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Stories by Evan Garcia

Debating the Transportation Fund Lockbox Amendment

Illinois voters will decide whether the state's transportation funds will be locked away solely for transportation spending. A look at what’s at stake.

Nobel Prize Awarded to Northwestern University Chemistry Professor

Northwestern University chemistry professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, left, raises his glass at a ceremony celebrating his Nobel Prize win. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Sir Fraser Stoddart was one of three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for developing the world’s smallest machines.

Venomous Illinois Rattlesnake Gets Federal Protection

The eastern massasauga rattlesnake, also known as the “swamp rattler,” produces venom more toxic than most other rattlesnakes.

Shedd Urges President Obama to Sign Wildlife Trafficking Bill

The Shedd Aquarium is calling on President Barack Obama to sign legislation that aims to curb the highly lucrative, international business of illegally trading endangered and threatened animals.

Endangered African Penguins Flock to Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo gave journalists a sneak peek of the new African penguin exhibit, which aims to replicate the birds' natural habitat in southern Africa.

Chicago Conservation Group: Help Save 12 Vulnerable Species

The Lincoln Park Zoo is breeding and releasing smooth green snakes, a species that's harmless to humans, in their preferred moist, marshy habitats. (squamatologist / Flickr)

A Chicago conservation alliance is asking for the public’s help to save a dozen native species, including the endangered Blanding's turtle.

Brookfield Zoo Donates Black Rhino Horn to Feds for Training

The Brookfield Zoo donated this piece of black rhino horn to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its dog training program to catch wildlife contraband. (Kelly Tone / Chicago Zoological Society)

On Thursday, World Rhino Day, the zoo donated a piece of horn from one of its black rhinos to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency will use the sample to train its canine unit that sniffs out contraband at O’Hare International Airport.

Local Scientists Name New Mushroom Species After Chicago

The Chicago chanterelle is smaller than other chanterelle mushrooms and is practically odorless compared to the distinctive fruity smell emitted by other types. (Field Museum)

A restaurant-worthy mushroom was identified by researchers from the Field Museum and Chicago Botanic Garden. Meet the Chicago chanterelle.

Dry Ice: Chicago’s New Weapon Against Rats

New York and Boston have also experimented with dry ice as a rodent control technique. (Dry ice: Shawn Henning / Rat: National Park Service)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Streets and Sanitation on Tuesday announced a pilot program that uses dry ice to curb rodent infestations.

Chicago Ranked Best US City for Biking

A cyclist rides a Divvy bike along Chicago's lakefront. (Antonio Delgado / Flickr)

In its rankings published Monday, Bicycling magazine applauded the city’s commitment to adding new bike lanes and improving access to bike-share resources for underserved communities.

Mayor of London Talks Tech in Chicago, Signs Alliance with Emanuel

"A city that is going to be a global city can't stand still, you've got to constantly evolve it," said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Sadiq Khan, the recently elected Mayor of London, is in Chicago to stoke business relations between the two cities.

Bureau of Land Management: We Won’t Euthanize 45,000 Wild Horses

The number of wild horses and burros living on public ranges is more than double the recommended capacity, according to the Bureau of Land Management. (Jana Wilson / Bureau of Land Management)

The Bureau of Land Management said Thursday it will not follow the recommendation made last week by an independent board to euthanize or sell thousands of wild horses and burros, including 179 being held in Illinois.

Wanted: Mysterious Natural Objects for Identification by Scientists

Field Museum research associate Noé de la Sancha shows a mammal skull to visitors at the museum’s Identification Day in 2015. (Courtesy of the Field Museum)

Field Museum scientists are ready to identify your strangest natural possessions this weekend. Learn more about Identification Day.

NASA: August Ties with July as Hottest Month on Record

The 2016 global temperature is on track to break the annual record for the third year in a row, according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. (NASA)

The average global temperature in August tied with July as the hottest month since record keeping began in 1880, according to NASA. 

Notebaert Nature Museum Raises 131 Endangered Baby Turtles

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is raising endangered turtles in captivity until they grow large enough to fend for themselves. (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

Blanding's turtles, an endangered species in Illinois and a half-dozen other states, are getting a head start on survival at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Public Spaces on Chicago’s South, West Sides Get $10 Million Investment

An artist’s rendering of plans for St. Laurence school, where children and adults will be able to take free art classes. (Chicago Arts + Industry Commons / Place Lab)

An investment of more than $10 million will help transform unused buildings and vacant lots on Chicago’s South and West Sides into centers for arts and culture that offer free community programs.

Group Honors Chicago’s Founder, Calls for DuSable Park Development

Dr. Serge Pierre-Louis stands in front of the DuSable Park site. "The leaders of Chicago can use the story of DuSable to solve the problems we're facing now," he said. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

A group gathered Wednesday to mark the 198th anniversary of the death of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first non-native settler, and push for the completion of a long-delayed park in his name.

Researchers Confirm New Corn Disease in Illinois

A cornfield in Macomb, Illinois. Cornfields in 68 of Illinois' 102 counties were surveyed for bacterial leaf streak. (April Bern / Flickr)

A new bacterial disease infecting corn crops has been confirmed in Illinois, but researchers know very little about the disease or what impact it could have on the agricultural industry.

Field Museum Archaeologists Find Centuries-Old Crocodile Stone

Field Museum archaeologists made an unexpected find while excavating an the site of an ancient city in southern Mexico.

Mushroom Hunting in Illinois Comes with Risks, Rewards

The Amanita bisporigera mushroom is also known as the "destroying angel." It's considered the most toxic mushroom in North America. (Dan Molter / Wikimedia Commons)

Picking and eating wild mushrooms could result in a delectable treat or a deadly mistake. A fungi expert shares some helpful advice and tells us why picking mushrooms in city parks and your own neighborhood might not be the best idea.

5 Nature Adventures for Labor Day Weekend

Soak up the last weekend of summer by getting out of the city and off the beaten path. We’ve got a handful of destinations for the perfect weekend trip, whether you prefer hiking, rafting, biking or just lazing the day away.

PAWS Chicago Rescues Animals from Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

"We wanted to help in any way we could," said PAWS Chicago spokeswoman Sarah McDonald. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Chicago’s largest no-kill animal shelter has opened its doors to dogs and cats from Louisiana, a state that has little room to house pets in need following devastating floods earlier this month.

CPS Students Get Free Admission to 3 Museums Monday

The Adler Planetarium is one of three Chicago museums offering free admission to CPS students on Aug. 29. (Craig Stillwell / Wikimedia Commons)

Chicago Public School students can kick off their last week of freedom at one of several Chicago institutions. Learn more.

Scientists Discover Potentially Habitable Planet

An artist's impression of what the surface of the planet Proxima b might look like. (M. Kornmesser / European Southern Observatory)

A planet that could potentially host life has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our solar system, according to a report published Wednesday by more than 30 international scientists.

Rain Barrels to Fight Flooding Distributed to Underserved Areas

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District provided 500 rain barrels for the environmental organization Faith in Place to distribute. (Ramont Bell)

Free barrels for collecting rainwater are being distributed to South and West Side communities prone to flash flooding.