Stories by Evan Garcia

Michelle Obama’s Former Chief of Staff Returns to Chicago

Tina Tchen, center, speaks with Michelle Obama. (Pete Souza / The White House)

Tina Tchen shares her memories and unique perspective from working in the White House for eight years.

Fermilab Scientist Warns Solar Flares Could Devastate Infrastructure

While recent hurricanes have been devastating parts of the Earth, some major activity has also been taking place at the center of our solar system.

How Chicago ‘Hacktivist’ Derek Eder Uses Public Data for Good

The man behind a weekly gathering of Chicago web developers tells us how they use their tech skills for good.

Obama Foundation Hosts Public Meeting for Presidential Center Plans

(Courtesy of the Obama Foundation)

Community members get a chance to address key figures behind the Obama Presidential Center. A live report from the meeting.

Sloane Stephens’ Coach Kamau Murray on ‘Impossible’ US Open Win

(Courtesy U.S. Open Tennis Championships)

We speak with tennis coach and Chicago native Kamau Murray, who founded XS Tennis in 2005 on Chicago’s South Side.

US Economy Grows, but Uncertainty Clouds Federal Reserve

Median incomes in America are on the rise. What will be the response of a Federal Reserve Board with vacancies?

Lurie Children’s Hospital Receives Anonymous $12 Million Gift

An anonymous donation will be used to treat child abuse, mental health issues and the direct and indirect effects of violence on Chicago’s youth.

Gov. Rauner Will Borrow $6 Billion to Pay off Illinois’ Debt

Gov. Bruce Rauner agrees to refinance the state’s staggering backlog of unpaid bills. Illinois’ comptroller and treasurer weigh in.

Chicago Builds Underground Tunnel to Fight Flooding in Albany Park

After heavy storms, the Chicago River’s North Branch floods hundreds of homes on the Northwest Side. The Chicago Department of Transportation is now constructing a permanent flood-fighting weapon. We take a look.

Emanuel’s Top Lawyer Discusses Lawsuit for Chicago Police Reform

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sues for federal oversight of Chicago police reform—with the city’s blessing. We discuss the lawsuit.

‘Chicago Food Encyclopedia’ Digs into City’s Culinary Quirks

(jeffreyw / Flickr)

A new book examines the city’s history and culture through a culinary lens, from Chicago originals to products and companies, restaurants, trends and beyond.

BGA: Public Should Pay Attention to Labor Union Contract Negotiations

After 10 years, the city and labor unions are preparing for a new round of contract negotiations. What you should know about the process.

Traffic Fatalities In Illinois On The Rise in 2017

Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, joins us to discuss her organization’s latest data and how Illinois can make its streets safer.

Bipartisan House Caucus Hopes to Achieve Health Care Reform

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski joins us to discuss ongoing health care negotiations.

Former Neo-Nazi on White Supremacy: ‘It’s Terrorism’

“Until the government starts to call it what it is – and that’s terrorism – I’m not sure the point will fully come across as to how dangerous of a problem this is,” said Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi, of far-right extremism.

Examining Charlottesville and the Culture of Hate

A look at domestic terrorism and hate groups following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

Former White House Chief of Staff: Leaks are ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Disloyal’

Then-Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner discusses the Exxon Valdez oil spill. (Courtesy of C-SPAN)

Can the new chief of staff temper President Trump’s explosive rhetoric? Former White House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner weighs in.

Trump and GOP Take on Tax Policy After Health Care Flop

Will President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers fare better on tax reform than health care?

Transgender Veteran on Trump’s Tweet Announcing Military Ban

(Senior Airman Kamaile O. Chan / Flickr)

There are varying estimates on how many transgender people actively serve in the military, but a 2016 study done by the policy think tank RAND Corporation found there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender individuals on active duty.

Summer Movies: What’s Hot and What’s Not?

Director Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” portrays the evacuation and rescue of more than 300,000 stranded soldiers during WWII. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Three Chicago film critics sound off on the best—and worst—of summer movies.

Speeding Toward the Future of Driverless Cars

(Steve Jurvetson / Wikimedia Commons)

You won’t find driverless cars whizzing through the streets of Chicago today. But behind the scenes, companies are testing and implementing technology for cars to navigate sans human input.

Chicago Inspector General Uncovers City Worker Scandals

Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson joins us to discuss his office’s investigative work.

Dennis Hastert Relocated to Illinois to Serve Remaining Prison Sentence

(Courtroom sketch by Thomas Gianni)

The disgraced former U.S. House speaker, sentenced last year to 15 months in prison, returns to Chicago to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Illinois’ Public University Problem: NEIU, GSU Presidents Weigh In

Illinois legislators have finally passed a budget, but the impasse did not leave the state’s public universities unscathed: faculty and staff were laid off, student enrollment dwindled and bond ratings were downgraded.

Illinois Rep. Steven Andersson Deposed as House GOP Floor Leader

He broke from Republican ranks in Springfield last week. Now, state Rep. Steven Andersson has been asked to step down as GOP floor leader. He joins us in discussion.