Stories by Evan Garcia

Duckworth Pushes $35B Investment in Water Infrastructure

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth speaks with “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (WTTW News)

President Joe Biden made sweeping proposals in his address to Congress on Wednesday. Among them, a pledge to tackle lead in drinking water. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth has proposed $35 billion to update water infrastructure and improve drinking water quality across the country.

Chicago Designer Creates Clothing for Children with Sensory Disorders

Minor Details founder Dina Lewis shows off her “squeeze tee,” designed to fit comfortably on children with sensory processing disorder, in her design studio on April 15, 2021. (WTTW News)

Former real estate agent Dina Lewis moved from New York City to Chicago in 2018. Soon after, she decided to pursue a professional endeavor that was personal to her: designing clothing for kids with special sensory needs. We visited the design studio of Minor Details to learn more.

Chicago Music Venues Try to Stay Afloat Despite Bungled Federal Aid Rollout

The digital rollout of the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program to assist venues with payroll, rent and other financial obligations is delayed nearly two weeks after its planned launch due to an onslaught of demand and applications. (WTTW News)

A recent bungled federal aid rollout worth 16 billion dollars for music venues and theaters across the country is adding more strain to a stressful situation.

Photos: Little Village Peace Walk Memorializes 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo

Little Village resident Andre Gordillo, right, raises his arms in protest during the Adam Toledo peace walk on April 18, 2021. “I think it’s important to show that I care about my community and that I want justice to be done for the wrongful murder of a 13-year-old,” Gordillo said. “This is a peaceful, youth-led march.” (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Several hundred people gathered Sunday evening in Little Village to mourn the death of Adam Toledo and participate in a peace walk through the neighborhood. The 13-year-old was fatally shot by a police officer on March 29.

Providers Combat Vaccine Hesitancy After Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause

(WTTW News)

Health officials recommended a pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week after six people experienced rare but severe blood clots. We discuss the situation—and concerns about vaccine hesitancy—with Dr. Juanita Mora, an allergist and immunologist at the Chicago Allergy Center.

Photos: Thousands March to Protest Police Killing of 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo

Protester Natalia Sustaita holds a sign reading “He Had His Hands Up!” at a Logan Square protest April 16, 2021, over the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. “I feel it’s important to show solidarity with Adam Toledo because he was just a child,” Sustaita said. “And if the money and resources that are given to the Chicago Police Department would’ve been used to fund the community of Little Village, maybe the situation would’ve been different.” (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Thousands of protesters gathered in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood Friday evening to protest the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month. Toledo was fatally shot by a police officer in the Little Village neighborhood, about 6 miles south of the protest.

Canceling Student Loan Debt an Undue Burden, Critics Say

As of April 2020, more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt is owed by Americans, a figure that grows six times faster than the U.S. economy. (WTTW News)

Americans owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Now, President Joe Biden is facing new calls to cancel $50,000 or more of loan debt per student. But critics say it would put an undue burden on Americans who never went to college.

Who Stormed the US Capitol? New Report Digs Into Demographics of Those Arrested

Pro-Trump supporters breach security gates at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

A new analysis from the University of Chicago looked at the demographics of the 377 individuals arrested for the Jan. 6 attack. The study’s author said he had expected to discover something about the economic conditions of the rioters but was surprised that the data told a very different story.

Bill Awaiting Pritzker’s Signature Declares Violence a Public Health Crisis

(WTTW News)

It’s been a violent start to 2021 in Chicago, which has recorded 131 homicides in the first three months of the year. Now, a measure sitting on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk declares violence a public health crisis and takes aim at racial inequities in the state’s health care system.

Illinois’ Law Protecting Biometric Privacy Could Be Changed

Illinois’ law regulating the collection of biometrics – or physical measurements like fingerprints – is one of the strictest in the nation but could be amended through a current bill in the state Legislature. (WTTW News)

A New York Times tech columnist calls it the “best law you’ve never heard of.” She is speaking of Illinois’ biometrics privacy act, which essentially gives residents protections against companies that want to gather biometric info like face scans and fingerprints. But now, several bills in the Illinois General Assembly aim to strip away some of those protections.

Fishing with a Fire Extinguisher? We Check Out Powerlining in Chicago

Florin Deleanu powerline fishes at Montrose Harbor in Chicago on March 12, 2021. (WTTW News)

This time of year at Montrose Harbor, you’ll see people lining the lakefront with fire extinguishers — but they’re not putting out flames, they’re fishing. Powerlining is a unique fishing style with local roots.

Viral Tweet Stokes NCAA Tournament Gender Gap Accusations

University of Oregon player Sedona Prince is shining light on the inequalities between weight-room facilities for the men’s teams competing in Indianapolis and the women’s teams competing in San Antonio. (WTTW News via @sedonaprince_)

College basketball’s most important competition is in full swing. But a tweet by University of Oregon player Sedona Prince is shining light on the inequalities between weight-room facilities for the men’s and women’s teams. Deadspin senior writer and editor Julie DiCaro offers her perspective.

CPS Considers Alternatives to School Resource Officers

Youth activists organized a peaceful march to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home on Aug. 13, 2020 to demand the removal of resource officers from Chicago Public Schools. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

While several Chicago Public Schools have removed police officers from their buildings, 55 schools still have what are called “school resource officers.” On Wednesday, the school district and five community organizations laid out recommendations for those schools to pursue a more holistic approach to safety.

What You Need to Know About Real ID Before You Travel

All Americans flying domestically will need a federally accepted form of ID – that means a Real ID or a passport is required to travel by October 2021. (WTTW News)

The Real ID deadline has been set for Oct. 1. Here’s what you need to know if you’d like to fly domestically.

Ghost Kitchen Thrives During Pandemic But Disturbs Some North Side Neighbors

An employee of Dai Yee’s Asian Kitchen cooks noodles in a wok on Mar. 2, 2021 at CloudKitchens. Dai Yee’s is one of 10 restaurants renting a kitchen from the ghost kitchen located in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood. (WTTW News)

A ghost kitchen on Chicago’s North Side is renting out kitchen space to multiple restaurants for delivery-only orders, but the traffic-heavy business model is agitating the ward’s alderman and some neighbors.

March Madness: Illinois and Loyola Punch Their Tickets to the Big Dance

Loyola Ramblers fans cheer on the team at in Rogers Park bar Bruno’s on Thursday, March 15, 2018. (WTTW News)

Get your brackets ready because March Madness, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, kicks off Thursday and two Illinois universities are among the 68 teams competing.

The Digital Art Making Millions: What Are NFTs?

(Photo by Windows on Unsplash)

In the art world and beyond, NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – are all the rage right now. But what are they? Law professor Donna Redel explains.

Study Shows Surge in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes in Some US Cities

(WTTW News)

A new report says anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities increased by 149% in 2020 compared to the previous year. We hear about local efforts to combat intolerance.

‘Great Lake Jumper’ Going Strong After 260-Plus Daily Dives for Chicago Music Venues

Dan O’Conor at Fullerton Beach on Feb. 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

For months, Dan O’Conor has shocked his senses by leaping into Lake Michigan — every day. What was prompted last June by a hangover is now an opportunity for the Lincoln Square resident to help the city’s music scene. We meet up at Fullerton Beach to see him in action.

Archdiocese of Chicago to Release Names of Religious Order Priests Accused of Abuse

The Archbishop Quigley Center in Chicago. (WTTW News)

The Archdiocese of Chicago said Wednesday it plans to publicly list the names of “credibly accused” priests belonging to religious orders after questions over the archdiocese’s transparency.

Livestreaming With 2 Owls: Forest Preserve’s Programming Goes Virtual During COVID-19

Cook County Forest Preserves naturalist Ryan DePauw holds a great horned owl, the largest owl found in the region, at the River Trail Nature Center on Feb. 18, 2021. (WTTW News)

Animals that wouldn’t be able to survive on their own in the wild are getting the care they need, and are helping educate the public, at five forest preserve nature centers around Cook County. But during COVID-19, people aren’t allowed to go inside these centers, so the animals and their caretakers reach out virtually.

Considered Food Desert, North Chicago Gets Its 1st Grocery Store in 20 Years

(WTTW News)

The lack of affordable and nutritious food in North Chicago has made the city a food desert, but soon it'll get its first full-service grocery store in 20 years.

Newly Appointed State Sen. Mike Simmons on Goals for Illinois’ 7th District

State Sen. Mike Simmons appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. (WTTW News)

Neighbors in Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown and Ravenswood have a new state senator representing them in Springfield, and he says he plans to tackle the health and economic disparities his constituents experience.

New Film Highlights Chicago Efforts to End South Africa’s Apartheid

A new film airing this weekend on WTTW draws parallels between the fight against apartheid in South Africa and injustice in Chicago.

Skokie Synagogue Serving Deaf Community Struggles to Stay Open

Rabbi Douglas Goldhamer, who started Skokie’s Bene Shalom congregation in 1972, at his Evanston home on Feb. 5, 2021. (WTTW News)

For nearly half a century, a place of worship in Skokie has exclusively served deaf Jewish congregants. But now, that special synagogue is fighting to stay afloat. We visit Bene Shalom to learn more.

Head of McCormick Place Hopes for a 2021 Convention Rebound

McCormick Place (WTTW News)

Chicago’s convention industry took a huge financial hit when COVID-19 shut down the city. McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center, is looking to rebound this summer with dozens of events scheduled through the end of the year.