Stories by Kristen Thometz

Study: Yoga, Meditation Can Reduce Stress for Disadvantaged Women

Practicing mindfulness exercises can alleviate symptoms of depression and stress experienced by disadvantaged women, according to a recent study. (Dave Rosenblum / Flickr)

Practicing mindfulness exercises like yoga and meditation can alleviate symptoms of depression and stress among disadvantaged women, according to a recent study.

Actions Seen as More Intentional in Slow Motion, Study Finds

Watching a slow motion replay of a violent football tackle or surveillance video of a fatal robbery can cause viewers to perceive the action as more intentional, according to a new study. (Pixabay)

Watching a slow-motion replay of a violent football tackle or surveillance video of a fatal robbery can cause viewers to perceive the action as more intentional, according to a new study.

Free Running Series Returns to Neighborhood Parks This Fall

Lace up your running shoes and kick off your weekend on the right foot this fall with a morning community run. Get the full 'Go Run schedule.

New Illinois Law Aims to Improve Response to Sexual Assault

Medical professionals learn how to use the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kit, which has several packets to collect evidence from a suspect and a patient of a sexual assault case. (Sgt. Rebecca Linder / Wikimedia Commons)

A yearlong review of the state's response to reports of sexual assault has resulted in a new law that aims to improve the process of investigation and offer better support for survivors.

New State Law Regulates Health Insurers’ Prescription Drug Policies

(C. Todd Lopez / United States Army via Wikimedia Commons)

New health insurance rules surrounding prescription drugs could make treatment for some patients more simple. Find out what step therapy is and what the changes could mean.

New Traffic Pattern Coming to Elston, Fullerton and Damen Intersection

A bird’s eye view of the proposed reroute of Elston Avenue. (Credit: Chicago Department of Transportation)

Starting Wednesday, a new section of Elston Avenue will open as work on the Damen, Elston and Fullerton reconstruction project continues. Find out what that means for drivers.

Chicago’s Talking Statues Project Extended for Another Year

Statues in Oz Park of the Tin Man (Richie Diesterheft / Flickr) and Dorothy and Toto (Ingrid Richter / Flickr).

Thanks to an extension of Statue Stories Chicago, you still have plenty of time to chat with the Tin Man and Dorothy in Oz Park.

What Are Those Marks on Michael Phelps? An Explanation of Cupping

Michael Phelps celebrates after completing the 200-meter butterfly in Rio. (Michael Phelps / Facebook)

Michael Phelps is making a splash at the 2016 Olympics for his performance–and his appearance. A local physical therapist explains why he’s covered with bruises.

Expect to See an ‘Enhanced’ Perseid Meteor Shower This Week

The Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 11, 2015. (Joshua Tree National Park / Wikimedia Commons)

Peak activity for the Perseids is expected to be Thursday and Friday, according to NASA. The best time to view the meteors is between midnight and dawn, no telescope required.

New Website Profiles State Judges, Explains Judicial Process

There are hundreds of judges in Illinois, and a new website aims to educate users about their backgrounds and how judges are appointed, among other things.

Western Avenue Corridor Project Enters Phase 2

Traffic reduced to one lane on Belmont Avenue

Rendering of what a typical median will look like once the project is completed. (Credit: Chicago Department of Transportation)

The second phase of the reconstruction project at the intersection of Western, Belmont and Clybourn avenues begins Monday. Find out what that means for drivers.

Illinois Insurers Propose Obamacare Rate Hikes up to 45 Percent


Monday’s release of proposed 2017 health insurance premium rate increases for coverage offered through the state’s Obamacare exchange induced sticker shock among some industry experts, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois seeking increases from 23 to 45 percent for its individual health care plans.

Northwestern, Lurie Children’s Hospitals Named Best Hospitals in US

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ratings of hospitals.(Credit: Northwestern Medicine)

Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago rank among the top hospitals in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of hospitals.

Are You Getting Enough Protection from Your Sunscreen?

A recent study by Northwestern Medicine revealed 40 percent of the top sunscreen products on Amazon did not meet the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommended guidelines. (Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr)

Headed to the beach? You might want to take a closer look at your sunscreen before you it layer it on—it might not be providing as much protection as you need.

'Pokémon Go' Players to Meet at the Bean on Sunday

(Credit: Pokémon GO / YouTube)

The mobile gaming app has taken Chicago by storm: Thousands of Pokémon GO players plan to meet at Cloud Gate—aka the Bean—in Millennium Park on Sunday. Get the details.

Starting July 1 You Must Be 21 to Buy Tobacco Products in Chicago

Increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, the city of Chicago says, will decrease smoking among youth, boost health and save lives.

German Woman Recreating Ancestor’s Journey to America

Chicago One of Many Stops on #Barmen2Bozeman Trip

In 1880, a 26-year-old German leather manufacturer left his hometown for America. Now, his great-great-granddaughter is recreating his cross-country journey in a 1880s Victorian dress.

Chicago Police Department Announces Increased Security for Pride Parade

City officials and law enforcement outlined plans for increased security measures at next weekend's 47th annual Chicago Pride Parade in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando.

Scientists Discover New Genetic Cause of Parkinson’s Disease

Neuron in tissue culture. (GerryShaw via Wikimedia Commons)

For more than 20 years, researchers at Northwestern University have collaborated with a global network of scientists to try and unravel the mysteries of Parkinson's disease. A study published this month in Nature Genetics shares an important discovery from that research.

Cancer Research Sharing Platform Launches at University of Chicago

Vice President Joe Biden talks with professor Robert Grossman, director of Center for Data Intensive Science at the University of Chicago, and Louis M. Staudt of the National Cancer Institute as they tour the Genomic Data Commons on June 6. (Robert Kozloff)

Cancer researchers will have an easier time accessing, sharing and analyzing information with the launch Monday of a new platform funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Heated Marital Spats Linked to Heart Problems

(Vic / Flickr)

Flying off the handle during a marital spat cannot only escalate the argument, but also increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, like high blood pressure, a new study says. 

Chicago Ranked 12th Fittest City in America

Chicago (Allen McGregor via Wikimedia Commons)

The City of Broad Shoulders measures up to its moniker in terms of fitness. The Chicago metropolitan area was recently named the 12th fittest in the nation.

Study on Aging Challenges Common Perceptions of What ‘Healthy’ Means

Impact of obesity on health contingent on physical, mental health

By most medical standards, being healthy means you’re not battling a major disease like cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. But a new study from the University of Chicago questions this traditional method of measuring health.

Arts Program Engages Alzheimer’s Patients, Caregivers

Local exhibit shines light on artist's progression of disease

A partnership between a local art museum and leading Alzheimer’s disease center allows patients and their caregivers exclusive access to exhibits, including one that documents an artist’s progression of the disease. 

Lucas Museum ‘Seriously Pursuing Locations Outside of Chicago’

Friends of the Parks pauses lawsuit, opposes any lakefront site

“We are now seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago,” Mellody Hobson, wife of movie mogul George Lucas and board member of the Lucas Museum, said in a statement. “If the museum is forced to leave, it will be because of the Friends of the Parks and that is no victory for anyone.”