Stories by kristen thometz

Chicago Winter Overnight Parking Ban 2019: Where You Can’t Park

(Maggie Not Margaret / Flickr)

The city’s annual winter overnight parking ban goes into effect early Sunday and continues through April 1, 2020. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Ready Your Garden for Spring Planting

Before you dig in and start planting, give your garden some tender, loving care. The team from the Organic Gardener helps us prepare our soil for spring planting.

Americans, Canadians Are Warned Not to Eat Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce still sits on the shelves in the produce area of an Albertsons market Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, in Simi Valley, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo)

Health officials in the U.S. and Canada told people Tuesday to stop eating romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak. Two people in Illinois have tested positive for this same outbreak strain. 

JB Pritzker Fields Questions from High School Students

Democratic nominee for governor J.B. Pritzker answers questions from 70 Mikva Challenge high school students – some of whom will be first-time voters in November.

Alpana Singh to Return as ‘Check, Please!’ Host

After a five-year break, the master sommelier and restaurateur is set to return as host of the Emmy Award-winning WTTW series. 

2018 Governor’s Race: Democratic Candidates Face High School Students

Democratic candidates for governor (seated in the order they appear on the ballot, from left): J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman and Robert Marshall.

During a special edition of Chicago Tonight, all six Democratic candidates for governor join us to answer questions from an audience of 50 high school students and discuss issues facing Illinois’ young people. 

Chicago Makes the Amazon HQ2 Short List. What Now?

Chicago has made it to the second round of cities for Amazon’s HQ2. The question now: What will it take for the city to make it to the final four?

Newt Minow Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

The last surviving member of the Kennedy administration and former chairman of WTTW received the nation’s highest civilian honor from President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Harnessing the Power of Big Data in Fight Against Cancer

The Cancer Moonshot initiative being led by Vice President Joe Biden aims to accelerate the pace of cancer research and the development of new treatments. We talk to the University of Chicago professor who is a key player in that effort.

US Federal Reserve Expected to Increase Interest Rate

Excitement on Wall Street as a possible interest rate hike approaches. Why some surprises in the U.S. economy have investors and analysts feeling good.

For Expectant Mother, Possible Exposure to Zika a Terrifying Ordeal

The Zika virus has been shown to cause microcephaly and other fetal brain abnormalities. We talk with a local woman, pregnant with her first child, who has been dealing with the terrifying possibility that she and her unborn child may have been exposed to the virus.

Documenting ‘the Dead Zone’: Story of Chernobyl from Those Who Returned

A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside of a café in Pripyat, which is near the Chernobyl Power Plant. (Diana Markosian  / Wikimedia)

Palatine native Holly Morris talks about her new documentary "The Babushkas of Chernobyl," which profiles three grandmothers who chose to ignore government orders and return home to live out their lives near the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

Taking a Closer Look at Chicago’s Lead Pipes

The disaster in Flint has spotlighted the dangers and adverse health outcomes of lead seeping into communities’ drinking water. Elizabeth Brackett reports on the lead pipes carrying water into Chicago and suburban homes. 

Chicago’s Lead Pipes: What You Need to Know

The disaster in Flint has spotlighted the dangers and adverse health outcomes of lead seeping into communities’ drinking water. Elizabeth Brackett reports on the lead pipes carrying water into Chicago and suburban homes. 

Illinois' 4th Congressional District Candidates

One of the most intriguing congressional districts in the country, Illinois' 4th Congressional District includes parts of Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, Melrose Park, Brookfield, Cicero and Brighton Park. Joining "Chicago Tonight" to talk about his vision for the district is Javier Salas. Congressman Luis Gutiérrez declined our invitation.

Peoples Gas, CUB Discuss Gas Main Replacement Program

The Citizens Utility Board and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have accused Peoples Gas of deliberately misleading regulators about the ballooning cost of a huge program to upgrade gas lines around Chicago. Tonight, we discuss the safety upgrades, the program's estimated cost and the claims about the company's actions with representatives from CUB and Peoples Gas.

Study: Loneliness Linked to Adverse Health Effects

It's the weekend for love, but Valentine's Day can leave some feeling awfully lonely. A University of Chicago neuroscientist joins “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the science of loneliness and its potential health hazards.   

Zika Virus Raises Concern for Chicago Travelers

(Aedes albopictus)

On Monday, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. Dr. Allison Arwady, chief medical officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, joins us to discuss the virus and the risk it poses to Chicago jet-setters.

Iowa Caucuses 2016: What’s Happening?

White House hopefuls are getting their first test with voters tonight in Iowa, where caucusing is in full swing. Joining us from Des Moines, Iowa to talk about that and more is "Chicago Tonight's" Carol Marin.

Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Wants to Expand Qualifying Conditions

Gov. Bruce Rauner has a week to decide whether to expand the state's medical marijuana pilot program. So far the program only covers a limited number of serious illnesses and has 4,000 registered patients. Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, the head of the state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, joins us to talk about the pilot program.

Caltech Scientists Find Evidence of Distant 9th Planet

This artistic rendering shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side. (Caltech/R. Hurt/IPAC)

Evidence of a distant ninth planet in our solar system, electronic implants that can monitor brain injury then melt away, and how more sleep may reduce diabetes risk. Rabiah Mayas of the Museum of Science and Industry is back to review some of the hottest stories in the world of science.

Chicago No. 1 City for Bedbugs 4 Years in a Row

The Windy City once again is the top city for bedbugs, according to a recent study by pest control company Orkin. “Chicago Tonight” talks with a pest control expert, doctor and entomologist about what this unflattering ranking means for Chicago.

US Supreme Court to Weigh in on Abortion, Affirmative Action Cases

They are some of the most divisive issues of our time: abortion, affirmative action, contraception, unions and immigration. And they are all under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court this term. Three former clerks join us to outline the cases.

Chicago Police Board President on Superintendent Search

Public to Weigh in on Search for New Top Cop

Tuesday the public gets to have its say in the search for the city's new police superintendent. Lori Lightfoot, president of the Chicago Police Board, joins "Chicago Tonight" to talk about the search.

Chicago Home Price Growth Lowest Among 20 Major Cities

After a decade of volatility, national home prices rose a steady 4 to 5 percent in 2015. Unfortunately, that was not the case in the Chicago market, where single family home prices rose by a meager 1.3 percent. Real estate reporter Dennis Rodkin has more on the state of the local market.

Analyzing the Media's Coverage of Laquan McDonald Shooting Video

With the release of a graphic video depicting Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, we examine how the media has covered this case. Two longtime Chicago media professionals join us to discuss the issues raised by the release of the disturbing dash-cam footage.