Stories by Kristen Thometz

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.

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. 

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


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.