Stories by Evan Garcia

Report: Amazon Employees Are Listening to Alexa Conversations

(Rich Bamford / Flickr)

Would you forgo your privacy for more effective technology? Owners of voice-activated home devices may need to start asking themselves that question.

How Guano Islands Helped Build an American Empire

The U.S. empire stretches farther than you may think. The new book “How to Hide an Empire” details America’s acquisition of foreign land.

Bright Idea from Longtime Professor Brings Neon Art to Rogers Park

Neon artist Audra Jacot lights up one of her works at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Light Lab.

Have you ever wanted to make your own neon sign? You may soon be in luck. Neon artists, led by a 30-year veteran of the School of the Art Institute, plan to offer art classes and studio space on the North Side.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: Amending Gun Ownership Laws

Paris Schutz and guests discuss the possible impact of a proposed Illinois bill that would require anyone buying a gun to provide fingerprints for identity verification purposes.

The Week in Review: Lincoln Yards Approved, Emanuel Applauded

The controversial Lincoln Yards project gets the OK from City Council as Mayor Rahm Emanuel bids farewell to the chamber. And Chicago’s inspector general releases a damming report on the police department’s so-called gang database.

Chicago Inspector General to Release Report on Gang Database

Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 30, 2019.

More than 128,000 individuals in Chicago are identified as gang-related, according to reports. The city’s top watchdog tells us about the police department’s gang database.

Chicago’s Top Cop Eddie Johnson on Smollett, Mayor-Elect Lightfoot

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson weighs in on the Jussie Smollett investigation, and how he’ll work with Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot.

Meet the Runoff Winners of 4 Open City Council Seats

Tuesday’s runoff election brought to a close aldermanic battles in 15 wards across the city. We speak with Alds.-elect Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward), Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward), Samantha “Sam” Nugent (39th Ward) and Matt Martin (40th Ward).

Incumbent Aldermen Fight for Their Political Lives in Runoff Election

Longtime Ald. O’Connor defeated by democratic socialist 40th Ward

Aldermanic candidates for the 40th Ward: Incumbent Ald. Patrick O’Connor, left, and Andre Vasquez.

In an upset, longtime Ald. Patrick O’Connor was unseated Tuesday by former rapper Andre Vasquez. How the runoff played out in other wards across the city.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House Reopens After Massive Renovation

The Frederick C. Robie House – a masterpiece of Prairie School architecture – reopened to the public Friday after a multimillion-dollar restoration both inside and out.

Radio Host, Former Ald. Cliff Kelley Steps Down from WVON Afternoon Gig

Cliff Kelley appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 28, 2019.

For a quarter century, he has parsed politics and discussed the issues impacting Chicago as afternoon radio talk show host on WVON. Cliff Kelley reflects on his career.

Report: In US Prisons, Women Disciplined More than Men for Minor Offenses

(ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay)

Local journalists detail the discrepancy between the discipline of men and women in prisons across the U.S., including Illinois. We speak with Jessica Pupovac, lead reporter of the yearlong investigation.

Aviation Officials Face Grilling Over 737 Max Crashes, Recall

In this March 14, 2019, file photo a worker walks next to a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane parked at Boeing Field in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

Senators grill government officials and Boeing representatives following a global recall of the 737 Max plane. What the increased scrutiny – and a federal probe – could mean for the aviation industry.

High School Journalists Go Beyond ‘Senn TV’ with New Stories of Chicago

Journalism students from Senn High School pose with members of “Chicago Tonight” at WTTW in October 2018. (Courtesy of Michael Cullinane)

Chicago high school students, with some guidance from WTTW, recently produced stories showcasing one family’s journey from Bangladesh to Chicago and an open mic event sponsored by Grammy-winning artist Chance the Rapper.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: $10M NFL Settlement

Eddie Arruza and guests discuss the impact of a reported $10 million settlement between the NFL and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers player Eric Reid.

The Week in Review: Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Face Off on WTTW

Mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle continue battling it out to become Chicago’s next mayor. Boeing’s 737 crisis worsens. No sentence change for Jason Van Dyke. And we preview the baseball season.

Ice Fishing Derby Draws Hundreds to Chicago Area

Nearly 450 fishermen flocked to the 10th annual LVVA Ice Fishing Derby on Bangs Lake in north suburban Wauconda earlier this month. And we were there to catch the action.

30th Ward Candidate Forum: Jessica Gutierrez

Aldermanic candidates for the 30th Ward: Incumbent Ald. Ariel Reboyras and Jessica Gutierrez.

Ald. Ariel Reboyras has represented the 30th Ward since 2003 and is now facing Jessica Gutierrez, the daughter of former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, in his first runoff election.

33rd Ward Candidate Forum: Rodriguez Sanchez vs. Incumbent Ald. Mell

Aldermanic candidates for the 33rd Ward: Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, left, and incumbent Ald. Deborah Mell.

A community activist and the incumbent daughter of a City Council dynasty face off ahead of the April 2 runoff election.

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi Pushes for More Reform

Fritz Kaegi appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 12, 2019.

He’s promised big ethics changes and is now pushing to streamline the assessment system and change the rules for some property owners. We sit down with Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

Chicagoans Embrace Gamelan, an Ancient Indonesian Art Form

The musical tradition dates back centuries. Meet two groups in Chicago that are keeping the art form alive.

Chicago Business Groups Brace for Next Mayor

(quinntheislander / Pixabay)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was no stranger to spurring development and chasing ambitious projects. But what kind of relationship will Chicago’s next mayor have with the city’s business community?

Real-Life ‘Erin Brockovich’ Continues Environmental Activism

Erin Brockovich’s efforts to expose a utility company's contamination of California groundwater were made famous in a 2000 film bearing her name. She joins us to discuss Chicago’s environmental issues.

Ald. Ed Burke Re-elected Despite Federal Corruption Charge

In this May 4, 2011 file photo, Ald. Ed Burke speaks at a Chicago City Council meeting. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Chicago’s longest serving alderman, has been re-elected to an unprecedented 13th term despite a highly publicized federal charge of attempted extortion.

How Did Chicago Mayoral Candidates Perform in TV Forums?

Paul Vallas, Willie Wilson, Toni Preckwinkle, Bill Daley and Susana Mendoza appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.

Northwestern University communications professor Jason DeSanto breaks down the performance of Chicago mayoral candidates during a series of televised forums. 

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