Stories by Kristen Thometz

World Record Attempt: 31 Hours In, Hula-Hooper is Sore But Optimistic

Wicker Park resident Jenny Doan hula-hoops at District Brewyards. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

Jenny Doan is planning to hula-hoop for 100 hours straight in order to break the Guinness World Record. We check in with her 31 hours into the challenge. “It’s been tiring,” said the 29-year-old Wicker Park resident.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 21-24

(Patrick L. Pyszka / City of Chicago, DCASE)

Holiday lights, art fairs, new toys and hot rods usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Chicago to Offer Free Home Nursing Services to Families with Newborns

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

A new initiative called Family Connects Chicago will provide free home nursing services to families with newborns, offering “support that is so vital in those first few weeks of a baby’s life,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

Illinois Clinicians Fighting Opioid Crisis Get $2.5M in Loan Repayments

(INeverCry / Wikimedia Commons)

As part of federal efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the National Health Service Corps has awarded $80 million in student loan repayments to clinicians working to treat addiction, including 41 in Illinois.

World Record Attempt: Chicagoan Jenny Doan to Hula-Hoop for 100 Hours

Wicker Park resident Jenny Doan plans to hula-hoop for 100 hours in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for marathon hula-hooping. (Courtesy of Jenny Doan)

Jenny Doan wants to break the Guinness World Record for marathon hula-hooping. In addition to “sheer resilience and grit,” it takes a little planning – and a lot of motivation. Here’s how she’s planning to tackle the challenge.

Vaping-Related Illness Claims 4th Life in Illinois

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Four people have died in Illinois since March after experiencing serious vaping-related illnesses. The state is now among those with the most fatalities linked to the outbreak, according to health officials.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 14-17

(Photo by Eric James Walsh)

An open-air holiday market, musical performances, art books and screen printing usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Report: Illinois Has One of the Best Lung Cancer Survival Rates

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Illinois has one of the best lung cancer survival rates in the country, yet it also has one of the highest incidence rates of lung cancer, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

Illinois Earns a ‘D+’ on March of Dimes’ Premature Birth Report Card

(Kimpton_House / Pixabay)

Preterm birth rates have been increasing in Illinois since 2013, according to a new report from the nonprofit March of Dimes.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 7-10

UniverSoul Circus (Photo by Boon Vang)

Circus acts, a prison tour, barrel-aged brews and a powwow usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Nonprofit Equal Hope Aims to Eliminate Cervical Cancer in Chicago by 2040

(snicky2290 / Pixabay)

After helping to reduce racial disparities in breast cancer deaths in Chicago, the local nonprofit Equal Hope is aiming to eliminate cervical cancer in the city. “No woman should ever die of cervical cancer,” said the group’s executive director.

Rubber Pieces Found in Cookie Dough Prompt Nestle Recall

(pixel1 / Pixabay)

More than two dozen Nestle cookie dough products are being recalled due to the potential presence of rubber pieces, according to an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration.

Cook County Health CEO Calls on Other Hospitals to Increase Charity Care

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

The mission of Cook County Health is to provide care to all county residents regardless of their ability to pay, but years of increased demand for charity care is taking its toll on the health system, according to CEO Dr. John Jay Shannon.

3rd Illinois Resident Dies from Vaping-Related Illness

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Nearly 40 people across the country have died from vaping-related illnesses, including three in Illinois, according to state and federal health officials. 

Apples Shipped to Illinois Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

Honeycrisp apples are among the six varieties of apples being recalled due to possible listeria contamination.  (Keagiles via Wikimedia Commons)

More than 2,000 cases of apples shipped to eight states, including Illinois, have been recalled because of possible listeria contamination. Affected varieties include Honeycrisp, Fuji and Red Delicious. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Oct. 31-Nov. 3

(Photo by RickMajewski / Northalsted / GoPride)

A Halloween parade, immersive plays, fried dough and plenty of games usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Sisters Plan to Open Zero-Waste, BYOC Grocery Store in Chicago

Rendering of the proposed Chicago zero-waste marketplace called Zaste. (Courtesy of Zaste)

Buying in bulk and hunting down package-free items can be a challenge that often requires trips to multiple stores. To make sustainable shopping more accessible, two Chicago sisters plan to open a zero-waste marketplace by spring 2020.

2019 Chicago Festival Guide

Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Special Events Management)

Gear up for nature walks, art shows and holiday markets of all sizes across Chicago and the suburbs. 

Want to Quit Vaping? Start Small, Says Chicago Psychologist

(haiberliu / Pixabay)

As health officials deal with a mysterious vaping illness, they’re urging people to stop using e-cigarette products. We get advice and tips for quitting from a University of Chicago psychology professor who says “the main thing is you get started.”

Dispose of Unused Medications at DEA’s Drug Takeback Day

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

Do you have old prescription medicines in your cabinet? Don’t flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash. Instead, dispose of them Saturday, no questions asked, at DEA-sponsored sites. 

2nd Illinois Resident Dies from Vaping-Related Illness

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Two Illinois residents are among 34 individuals across the country who have died after experiencing serious vaping-related illnesses since March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NIH Awards DePaul University $6.6M for Violence Prevention Research

DePaul University psychology professors W. LaVome Robinson, left, and Leonard A. Jason have received a $6.6 million grant to fund research to reduce African American youth violence. (DePaul University / Jeff Carrion)

Ninth-grade students in select Chicago Public Schools will learn how to recognize and cope with stress as part of a DePaul University-led violence prevention research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Oct. 24-27

(Photo courtesy of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

Scaly creatures, a Dia de Los Muertos celebration, graveyard performances and a beer-centric conference usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Illinois Attorney General Expands Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

(The Javorac / Flickr)

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is seeking to add Irish pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt to its lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Illinois Leads Nation with 137 Vaping-Related Illnesses

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

In Illinois, there have been 137 vaping-related illnesses – the most in any state across the country, according to the latest data released by federal and state health officials.