Stories by evan garcia

‘Ida B. the Queen’: New Book Examines Legacy of Trailblazing Journalist

We kick off the first installment of our Black Voices Book Club series with a new biography on a Black woman whose legend looms large in Chicago. And it’s written by Michelle Duster, her great-granddaughter. 

Speechwriters Discuss Biden’s Inaugural Address, Call for Unity

President Joe Biden delivers his first speech as commander in chief on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

President Joe Biden calls for unity while warning against violent dissent in his inaugural address. Political speechwriters Mari Maseng Will and Jason DeSanto share their thoughts.

Rep. Kinzinger on Capitol Rioting: ‘A Sick, Disgusting Day in American Democracy’

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News)

“It’s a sick, disgusting day in American democracy and we’ll get through it and hopefully be stronger somehow for it,” U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger said of Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.

Bears Fight for a Playoff Spot in Regular Season Finale Against Packers

Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams previews the Bears matchup Sunday against the Packers.

NASA Spacecraft Designed by Illinois Engineer Will Study Solar Flares

A rendering of the GLIDE spacecraft by Lara Waldrop.

A spacecraft designed by an Illinois researcher and professor will orbit Earth’s outermost atmospheric layer to better understand powerful bursts of radiation from the sun, also known as solar flares. Lara Waldrop tells us more.

Northwestern’s Hispanic Organ Transplant Program Dispels Organ Donor Myths

(David Mark / Pixabay)

Success rates for organ transplantation have grown through the years, but disparities impacting communities of color remain. A Northwestern Medicine transplant surgeon is providing care curated specifically for the Latino community.

New Book Highlights Importance of Political Satire in Society

Satirists strive to challenge, critique and confront society’s absurdities or injustices through their humor. “(Satire is) really trying to catch your attention to say something so you’re aware of it so we can possibly change it,” said Al Gini, co-author of “The Sanity of Satire.”

Coronavirus-Inspired Songs From Paul Cherry at Livestreamed Chicago Show

Songwriter Paul Cherry performs a livestreamed concert at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on Dec. 10, 2020. (WTTW News)

We catch up with local songwriter Paul Cherry, who recently performed his first show in nearly a year at Lincoln Hall — for a virtual audience. 

Chicago Portrait: Babette Peyton

Babette Peyton demonstrates how she fits an arrow to a bowstring, an action called nocking in archery, at the Kroc Center Chicago on Nov. 19, 2020. (WTTW News)

Meet a champion archer from Chicago who has overcome health obstacles to travel the world and win gold medals.

Jazz Singer Kurt Elling Goes Virtual at The Green Mill

Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Kurt Elling said he’s played the storied venue so much, he’s able to imagine a live audience during his virtual performances.

Chicago Health Program Tackles Diabetes Through Free Lifestyle Coaching

(icsilviu / Pixabay)

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. With one in three Americans at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, we learn about a local initiative that aims to prevent residents from developing the disease.

White House Chief of Staff: A Closer Look at This Critical Role

(David Mark / Pixabay)

President-elect Joe Biden recently announced longtime confidant Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff. As the president’s gatekeeper and top assistant, Klain will play a crucial role in managing who has access to Biden.

North Chicago Nonprofit Gives Students In-Person Support During Remote Learning

An elementary school student prepares to log onto her laptop for remote learning at A.J. Katenzmaier Academy in North Chicago on Oct. 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

The majority of North Chicago’s public school students are learning from home. But since September, a nonprofit is offering in-person support to vulnerable children. We go for a visit to learn more.

Abner Mikva Documentary Delves into Chicago Politician’s Progressive Values, Drive

Chicago politician Abner Mikva had the distinction of serving in all the three branches of U.S. government. A new documentary delves into Mikva’s storied political career and public life.

Firsthand Gun Violence: Helping Communities in Times of Need

A scene from the WTTW “Firsthand: Coronavirus” documentary series.

As Chicago experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases, data shows the city’s 2020 homicide rate outpacing 2019. We speak with Jamal Cole, founder of My Block, My Hood, My City, as part of our series.

CPS CEO Jackson: Remote Learning Not Working for Some Students

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson talks about the school district’s recently announced plan for some students to return to the classroom. 

After School’s Music Program Cut, Teacher Offers Free Lessons

BandWith founder Anna Palomino, left, instructs 10-year-old Arviyanna Bell during a ukulele lesson at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services in East Garfield Park on Oct. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)
When her music education program was cut from a charter school in East Garfield Park, a local teacher refused to quit on the kids in this underserved community. We check out the nonprofit BandWith to learn more.

Chicago Portrait: Tamale Guy

Claudio Velez makes pork tamales with his sister Maria in Velez’s new restaurant Tamale Guy Chicago on Aug. 13, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

An update to our profile of Claudio Velez, the longtime food vendor affectionately known as the “Tamale Guy” who contracted COVID-19 just weeks after opening his new restaurant. Velez returned home earlier this month.

Central Camera Rises From the Ashes After Looting, Fire

Firefighters battle the blaze inside Central Camera, a 121-year-old Chicago business, on May 30, 2020. (Courtesy Dominic Gwinn)

For a 121-year-old camera store in Chicago, everything changed on the night of May 30. How the third-generation owner of Central Camera is rebuilding the business after its destruction.

‘Black People Eats’ Showcases Black-Owned Restaurants in Chicago and Beyond

percent loss in revenue during the pandemic. Food blogger Jeremy Joyce films Krissy Harper, owner of Cleo’s Southern Cuisine, for his social media account Black People Eats on June 27, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Restaurants have not had it easy the past few months. But in Chicago, a food blogger is doing his best to elevate Black-owned restaurants through social media. We meet up with Jeremy Joyce, the founder of Black People Eats.

The Chicago Reporter Alumni Question Publication’s Hiatus. Owners Call It ‘Manufactured Hysteria’

A screenshot shows the homepage of The Chicago Reporter website on Oct. 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

For 48 years, the Chicago Reporter has investigated issues of race and poverty. But last month, the publication was abruptly put on hiatus by the faith-based nonprofit that owns it. Now, dozens of former staffers are demanding answers.

Trump’s Rhetoric Fuels Fear of Election Night Violence

An American flag and Trump campaign flag fly at a Proud Boys rally. (WTTW News via CNN)

In an op-ed, DePaul University history professor Tom Mockaitis says the president’s failure last week to recognize and condemn violent, far-right groups like the Proud Boys could encourage clashes on Nov. 3.

Trump Pleads Ignorance to White Nationalist Hate Group, Drawing Backlash

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are,” Trump said on Wednesday. We discuss white supremacy and hate groups in America with the Anti-Defamation League and a local reporter. 

Aldermen Discuss COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Chicago Budget

(WTTW News)

Chicago’s looking at a lot of red ink due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. What kinds of cuts might the city soon see to keep its financials afloat? We speak with four people who will likely have a say in those decisions.

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan: ‘We Gotta Do Away with the Death Penalty’

Former Gov. George Ryan expounds on the death penalty in a new book with co-author Maurice Possley titled, “Until I Could Be Sure: How I stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois.”

Durbin Warns of Obamacare’s Fate Ahead of Supreme Court Battle

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin speaks with “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – just weeks before the U.S. presidential election – has thrown national politics into a tailspin. Sen. Dick Durbin is bracing for impact.