Softball star Monica Abbott returns to face her former team

By Adam Rossow

Former Chicago Bandits star Monica Abbott pitched against her ex-team for the first time this season on Wednesday. She signed a six-year deal worth $1 million to join the Scrap Yard Dawgs this spring, after spending the last five seasons with the Bandits. Medill’s Adam Rossow caught up with Abbott and a couple of her former teammates to talk about the return to Chicago.

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Chasing Nojel

By Julia Cardi

When the final afternoon bell rang in Evanston Township High School at 3:35, a rush of teenagers and their cacophony of end-of-day chatter flooded the hallways. The open space adjacent to the school’s various athletic facilities clogged with kids heading to practices; in the locker rooms, they traded Timberland boots and jeans for workout clothes in the high school’s signature navy and orange. Members of the Wildkits boys basketball team loped into Beardsley Gym a few minutes before 4 p.m., and stretched and jumped rope until Coach Mike Ellis called them together.

The jewel of Ellis’ squad is first recognizable by the “20” emblazoned on the back of his practice jersey. During a break in running drills, positioned well behind the half-court line, Nojel Eastern scrunched his six-and-a-half-feet of lean basketball body like a coiled spring and released, sending the ball in a graceful arc to swish through the net. Eastern punched the air in celebration before looking around at his teammates to see who had noticed, but during the lull most had scattered to drink water and chat or practice their own shooting.

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Undocumented father takes sanctuary in church

By Bian Elkhatib

J

ose Juan Federico Moreno has not left University Church in Hyde Park since April 15. He is seeking sanctuary from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after they asked him to self-deport to Mexico.

Moreno, who is from Bolingbrook, has a wife and five U.S. citizen children. He was targeted for deportation after receiving a DUI in 2009.

“I regret what I did. But I paid my fines, all the tickets I got,” Moreno said in Spanish.

He said living in the church is difficult, but he’s thankful for the support he’s receiving from the church, the community and his family.

Photo at top: Jose Juan Federico Moreno has been living in University Church for over 40 days. He is taking sanctuary from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Bian Elkhatib/MEDILL)

Project Onward Helps Disabled Express Their Art

By Vishakha Darbha

William Douglas has been creating art since he was a child. But unlike other children, he stayed away from the company of people. As someone who battles social anxiety, Douglas found a haven in Project Onward, a not-for-profit studio and gallery for artists with physical and developmental disabilities.

Video: William Douglas narrates his life story as he creates a bouquet of flowers, at the Project Onward Gallery. (Vishakha Darbha/MEDILL)
Photo on Top: Douglas’ final piece: A bouquet of flowers bought by Robert Darnell for his wife Susan, on Mother’s Day. (Vishakha Darbha/MEDILL)

Chicago Mosaic: Blistering politics, Bronzeville jazz and Asian karaoke

The mosaic of Chicago rocks with blistering politics, Bronzeville jazz, contentious CHA commercial deals and Asian karaoke. Protesters face arrest at the BP refinery. Artists paint outdoor murals right across the windows of vaulting city walls. And the Internet of Things hands you remote control over a galactic system or all your wireless networks. Find more facets of Chicago Mosaic here.

Anatomy of a Protest: The Break Free from Fossil Fuels Rally

Staving off superbugs—The battle against antibiotic resistance

What to do with Chicago’s vacant public housing land

South Side students face long commutes as Chicago City Colleges consolidate programs

Englewood thrives on community gardens

Low-income taxpayers most in need of tax reform this presidential election year

Internet of Things mushrooms in Chicago thanks to Midwestern industrial infrastructure

It’s your chance for stardom in your choice of style

Conceptual art museum opens its (floating) doors

From #NeverTrump to #NeverHillary

A mosaic of murals spring to life in South Loop

Photo at top: A night image of the city of Chicago from the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA.

Ready for change: a local muralist aims to beautify tough neighborhoods

By Torene Harvin

Rahmaan ‘Statik’ Barnes is more than just the man who painted the Prince mural in Avalon Park. He has made it a mission to make many of the city’s tough neighborhoods more appealing.


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Local Programs Ensure Ex-Offenders Can Look Forward to Brighter Future

By Torene Harvin

A Medill Newsmakers Report

In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, three guests shared what they are doing to keep young men and women out of prison and on a path to success.


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Billy Corgan, local rappers & new talent take Medill Newsmakers stage

By Caley Chelios

A Medill Newsmakers Report

This edition of Medill Newsmakers looks at Chicago’s growing music scene through the eyes of influential music icons and emerging artists.

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