Stories by Evan Garcia

Alice the Corpse Flower is Fruiting

Alice, the famous smelly flower of the Chicago Botanic Garden, is bearing fruit – hundreds of them.

Uncommon Birds Visit Chicago in Winter

A common redpoll examines seeds from a birch tree at the Chicago Botanic Garden (Carol Freeman/Chicago Botanic Garden)

Birds not ordinarily found in Chicago visit the region during the winter to utilize natural – and man-made – resources.

Pierre Boulez, Revered Composer and Conductor, Dies at 90

Pierre Boulez

For over half a century, the French musician pushed the envelope with his compositions and conducting work. His family confirmed he died Tuesday at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany. At the time of his death, he was the conductor emeritus of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Ray LaHood's Memoir 'Seeking Bipartisanship' Chronicles Life in Politics

| Hunter Clauss
Ray LaHood

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was the only Republican that President Obama appointed to his cabinet upon taking office in 2009. His new memoir "Seeking Bipartisanship" chronicles his political life in Illinois and on the national stage. LaHood joins us to discuss his book and career.

Exploring the Impact of Fatal Shootings on Cops

While fatal police-involved shootings have been at the center of many recent news stories, it seems that the voices of officers connected to these incidents aren’t always the loudest. Joining us to discuss the effect these shootings have on law enforcement officers and the challenges facing Chicago’s police department are two former police officers.

For Chicago Artist with Rare Bone Disorder, Art Really Does Imitate Life

Lana Crooks (Light Grey Art Lab)

For most people, an animal’s head would be a strange, if not eccentric, gift. But for Chicago-based artist Lana Crooks, the wild pig skull her mother recently gave her is a treasured muse for a future work of art.

Online Database Releases Over 56,000 Police Misconduct Complaints

The Citizens Police Data Project went online Tuesday. The searchable database chronicles 56,361 police disciplinary records. Among them, more than 28,000 allegations of misconduct filed against the Chicago Police Department between March 2011 and September 2015, and records on officers repeatedly accused of wrongdoing between 2000 and 2008.

Gardening Season Isn’t Over Yet

| Kristen Thometz

Temperatures are starting to drop but that doesn’t signal the end of the gardening season. The Organic Gardener Jeanne Nolan visits the WTTW organic garden to do some planting. She also shares tips on how gardeners can extend the season a little longer.

IPRA Under Spotlight Following 2013 Raid

The Independent Police Review Authority is under fire. The group allegedly did not fully investigate what might have been an attempt by Chicago police to seize security footage during a 2013 raid on a tanning salon. We talk with the WBEZ reporter who's been covering the story.

Rauner Slashes Social Services, Cites Lack of State Budget

For nearly half of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s term, Illinois has been without a budget. Rauner argues the budget impasse constitutes a state of emergency, which is his rationale for using an obscure rule-making procedure to cut spending and set up stricter eligibility requirements for social services. Amanda Vinicky joins us to discuss the governor’s plans.

The River Bridges of Chicago

Bridges spanning the Chicago River; credit: Patrick McBriarty

The bridges spanning the Chicago River have played an intrinsic role in Chicago’s development as an epicenter of industry and transportation. It was here that a new kind of bascule bridge, or drawbridge, was innovated and engineered to perfection. Patrick McBriarty, author of Chicago River Bridges, joins us to discuss how the bridges shaped the city.

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released from Prison

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been released from a federal prison in Alabama after his 2013 conviction for tax evasion and misuse of campaign funds. His next stop will be a halfway house, likely located in the Washington, D.C. area.

Discipline in Chicago Public Schools

Who Pays the Price?

Expulsions and out-of-school suspensions in Chicago Public Schools saw a drop in the 2013-2014 school year, but a recent study suggests troubled students are still vulnerable. We discuss school discipline with our panel.

What's the Purpose of Presidential Libraries?

Chicago is fighting for the winning bid of President Barack Obama's presidential library and museum. These institutions were originally created to provide access to presidential records, but author Anthony Clark argues they've become platforms for a president to promote his legacy, not accurately exhibit history.

Illinois Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Pension Overhaul Case

The Illinois Supreme Court heard the first round of oral arguments today over the constitutionality of a pension law that cuts state employees' benefits.

Rev. Jesse Jackson and Black Ministers Endorse García for Mayor

Mayoral candidate Jesús “Chuy” García is hoping that an influx of support from black leaders will put him ahead of opponent Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the April 7 runoff election for Chicago mayor. 

Willie Wilson’s Path from Mayoral Candidate to Power Broker

Willie Wilson was scheduled to appear on tonight’s broadcast of Chicago Tonight, but he cancelled his appearance. Wilson told us that he could not come on the show because he was meeting with both mayoral candidates.

White Sox Legend Minnie Miñoso Dies

White Sox great Minnie Miñoso, Chicago's first black major league player, died this Sunday. Professor Adrian Burgos Jr., who specializes in Latin American studies and baseball at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, joins us to discuss Miñoso's legacy.

Weekend Events Around Town: 2/27-3/1

Enjoy a weekend of culture, comedy, cold beers, and even colder waters. Chicago Tonight has your weekend picks.

Chicago Aldermanic Races Overview

Election Day is tomorrow. Besides the high-profile race for mayor of Chicago, there are several elections playing out among the city's 50 wards. Which races are highly contested? We discuss the issues and dynamics that define this aldermanic election season.

Unpacking Gov. Rauner's Budget Address

Gov. Bruce Rauner reveals his fiscal plans for the state today. What spending cuts should Illinois residents anticipate and how does Rauner plan to dig the state out of a colossal hole of debt? Illinois Public Radio's Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky breaks down Rauner's budget address.

Family to Contest Ernie Banks’ Will

Three months before his death, Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks signed a new will giving control of his assets to his caregiver, Regina Rice. Banks’ adult sons and estranged wife are accusing Rice of manipulating Banks to gain access to his estate. We discuss the dynamics of wills and the disputes that can arise from them.

Gender Identity: Understanding and Empowering

Those who identify themselves with the opposite gender still face discrimination within many subsets of society. However, portrayals of transgender people in media and culture have helped acclimate American audiences to their experience. What have been the advancements of the transgender cause and what obstacles still lie ahead?

Creature Courtship

The Unusual Mating Rituals of the Animal Kingdom

Credit: Christopher Drake

The Lincoln Park Zoo is putting on a Valetine's Day-themed after hours event that delves into the unusual mating habits and reproductive traits of the animal kingdom. Jay Shefsky spoke with the zoo's general curator, Dave Bernier, about some of their animals' perplexing courtship rituals.

Early Voting Begins

Early voting has begun for the Chicago mayoral and aldermanic races. The Board of Elections opened up 51 locations today.