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Stories by Kristen Thometz

Find Pumpkin Patches in Chicago and the Suburbs

(webandi / Pixabay)

Sure, you could go to your local grocery store and grab a gourd – but what’s the fun in that? We share a bounty of spots for plucking a pumpkin.

Gum Infection May Jump-Start Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Finds

(Marco Verch / Flickr)

A common but preventable gum infection may facilitate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Oct. 11-14

Immortan L-Boe (left) wrestles Winafight Sanderson at the Chicago League of Lady Arms Wrestlers’ CLLAW XXX match at Logan Square Auditorium. (Photo by Trainman Photography)

Strong women, architectural gems, immersive plays and Mexican folk art usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Why Do Some Seniors Refuse Home-Based Help?

(sabinevanerp / Pixabay)

In a new study, older adults share insights about why they refuse help and offer strategies to overcome their concerns.

Lyric Opera Chicago Orchestra Goes on Strike

| Eddie Arruza
(Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra / Facebook)

The musicians’ strike has led the venerable opera company to cancel some performances and issue an apology to patrons.

Chicago Hotel Workers Strike Persists at 2 Hotels

Hotel workers strike in front of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.

Workers began their strike nearly a month ago and will return to work at 24 hotels after reaching an agreement with two hotels Friday. But the strike continues at two hotels.

12 Charged for Allegedly Conspiring to Sell Heroin on West Side

(Eric Molina / Flickr)

The U.S. attorney’s office charged a dozen people Thursday with federal drug offenses for allegedly conspiring to sell heroin on Chicago’s West Side. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Oct. 4-7

(PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay)

Jack-o’-lanterns, craft brews, food trucks and elite runners usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist, Dies at 96

A Nobel laureate, towering figure in the world of physics and one of the founders of Fermilab died Wednesday. Remembering Leon Lederman.

Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Seeks to Reduce Shame, Stigma

(Courtesy of Shatterproof)

“People with this disease are ashamed,” said Gary Mendell, whose son struggled with addiction. He hopes Saturday’s race shows people struggling with addiction they are not alone. “We care about you.”

CDC Urges Flu Vaccinations After 80,000 Flu-Related Deaths Last Year

(flockine / Pixabay)

Flu season is right around the corner, and health officials are urging patients to get vaccinated in light of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that estimates 80,000 Americans died from the flu during the 2017-2018 season.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Sept. 27-30

(Courtesy of Special Events Management)

German beers, art fairs, historic homes and aliens usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

11 Chicago Hotels Reach Agreement with Striking Workers

Workers picket in front of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Chicago Tonight)

Workers will end their strike at nearly a dozen Chicago hotels after reaching an agreement with the Knickerbocker and Ritz-Carlton hotels on Wednesday. But the strike continues at 15 other hotels.

2018 Chicago Summer Festival Guide

(Courtesy of Wicker Park Fest)

Up next: Oktoberfest Chicago, Chicago Gourmet, Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo, Edgewater Arts Festival and more.

Chicago Hotel Workers Reach Agreement with 9 Hotels

Workers picket in front of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Chicago Tonight)

After two weeks, the union representing striking workers announced that a contract agreement had been reached at nine hotels. Workers will continue to strike at 17 others.

Illinois to Receive $43.5 Million to Fight Opioid Crisis

(The Javorac / Flickr)

The state of Illinois is getting a boost in its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, thanks to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Sept. 20-23

Little Kids Rock (Courtesy of DCASE)

Young artists, apple pies, dashing dogs and craft beer usher in the fall weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman: ‘We’ve All Been Through Something’

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, right, speaks with Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 during the Chicago Foundation for Women’s 33rd annual symposium. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

When survivors of sexual abuse share their stories, the gold medal-winning gymnast hopes everyone will “actually listen to them, hear their story and understand how common abuse is,” she said.

No End in Sight for Chicago Hotel Workers’ Strike

| Eddie Arruza
Workers picket in front of the Hilton Chicago on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago’s biggest ever hotel strike is now in its 11th day. What workers want – and where things stand with their demands.

Physician: ‘We Can All Do Something’ to Address Gun Violence

Northwestern University medical students and professors pose for a picture Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 following a panel discussion about gun violence. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

All health care providers can play a role in addressing the epidemic, says Dr. Dan Evans. “I’m an average primary care doctor. I’m here to say it doesn’t matter what you are or what you’re going to do, we can all do something.”

Despite Setbacks, Hope Remains for Alzheimer’s Drug Treatments

(stevepb / Pixabay)

In the last two decades, only four drugs have been approved to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms, according to a new report. “I’m very optimistic that within 10 years we’ll have a breakthrough,” said Dr. Doug Williamson of biopharmaceutical company Lundebeck.

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

(Courtesy of Chicago Turkish Festival)

Punk rock bands, tons of tacos, cultural celebrations, butterflies and yoga usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Caregivers, Researchers Recount Toll of Alzheimer’s, But Remain Optimistic

Speakers at The Atlantic’s “Disrupting Alzheimer’s” event on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

Despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers, caregivers and advocates are optimistic about the future. “I see a treatment, it’s going to happen,” said William Klein, a professor at Northwestern University.  

UIC Cutting Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics Teams

| Evan Garcia
(Courtesy of the University of Illinois at Chicago Men's Gymnastics Team)

After a 70-year run that has resulted in multiple NCAA championship titles, the gymnastics program at the University of Illinois at Chicago will cease to exist once its current season wraps up.

CDC Issues New Guidelines to Diagnose, Treat Youth Concussions

(cegoh / Pixabay)

New guidelines recommend youth who have experienced a concussion return to non-sports activities sooner than previously advised because it can aid in the recovery process.