Several of the daily disease updates have been trimmed from this list to reduce repetition.)

  1. Massive looting incident at Best Buy — May 31 — Evanston Police say a large crew of looters invaded the Best Buy at 2301 Howard St. around 7 o’clock this evening.
  2. Hecky Powell dies of COVID-19 — May 22 — Long-time Evanston restaurant owner and community activist Hecky Powell died this morning of complications of COVID-19.
  3. Northwestern Medicine to replace B&N downtown — May 1 — The Barnes & Noble bookstore in Sherman Plaza downtown has closed, and will be replaced by new offices for Northwestern Medicine.
  4. Record number of new COVID-19 cases in Evanston — May 1 — Evanston reported its highest daily count of COVID-19 cases today, with 19 new cases, bringing the city’s total to 357. The state also set a record, with 3,137 new cases for a total of 56,055. (The daily case count was even higher the next day and a few days later.)
  5. Man charged in shooting of woman on Howard — May 12 — Evanston police have arrested a 24-year-old Evanston man and charged him with aggravated battery in connection with the shooting of a 28-year-old Evanston woman last month on Howard Street.
  6. Crowd stretches for blocks in black lives march — May 31 — A crowd of people protesting police violence stretched for blocks as they marched through Evanston this afternoon.
  7. Evanston care homes suffer 21 COVID-19 deaths — May 16 — The state health department and county medical examiner now report a total of 21 deaths linked to Evanston long term care homes, up from 15 a week ago. (And the toll rose the following week. There’d been more than 100 cases as early as May 4.)
  8. Man dies in jump from Sherman Plazaa garage — May 12 — A 53-year-old man died Monday evening when he jumped from an upper floor of the Sherman Plaza parking garage in Evanston.
  9. Evanston emergency declaration up for extension — May 10 — Hours before it would otherwise expire, Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote Monday night on a resolution that would extend the city’s COVID-19 state of emergency declaration through June 8.
  10. Stores and restaurants reopen — sort of — May 29 —  As the state entered Phase 3 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan today, for many Evanston merchants it was finally time to “re-OPEN the store Illinois.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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