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Stories by Kristen Thometz

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

(Throwback Music Fest / Darkroom Joe's Photography)

Retro tunes, barbecue bites, historic homes and feline films usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

New Guidelines to Identify, Treat Depression in Perimenopause

(silviarita / Pixabay)

Women are at an increased risk of depression before menopause, even if they don’t have a history of the mood disorder. New guidelines seek to help clinicians identify and treat women during this “window of vulnerability,” said UIC professor Pauline Maki.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Not Seeking Re-election

“Now with our three children in college, Amy and I have decided it is time to write another chapter together,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 with his wife Amy Rule by his side as he announced he would not seek re-election.

“As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I have decided not to seek re-election,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday.

Study: 1 in 12 Kids Taking Multiple Meds at Risk of Harmful Interactions

(David Kessler / Flickr)

Researchers say adverse drug events are a leading cause of injury and death among children and adolescents, yet there has been a lack of information about how this population uses prescription medicine.

12 Things to Do This Labor Day Weekend: Aug. 30-Sept. 3

Chicago Fringe Festival (Photo by Sarah Larson)

Jazz, comedy, DJs, ethnic dishes and lowriders usher in the long holiday weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

UIC to Study Teen Depression Prevention Programs

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Researchers will study an online intervention program and in-person group therapy program designed for teens to see which is better at helping them cope with tough situations and feel more hopeful. 

6 Labor Day Weekend Ideas for a Summer Road Trip or Chicago Staycation

A waterfall in Starved Rock State Park. (Arturo Hurtado / Flickr)

The holiday weekend is almost upon us. Still haven’t made plans? We share our favorite local activities and weekend getaways. 

John McCain, US Senator and Veteran, Remembered by Illinois Politicians

(U.S. Sen John McCain / Official Senate Photo)

Reflections on the life of the late Arizona senator, Republican leader and two-time presidential candidate who died Saturday from brain cancer.

Rauner Vetoes Tobacco 21 Bill

(Pixabay)

The legal minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois will remain 18 after Gov. Bruce Rauner last week vetoed legislation that would have raised the age to 21. 

Experts Revise Recommendations on Cervical Cancer Screenings

(snicky2290 / Pixabay)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is revising its recommendations on cervical cancer screenings for some women. A local doctor talks about what that means for patients.

New Laws Boost Treatment of Opioid Abuse, Mental Health Access

Gov. Bruce Rauner says a suite of new laws will “dramatically improve” mental health and addiction treatment in Illinois as part of a larger effort to address the state’s opioid crisis.

Mother’s Book Reminds Readers: Kids with Special Needs Are Still Kids

(Illustration by Yip Jar Design)

In honor of her late son, Elizabeth Gerlach wrote a children’s book featuring a protagonist who uses a wheelchair. “I would like to be able to reduce the stigma of kids with disabilities,” she said.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Aug. 23-26

(Courtesy of Amdur Productions)

Witty women, global fare, sweet treats and art fairs usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Anti-War Activists to Honor 1968 Chicago Protests with March, Rally

A demonstration on Aug. 10, 1968 in Chicago as the city prepared to host the Democratic National Convention. (David Wilson / Flickr)

A march planned for Saturday commemorating the 1968 anti-war protests held during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago will not just be a “nostalgia event,” says organizer Andy Thayer.

Rapid Blood Test Can Detect Parasitic Infection in Pregnant Women

An inexpensive finger-prick test can quickly and accurately detect the presence of a life-damaging parasite in pregnant women, according to a recent study conducted in Chicago and Morocco.  

New Illinois Law Broadens Synthetic Marijuana Ban, Closes Loophole

“Many synthetic cannabinoids are already illegal, but by broadening the criteria, we ensure that they can’t be made legal by small and potentially deadly changes to their chemical formulas,” said state Sen. Jacqueline Collins.

Coordinated Effort to End Homelessness Takes Luck Out of the Process

Tents set up in a homeless encampment along DesPlaines Street north of Roosevelt Road. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

Organizations in Chicago have spent decades helping the city’s homeless find housing. But until recently, there was no overarching system in place to help track those efforts – or the people in need.

Illinois Strengthens Law on Texting While Driving

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert / Released)

Starting next summer, people caught texting while driving will be cited with a moving violation that will go on their driving record – even if it’s their first offense.

Aretha Franklin, the ‘Queen of Soul,’ Dies at 76

Aretha Franklin performs in a 1985 WTTW production of “Soundstage.”

The iconic “Queen of Soul” died Thursday at her home in Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer. Two of her friends share stories about her life and legacy.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Aug. 16-19

(Courtesy of City of Chicago, DCASE)

High-flying aerial acrobatics, culinary creations, an eco-friendly beer fest and all things vintage usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Northwestern Memorial Named No. 1 Hospital in City, State

(Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine)

For the seventh consecutive year, Northwestern Memorial Hospital has been named by U.S. News & World Report as the best hospital in both the Chicago metro area and the state.

State Bill on Dense Breast Notifications Signed into Law

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 state law will require mammogram providers to notify women whose test results show they have dense breast tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer. 

New Law Aims to Improve Medical Care for Sexual Assault Survivors

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Under a new law, hospitals in Illinois must provide specialized emergency room care to survivors of sexual assault and also treat emotional trauma in the aftermath of such crimes.

Advocates: ‘We Have to Come to Them’ to Address Homelessness

(Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

“So many people experiencing homelessness won’t come to us,” said Chris Robinson, Heartland Alliance Health outreach manager. “We have to come to them.”

Report: Hospitals’ Religious Affiliations Impact Access to Reproductive Care

Women enrolled in public insurance programs are entitled to receive coverage for comprehensive family planning care, according to federal guidelines. But new research reveals Cook County women may face additional barriers in accessing reproductive health care.