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Stories by Kristen Thometz

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 21-24

(Chicago Botanic Garden / Facebook)

Blooming orchids, an outdoor beer fest and a massive bike ride usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

GoFundMe Campaign Created to Support Aurora Shooting Victims’ Families

Mourners place a flower at the crosses outside of the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Illinois, on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in memory of the five employees killed on Friday.  (Jeff Knox / Daily Herald via AP)

A fundraiser started by City of Aurora officials has raised more than $72,000 in just two days to support the families of those who lost their lives in a shooting at a local manufacturing plant.

DEA Launches Digital Billboard Campaign Against Opioid Use

Robert J. Bell, U.S. DEA associate special agent in charge of the Chicago field division office, announces Thursday, Feb. 14 the launch of a yearlong digital billboard campaign against the opioid epidemic. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

As part of its ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced Thursday it’s launching a yearlong digital billboard campaign across the Chicago area.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 14-17

Madeline Lauzon, front, with, from left, Shelby Marie Edwards, Allison Taylor and Ricci Prioletti in “Lucky: A Musical,” part of Underscore Theatre Company’s 5th annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. (Photo by Evan Hanover)

New musicals, vintage wedding dresses, motorcycles and encased meats usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Chicago Sues 27 Online Retailers Over E-Cigarette Sales

(sarahjohnson1 / Pixabay)

A new report details a rise in the use of e-cigarettes by young people across the country as the city of Chicago files a lawsuit against online sellers it claims illegally sold tobacco products to minors.

IIT Awards $500K to Researchers Creating Advanced Cancer Screening Tool

(skeeze / Pixabay)

A pair of Illinois Institute of Technology researchers developing technology to detect early stage tumors have won the university’s Nayar Prize, which includes a $500,000 award.

Loan Repayment Program for Clinicians Also Seeks to Fight Opioid Crisis

(Adam / Wikimedia Commons)

Qualified clinicians can receive up to $75,000 in student loan repayment through a new federal program. In exchange, they must serve three years on the front lines of the opioid crisis in underserved communities.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 7-10

Amelia Earhurt vs. Winderella at the Chicago League of Lady Arms Wrestlers’ CLLAW XXXI match at Logan Square Auditorium. (Photo by Trainman Photography)

Brawny babes, discount theater tickets, hot rods and cool jazz usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Chicago Police Officer Gino Garcia Invited to Attend State of the Union

Gino Garcia and his aunt Tiffany Sexton (Courtesy of Gino Garcia)

Gino Garcia’s work to raise awareness of domestic violence caught the attention of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski. On Tuesday, Garcia will attend Trump’s address as a guest of the congressman. 

Dorothy Brown Endorses Amara Enyia for Mayor

Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown announces her endorsement of Amara Enyia for Chicago mayor.

In announcing her endorsement of Amara Enyia, Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown called Enyia “a breath of fresh air” that will give Chicagoans hope.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 31-Feb. 3

(sharonang / Pixabay)

As the polar vortex moves out, groundhogs, cocoa-inspired treats, craft brews and experimental theater usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

UIC Receives $12M to Study Latino Health

(Tony Webster / Flickr)

The University of Illinois at Chicago will continue its role in the largest-ever prospective epidemiological study of Latinos, the largest minority population in the U.S.

Chicago Could Break its Record for Coldest Temperature

| Alexandra Silets
Chicago's lakefront is frozen over Friday, Jan. 25, 2019.  (Tyler LaRiviere / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Wednesday’s forecast shows a daytime high of around 14 degrees below zero, which would beat the city’s all-time coldest high of minus 11. When wind chills are factored in, temperatures could reach minus 35. 

When Does Early Voting Start for Chicago’s Feb. 26 Election?

You don’t have to wait till election day to cast a ballot. On Tuesday, early voting will start at the city’s downtown “super site.” Find out when and where you can cast your ballot.

Study Accurately Predicts Severity, Length of Postpartum Depression

(fancycrave1 / Pixabay)

A new Northwestern Medicine study was able to successfully predict whether women would experience worsening depressive symptoms within the first year of childbirth by identifying four maternal characteristics that put them at risk.

Doomsday Clock Remains 2 Minutes to Midnight

(qimono / Pixabay)

The clock hands didn’t move this year, but that’s no “sign of stability,” says Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Instead, she calls it a “stark warning.”

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 24-27

(Chicago Curry House / Facebook)

Special menus, an icy plunge in the lake, winter brews and Mexican sweet bread usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Survey: 10 Percent of Chicago Parents Refuse Flu Vaccine for Kids

(flockine / Pixabay)

The flu can keep kids out of school and parents out of work. So why do some parents chose not to get their children vaccinated against it? A new citywide survey offers some insight.

WWCI Names George Preston WFMT Vice President, General Manager

George Preston

George Preston will take over as vice president and general manager of WFMT starting March 1. WWCI President and CEO Sandra Cordova Micek says Preston is “uniquely qualified” for the position.

Officials: Chicago Teen Birth Rate Still Declining

(yc0407206360 / Pixabay)

The city’s teen birth rate has dropped 70 percent since 2000, according to city officials, but African-American and Latina teens are more than five times as likely to give birth than their white peers.

Zoe Mikva, Educator and Activist, Dies at 90

Zorita “Zoe” and Abner Mikva. (Courtesy of Mikva Challenge)

Along with her husband, the late Abner Mikva, Zorita “Zoe” Mikva created the Mikva Challenge more than 20 years ago. She died Saturday at the age of 90.

12 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 17-21

Pedro Reyes’s puppet play “Manufacturing Mischief,”featuring Karl Marx, Tiny Trump, Noam Chomsky, Elon Musk and Ayn Rand. (Photos by Sham Sthankiya April 2018)

Puppets, celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of plastic balls usher in the weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

What ‘Dry January’ is All About, and Why You Might Want to Try It

(bridgesward / Pixabay)

New year, no booze – at least for the month of January. That’s the idea behind the “dry January” trend. 

Report: Americans More Likely to Die of Opioid Overdose Than Car Crash

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

The odds of dying from an opioid overdose are one in 96, while the odds of dying from a motor vehicle crash are one in 103, according to a new analysis by the National Safety Council.

Barbara Gardner Proctor, Advertising Trailblazer, WTTW Trustee, Dies at 86

She launched the first advertising agency owned and managed by an African-American woman in the 1970s. Barbara Gardner Proctor died on Dec. 19, 2018 at the age of 86.