Stories by Kristen Thometz

Survey: Half of US High School Students Report Having Tried a Tobacco Product

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

More than 50% of high school students and nearly 25% of middle school students in the U.S. have tried a tobacco product in their lifetimes, according to the latest National Youth Tobacco Survey. “It’s really disappointing,” a local pediatrician said.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 5-8

(David Wilson / Flickr)

A festive CTA train, winter markets, irreverent attorneys and holiday hounds usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Report: Local Transit Fails to Meet Needs of Disabled, Elderly Riders

A southbound Metra Electric District train departs 79th Street station. (vxla / Flickr)

A new report outlines barriers faced by the elderly and people with disabilities when using public transportation and makes recommendations for improvements. “Access benefits everyone,” said one disability advocate.

150 Artists, Friends Bring Chicagoan’s Graphic Novel to Life

Pictured is page 98 of “F*cking Forty” by Michael Knapp. (Courtesy of F*cking Forty)

Chicago comic artist Ed Siemienkowicz died before he could complete his nearly 250-page graphic novel. For the last two years, more than 150 artists and friends have donated their time and skills to finish what he started.

Illinois Attorney General Releases 2019 Safe Shopping Guide

(congerdesign / Pixabay)

This year’s list highlights 30 items that have been recalled over the past year because they pose safety hazards to children, including two infant sleepers linked to more than 30 deaths. 

10 Things to Do This Thanksgiving Weekend: Nov. 28-Dec. 1

(Cindy Shebley / Flickr)

Vintage holiday decor, helium balloons and a holiday train usher in the holiday weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Report: 15 Years of Cuts Hampers Illinois EPA’s Ability to Protect

(Frank McNamara / Flickr)

In 2003, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency had 1,265 employees. By 2018, that number had fallen to 639, according to a new report that a former IEPA director describes as “both a wake-up call and call to action.”

Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkey, Side Dishes and Desserts

(jennie-o / Flickr)

Thanksgiving’s so close you can almost taste it. In anticipation of the marathon day of eating, we asked local chefs, foodies and staff for their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Dig in!

Romaine Lettuce Linked to E. coli Outbreak, Health Officials Say

Romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California has been linked with a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened 40 people, including an Illinois resident. (Liz West / Flickr)

If you recently purchased lettuce at the store, check the label before serving it. Romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California, has been linked with an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 40 people in 16 states, including Illinois.

Chicagoan Jenny Doan ‘Relieved’ After 100 Hours of Hula-Hooping

Wicker Park resident Jenny Doan poses for a picture Saturday Nov. 23 as she nears the end of her Guinness World Record attempt for longest marathon hula-hooping session. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

The 29-year-old Wicker Park resident completed her Guinness World Record attempt for longest marathon hula-hoop session Saturday morning. “I’m so relieved,” Jenny Doan said.

Illinois Leads Nation with 5 Vaping-Related Deaths

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Across the country, nearly 50 have people died after experiencing serious vaping-related illnesses. In Illinois, there have been five deaths – the most in any state, according to the latest data released by health officials. 

New World Record for Hula-Hooping Set by Jenny Doan in Chicago

Wicker Park resident Jenny Doan hula-hoops Friday, Nov. 22 at District Brew Yards as she continues her attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for longest marathon hula-hooping session. Her goal is 100 hours. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

The 29-year old Wicker Park resident has been hula-hooping for more than 75 hours straight, breaking the Guinness World Record for longest marathon hula-hooping session, but she’s not giving up until she reaches her personal goal of 100 hours.

World Record Attempt: 31 Hours In, Hula-Hooper is Sore But Optimistic

Wicker Park resident Jenny Doan hula-hoops at District Brew Yards. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

Jenny Doan is planning to hula-hoop for 100 hours straight in order to break the Guinness World Record. We check in with her 31 hours into the challenge. “It’s been tiring,” said the 29-year-old Wicker Park resident.

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

(Patrick L. Pyszka / City of Chicago, DCASE)

Holiday lights, art fairs, new toys and hot rods usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Chicago to Offer Free Home Nursing Services to Families with Newborns

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

A new initiative called Family Connects Chicago will provide free home nursing services to families with newborns, offering “support that is so vital in those first few weeks of a baby’s life,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

Illinois Clinicians Fighting Opioid Crisis Get $2.5M in Loan Repayments

(INeverCry / Wikimedia Commons)

As part of federal efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the National Health Service Corps has awarded $80 million in student loan repayments to clinicians working to treat addiction, including 41 in Illinois.

World Record Attempt: Chicagoan Jenny Doan to Hula-Hoop for 100 Hours

Wicker Park resident Jenny Doan plans to hula-hoop for 100 hours in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for marathon hula-hooping. (Courtesy of Jenny Doan)

Jenny Doan wants to break the Guinness World Record for marathon hula-hooping. In addition to “sheer resilience and grit,” it takes a little planning – and a lot of motivation. Here’s how she’s planning to tackle the challenge.

Vaping-Related Illness Claims 4th Life in Illinois

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Four people have died in Illinois since March after experiencing serious vaping-related illnesses. The state is now among those with the most fatalities linked to the outbreak, according to health officials.

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

(Photo by Eric James Walsh)

An open-air holiday market, musical performances, art books and screen printing usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Report: Illinois Has One of the Best Lung Cancer Survival Rates

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Illinois has one of the best lung cancer survival rates in the country, yet it also has one of the highest incidence rates of lung cancer, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

Illinois Earns a ‘D+’ on March of Dimes’ Premature Birth Report Card

(Kimpton_House / Pixabay)

Preterm birth rates have been increasing in Illinois since 2013, according to a new report from the nonprofit March of Dimes.

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

UniverSoul Circus (Photo by Boon Vang)

Circus acts, a prison tour, barrel-aged brews and a powwow usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Nonprofit Equal Hope Aims to Eliminate Cervical Cancer in Chicago by 2040

(snicky2290 / Pixabay)

After helping to reduce racial disparities in breast cancer deaths in Chicago, the local nonprofit Equal Hope is aiming to eliminate cervical cancer in the city. “No woman should ever die of cervical cancer,” said the group’s executive director.

Rubber Pieces Found in Cookie Dough Prompt Nestle Recall

(pixel1 / Pixabay)

More than two dozen Nestle cookie dough products are being recalled due to the potential presence of rubber pieces, according to an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration.

Cook County Health CEO Calls on Other Hospitals to Increase Charity Care

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

The mission of Cook County Health is to provide care to all county residents regardless of their ability to pay, but years of increased demand for charity care is taking its toll on the health system, according to CEO Dr. John Jay Shannon.

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