Stories by Kristen Thometz

Get Fit at Free Outdoor Workouts in Chicago This Summer

Summer Fitness Supported by LifeStart (Credit: James Richards IV Photography)

Ditch the gym and take your fitness routine outside this summer with free classes at Millennium Park, Navy Pier and Gallagher Way. With morning and evening classes, there are plenty of opportunities to get in shape.

Research Finds Early Childhood Education Strengthens Families

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman tells us how early childhood education can impact a person’s life well into middle age.

12 Things to Do This Memorial Day Weekend: May 23-27

(Active Transportation Alliance / Facebook)

Street fests, an unusual estate sale, wearable technology and a massive bike ride usher in the long holiday weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

Study Finds ‘Promising’ Results for Lung Cancer Detection Using AI

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Artificial intelligence outperformed radiologists in identifying lung cancer as part of first-time screenings, according to a new study. The technology also produced fewer false positives and negatives.

Rahm Emanuel to Contribute to ABC News, The Atlantic

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, May 13, 2019.

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has at least two new gigs after wrapping up his second term in office. He joins the broadcast network as a contributor and The Atlantic as a contributing editor.  

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago

In this March 27, 2019, file photo, measles, mumps and rubella vaccines sit in a cooler at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig, File)

An individual with a confirmed measles infection took public transportation and visited several stores in the Loop late last week, according to health officials. 

Illinois Bill Seeks to Legalize Syringe Exchanges Statewide

(Eric Molina / Flickr)

A new bill aims to fix the state’s “ambiguous” law over syringe exchange programs. Public support for such programs remains low, but advocates say they can offer critical help to those in need.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: May 16-19

The William G. Fricke House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the stops on the 2019 Wright Plus Housewalk. (Frank Lloyd Wright Trust / Facebook)

Historic homes, art fairs, cover bands and water lanterns usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

UIC to Address Infant, Maternal Health Disparities in Chicago

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

In Illinois, African American women are six times as likely to die of pregnancy-related conditions than white women. A new initiative aims to close that gap in three Chicago communities, with the help of a $4.7 million grant.

Cook County Jail to Expand Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Last year, about 5,400 detainees at Cook County Jail received treatment for opioid use – an average of 375-400 each month. The county will be able to expand its services for opioid use disorder, thanks to a new grant. 

Loyola Research Paves Way for Simple Test for Ebola Virus

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Existing tests for the deadly virus are inaccurate, expensive and can be challenging to administer, but new research from Loyola University Chicago could lead to a simple filter paper test that changes color if Ebola is present.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: May 9-12

Black-eyed Susans are among the many types of native plants available for purchase at the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Native Plant Sale. (brian60174 / Pixabay)

A native plant sale, nerdy comedy, a craft fair and a house walk usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Illinois More Prepared for Health Emergencies Than in 2013

(skeeze / Pixabay)

The state is better equipped to deal with natural disasters, disease outbreaks and other large-scale emergencies than it was six years ago, according to the latest edition of an annual report.

Health Officials Investigating 2 Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease

Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with moderately-high magnification depicts a large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The Illinois Department of Public Health said it was investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in patients who had received treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Midwest Native Completes 3-Year Journey to All 419 National Park Sites

Mikah Meyer visits the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 29, 2019. The national park site was his final stop on a three-year journey visiting all 419 national park sites. (Courtesy of Mikah Meyer)

Mikah Meyer’s cross-country trip came to an end this week when he ascended the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He’s the first person to visit all National Park Service sites in one continuous trip – and is challenging stereotypes along the way.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: May 2-5

(katiazorzenone / Pixabay)

Colorful kites, vinyl records, adoptable animals and antique maps usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Poll: Illinoisans Say Improving Schools Among Top Issues Facing State

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

A new statewide poll released by the Illinois Education Association shows that residents have a pessimistic view of the state and public schools – but a favorable view of teachers.

Health Officials Investigating Report of Legionella at Mercy Hospital

Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with moderately-high magnification depicts a large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating a report of Legionella in the water system of a Chicago hospital and two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in patients who were possibly exposed to the bacteria.

Emanuel: CSO, Union Have Reached an Agreement to End Strike

Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra go on strike and walk the picket line outside the doors of Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, Monday, March 11, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that Chicago Symphony Orchestra management and striking musicians “have reached an agreement in principle to bring the music back to the symphony center.”

DEA Taking Back Prescription Drugs Saturday

Clean out your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of unused prescriptions during a biannual event that’s collected more than 9 million pounds of pills since its 2010 launch.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 25-28

(Credit: One of a Kind Show)

A unique fair, sudsy beverages and classical music usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

UIC Receives $65M to Commercialize New Drugs

(Arek Socha / Pixabay)

The University of Illinois at Chicago and Deerfield Management, a health care investment management firm, are launching a new company to accelerate the commercialization of therapeutics developed at UIC.

Chicago Sportscaster Chet Coppock Dies at 70

Chet Coppock appears on the “Friday Night” show on April 7, 2006.

Chet Coppock was a fixture on local television and a pioneer of sports talk radio with his “Coppock on Sports” show on WMAQ-AM in Chicago. He died Wednesday following a car accident.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 18-21

(Circo Hermanos Vazquez / Facebook)

Circus acts, colorful eggs and superheroes usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Illinois Congressmen: Scientific Research Needs More Federal Funding

(jarmoluk / Pixabay)

A pair of bills would increase funding for biomedical and scientific research at top U.S. agencies and “defend America’s place as a world leader in scientific progress,” U.S. Rep. Bill Foster said in a statement.