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Moving Picture: Elgin costume designer helps directors bring visions to life
By Brian Hill
Apr 24, 2016 7:30 AM
Fran Mitchell's love of sewing led her into a new career -- as a costume designer for Elgin-area schools and theater groups.
Meet the energetic nun who mentors teens at St. James
By Bob Chwedyk
Apr 15, 2016 5:15 AM
She plays guitar, teaches confirmation class, and leads teenagers on tree-planting mission trips. It takes a lot of energy to be director of youth ministry at a busy parish like St. James in Arlington Heights, but Sister Faustina Ferko is up to the challenge. "Young people are bombarded by a lot of things, and here at St. James my mission is to walk with them," she says.
Moving Picture: Meet the couple who captures pesky critters
By Brian Hill
Apr 6, 2016 1:02 PM
What should you do when you have a squirrel in your basement? What about a beaver taking over your backyard or a chipmunk in your chimney? You can try to solve the issue yourself, or you can call Brad and Katy Lundsteen of Suburban Wildlife Control.
Bubble master inspire children to believe in themselves
By Gilbert Boucher II
Mar 17, 2016 1:00 AM
Geoff Akins-Hannah is more than just a guy who does tricks with bubbles. The McHenry County resident is a motivational speaker, and his presentations, in which he builds seemingly impossible bubble creations, are designed to convey his core message: "Anything is Possible."
Meet the Russian Olympic gold medalist who now coaches suburban swimmers
By Steve Lundy
Feb 28, 2016 7:10 AM
He grew up in Russia, won gold in Barcelona, and now he's training the next generation of Olympic hopefuls. Meet Vladimir "Vlad" Pyshnenko, head senior coach at CATS Aquatic Team in Libertyville, who says, "Swimming is my whole life. It's all I know and all I care about."
Meet lifelong tap dancer teaching at age 80
By Laura Stoecker
Feb 13, 2016 5:25 AM
Lifelong dancer LaVergne Tharge, 80, of Carpentersville teaches tap dancing twice a week in Carpentersville and Elgin. "It's very healthy for you to do. And if you start doing it, I think you'll not do it for the exercise; I think you'll do it because you like it," she says.
Meet the pioneering exotic pet vet from Lisle
By Mark Black
Feb 9, 2016 11:59 AM
What's the oddest creature Lisle exotic pet veterinarian has ever treated? A millipede infested with little mites. Yes, a bug infested with bugs.
How soap box derby racing enhances life of special needs girl in South Elgin
By John Starks
Feb 1, 2016 5:40 AM
Life hasn't always been easy for Ava McCollim. Her father died of brain cancer, and she's faced challenges including ADHD, epilepsy and autism. But the 8-year-old has found her peace and passion behind the wheel of a soap box derby car.
Meet the female farrier who started at 16
By Bev Horne
Jan 3, 2016 7:33 AM
Jamie Westland Wandell excels in a field dominated by men, And has been since she was 16. She is a farrier and travels to stables around Kane and DuPage counties, where she fits horses with shoes, trims their hoofs and forges horseshoes.
Shorts and fishnets? Meet Algonquin roller derby player
By Laura Stoecker
Dec 27, 2015 9:56 AM
On the surface, roller derby appears to be a rough and tumble sport comprising women with intriguing names aggressively racing and blocking around a track. But that's not what's at the heart of the sport. It's a strong sisterhood of women of all ages and backgrounds who support each other both on and off the track.
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