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Stories by Kristen Thometz

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.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 10-13

Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) kicks and misses a field goal during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. The Eagles won 16-15. (AP Photo / David Banks)

Field goal do-overs, an unusual subway ride, sketch comedy and bucking bulls usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Illinois Child Dies From the Flu

(flockine / Pixabay)

A child in northeastern Illinois is one of 13 across the U.S. who have died from the flu so far this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Northwestern Receives $10M to Create Urologic Cancer Institute

Michael Polsky and Dr. Edward Schaeffer of Northwestern (Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine)

A donation from the Polsky family will fund the creation of a new multidisciplinary institute dedicated to urologic cancers, including prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.

Study: 1 in 10 Adults Have a Food Allergy

(sheadquarters / Pixabay)

More than 26 million American adults are estimated to have a food allergy, with shellfish reported as the top allergen, according to a new study by Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Ald. Ed Burke Resigns as Finance Committee Chairman

Ald. Ed Burke, 75, departs in a taxi after following his release after turning himself in at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune via AP)

Just a day after being charged with attempted extortion, the powerful 14th Ward alderman has resigned from the post he’s held for more than three decades.

UIC Researchers Develop Method to Detect ALS

 (stevepb / Pixabay)

There is no definitive test to diagnosis the progressive neurodegenerative disease. But that could change, thanks to new research that was able to accurately detect ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases using graphene.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 3-6

(Trina Mae Studio LLC / Facebook)

Pet portraits, model trains, fermented tea and a murder mystery usher in the first weekend of 2019. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study: Mediterranean Diet Linked to Better Cognition in Older Adults

(Monlaw / Pixabay)

A new study links higher levels of key nutrients associated with the Mediterranean diet to more efficient brain connectivity and performance on cognitive tests in older adults. 

Mother’s Murder Drives Chicago Cop to Help Domestic Violence Victims

Pictured are Gino Garcia, his mother, Brenda Sexton, and other family members. (Courtesy of Gino Garcia)

The Chicago Police Department fields about 500 domestic violence calls every day. One police officer tries to help victims by sharing his own experiences. “I know what it’s like to need help and not knowing who can help me,” said Officer Gino Garcia.

19 New Laws to Know in 2019

(FirmBee / Pixabay)

On Jan. 1, 2019, more than 250 new laws take effect in Illinois, changing rules related to gun control and public safety to animal welfare, education – and possibly your cellphone. We give you the rundown.

Chicagoans Armed with Knowledge, Naloxone to Fight Opioid Crisis

Community health educator Karen Daniels assembles a naloxone kit on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

Dozens of Chicagoans trained to recognize and respond to opioid overdoses in their communities have distributed more than 7,000 naloxone kits across the city since March.

12 Things to Do This Holiday Weekend: Dec. 20-25

Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest (Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography).

Trains, tubas, TV parodies and a winter wonderland usher in the long holiday weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

Trump Hotel Chicago Transforms Elevator into Gingerbread Express

The Trump Hotel Chicago transforms one of its elevators into the Gingerbread Express each holiday season. Pictured is the 2015 elevator. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

Gingerbread cookies and houses are synonymous with Christmas, but one Chicago hotel takes the seasonal staple to the next level with the Gingerbread Express—an elevator dressed head to toe in gingerbread. 

Northwestern Researchers Discover Ebola-Fighting Protein in Human Cells

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

There is no cure for Ebola, the severe and often fatal illness that killed more than 11,000 people between 2014 and 2016. But researchers believe their discovery could pave the way for the development of an effective treatment.

IDPH Reports 6 New Cases of Hepatitis A, Urges Vaccination

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Within the past week, the Illinois Department of Public Health has identified six new cases of hepatitis A, including two in suburban Cook County. Health officials say the newly infected individuals are among those at greater risk for the illness.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 13-16

(Credit: Cirque Dreams)

Circus acts, break dancing mice, brightly lit trees and Christmas carols usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Chicago to Host James Beard Awards Through 2027

Rick Bayless, center, poses with his wife and business partner, Deann, and Dave Hardie, director of San Pellegrino. (Credit: Huge Galdones)

The Windy City will continue to serve as host to the annual awards event that dishes out honors to the best in the food and restaurant industry.

Analysis Links Black Residents’ Exodus from Chicago with Unemployment

| Paul Caine
(Giuseppe Milo / Flickr)

An analysis by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning posits economic conditions likely played a role in the yearslong exodus of black residents from the Chicago region.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 6-9

From left to right: Ryan Jendrycki, Kianna Rose, Jonathan Rooney Taylor, Jordan Golding and Darnell Jordan. (Photo credit: Tyler Core)

Holiday trains, festive fairs, cutting-edge choreography and ice skates usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

7 Illinois Hospitals Among Best in the Country, Watchdog Group Says

(Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

The 2018 Leapfrog Top Hospital award recognizes 118 hospitals across the nation, including four in Chicago. Find out which ones made this year’s list.

Chicago Bulls Fire Head Coach Fred Hoiberg

In this Oct. 22, 2018, file photo, Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg questions a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks. (Michael Ainsworth / AP File Photo)

“Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time,” said John Paxson, Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations, in a statement.

Survey: Adults Say Drug Abuse, Obesity are Top Health Issues Facing Chicago Youth


Adults in Chicago think drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and depression are among the top 10 health problems facing the city’s youth, according to a new citywide survey.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 29-Dec. 2

(Courtesy of Chicago Bar Association)

Political parodies, holiday songs, craft fairs and beer yoga usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Northwestern Program Offers Local Teens Medical School Experience

Pathologist Dr. Wendy Ward, left, and Zack Whitaker in the laboratory at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital. (Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine)

Learning how to read MRIs and inspect cell tissues are lessons typically reserved for students in medical school, not high school. But some suburban teens are doing just that, thanks to a newly expanded youth residency program.