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Stories by Evan Garcia

5 Things You Might Not Know About Leap Day

February 29, better known as leap day, only comes around every four years. The observation of this extra day of our calendar year has some interesting history.

New Cancer Predictor Found by Northwestern Scientists

There's a new way to measure age that might prove helpful in assessing an individual's risk of developing cancer, according to a recent Northwestern University study. Learn about epigenetic age and how it can impact your health.

Fishing on the Chicago River

The Chicago River is far from America's cleanest waterway. But a few anglers are trying their luck as its ecosystem improves. Captain Tim Frey took us for a winter fishing trip on the river.

Is Climate Change Killing the Maple Syrup Industry?

There are signs that climate change is having negative effects on maple syrup production. Researchers are now surveying maple trees in the Midwest to look for them.

Rescued Baby Sea Otter Finds Home at Shedd Aquarium

A 10-week-old sea otter pup rescued after a rough storm in California last month is recovering at her new home in Chicago.

Red Panda Cubs Leaving Lincoln Park Zoo

Say so long to the adorable red panda cubs captivating visitors of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Soon, the almost 8-month-old cubs will be leaving town.

Inside the World’s Largest Rooftop Greenhouse

An enormous rooftop greenhouse on Chicago's South Side is growing crops year-round and providing the area with much-needed local produce. Joining us to talk about Gotham Greens' growing power is co-founder and CEO, Viraj Puri. 

Exploring a Tent City Along the Chicago River

(Evan Garcia)

After reading about people living in tents on a large plot of abandoned property along the Chicago River, I grabbed my camera and set out for the South Loop to investigate.

Urban Coyotes Pose a Threat to Pets During Mating Season

A coyote in Lincoln Park, near Belmont Harbor. (John Picken)

A viewer's video, shared with "Chicago Tonight," shows his encounter with a coyote in Columbus Park while walking his two dogs. Coyote mating season has begun, which means the urban animals may behave aggressively.

Chicago Scientists Prepare Ultra-Sensitive Camera for South Pole Telescope

Scientists at the University of Chicago are hoping a new, highly sensitive camera they're developing for the South Pole Telescope will reveal new information about the early universe. The camera measures something that's nearly 14 billion years old: radiation left over from the Big Bang.

Doomsday Clock Remains 3 Minutes to Midnight

It’s 2016 and we’re still three metaphorical minutes away from global doom. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists say global warming and nuclear weapon proliferation pose serious threats to mankind.

Highly Contagious Dog Flu Still Spreading in Chicago

Chicago animal shelters like PAWS are still coping with the spread of a new, highly contagious strain of canine influenza. In the U.S., the outbreak of the H3N2 dog flu virus was first found in Chicago last year. It's now spreading to western states.

Cruise the Chicago River from the Comfort of Your Home

The Chicago River is now visible via Google Street View. A small team spent nearly 10 hours documenting the waterway with a 360-degree camera in October. Here's what it looks like.

Five Planets Visible to the Naked Eye in Rare Astronomical Event

For the first time in a decade, five planets will be visible at the same time in the pre-dawn sky – and you won't need a telescope to see them.

Over 400,000 Birds Euthanized After Indiana Avian Influenza Outbreak

Thousands of birds in southwest Indiana were killed after a new strain of bird flu, the H7N8 virus, was found at 10 poultry farms late last week, according to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

2015 Was the Hottest Recorded Year on Earth

New reports show that Earth’s surface temperature last year was its highest since modern temperature record keeping began in 1880. The global record was also broken in 2014, although 2015 saw dramatic increases by comparison.

Why Catfish Are the Future for Cleaner Chicago Water

Juvenile channel catfish released into the Chicago River on May 12, 2015. (Friends of the Chicago River)

Two organizations have joined forces to release nearly 200,000 fish into the Chicago and Calumet waterways over the past two years.

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.