Stories by Jay Shefsky

Exploring Chicago’s Dirt Jumps

Velogrrl

Many of Chicago's favorite places are out in the open -- Millenium Park, Michigan Avenue, and Wrigley Field. But we also like to show you the hidden treasures, even if they're hidden in the woods. Jay Shefksy brings us to The Garden, home of Chicago’s dirt jumps.

A Stroke at 30

At 30, Monifa Thomas was a health and medicine reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times. Not long after she passed a complete physical, Monifa had a stroke and was paralyzed on her right side and had great difficulty speaking. We have the story of her recovery, return to her medical beat. 

Love Story

When Jay Shefsky first came up with the idea for this story he thought it was about a man with an unusual talent.  It turned out to be a remarkable story of love and art. See a photo gallery of Antonio's work. 

Cats and Rodent Control

Like most big cities, Chicago has a rat problem. Exterminators and local municipalities do their best to make a dent, but now there's a new approach to rodent control that is actually quite old. 

Paying His Debt to Society

There are hundreds of yoga studios in the Chicago area. But in the Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side there is, as far as we know, just one.  Jay Shefsky introduces us to Marshawn Feltus, who learned yoga during his time in prison for murder and is now trying to repay the community he damaged by operating his own studio. 

The President’s Table

When French President François Hollande visited Washington in February, President Obama gave him a hand-crafted table. We meet the Chicago-area craftsman who designed and built the table, made in part with wood from George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Watch a video and view a slideshow.

U.S. Sled Hockey Team Wins Gold Medal

This past weekend, at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, the U.S. sled hockey team won the Gold Medal. Two members of that team -- Brody Roybal and Kevin McKee -- were from Chicago and were featured in Jay Shefsky's profile. Watch the video and read an article.

Irish Music Elders

Malachy Towey and Kevin Henry are two of the elder statesman of Irish music in Chicago. Towey, age 93, plays the bodhrán, an Irish frame drum. Henry is 85, and plays the flute. For more than 50 years, they have been part of a vibrant Irish music scene in Chicago. Recently, Jay Shefsky stopped by at their weekly music session at Lanigan’s Pub on 111th Street, and has a profile of these two longtime musicians and friends. 

A Love Story Born from Adversity

When Juanita met Antonio at a nursing home, he was recovering from a gunshot wound that left him in a wheelchair. Sixteen years later, he's an accomplished painter and she is the love of his life. Jay Shefsky has this remarkable love story.

Elder Portraits

Arlene Marks stopped painting several years before she moved into assisted living. But when she arrived, she found new inspiration. We revisit Jay Shefsky's profile of a suburban artist rediscovering her art and painting charming portraits of her neighbors. Read an article and view a slideshow.

Notebaert Nature Museum Turns 157

To mark the 157th anniversary of Chicago's first science museum, we take a look at some surprising specimens - including a Chicago rattlesnake.

Flying Horses

Did you ever wonder how prize racehorses get from Chicago or Kentucky to, say, Dubai? We revisit a story where Jay Shefsky takes us to O'Hare Airport to meet a man who makes his living flying around the world with racehorses. Read an article.

Rats!

Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation says that requests for rat control services are down 15 percent this year. One reason, they say, is that city crews have done 30 percent more rodent control inspections and baiting jobs than in this period last year. That got Jay Shefsky wondering about the people who do those inspections and baiting jobs. He tagged along with a crew and showed us what he found. We revisit the story. Read an article and a web extra interview.

Flying Horses

Did you ever wonder how prize racehorses get from Chicago or Kentucky to, say, Dubai? Jay Shefsky takes us to O'Hare Airport to meet a man who makes his living flying around the world with racehorses. Read an article.

Honeybee Rescuer

Dan Parizek is a “Honeybee Rescuer." If you’ve got a beehive in the walls of your home, Dan will relocate it so it won’t be destroyed by an exterminator. With Colony Collapse Disorder destroying some 10 million beehives since 2007, Dan and others say we can’t afford to lose any more hives. We revisit Jay Shefsky's profile. Read an article, watch a web extra video, and learn more about Colony Collapse Disorder from local scientists.

Elder Portraits

Arlene Marks stopped painting several years before she moved into assisted living. But when she arrived, she found new inspiration. Jay Shefsky has a profile of a suburban artist rediscovering her art and painting charming portraits of her neighbors. Read an article and view a slideshow.

Sled Hockey

We revisit Jay Shefsky's profile of Chicago's sled hockey team -- that's the hard-hitting, fast-paced sport played by amputees and others with lower limb disabilities. Read an article and watch a web extra video.

Wheelchair Basketball

We revisit Jay Shefsky's profile of a basketball team you won't forget. Read an article and view a photo gallery.

Illinois Capitol Renovations

A $50 million renovation and restoration project for the Illinois Capitol building is nearly complete. But are all the improvements justified given the state’s fiscal woes? We have analysis. Read the project description and historical decisions document from the architect.

Honeybee Rescuer

Dan Parizek is a “Honeybee Rescuer." If you’ve got a beehive in the walls of your home, Dan will relocate it so it won’t be destroyed by an exterminator. With Colony Collapse Disorder destroying some 10 million beehives since 2007, Dan and others say we can’t afford to lose any more hives. Jay Shefsky has a profile. Read an article, watch a web extra video, and learn more about Colony Collapse Disorder from local scientists.

Billiard Girl

This month, Karsyn Terry took fourth place in a national, 14-and-under pool tournament. In the 24 years that this tournament has existed, Karsyn is the first African American to make the finals. We revisit Jay Shefsky's profile. Read an article.

Behind the Scenes on a Tall Ship

Among the 14 historic ships heading for Chicago’s Tall Ships Festival is the “Lynx,” a two-masted schooner modeled after an 1812 “privateer.” I spent 24 hours on the Lynx as it sailed to Chicago. Read an article, view a slideshow, and watch Web Extra: Dawn on a Tall Ship for a video postcard of my trip.

Neighbor Carts

Neighbor Carts hires workers with pre-existing barriers to employment, while simultaneously working to eradicate the city's vast food deserts. We revisit Jay Shefsky's story about the company's innovative business model. Read an article and view a slideshow.

Rats!

Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation says that requests for rat control services are down 15 percent this year.

Billiard Girl

When she was 13, Karsyn Terry took second place in a national, 14-and-under pool tournament. In the 24 years that this tournament has existed, Karsyn is the first African American to make the finals. Now, after a year of intensive training with her father, she is going for first place this weekend. Jay Shefsky has a profile. Read an article.