Stories by Evan Garcia

Bears Chairman Denies Report of Impending Head Coach Firing Before Team Faces Lions

(WTTW News graphic)

Whatever takes place on the field Thursday is dwarfed right now by the confusion surrounding the entire Bears organization. Various reports paint a picture of a head coach about to be out of a job, and questions of whether there is any competence at all in the upper management of the organization.

Violence at University of Chicago Prompts a Search for Solutions to Ensure Safety

The University of Chicago (WTTW News)

While University of Chicago officials promptly indicated they’d increase off-campus patrolling following the recent death of a graduate, some members of the Asian community are calling for systemic change instead of increased surveillance or police presence.

Chicago’s First Physical NFT Gallery Drops Digital Art

The NFT gallery imnotArt hosts the NFT drop for “Souvenir” by artist Brendan Fernandes on Nov. 12, 2021. (WTTW News)

A special kind of art gallery in Chicago is emerging as a brick-and-mortar trailblazer in the digital art world. The art space imnotArt in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood bills itself as the city’s first physical NFT gallery and one of the first of its kind in the world.

Korean Cultural Center Hosts ‘Squid Game’ Event in Chicago

The Korean Cultural Center of Chicago hosted 120 participants Saturday to play a local version of Squid Game, featuring children’s games featured in the survival drama. (Courtesy Korean Cultural Center of Chicago)

The Korean Cultural Center of Chicago hosted 120 participants Saturday to play a local version that included games featured in the survival drama like tug of war and traditional Korean games like ddakji and squid game, the show’s namesake.

In ‘For the Left Hand,’ Pianist Overcomes Paralysis to Perform

The Chicagoan’s unwavering journey to his orchestral debut at the age of 79 is the subject of the film  “For the Left Hand” airing Friday, November 5 at 9:00 pm and Sunday, November 7 at 4:00 pm on WTTW. (Courtesy Kartemquin Films)

Norman Malone never abandoned his dream of becoming a concert pianist – despite a violent attack by his father that left his right side paralyzed at the age of 10. A new documentary chronicles the Chicagoan’s path from child prodigy to high school music teacher to his orchestral debut at age 79.

Indigenous Artist Builds and Floats Birchbark Canoe on Lake Michigan

Birchbark canoe builder Wayne Valliere, left, and others carry a birchbark canoe to Lake Michigan from Northwestern University in Evanston on Oct. 29, 2021. (WTTW News)

Wayne Valliere, a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe in northern Wisconsin, said he’s one of only six birchbark canoe builders among the Anishinaabe, an Indigenous collective in the Great Lakes region which includes the Ojibwe.

Survey Claims to Highlight ‘Mispronounced’ or ‘Misused’ English Words

(Timur Repin / Unsplash)

A survey of 2,000 Americans highlighted what some respondents claimed were the most commonly misused phrases and words they encounter – with “I could care less,” “would of,” “anyways” and “irregardless” claiming the top four spots.

Northwestern’s ‘Super Ager’ Research Receives $20 Million Grant

(Alexandra Marta / Unsplash)

Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine are studying adults in their 80s and up with high-functioning cognitive abilities.

Legal and Financial Assistance Available Following End of Illinois’ Eviction Ban

(WTTW News)

Nearly 70,000 Illinoisans said they’re “very likely” to leave their home due to eviction within the next two months, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey.

Scientists Recreate the Mighty Punch of the Mantis Shrimp in a Robot

A mantis shrimp grabs a mollusk shell at the Shedd Aquarium on Sept. 20, 2021. (WTTW News)

There are hundreds of species of mantis shrimp — crustaceans measuring anywhere from 1-12 inches long. The peacock mantis shrimp, indigenous to the waters of Indonesia, has a specific trait that humans are trying to replicate. 

Analysis: Mayor Lightfoot’s $16.7 Billion Spending Plan

Mayor Lori Lightfoot presents her budget proposal for 2022 to the Chicago City Council on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (WTTW News)

The 2022 spending plan relies on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding to shore up Chicago’s budget gaps, increases police spending and invests in ward-by-ward community programs. Is it too reliant on federal COVID-19 funding?

Holiday Shoppers to Contend with Supply Chain Disruptions

From shortages of microchips to coffee: what’s driving the current supply chain disruptions? (WTTW News)

As the holiday shopping season approaches, several economists are warning consumers about higher prices and delays for shipments due to a shortage in everything from microchips to coffee to the supply containers for transporting goods.

‘Chicago Party Aunt’ Prepares To Make Netflix Debut

“Chicago Party Aunt,” which starts streaming on Sept. 17, follows the adventures of Diane Dunbrowski, the boisterous namesake of the series, and her nephew Rory O’Malley, who’s taking a gap year before attending Stanford. (Courtesy Netflix)

She’s our local bad influence: the Chicago Party Aunt debuts this week on Netflix. We check in with writer and actor Chris Witaske, the creator of the notorious Twitter account-turned-animated series.

The Creator Economy: How Social Media Influencers are Gaining Audiences, Earning Money

(Erik Lucatero / Pixabay)

Even if you haven’t heard of the creator economy, you’ve likely encountered it. About 50 million people worldwide consider themselves creators, with the majority – about 46.7 million – calling themselves amateurs, according to a report. 

Terrorism Experts Reflect on 9/11 Attacks 20 Years Later

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have changed the world in ways both “subtle and profound,” said DePaul University history professor Thomas Mockaitis. (WTTW News)

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Local experts join us to discuss what we’ve learned about terrorist threats since then — and how safe we are today.

Northwestern Study Underscores Importance of 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

A new study by local scientists sheds light on the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as the importance of receiving both doses of the vaccines. We discuss the findings with Northwestern University professor and biological anthropologist Thomas McDade.

Study Finds Large Cities Promote Lower Rates of Depression

A new study suggests large, urban environments promote lower rates of depression among city residents, in comparison to suburbs and towns, due to the increased daily social interaction cities and the built environment facilitate. (WTTW News)

A new study suggests large, urban environments promote lower rates of depression among city residents, in comparison to suburbs and towns, due to the increased daily social interaction cities and the built environment facilitate.

Illinois’ Vaccine Portal Raises Privacy Concerns

Amid the unveiling of Illinois’ Vax Verify system, concerns are raised about the security of the vaccine verification portal. (WTTW News)

Could Illinois’ vaccine verification portal — known as Vax Verify — leave residents’ personal information vulnerable to hacking? We discuss privacy concerns surrounding the newly unveiled portal.

A Look at Illinois’ COVID-19 Trajectory and the Impact of Lollapalooza

Roughly 50% of all Illinoisans are fully vaccinated. (WTTW News)

As summer winds down, Illinois continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases, with more than 3,100 new infections reported by state health officials Thursday. Dr. Susan Bleasdale of UI Health breaks down the latest data and recommendations.

Alderpeople Address Budget Shortfall, Police Tensions

In this file photo, members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s revenue remains stunted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, City Council disclosed millions in investments using federal stimulus funds. And tension heightens between the community and police in the wake of Officer Ella French’s killing. Three alderpeople weigh in on these topics and more.

Chicago Record Label Revitalizes Forgotten Artists of the Past

Pastor T.L. Barrett plays piano at his home on July 30, 2021. (WTTW News)
Older artists are getting a second chance at stardom through the efforts of a local record label tucked away in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. We explore the musical world of Numero Group.

Survey Examines COVID-19 Misinformation on Facebook

(WTTW News)

For many of us, social media is a convenient way to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues. But sharing false information on platforms like Facebook during a global pandemic can have life or death consequences.

COPA’s Interim Leader Looks Forward to Civilian Oversight Board

Andrea Kersten, interim chief of Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom, July 21, 2021. (WTTW News)

The Chicago City Council has approved a measure to create a board of civilians to oversee the Chicago Police Department, the police board and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Andrea Kersten, the interim chief administrator of COPA, shares her thoughts.

Digging into Chicago’s COVID-19 Vaccine Disparity

(WTTW News)

A recent South Side Weekly report used city data to show that Chicago’s vaccine disparity is widening between wealthier parts of the city, like the Loop, and areas on the South and West sides with a majority of Black and brown residents.

Riding High and Low: Exploring Chicago’s Vibrant Custom Bike Culture

Malcolm Langford, 14, rides a tall bike at a Logan Square Park meetup organized by the custom bike club Rat Patrol on June 11. (WTTW News)

Have you ever thrown out a broken bike or any of its spare parts? There’s a chance a local bike club scooped up that trash to make a work of art on wheels. We visit Logan Square to learn about the city’s bustling custom bike culture.

National Museum of Mexican Art Prepares to Reopen Its Doors

Mexican painter Carmen Chami's work is featured at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Courtesy NMMA)

When it reopens its doors July 1, the National Museum of Mexican Art will be kicking off operations with a major financial boost after it received an $8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.