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Stories by Kristen Thometz

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 15-18

Book lovers, a Martian adventure, ciders and funny femmes usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study: Scientists Discover Huntington’s Cancer Weapon

People with Huntington’s disease, a fatal genetic illness, are less likely to develop cancer than the general population. Now, scientists have a better understanding as to why, thanks to the discovery of an “assassin molecule” by Northwestern University.

5,000 Doses of Lifesaving Narcan Donated to Illinois

NARCAN® Nasal Spray (Courtesy of Adapt Pharma)

Officials battling the state’s opioid epidemic got a boost this week with the donation of a medicine that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses. In 2016, nearly 1,950 people died of opioid overdoses in Illinois.

Up to 10 Inches of Snow Could Blanket Chicago

Friday’s snowfall could be heavy at times but will gradually end later this morning after blanketing the area with another 2-4 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s what you need to know.

Chicago Police Officers to Carry Lifesaving Naloxone

(Intropin / Wikimedia Commons)

As part of the city’s fight against opioids, Chicago Police officers will be equipped with naloxone. “Ensuring public safety goes beyond focusing solely on violent crime,” said Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 8-11

(Chicago Auto Show)

Hot rods, cool jazz and sky-high views with four-legged friends usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study: Teens Want Mobile Health Units to Address Sexual Health

A new University of Chicago study finds 92 percent of teens who received sexual and reproductive health care via mobile health units would recommend their friends use them too. 

Wilmette Man Completes Walk Across US for Parkinson’s Disease

(Uncorked Adventures NFP / Facebook)

Bill Bucklew walked more than 2,500 miles across the country in two months to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. “I have a whole range of emotions right now,” he said upon walking his final mile.

State Lawmakers Introduce Bill on Dense Breast Notifications

 (Army Medicine / Flickr)

Identical bills introduced in the Illinois House and Senate would mandate that mammogram providers notify women whose test results show they have dense breast tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer.

Study: ‘Guardian Molecule’ Protects Men from Multiple Sclerosis

Men are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than women, and now scientists have a better understanding as to why that is, thanks to the discovery of a “guardian molecule” by Northwestern University scientists. 

Tavis Smiley to Host Town Hall in Chicago on Sexual Misconduct

(Tavis Smiley / Facebook)

The broadcaster whose show was suspended indefinitely by PBS in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct will moderate a panel Thursday at St. Sabina Church on the city’s South Side.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 1-4

Arm wrestling, hot chocolate-inspired treats, freakish performances and a salute to Langston Hughes usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Risk of Getting the Flu Remains High in Chicago

City health officials remind residents it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. “This is a serious year,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita.

Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight

| Alexandra Silets

For first time since the height of the Cold War, the hands of the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic indicator of how close we are to a global catastrophe, have been moved to 11:58 p.m. This is the closest the clock has been to midnight since 1953.

Teen Smoking Rate Drops to Historic Low in 2017, City Says

Fewer Chicago teens are smoking cigarettes, according to city data. But the mayor and city health officials want to reach a “tobacco-free generation,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita.

Steve Bannon Accepts Invite to Speak at U of C, Students Protest

Steve Bannon (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Students at the University of Chicago protested early Thursday in response to news that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had accepted an invitation to speak at the school.

Tide Pod Dare Linked to 6 Illinois Poison Center Calls So Far in 2018

(Austin Kirk / Flickr)

In the first 22 days of 2018, the Illinois Poison Center says it has received 31 calls related to people ingesting Tide Pods, with six of them associated with a dangerous social media trend.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 25-28

(Courtesy of Austin Calderone)

Monster trucks, prix-fixe menus and an overnight bookstore bash usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Struggling to Lose Weight? These 5 Myths Could be to Blame

If you’re looking to shed pounds, you’ve likely done some Googling. But beware: Not everything you read online will help you reach your beach bod goals. Local dietitians debunk diet and exercise myths and share tips.

What Would a Nuclear Threat Alert Look Like in Illinois?

How would Illinois residents be notified of a nuclear threat – and where should they seek shelter if an alert was issued? We speak with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 18-21

(Chicago Polar Bear Club, NFP / Facebook)

An icy dip in the lake, a massive gathering in the Loop, personal stories and Mexican pastries usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Durbin Grills Homeland Security Chief on Trump’s Use of Vulgar Language

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday she “did not remember” the specific vulgarities used by President Donald Trump in a meeting last week, saying profanity was used by almost everyone in the room. 

Study: Brain MRI Predicts How Well Deaf Children Learn Language

Researchers have created a tool that can predict language learning in deaf children after they receive a cochlear implant. Prediction is just the first step, says Dr. Nancy Young. “We’re trying to create precision therapy.”

Safety Tips for Exercising Outdoors in Winter

Don’t let frigid weather derail your outdoor exercise routine. With the proper precautions and gear, you can keep it up all winter long, says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Diego Villacis.

Chronic Pain Advocacy Group Seeks Revision of CDC Opioid Guidelines

Are chronic pain patients losing access to opioids? One advocacy group says yes, and now it’s pushing for “more reasonable” guidelines from the CDC on opioid prescriptions.