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Stories by Evan Garcia

Gaelynn Lea Strikes a Chord with ‘Tiny Desk’ Win, Advocacy Work

Winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest catapulted musician Gaelynn Lea into the international spotlight. (Courtesy of Gaelynn Lea)

The violinist and songwriter beat more than 6,000 entrants to be the ultimate winner of NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest.

Governor’s Race Heats Up, Emanuel Dodges Questions About Email

Carol Marin discusses the political happenings of Springfield and Chicago with Tina Sfondeles of the Chicago Sun-Times, Lauren Chooljian of WBEZ and Heather Cherone of DNAinfo.

Paul Vallas and CSU Board Chairman Discuss Struggling School’s Future

Paul Vallas and Chicago State University Board Chairman Marshall Hatch discuss the ongoing search for university leadership and what lies ahead for the beleaguered school.

Urban Wildlife Monitoring Program Expanded by Lincoln Park Zoo

A group of coyotes captured by a motion-detected camera in Chicago. (Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Since 2010, the zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute has used motion-detecting cameras and acoustic monitoring equipment to record and document animals roaming through the city.

New Book Chronicles the Great Lakes’ History and Threats

(Dustin Tinney / Flickr)

In his book “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes,” author Dan Egan chronicles the history of the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes as well as the natural and man-made dangers threatening it.

Chicago City Council to Vote on Street Performer Restrictions

City Council is expected to vote March 29 on an amendment to the city’s noise ordinance that would restrict some street performers from major stretches of two downtown streets.

Photos: Capturing the Invasive Asian Carp in the Illinois River

A hefty Bighead carp, one of several types of Asian carp, caught in a net near Morris, Illinois. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Wildlife agencies and fishermen in Illinois are using a Chinese technique to catch Asian carp, an invasive fish species threatening the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Eddie Johnson Talks New Police Reforms

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson joins us to discuss his department’s new policies and the challenges facing Chicago.

Will Trump Unify or Defy in His First Address to Congress?

A senior White House official says President Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday will have an optimistic tone and follow a “renewal of the American spirit” theme. 

Rauner Backs Bill to Test Groundwater Near Quarries

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is supporting a bill that would require testing of groundwater near quarries where construction debris is dumped.

Chicago Highlighted as the US Railroad Capital by Trains Magazine

More than 1,000 trains travel on Roosevelt Road every day. (Trains Magazine)

Editors from Trains Magazine tell us why Chicago is America's railroad capital.

4th Ward Aldermanic Candidates Square Off Ahead of Special Election

Five candidates are vying for the position of 4th Ward alderman in the Feb. 28 special election. They join us to discuss their platforms.

City of Gary Considers State Government Takeover of Public Schools

(Courtesy of Michael Puente / WBEZ)

WBEZ reporter Michael Puente joins us to discuss funding problems surrounding the public school system in Gary, Indiana.

Two Young Girls Shot by Stray Bullets on Chicago's South Side

Kanari Gentry Bowers (left) and Takiya Holmes were shot in separate incidents on Saturday (Courtesy Gentry Bowers family and Holmes family)

In another disturbing chapter of Chicago’s gun violence epidemic, two young girls were shot in the head within 30 minutes of each other Saturday night on the South Side.

O’Hare Express Train, United Center L Stop Among Planned City Upgrades

An express train connecting Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to the Loop and a new CTA Green Line station blocks from the United Center are among the mayor’s plans for upgrading the city’s infrastructure.

Trump’s Economy: Is Less Regulation Better?

President Donald Trump aims to cut financial regulations. We discuss how the banking and financial industries might change under his administration.

Honoring Chicago Poet Gwendolyn Brooks, Who Broke the Color Barrier

The late Chicago poet Gwendolyn Brooks made history in 1950 as the first African-American author to receive a Pulitzer Prize.

How Healthy is Illinois’ Job Market?

The College of DuPage hosts a career fair. (COD Newsroom / Flickr)

We discuss the prognosis for state and local job markets amid changing local and national politics.

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. (

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.