All posts by stephaniefox2019

Fight Club: Women sweat, punch and kick their way to fitness

By Stephanie Fox
Medill Reports

Chicago area women gather at Studio DelCorpo, 1115 W. Armitage Ave., every Thursday evening for Girls Fight Club to sweat, punch and kick their way toward healthier and stronger selves. During the sessions, women of all ages learn a blend of martial arts and boxing from Rachel Lavin, a national and international winner of several competitive fighting events.

Lavin also has extensive competitive experience in Judo, tennis, triathlons and more.

The self-defense and workout class is all about building the confidence of women. Continue reading

Coats and booties protect dogs from winter’s sting

By Stephanie Fox
Medill Reports

Slideshow: Chicago dogs sport their winter clothes. (Stephanie Fox)

There’s nothing more adorable than a dog dressed up for winter. Even before the first big snowfall of the year, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are plastered in photos of French bulldogs wearing fuzzy holiday sweaters and videos of greyhounds wobbling across tiled floors in their winter booties. But, do canine winter clothes really serve a practical purpose, or are they just a cute addition to the holiday season?

The benefit of wearing a winter coat depends on the dog, but all dogs could benefit from winter booties, according to veterinarian Dr. John Hanover. Continue reading

Toriano Sanzone runs for alderman of his North Lawndale “hometown”

By Stephanie Fox
Medill Reports

Slideshow: (Stephanie Fox)

With his locks pulled back into a ponytail, and his ears and nose decorated in jewelry, Toriano Sanzone exudes his own style as a businessman and a candidate running for office to give a stronger voice to his community. Sanzone believes he could be exactly what Chicago’s 24th Ward needs in a new alderman.

“You have a lot of different people living in these neighborhoods. They’re going to require super diverse leaders,” said Sanzone, 44, owner and president of the dog training facility Wolfkeeper University. Continue reading

Spraying herbicides to control invasive plants has little impact on rodents

By Stephanie Fox
Medill Reports

This article first appeared in Empower magazine online.

Photos and videos in slideshow: (Stephanie Fox unless noted)

Under the overcast sky, wrapped in clothes not nearly warm enough for the misting, cold weather, graduate biology student Nick Steijn and his group of volunteers spent the bitter Friday morning trudging through the Illinois Nachusa Grasslands’ tall grass and prickly shrubs to gather data for his thesis. The data involve small, captured rodents.

After analyzing the rodents collected over the course of his two years in graduate school at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Steijn, 25, concludes that the specialized herbicides don’t harm the rodents but adds that more research needs to be done.

He hypothesized that using herbicides, or a combination of chemicals sprayed to destroy unwanted vegetation, at Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, Illinois, could impact small rodent populations. Instead, his research revealed evidence that herbicide use has little-to-no effect on small rodents such as mice and voles in Illinois grasslands.
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