Stories by Kristen Thometz

Coyote Attacks Are Rare, Says Lincoln Park Zoo Expert

(Skeeze / Pixabay)

The city is on high alert after two coyote attacks Wednesday, but a wildlife expert says such incidents are very rare. “I don’t think people need to be panicked or alarmed,” said Seth Magle, director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 9-12

JB Mauney rides during the second round of the 2019 Chicago PBR Unleash The Beast. (Photo by Andy Watson, BullStock Media)

Winter beers, bucking bulls, a pants-free CTA ride, vegan fare and comedy sketches usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study Reveals Lingering Impact of School Shootings on Survivors

(Don Harder / Flickr)

The toll of gun violence from school shootings extends beyond victims. A new study finds local exposure to fatal shootings increases youth antidepressant use by 21% in the two years following a shooting.

Pot-Focused Campaigns Aim to Educate Consumers About New Law

(Martijn / Flickr)

With recreational marijuana now legal, city and state officials are working to educate consumers about what’s permitted under the new law and how to use cannabis responsibly.

FDA to Halt Sales of Most Vaping Flavors to Curb Youth Use

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Starting in early February, the Food and Drug Administration will prohibit the sale of some flavored e-cigarette cartridges, including fruit, mint and candy flavors, as part of an effort to curb youth use.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 2-5

(Nick Ulivieri Photography)

A winter wonderland, fitness classes, bald eagles and a classic fairy tale usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

New HIV Cases in Chicago Drop as Sexually Transmitted Infections Rise

(David Mark / Pixabay)

New HIV diagnoses have been dropping in Chicago for years, reaching a record low in 2018. Yet as HIV rates decline, city health officials say other sexually transmitted infections are reaching record highs.

10 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Chicago

(Rudy and Peter Skitterians / Pixabay)

Ready to ring in the ‘20s with a roar? Whether you’re feeling sporty or prefer to go glam (or do both!) we’ve got 10 ideas for your big night out.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 26-29

(Beau Considine / Flickr)

Winter birds, beer steins, poinsettias and bicycles usher in the post-holiday weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

CDC: Pet Store Puppies Linked to Multidrug-Resistant Infections

(Pexels / Pixabay)

Health officials believe puppies purchased from pet stores are the likely source of an outbreak that has sickened 30 people across more than a dozen states, including Illinois. What you need to know about the outbreak.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 19-22

(Copyright © 2016 Michael Hudson)

Holiday trees, Christmas tubas, Hanukkah goblins and a winter solstice bonfire usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

20 New Illinois Laws to Know in 2020

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

From legal pot to a ban on animal-tested cosmetics, more than 250 new laws take effect in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here are 20 you should know.

Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Propose Vaping Fee to Fund Prevention Program

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

As part of an effort to steer youth away from vaping, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi are proposing a new fee on e-cigarette manufacturers and importers to fund prevention programs.

Report: Patients Misdiagnosed in Catholic Hospitals to Get Contraception

(Nate Grigg / Flickr)

Medical providers at Catholic hospitals face multiple barriers to providing contraceptive care to women, and such restrictions have prompted workarounds that can be harmful to patients, a new report from the University of Chicago finds.

Illinois Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against E-Cigarette Maker Juul

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks to the media Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (WTTW News via BlueRoomStream)

Juul Labs, the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the nation, intentionally marketed its products to minors and misrepresented the potency of nicotine in its products, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 12-15

(Lincoln Park Zoo / Facebook)

Millions of holiday lights, a seasonal double feature, art fairs and carols usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

CDC Investigating Fresh Express Salad Kit Linked to E. coli Infection

(Richard Kelland / Flickr)

If you recently purchased premade salad kits at the store, check the label before serving it. Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad kits have been linked with an E. coli outbreak.

Despite Illinois Law, Not All Courthouses Provide Lactation Rooms

(Burst / Pexels)

Every county courthouse in Illinois is now required to provide a publicly accessible space – other than a bathroom – for women to express breast milk. But a survey of 77 facilities finds that nearly 25% lack a designated lactation space. 

Report Reveals Stark Racial Disparities in Maternal Deaths in Chicago

(culturarte86 / Pixabay)

Each year, an average of 19 women in Chicago die within 12 months of pregnancy, according to a new report that identifies racial and socioeconomic disparities in mortality rates. “This is wake-up call to all of us and a call to action,” said a local health official.

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.