Stories by Kristen Thometz

Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkey, Side Dishes and Desserts


Thanksgiving’s so close you can almost taste it. In anticipation of the marathon day of eating, “Chicago Tonight” asked local chefs and foodies for their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Dig in!

Halloween Safety Tips from the Chicago Police Department

(William Warby / Flickr)

Halloween is here! As you put the finishing touches on your kids’ costumes (or your own—who said grown-ups can’t get into the spirit, too?), we share some safety tips for trick-or-treating.

Budget Impasse a Hairy Situation for Peoria Reporter

#BudgetBeard Campaign Began on May 31

Chris Kaergard on June 1, July 16 and Sept. 25 (Courtesy of Peoria Journal Star)

Illinois’ budget stalemate has created a hairy situation for Peoria Journal Star political reporter Chris Kaergard, who has vowed not to shave his beard until a resolution is reached. “Chicago Tonight” brushes up on the progress of #BudgetBeard with Kaergard. 

Variety Comics Closing at the End of October

Owning the store a ‘dream fulfilled’ for co-owner

Variety Comics co-owners Vin Nguyen (left) and Victor Olivarez. (Photo/Kristen Thometz)

For more than four decades, Variety Comics has anchored the corner of Western and Wilson avenues and attracted comic book fans and the curious alike with its superhero murals. At the end of October, the Lincoln Square comic book store will close.

Surprise! Corpse Flower Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden

| Chloe Riley

There was no public countdown, no fanfare this time. And yet, a corpse flower is blooming – right now – at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Watch a livestream of the rare event.

Chicago Sells Vacant Lots for $1 as Large Lots Program Returns

The city of Chicago announced it is expanding a program that allows residents to purchase vacant city-owned lots for $1. Starting Tuesday, applications for lots in the Roseland and Pullman neighborhoods will be accepted through Oct. 31. Learn more about the program.

Carnivorous Plant Discovered Along Chicago Lakefront

(Photo by InAweofGod’sCreation)

Lurking in the still waters of the Montrose Beach Dunes is a plant unlike its neighbors. The small, carnivorous plant found earlier this month is not easy to spot, but its discovery marks the first of its kind in the area. 

Forrest Claypool to be CPS CEO

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday that Forrest Claypool will be the new CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Claypool, Emanuel’s chief of staff, will replace Interim CEO Jesse Ruiz, who has been serving in that capacity since former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett resigned in April. Claypool begins his new role on Monday, July 27.

Iran Nuclear Deal Reached

After more than 20 months of negotiations, a landmark deal was reached Tuesday between world powers and Iran that curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. The deal reduces Iran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium and the number of its centrifuges by two-thirds. It also prevents Iran from producing weapons-grade plutonium. 

Weekend Events Around Town: 6/12-6/14

Celebrate the Blues in Grant Park; visit The Barack Obama Presidential Library; and sample the best ribs in town. Chicago Tonight has your weekend picks.

Weekend Events Around Town: 5/29-5/31

Engage the left side of your brain with science activities; watch a family drama unfold on stage; and celebrate the arrival of spring with Chicago’s German community; Chicago Tonight has your weekend picks.

Blues Legend B.B. King Dies at 89

B.B. King (Gorupdebesanez / Wikimedia Commons)

The King of Blues, B.B. King, died Thursday at the age of 89 at his home in Las Vegas, according to a message posted to his official website. Earlier this month, the legendary guitarist wrote he was receiving hospice care at his residence.

Weekend Events Around Town: 5/15-5/17

Credit: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Meet the newest inhabitants at the Shedd Aquriuam; kick off the street festival season; and enjoy a glass of wine while you stroll. Chicago Tonight has your weekend picks.

Services for Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George died at his residence Friday after a long battle with cancer. Services for Cardinal Francis George will be held this week at Holy Name Cathedral.

Remembering Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George has died at age 78 after years of battling cancer. Chicago Tonight looks back on his life and career.

DeKalb & Ogle Counties Declared Disaster Areas

Gov. Bruce Rauner declared DeKalb and Ogle counties state disaster areas after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes tore through the area Thursday. At least two people were reported dead in DeKalb County and dozens were injured.

Getting the Garden Ready

Gardening season is just around the corner. To help us prepare for the upcoming season, The Organic Gardener Jeanne Nolan stops by our garden and studio. 

Mayoral Candidates Release Plans for City’s Finances

Mayoral candidates Rahm Emanuel and Jesús "Chuy" García released their financial plans for the city today. Read their plans.

Moody's Downgrades City's Credit Rating

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the rating on the city of Chicago’s $8.3 billion in general obligation debt to Baa2 from Baa1 on Friday, Feb. 27. 

U.S. Rep. Schock Used Campaign, Taxpayer Funds for Private Planes

The Associated Press reported that U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) spent taxpayer and campaign funds on private planes owned by some of his key donors. Peoria Journal Star assignment editor and political reporter Chris Kaergard, who’s covered Schock since 2008, talks with us about the latest Schock-related headlines.

Bears Hire John Fox as Head Coach

It’s official. The Chicago Bears have hired John Fox, former head coach for the Denver Broncos, as the team’s next head coach.

Remembering Judy Baar Topinka

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who died at the age of 70, is remembered for her personality, beliefs, and sense of style. 

History of Chicago Bears’ Head Coaches

The Chicago Bears have had 17 head coaches since the team’s inception as the Decatur Staleys. Marc Trestman is the Bears’ current head coach. Learn more about the coaches and their records with the team.

Scientific Chicago with Rabiah Mayas

Rabiah Mayas of the Museum of Science and Industry talks about the future of commercial space travel and identifying food poisoning via Twitter on Chicago Tonight.