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Stories by Kristen Thometz

‘Hamilton’ Star Begins ‘My Shot at Epilepsy’ to Raise Awareness, Funds

“Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes and a group of children demonstrate the “My Shot” pose used in the viral campaign started by Cervantes and his wife, Kelly, to raise awareness and funds for epilepsy research. (CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy / Facebook)

Inspired by the song “My Shot,” from the blockbuster musical, actor Miguel Cervantes is challenging the public to take their “shot” and help raise awareness and funds to find a cure for epilepsy. 

18 New Illinois Laws to Know in 2018

More than 200 laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, ranging from health care and criminal justice to animal welfare. We give you the rundown.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 28-Jan. 1

(Stage Photographic)

Belly dancing Wookiees, a magical scavenger hunt, New Year’s Day bike ride and a massive blanket fort party usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Details for Women’s March to the Polls

(Alexandra Silets / Chicago Tonight)

In less than a month, Women’s March on Chicago organizers will mark the one-year anniversary of their inaugural march with another one designed to empower women voters. Here are the details for the event.

10 Things to Do This New Year’s Eve

(Michael Mayer / Flickr)

Ring in the new year with live music, comedy, ice-skating, yoga and bubbly and brews. Here are 10 New Year’s Eve parties in and around Chicago. 

Restaurants, Advocates Prep for New Food Allergy Law Starting Jan. 1

Starting next month, some restaurant managers must be formally trained in food allergy safety. But an informal survey by the Illinois Food Allergy Education Association indicates not all restaurants are aware of the new rules. 

Health Care Providers, Students Call on Congress to Fund CHIP

(Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expired in September. On Thursday, dozens of protesters called on Congress to reauthorize funding for the program. “Babies can’t wait,” said Ireta Gasner of the Ounce of Prevention Fund.

Study: High-Intensity Exercise Delays Parkinson’s Disease Progression

People with early stage Parkinson’s disease could benefit from high-intensity exercise, according to a first-of-its-kind study which found that it decreased the worsening of motor symptoms when performed three times a week.

Researchers Seek to Find Cause of Fibromyalgia via Genetic Testing

Fibromyalgia affects up to 6 percent of the world’s population, yet little is known about the cause of the disorder, characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. University of Illinois at Chicago researchers now hope to uncover its origins.

Cancer Survivor Pushing for State Law on Dense Breast Notifications

Patti Beyer (Jon Hillebrand / NorthShore University HealthSystem)

Glenview resident Patti Beyer is advocating for a state law that would require mammography reports to inform women if they have dense breast tissue, a risk factor for cancer. “It’s already in the mammography report to the doctor but unless the doctor tells you, it’s kept from you,” she said.

Joel Weisman to Retire as Host of ‘The Week in Review’

“After 40 years I've decided to end my term as host and senior editor of this show I helped create,” Joel Weisman said. A special show next month will mark the show’s fourth decade, and Weisman’s final appearance as host.

Love Shopping, Hate Making Returns? There’s a (New) App for That

The holiday season and shopping go hand-in-hand – as do the dreaded holiday returns. One local startup wants to take headache out of making returns – by making them for you.

Self-Taught Businesswoman Launches Chicago Black Women’s Business Week

A weeklong initiative geared toward women of color offers networking opportunities, workshops and more. “It’s good to be part of a community,” said Chicago native Tranette Williams, who founded the event.

Researchers to Design App to Reduce Back-to-Back Pregnancies in Teens

In an effort to reduce the number of back-to-back pregnancies among adolescents, Chicago researchers are designing a multimedia tool kit to educate, engage and offer resources to young women.

Smoking Rates Drop in Young Adults Following Tobacco 21 Law, City Says

Since the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Chicago was increased to 21 in July 2016, fewer young adults in the city are smoking, according to data from a newly released survey.

State Creates Program to Find Missing People with Alzheimer’s Disease

The new Silver Search program provides education and resources to help locate people who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia when they go missing.

‘Hamilton’ Star Begins ‘My Shot at Epilepsy’ to Raise Awareness, Funds

“Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes and a group of children demonstrate the “My Shot” pose used in the viral campaign started by Cervantes and his wife, Kelly, to raise awareness and funds for epilepsy research. (CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy / Facebook)

Inspired by the song “My Shot,” from the blockbuster musical, actor Miguel Cervantes is challenging the public to take their “shot” and help raise awareness and funds to find a cure for epilepsy. 

Rev. Jesse Jackson Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

The civil rights advocate announced Friday that he was diagnosed with the progressive degenerative disorder in 2015. 

Letter: Extend Federal Funds for Children’s Health Insurance Program

More than 50 organizations are urging the Illinois congressional delegation to reauthorize funding for programs that provide health insurance to children and support for low-income and at-risk families, before it becomes a crisis in the state.

Imperfect to Deliver ‘Ugly’ Fruits, Vegetables to Chicagoans

(Courtesy of Imperfect)

Fruits and vegetables come in all shapes and sizes, but only those that meet strict cosmetic requirements end up in grocery stores, while “ugly” produce goes to waste. Imperfect, a new produce delivery service, hopes to change that.

Chicago Teen Birth Rate Drops to New Low

Teen birth rates in Chicago have reached a new low, according to city officials. In 2015, there were 27.5 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-19, a 67-percent drop from 1999.

UChicago’s Chuan He Awarded 2017 Paul Marks Prize in Cancer Research

University of Chicago professor Chuan He (Lloyd DeGrane for the University of Chicago)

The biennial award is bestowed upon three promising researchers under the age of 45 making significant contributions to understanding the disease or improving treatments. 

Scientists Target Cancer’s ‘Achilles’ Heel’ to Stop Therapy Resistance

(Mike Mitchell / National Cancer Institute)

Northwestern University scientists believe they may have found the “Achilles’ heel” of cancer. In a recent study, researchers were able to almost completely eradicate the disease in laboratory cell cultures.

ADA Responds to Chicago, County Officials’ Letter on Opioids

(David Kessler / Flickr)

Responding to local officials’ call for restrictions on opioid prescriptions, the American Dental Association outlines the steps it’s taking to address the opioid epidemic. 

Local Salon Owner Seeks Blow-Dry Only State License

A North Shore salon owner says cosmetology licenses should not be required for employees of salons specializing in styling hair, rather than cutting it. But not everyone in the industry agrees that a blow-dry license is a good idea.