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Stories by Jay Shefsky

Black Sailors in Chicago Chart a New Course

Producer Jay Shefsky and cameraman Felix Mendez pose with the crew of Mise en Place at Jackson Park Harbor.

Sailing is a mostly white, male sport. On the eve of the Race to Mackinac, we visit one crew that bucks both of those trends. 

Behind the Scenes at Vienna Beef on its 125th Birthday

(Jay Shefsky / Chicago Tonight)

The company started by two Viennese immigrants in 1893 makes more than 100 million sausages each year at its Chicago plant. We take a behind-the-scenes tour to see how the sausage is made. 

Chicago Sailing Camp Sets Sights on Diversifying Sport

This summer, a local sailing camp has tried to break down economic barriers with a scholarship program for a majority of its campers. 

The Power of Scuba Diving for People with Disabilities

We visit a local nonprofit that offers free scuba training to adults and children with special needs.

Live Bait Shop at Montrose Harbor a Relic of Chicago’s Fishing Heyday

Stacey Greene is the owner of Park Bait Shop at Montrose Harbor. (Jay Shefsky / Chicago Tonight)

Once upon a time in Chicago, so many people fished to feed their families that there were bait shops up and down the lakefront. The oldest one has been owned by the same family for 60 years.

Making Baby Walleye in Cook County

Cook County Fisheries biologists Jim Phillips and Steve Silic in the walleye hatchery.

Though not a terribly romantic process, walleye breeding at the Cook County Forest Preserve District produces thousands of young fish for county lakes. We take a closer look.

Black Sailors in Chicago Chart a New Course

Producer Jay Shefsky and cameraman Felix Mendez pose with the crew of Mise en Place at Jackson Park Harbor.

Sailing is a mostly white, male sport. On the eve of the Race to Mackinac, we visit one crew that bucks both of those trends. 

Pilsen Photographer Sebastian Hidalgo Focuses on Longtime Residents

(Credit: Sebastián Hidalgo)

Meet a photographer who captures a “culture under threat” in an area named last month by Forbes magazine as one of the 12 coolest neighborhoods in the world. 

The Power of Scuba Diving for People with Disabilities

We visit a local nonprofit that offers free scuba training to adults and children with special needs.

Behind the Scenes at Vienna Beef on its 125th Birthday

(Jay Shefsky / Chicago Tonight)

The company started by two Viennese immigrants in 1893 makes more than 100 million sausages each year at its Chicago plant. We take a behind-the-scenes tour to see how the sausage is made. 

Making Baby Walleye in Cook County

Cook County Fisheries biologists Jim Phillips and Steve Silic in the walleye hatchery.

Though not a terribly romantic process, walleye breeding at the Cook County Forest Preserve District produces thousands of young fish for county lakes. We take a closer look.

Archive: John Callaway Interviews Elizabeth Brackett

As an interviewer, Elizabeth Brackett was known for her excellent preparation and probing questions. In late April 2009, the tables were turned when longtime “Chicago Tonight” host John Callaway directed the questions at her.

Former Fashion Photographer Finds Beauty in Nature

Photographer Owen Deutsch

After 20 years in the fashion industry, Owen Deutsch wasn’t planning on getting back into photography. But then he discovered a new subject: birds.

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.

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.

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