Stories by Kristen Thometz

Study: College Students’ PTSD, Depression Linked to Childhood Bullying

Childhood bullying can cause female college students the same long-lasting psychological distress as severe childhood physical or sexual abuse, according to a new study. (Twentyfour Students / Flickr)

For female college students, peer victimization appears to inflict the same long-term distress associated with severe childhood physical or sexual abuse, according to a new study.

Prevent Teen Obesity, Eating Disorders with Family Meals, Exercise

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics advise parents to have family dinners to prevent teen obesity and eating disorders. (Pixabay)

When it comes to preventing teen obesity and eating disorders, parents and health officials should avoid focusing on teens’ weight or diet, according to new guidelines. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits should be encouraged instead.

NFL Players’ Careers Most Impacted by Certain Knee Injuries

NFL players who had knee surgeries such as ACL reconstruction or patellar tendon repair experienced the most significant decline in performance, according to a new study. (Pixabay)

The Chicago Bears open the season Sunday with several players sidelined by injuries. A new study analyzing common orthopedic surgeries NFL players receive could shed some light onto when fans can expect them back.

Chemotherapy Has Long-Lasting Effects on Cognition, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Illinois analyzed the long-term effects of chemotherapy on cognition using a rodent model. (Linda Bartlett / Wikimedia Commons)

Breast cancer patients and survivors often report forgetfulness and difficulty focusing after chemotherapy. A recent study analyzes these symptoms, commonly referred to as “chemo brain.”

Polo Tournament This Weekend at North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach will be transformed into a beach polo arena this weekend. (Credit: Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup / Facebook)

Giddy on up to North Avenue Beach this weekend to watch the “sport of kings” at the Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup.

Study Finds Illinois Emergency Room Visits Up After Obamacare

Average monthly emergency department visits increased by 5.7 percent in Illinois after Obamacare’s launch, even though the state’s population remained unchanged. (KOMUnews / Eric Staszczak via Flickr)

Visits to emergency rooms increased in the state following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study.

Allergist, Mom Says Mylan Should Lower Cost of EpiPen

As public outcry over the cost of EpiPen continues, Mylan announces it will create a generic version of the brand name life-saving drug.(Intropin via Wikimedia Commons)

The maker of the EpiPen announced Monday it will create a generic version of the life-saving drug at half the cost of the brand name. But a local allergist is skeptical about how much that will help.

Midwest Native Driving to All 412 National Park Sites

Trip Includes Stop in Chicago, Expected to Take 3 Years

(Courtesy Mikah Meyer)

When most people visit a National Park Service site, they visit the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. Not many realize that there are more than 400 National Park Service sites. But that’s one thing Mikah Meyer hopes to change as he travels cross-country visiting all 412 of those sites.

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.