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Stories by Kristen Thometz

3 Charged for Allegedly Conspiring to Sell Synthetic Marijuana in Chicago

The U.S. attorney’s office charged three people Monday with federal drug offenses for allegedly conspiring to sell synthetic cannabinoids at a West Side convenience store.

2 Illinois Deaths Linked to Use of Synthetic Marijuana

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

Two people have died in Illinois, including one in the Chicago area, after experiencing severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

2020 Census Citizenship Question ‘Politically Motivated,’ Say Officials

| Paris Schutz

The United States Census is not often a hot-button issue, but it’s recently been thrust into the center of controversy.

UIC Publicly Launches App Designed to Track Bipolar Disorder


An app developed by local researchers to predict manic episodes and depressive moods in people with bipolar disorder – based on how they interact with their cellphones – is now available to download in Apple’s app store.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 29-April 1

(Tianyu Arts & Culture)

Thousands of sparking lights, airborne marshmallows, egg hunts and bunny ears usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

ADA Opioid Guidelines Support Mandate for Prescription Limits

The American Dental Association announces a new policy on opioid prescriptions and education for dentists who prescribe the painkillers and other controlled substances.

Justice John Paul Stevens Calls for Repeal of Second Amendment

Justice John Paul Stevens’ 1976 U.S. Supreme Court official portrait (Library of Congress)

The retired U.S. Supreme Court justice and Chicago native called for the Second Amendment to be repealed in a New York Times op-ed just days after the March For Our Lives rally in Washington. 

Chicago Seeks to Better Address LGBT Health Needs

(Giuseppe Milo / Flickr)

A first-of-its-kind study from the Chicago Department of Public Health provides a population estimate of the city’s LGBT community and a snapshot of the health issues and inequities it faces.

Garry McCarthy Announces Run for Chicago Mayor

| Paris Schutz
Garry McCarthy appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 20, 2018.

Garry McCarthy is officially in. “It’s time for new leadership in City Hall that’ll fix our problems and pull us together,” the former Chicago Police superintendent said in a video announcing his bid for Chicago mayor.

Chicago-Area Population Drops for 3rd Straight Year

(Bert Kaufmann / Wikimedia)

Of the top 10 most populous cities in the country, the Chicago metro area was the only one to see a decline. Chicago demographer Rob Paral says a “complex stew” of factors is behind the drop.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 22-25

The 2017 Flower Show (Credit: Daniel Boczarski for Macy’s)

Spring blooms, tattoo ink, a march against gun violence and a chef-driven food fest usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

‘Talk It Out’ Series Seeks to End Sexual Harassment, Gender Bias

(Cozendo / Pixabay)

Next week, more than 120 groups in the Chicago region will discuss how to end gender bias and sexual harassment against women as part of the “Talk It Out” series spearheaded by the Chicago Foundation for Women.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 15-18

March 17, 2012 (Max Talbot-Minkin / Flickr)

A green river, St. Patrick’s Day parade, historical scavenger hunt and oodles of pancakes topped with fresh maple syrup usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

New Initiative Aims to Reduce Alcohol Use in Chicago Teens

(StockSnap / Flickr)

A citywide campaign seeks to curb underage drinking through public awareness and school policy reforms. “We don’t want schools to suspend students,” said Juan Padilla, a Voices of Youth in Chicago Education organizer.

2 Bar Associations Rank Cook County Circuit Court Judge Candidates

Voters this month will be tasked with electing Cook County Circuit Court judges. To help navigate the options, two Chicago bar associations screened and ranked each candidate. Here are their recommendations.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 8-11

(Courtesy of South Side Irish Parade Committee)

An early St. Patrick’s Day parade, thousands of orchids and a new take on Homer’s “Odyssey” usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Alumni Host Benefit for ‘March for Our Lives’

(Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School / Facebook)

A benefit on March 18 on Chicago’s Near North Side to will raise funds for the March 24 event, which will coincide with marches across the country calling for gun reform in the U.S.

Naturopathic Physicians Pushing for State Licensing Law

Should naturopathic physicians be licensed in Illinois? A professional trade association says it’s a matter of public safety, but others say the move is not in the public’s best interest.

West Side United Aims to Improve Health, Life Expectancy of Residents

West Garfield Park residents have a life expectancy of 69 years, compared to an average life expectancy of 85 years in the Loop. By 2030, West Side United hopes to cut that life expectancy gap in half.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 1-4

(Chitaditarod / Facebook)

A shopping-cart race, eco-minded films, competitive chili and vintage finds usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

What Causes the Flu Vaccine to be Less Effective?

UChicago Study Finds Immune History Influences Effectiveness

This year’s flu vaccine is only 36 percent effective, according to the CDC. But a new study suggests that a person’s past flu experiences could influence how effective the flu vaccine is for them.

New Type of Wearable Electronics Could Boost Stroke Patients’ Recovery

(Elliott Abel / Shirley Ryan AbilityLab)

While inpatient settings help stroke victims recover, their progress tends to decline when they return home. Researchers are hoping that a new breed of wearable electronics could curb that drop-off in recovery.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 22-25

Chinese New Year celebrations take place around the globe each year, including London. (Paul / Flickr)

Lion dances, pancakes, beer tents and Oscar movie speculation usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

NIU Shooting Survivors Reflect on 10th Anniversary: ‘We’re Still Dealing With It’

Patrick Korellis places a rose on the memorial at Northern Illinois University. (Courtesy of Patrick Korellis)

Hundreds gathered Wednesday in suburban DeKalb to mark the 10th anniversary of a shooting at Northern Illinois University that left five people dead.

Florida School Shooting Spotlights Need for Mental Health Services

Students are evacuated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018 after a gunman opened fire.

The 19-year-old suspected of opening fire Wednesday inside a Florida high school had a troubled past. A pair of experts discuss mental health issues and how the threat of violence impacts young people.