Stories by Kristen Thometz

City Officials Launch Chicago Mural Registry

“Rushmore” by Kerry James Marshall (WTTW News)

The difference between graffiti and public art is generally in the eye of the beholder – and for some, they are one in the same. But discerning between the two will get a little easier for city crews in Chicago.

Pre-Cut Melon Linked to Salmonella Outbreak, Say Health Officials

Pre-cut watermelon produced by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods, LLC has been linked to a salmonella outbreak in nine states, including Illinois. (Spudaitis / Pixabay)

More than 90 cases of salmonella carrau have been reported in nine states, including five in Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Watch ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Love, Simon’ in Millennium Park This Summer

(Courtesy City of Chicago, DCASE)

From action-packed superhero flicks to romantic comedies and children’s movies, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series. Check out the 2019 schedule.

Eat Candy This Summer as an Intern at Mars Wrigley

(Mars Wrigley Confectionery)

The Chicago-based candymaker is seeking an intern to sample sweets and lead “smile-spreading” activities throughout the city. The 8-12 week paid internship also includes a sweet signing bonus: one year’s worth of candy.

Illinois Receives $15 Million to Fight Opioid Crisis

(The Javorac / Flickr)

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is awarding Illinois $15 million to continue combating the opioid crisis across the state through prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

University of Chicago Receives $9.1M to Provide Holistic Trauma Care

(Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

A $9.1 million gift will help the University of Chicago expand its efforts to treat the social, psychological and medical needs of young trauma patients and their families.

CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita Leaving Post in June

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 11, 2019.

Dr. Julie Morita is moving on after two decades at the Chicago Department of Public Health. She tells us about her future plans, and discusses current threats to the city’s health.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 11-15

(Courtesy of I Heart Halal)

A Halal lifestyle fest, scaly creatures, roller derby matches and island music usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Illinois Has Confirmed 154 Cases of Potentially Deadly Fungal Disease

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

State health officials say Illinois has had 154 confirmed cases of candida auris, a rapidly spreading fungus that can cause severe illness and even death, between May 24, 2016 and April 4, 2019.

Illinois Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Purdue Pharma

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

A Connecticut-based opioid pharmaceutical manufacturer used deceptive marketing practices to increase prescriptions for its painkillers, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

Clinicians Hopeful About Future Food Allergy Treatments

(forwimuwi73 / Pixabay)

Food allergies are on the rise, affecting 32 million Americans. Yet local clinicians are optimistic about future treatments, including one that could soon receive FDA approval.

UIC Researchers Aim to Detect Brain Disease Earlier with $1.4M Grant

(SharonMcCutcheon / Pixabay)

New imaging techniques will allow researchers to study small changes in the retina that could indicate the early stages of brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 4-7

Sweet potato maple Cajun bacon tartlet from Zed451 at Baconfest 2014. (opacity / Flickr)

Food fests decidated to bacon and donuts, an epic pillow fight, an artisan market and political posters usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Meet at Post-Election Unity Event

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, right, shakes hands with former mayoral candidate Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle as Rev. Jesse Jackson look on during a press conference at the  Rainbow PUSH organization on Wednesday morning, April 3, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

With the race behind them, Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle came together for a unity event with the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. 

With $1.5M Grant, UI Cancer Center to Address Disparities in Chicago

(Ian Freimuth / Flickr)

The three-year funding award will be used to develop population-specific cancer prevention and screening programs at community hospitals and health centers in Austin, Humboldt Park and South Shore.

Northwestern to Study New Alzheimer’s Disease Drug

(StockSnap / Pixabay)

Northwestern University is one of dozens of medical centers across the country studying whether the drug can protect against or slow down the progression of the disease in patients already experiencing symptoms.

FDA Proposes Dense Breast Notification Requirement

Diagnostic radiologist Maj. Sara Michael reviews a mammogram at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital to look for any abnormalities in the breast tissue. (Photo Credit: Maria Yager)

A new rule would require that mammography providers notify women who have dense breast tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer.

Measles Exposure Reported in Cook County

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

An individual with a confirmed case of measles visited more than a dozen Cook County stores, restaurants and theaters before realizing they were sick, according to health officials. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 28-31

(Courtesy of Macy's)

Lush plants, show tunes, hot coffee and cold beer usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

4 in 10 Chicago Parents Don’t Have Paid Leave, Survey Finds

(flockine / Pixabay)

Caring for a sick family member, such as a child, is the top reason why parents take off work, according to a new citywide survey. Yet nearly 40 percent of working parents don’t have paid leave.

Social Security Administration Warning of Phone Impersonation Scheme

(rawpixel / Pixabay)

While the Social Security Administration may contact people by phone, employees will never threaten a person or a promise Social Security benefit approval in exchange for information, according to the agency.

For First Time, FDA Approves Drug for Treating Postpartum Depression

(fancycrave1 / Pixabay)

As many as one in seven women experience postpartum depression, which can be life-threatening when severe. But there hasn’t been a treatment specific to the condition – until now.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 21-24

(Pat Loika / Flickr)

Superheroes and villains, a springtime run, musical performances and wine flights usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Report: Illinois Just ‘Getting Started’ in Addressing Children’s Needs

(Kimpton_House / Pixabay)

There are 12 million infants and toddlers living in the United States, but the state in which they spend their first few years can make a big difference in their well-being for years to come, a new report finds.

UIC Alumni Create Scholarship to Honor Mercy Hospital Shooting Victim

A memorial at Mercy Hospital on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, the day after a shooting at the Near South Side hospital. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune via AP)

The Tamara O’Neal MD Scholarship Fund will help support University of Illinois medical students while honoring the life of O’Neal, who was killed in a November shooting at Mercy Hospital.