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Stories by Kristen Thometz

DEA Taking Back Prescription Drugs Saturday

Clean out your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of unused prescriptions during a biannual event that’s collected more than 9 million pounds of pills since its 2010 launch.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 26-29

(Courtesy of One of a Kind Show)

A unique shopping fair, craft cocktails, irreverent improv and films about furry friends usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Illinois Woman’s Death Linked to Synthetic Marijuana Use

Synthetic cannabinoid use has now been linked to four deaths in Illinois since late March, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Study: Gene Therapy for Blood Disorder Ends Need for Transfusions

A rare blood disorder called thalassemia requires regular blood transfusions, but gene therapy may change that, according to a new study.

Illinois Gets Huge Donation for Synthetic Cannabinoids Treatment

How a donation of nearly 800,000 tablets of vitamin K can help treat severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids.

New Chicago Law Requires Health Warning Signs at Tobacco Dealers

The Windy City is the first in the nation to require tobacco health warning signs at the doors of all tobacco dealers. The new law also prohibits all free sampling of tobacco products.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 19-22

Peek into hanging terrariums for an ant’s-eye view of nature with the “Local Homes: Nature in Your Backyard installation" by artist Vaughn Bell at the Unearth Science festival. (Chicago Botanic Garden)

Earth Day activities, heaps of chocolate and international pop bands usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

How Prepared is Illinois to Manage Health Emergencies?

When it comes to dealing with disasters, disease outbreaks and other emergencies, Illinois is among the most prepared states in the nation, according to a new report. 

UChicago Launches LGBTQ Career Readiness Program

A new resource is designed to help adolescents and young adults develop job skills, continue their education and overcome barriers to stable employment.

Study: Night Owls Have Risk of Dying Sooner than Early Risers

Left: Sunrise over Lake Michigan. (rlobes / Pixabay). Right: Moon over Chicago. (nathanmac87 / Flickr)

The adage, “early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” takes on new meaning thanks to research by scientists in Chicago and England.

10 Things to Do this Weekend: April 12-15

Scaly creatures, vintage vinyls and cheesy bites usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Chicago Tribune Staffers Move to Unionize

(Adam Jones, Ph.D. / Wikimedia Commons)

“The newsroom is in a position of jeopardy, and we’re standing up to make sure we’re paid fairly and to make sure we have a voice in how this place operates,” said Charlie Johnson, a Chicago Tribune home page editor and member of the union organizing committee.

Study: US Clinicians Project Better Health Outcomes for White Patients

A hypothetical male patient diagnosed with hypertension served as the starting point for a University of Chicago study on racial bias in health care in the U.S. and France.

3 Illinois Deaths Linked to Synthetic Marijuana Use

Two Illinois men in their 20s and one in his 40s have died since March 28 after experiencing severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Reports of Illness Linked to Synthetic Cannabinoid Use Surge in 2018

In the first 95 days of 2018, there have been 111 cases of illness related to synthetic cannabinoid use in Illinois, according to the Illinois Poison Center. Episodes of severe bleeding are driving the bulk of that increase.

2018 Chicago Summer Festival Guide

(Courtesy of Wicker Park Fest)

It’s hard to believe, but Grant Park concerts, neighborhood street fests, lakefront lounging and hot air balloons are on the horizon. Here’s your preview to summer festival season in and around Chicago.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 5-8

C2E2 2017 (C2E2 / Facebook)

Superheroes, bacon bites and vintage street murals usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

70 Cases of Severe Bleeding in Illinois Linked to Synthetic Marijuana Use

Health officials on Tuesday are again urging people to avoid synthetic cannabinoids – even if they’ve used them in the past without incident. The drugs “are not a safe alternative to marijuana” and “probably more toxic,” said Illinois Poison Center Medical Director Mike Wahl.

3 Charged for Allegedly Conspiring to Sell Synthetic Marijuana in Chicago

The U.S. attorney’s office charged three people Monday with federal drug offenses for allegedly conspiring to sell synthetic cannabinoids at a West Side convenience store.

2 Illinois Deaths Linked to Use of Synthetic Marijuana

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

Two people have died in Illinois, including one in the Chicago area, after experiencing severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

2020 Census Citizenship Question ‘Politically Motivated,’ Say Officials

| Paris Schutz

The United States Census is not often a hot-button issue, but it’s recently been thrust into the center of controversy.

UIC Publicly Launches App Designed to Track Bipolar Disorder


An app developed by local researchers to predict manic episodes and depressive moods in people with bipolar disorder – based on how they interact with their cellphones – is now available to download in Apple’s app store.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: March 29-April 1

(Tianyu Arts & Culture)

Thousands of sparking lights, airborne marshmallows, egg hunts and bunny ears usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

ADA Opioid Guidelines Support Mandate for Prescription Limits

The American Dental Association announces a new policy on opioid prescriptions and education for dentists who prescribe the painkillers and other controlled substances.

Justice John Paul Stevens Calls for Repeal of Second Amendment

Justice John Paul Stevens’ 1976 U.S. Supreme Court official portrait (Library of Congress)

The retired U.S. Supreme Court justice and Chicago native called for the Second Amendment to be repealed in a New York Times op-ed just days after the March For Our Lives rally in Washington.