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Sisters of Sister Jean Embrace Her Loyola Team and Marvel at Her Fame, For The New York Times

I traveled to Dubuque, Iowa with Juliet Macur of The New York Times to talk with Sisters who knew Sister Jean before her involvement with Loyola’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament made her famous. Read the piece here: https://nyti.ms/2ucArnD

DUBUQUE, IA-MARCH 21, 2018: (left to right) Pat Donahoe BVM, 86, Bernadet McGanigal BVM, 83, Carolyn Farrell BVM, 83, and Margaret McCulloch BVM, 78, outside the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa Wed. March 21, 2018, where they met Sister Jean. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
DUBUQUE, IA-MARCH 21, 2018: A bobble head of Sister Jean, made in 2011, stays on display at the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
DUBUQUE, IA-MARCH 21, 2018: The bracket of Margaret McCulloch BVM, 78, at the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa Wed. March 21, 2018. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
DUBUQUE, IA-MARCH 21, 2018: Friends and acquaintances of Sister Jean talk about her newfound fame at Loyola University during March Madness at the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa Wed. March 21, 2018. Lauren Justice for The New York Times

New Rules for Bats Leave Youth Baseball Parents With the Bill, For The New York Times

James Card and Joe Drape wrote about the change in bat standards for USA Baseball. I went to a little league practice in Waupaca, Wisconsin to see the bats and meet some of the players and families affected by the expensive requirements.

WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: Ryder Vergauwen, 10, yells in excitement while holding a new USA Baseball approved bat after hitting a home run in home run derby at the end of practice. Players on the 10U Waupaca baseball team practice Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: Assistant Coach Brian Hoezel hits balls with a bat that is no longer approved for play by USA Baseball. Players on the 10U Waupaca baseball team practice Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: John Zeamer, 10, poses for a portrait with his new USA Baseball approved bat Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: Austin Aclanczak, 10, in the batting cage with a new USA Baseball approved bat. Players on the 10U Waupaca baseball team practice Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times

Bill of the Month: A Plan for Affordable Gender Confirmation Surgery Goes Awry, For Kaiser Health News and NPR

I met and photographed Wren Vetens at her home in Madison, Wisconsin for a collaborative project called Bill of the Month between Kaiser Health News and NPR. Vetens was struggling with payment and insurance surprises regarding her confirmation surgery and the article discusses the ups and downs of her process. You can read about her experience in multiple places:

1: Bill Of The Month: A Plan For Affordable Gender-Confirmation Surgery Goes Awry

2: A Transgender Woman’s ‘Bait-And-Switch’ $92,000 Surgery Bill

3: Wisconsin Reinstates Coverage Of Transgender Treatment For State Workers

4: In A Reversal, Wisconsin To Cover State Workers Seeking Transgender Treatment

5: Advocates, activists urge coverage for transgender health care

Wren Vetens, 24, at home in Madison, Wis. Monday June 25, 2018. Vetens underwent genital reconstruction surgery and battled unexpected medical costs. Photo by Lauren Justice

Ben Franklin Store Closing, For Isthmus

The Ben Franklin store in Monona was a community staple on a month-to-month lease. The new owner of the building decided not to renew their lease. Read the story here.

 

MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Customers buy what they can in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. Tom Retzlaff, one of the owners, checks out a customer at the counter. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Customers leave notes of encouragement and love in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Donna Birchfield, 50, has found a cart full of items to purchase in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. Birchfield is saddened by the loss of the store, and the nostalgia that comes with a community staple like this. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Aisles are being cleared out in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Customers buy what they can in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus