Stories by Evan Garcia

Reaction to Rauner’s State of the State Address, Illinois’ Fiscal Woes

The governor strikes a conciliatory tone in his State of State address. We get reaction from public policy professionals with different points of view.

Susana Mendoza on New Role as Comptroller, Future of State Finances

Susana Mendoza delivers her acceptance speech as Illinois' next comptroller. (blueroomstream.com)

Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills exceeds $11 billion. Does Comptroller Susana Mendoza think the state can ever catch up?

UIC Students Hold Protest During Trump Inauguration

Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago walked out of classrooms Friday morning to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Cullerton, Radogno Discuss Budget ‘Grand Bargain’

The Illinois Senate leaders join us to discuss their negotiations and fiscal plans for the state.

Brother of Oscar Lopez Rivera Weighs in on Obama’s Commutation

Jose López, left, and Oscar López Rivera (Courtesy of Jose López)

Some say he was railroaded. Others call him a terrorist. Meet the brother of a former Chicagoan whose sentence was commuted this week by President Barack Obama.

Notebaert Nature Museum Dusts Off Rare Specimens for 160th Anniversary

A regal fritillary butterfly, a local species that’s classified as threatened in Illinois.

Over the course of its history, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has amassed a collection of about 390,000 animal specimens and artifacts. We get a close look at five of these rarely seen items.

Does Trump’s New Business Plan Satisfy Ethical Concerns?

(Courtesy of CNN)

Does President-elect Donald Trump’s new business plan allay fears that he could be financially influenced as president? We examine the ethical and legal questions surrounding his business affairs.

Obama’s Farewell Address: Photos, Video from McCormick Place

Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Malia Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama wave to the crowd at the end of the president's farewell address. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Thousands of spectators gathered at McCormick Place to watch President Barack Obama conclude his two-term presidency in the city where his political life began 20 years ago.

Does Social Media Perpetuate Youth Violence?

Social media has become a ubiquitous fixture of our daily lives. We discuss the varying effects of such digital communication tools on young people.

President Obama Joins Carol Marin for One-on-One Interview

(Courtesy of NBC)

Chicago Tonight correspondent Carol Marin asks the president about his legacy, violence in Chicago and whether he would consider pardoning disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Chicago’s Violent 2016

“The violence in this city is more about what the bad guys are doing and not so much about what the police are or are not doing,” Chicago Police Superintendent said during an interview with Eddie Arruza. Hear the full conversation.

Term Limits: Would They Help or Hurt Illinois?

(Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons)

Despite apparent public support, the question of whether term limits should be imposed on legislators hasn’t made it onto the ballot in Illinois. We discuss the pros and cons.

Critically Endangered Ape Born at Brookfield Zoo

Sophia, a 35-year-old Bornean orangutan, gave birth to a female ape on Dec. 20. (Chicago Zoological Society)

The newborn female Bornean orangutan joins five other orangutans living at the Brookfield Zoo.

Chicago-Area Doctors Recognized for Humanitarian Work in Aleppo

(Courtesy of Dr. Zaher Sahloul)

Two Chicago-area doctors who recently traveled to Aleppo share their stories.

Unpacking the President’s Cabinet, Past and Present

Donald Trump shakes the hand of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis. (Courtesy of CNN)

Looking back on U.S. history in addition to contemporary politics, what does the president-elect’s choices for Cabinet positions so far say about how he might lead as president?

Budget Standoff Stiffens as General Assembly Nears End of Session

The budget standoff is not over as the General Assembly’s fall session draws nearer to a close and to a possible doomsday scenario.

Inspector General: Chicago Restaurants Falling Behind on Health Inspections

More than half of Chicago’s high-risk food establishments, which mainly include restaurants, were not inspected as frequently as required by city law in 2015, according to a report released Tuesday.

Tensions Flare Between Protesters and Residents in Mount Greenwood

What's being done to quell friction in one South Side community following the fatal police-involved shooting of a 25-year-old African-American man.

Illinois Trump Supporters on the President-Elect’s Transition

Donald Trump was elected barely a week ago and there are already reports of shake-ups and signs of disarray within his transition team.

Communication Breakdown Follows Leadership Meeting in Springfield

Republican and Democratic state leaders are not seeing eye to eye after a meeting in Springfield. Amanda Vinicky joins us with the latest from the state capitol.

Madigan Takes a Rain Check on Rauner’s Meeting

House Speaker Michael Madigan cancels a meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner. Is Springfield back to business as usual as lawmakers get set for the fall veto session?

Amateur Photographer Explains Why He Risks Life for ‘Adrenaline Rush’

A self-described “rooftopper” dangles his feet, a familiar perspective for such photographers, while sitting atop a Chicago skyscraper. (Courtesy Andrew Fitzsimmons)

A recent post on a social news sharing website caught our attention. In the image, a pair of legs dangle above the Chicago River, seeming to float above Wacker Drive. We had to find out who was behind the lens.

Polar Bear Makes a Splash at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Newest Exhibit

The newest resident of the Lincoln Park Zoo weighs 1,000 pounds and stands 9 feet tall. Meet Siku, a 6-year-old polar bear.

What Will a Donald Trump Presidency Look Like?

Will the policies of president-elect Trump mirror some of the controversial and divisive issues he spoke of on the campaign trail?

Mendoza Beats Munger in Illinois Comptroller Race

Susana Mendoza delivers her acceptance speech as Illinois' next comptroller. (blueroomstream.com)

In her victory speech Tuesday night, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza said she would protect the "fiscal and moral health" of Illinois as the state's check-writer.