Stories by Kristen Thometz

21 Cold-Related Deaths Reported in Cook County Since October

Cold and snow blasted Chicago on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. A winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service is in effect for the Chicago region from 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 through Saturday morning. (WTTW News)

On Friday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported two new cold-related deaths in the county, including those of a 47-year-old man and a 71-year old woman. 

Nearly 25% of Illinois Residents Don’t Exercise, CDC Report Finds

(rawpixel / Pixabay)

Regular physical activity is vital for your health, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds nearly a quarter of Illinois residents aren’t getting any exercise at all.

E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce is Over, CDC Says

Romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California has been linked with a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened 40 people, including an Illinois resident. (Liz West / Flickr)

A monthslong E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California, appears to be over. The outbreak sickened 167 people in 27 states, including Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

12 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 16-20

(Rowland Scherman via Wikimedia Commons)

Tributes to Martin Luther King Jr., hot jazz, theater festivals and dumplings usher in the weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

Can the Flu Shot Help Fight Cancer? New Research Suggests it Can

(Angelo Esslinger / Pixabay)

Cancer treatment can be costly, but new findings from Rush University Medical Center suggest an inexpensive, effective treatment could be within reach. 

Officials: 3 Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease at 2 Chicago Nursing Homes

This 1978 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Legionella pneumophila bacteria, which are responsible for causing the pneumonic disease Legionnaires’ disease. (Francis Chandler / CDC via AP)

Two residents at Balmoral Nursing Home and one resident at Admiral at the Lake have been diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease, according to state health officials, who say the cases at the two facilities don’t appear to be related. 

Chicago to Host Cannabis Resource Fair

(WTTW News)

What’s it like to work in the marijuana industry? How do you start and grow a cannabis business? The city is gathering experts, advocates and others to answer these questions and more at a free event next month.

Chicago Child Dies from the Flu

An early flu season in 2018 led to an increased volume of patients at many Chicago-area hospitals. (Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

A Chicago child is one of 2,900 people across the U.S. who have died from the flu so far this season, and the first pediatric death in Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coyote Attacks Are Rare, Says Lincoln Park Zoo Expert

(Skeeze / Pixabay)

The city is on high alert after two coyote attacks Wednesday, but a wildlife expert says such incidents are very rare. “I don’t think people need to be panicked or alarmed,” said Seth Magle, director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 9-12

JB Mauney rides during the second round of the 2019 Chicago PBR Unleash The Beast. (Photo by Andy Watson, BullStock Media)

Winter beers, bucking bulls, a pants-free CTA ride, vegan fare and comedy sketches usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study Reveals Lingering Impact of School Shootings on Survivors

(Don Harder / Flickr)

The toll of gun violence from school shootings extends beyond victims. A new study finds local exposure to fatal shootings increases youth antidepressant use by 21% in the two years following a shooting.

Pot-Focused Campaigns Aim to Educate Consumers About New Law

(Martijn / Flickr)

With recreational marijuana now legal, city and state officials are working to educate consumers about what’s permitted under the new law and how to use cannabis responsibly.

FDA to Halt Sales of Most Vaping Flavors to Curb Youth Use

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Starting in early February, the Food and Drug Administration will prohibit the sale of some flavored e-cigarette cartridges, including fruit, mint and candy flavors, as part of an effort to curb youth use.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 2-5

(Nick Ulivieri Photography)

A winter wonderland, fitness classes, bald eagles and a classic fairy tale usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

New HIV Cases in Chicago Drop as Sexually Transmitted Infections Rise

(David Mark / Pixabay)

New HIV diagnoses have been dropping in Chicago for years, reaching a record low in 2018. Yet as HIV rates decline, city health officials say other sexually transmitted infections are reaching record highs.

10 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Chicago

(Rudy and Peter Skitterians / Pixabay)

Ready to ring in the ‘20s with a roar? Whether you’re feeling sporty or prefer to go glam (or do both!) we’ve got 10 ideas for your big night out.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 26-29

(Beau Considine / Flickr)

Winter birds, beer steins, poinsettias and bicycles usher in the post-holiday weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

CDC: Pet Store Puppies Linked to Multidrug-Resistant Infections

(Pexels / Pixabay)

Health officials believe puppies purchased from pet stores are the likely source of an outbreak that has sickened 30 people across more than a dozen states, including Illinois. What you need to know about the outbreak.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 19-22

(Copyright © 2016 Michael Hudson)

Holiday trees, Christmas tubas, Hanukkah goblins and a winter solstice bonfire usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

20 New Illinois Laws to Know in 2020

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

From legal pot to a ban on animal-tested cosmetics, more than 250 new laws take effect in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here are 20 you should know.

Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Propose Vaping Fee to Fund Prevention Program

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

As part of an effort to steer youth away from vaping, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi are proposing a new fee on e-cigarette manufacturers and importers to fund prevention programs.

Report: Patients Misdiagnosed in Catholic Hospitals to Get Contraception

(Nate Grigg / Flickr)

Medical providers at Catholic hospitals face multiple barriers to providing contraceptive care to women, and such restrictions have prompted workarounds that can be harmful to patients, a new report from the University of Chicago finds.

Illinois Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against E-Cigarette Maker Juul

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks to the media Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (WTTW News via BlueRoomStream)

Juul Labs, the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the nation, intentionally marketed its products to minors and misrepresented the potency of nicotine in its products, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 12-15

(Lincoln Park Zoo / Facebook)

Millions of holiday lights, a seasonal double feature, art fairs and carols usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

CDC Investigating Fresh Express Salad Kit Linked to E. coli Infection

(Richard Kelland / Flickr)

If you recently purchased premade salad kits at the store, check the label before serving it. Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad kits have been linked with an E. coli outbreak.