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Stories by Jay Shefsky

Together for Decades, 5 Men Aim for Independence

Jay Shefsky with the men of Amundsen House. Clockwise, from top left: Jay Shefsky, Allan Rehwinkel, Bill Rogers, Louis Kaufman, Jim Kearns, George Minasian.

How independently can adults with intellectual disabilities live as they age? We visit a group of men who have shared a home for decades. 

Chicago Bird Sanctuary is Best Place in State to See Spring Migration

A warbling vireo photographed at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary by Rob Curtis.

Here’s something that might surprise you: The best place in the entire state of Illinois to see birds during their spring migration is in the city of Chicago. 

Chicago Man’s Passion for ‘Hard Water Sailing’ Easy to Fathom

Chris Berger shows us his DN ice boat.

We meet a longtime sailor who races boats on ice – not water. “Ice boating is sailing, it’s just a faster, more exciting version of it,” Chris Berger says.

For Giant Globes Founder, Business is a Global Endeavor

Matt Binns is equal parts artist, inventor and businessman We visit his workshop to see how his company’s custom-made globes are constructed.

Chicago Punk Rock Musicians with Unexpected Day Jobs

The Bollweevils pose after a rehearsal in a Northwest Side basement. From left: Pete Mittler, Daryl Wilson, Ken Fitzner, Pete Mumford. (Jay Shefsky / Chicago Tonight)

The story of one local punk band whose members’ lives have gone in some surprising directions.  

Chicago Man’s Passion for ‘Hard Water Sailing’ Easy to Fathom

Chris Berger shows us his DN ice boat.

We meet a longtime sailor who races boats on ice – not water. “Ice boating is sailing, it’s just a faster, more exciting version of it,” Chris Berger says.

Rare, Valuable Work of Art Purchased at Chicago Thrift Store

Close-up of “Head of Christ” (1940) by Warner Sallman

A Chicago man stumbles on a rare and valuable piece of art that is a close cousin to the most reproduced painting in history.    

Together for Decades, 5 Men Aim for Independence

Jay Shefsky with the men of Amundsen House. Clockwise, from top left: Jay Shefsky, Allan Rehwinkel, Bill Rogers, Louis Kaufman, Jim Kearns, George Minasian.

How independently can adults with intellectual disabilities live as they age? We visit a group of men who have shared a home for decades. 

‘Ugly’ Produce Delivered to Your Door

(Colette Krey / Imperfect)

Roughly 20 percent of the produce grown in this country is never eaten, and a lot of it never even makes it off the farm because it doesn’t look right. Now, Chicagoans can buy that perfectly good (but unattractive) produce. 

‘Nice Ink, Granny!’: Local Senior Brings Color to Chicago

Helen Lambin shows Jay Shefsky her collection of tattoos.

When Helen Lambin got a small tattoo for her 75th birthday, she had no intention of ever getting another. But the experience “made me feel sort of adventurous and wild,” she remembers.

Chicago Photographer Captures Toll of Opioids, Homelessness

Jet and Stone (Lloyd DeGrane Photography)

Lloyd DeGrane spent three years photographing homeless encampments in Chicago. He shares images and stories from the streets.

‘Ugly’ Produce Delivered to Your Door

(Courtesy of Imperfect)

Roughly 20 percent of the produce grown in this country is never eaten, and a lot of it never even makes it off the farm because it doesn’t look right. Now, Chicagoans can buy that perfectly good but unattractive produce.  

Photographer Captures Snowy Owl Along Lake Michigan

(Jerry Goldner)

An owl loving Chicago photographer takes us along as he shoots a majestic snowy owl during the last “invasion” in 2014.

30 Years Later, Notorious ‘Max Headroom Incident’ Remains a Mystery

Chicago television has a rich and colorful history. But few moments are quite as colorful—or bizarre—as the incident that happened to this very station in 1987.

Family Secret Inspires Graphic Novel ‘The Hunting Accident’

Imagine learning your father was prison pals with notorious murderer Nathan Leopold. That’s the true story told in a new graphic novel.  

All-Black World War I Regiment Featured in New Documentary

The 370th Regiment of the United States National Guard fought on two fronts: the war against the Germans and the war against racism and inequality.

Exploring the little-known story of an all-black infantry regiment from Chicago that fought in World War I. A discussion with documentary filmmaker Mario Tharpe.

‘Nice Ink, Granny!’: Local Senior Brings Color to Chicago

Helen Lambin shows Jay Shefsky her collection of tattoos.

When Helen Lambin got a small tattoo for her 75th birthday, she had no intention of ever getting another. But the experience “made me feel sort of adventurous and wild,” she remembers.

As Homicides Leave Behind Families in Pain, Chicago Nonprofit Steps Up

Chicago Survivors social worker JaShawn Hill with client Tyrone Blake.

A nonprofit offers free emotional and practical support to Chicagoans who lose loved ones to homicide.    

Bald Eagles Spotted Near O’Hare Signal a Comeback

In the early 1960s, bald eagles were nearly extinct in the lower 48 states. But government protections and conservation measures have had a huge impact on their numbers. “I think it’s an incredible success story,” said biologist Chris Anchor.

A Story My Lyft Driver Told Me

Jay Shefsky is reunited with his Lyft Driver, Janice Walker-Hester.

Meet one of the first African-American flight attendants and hear the unusual way her mother inspired her love of travel.

A Day with a Chicago Tugboat Crew

Chicago Tonight spends a day with a tugboat crew moving barges on the Calumet River.

The Nation’s Oldest African-American Women’s Golf Club Turns 80

There was once an extensive network of African-American golf leagues and clubs across the country. As the golf world opened up, most of them faded away. But one that remains is the Chicago Women’s Golf Club. We go for a visit.

A Story My Lyft Driver Told Me

Jay Shefsky is reunited with his Lyft Driver, Janice Walker-Hester.

Meet one of the first African-American flight attendants, and the unusual way her mom inspired a love of travel.  

The Nation’s Oldest African-American Women’s Golf Club Turns 80

There was once an extensive network of African-American golf leagues and clubs across the country. As the golf world opened up, most of them faded away. But one that remains is the Chicago Women's Golf Club. We go for a visit.

Art Conservation Expert Does Museum Work for Free

Art conservation can cost thousands of dollars. Meet one man who’s dedicated to restoring works of art pro bono.

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