Brighton-based James is a freelance journalist and former staffer for several large newspapers, including the Detroit Free Press and the St. Petersburg Times, where she won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1991. She also has contributed regularly to Hour Detroit. Her article about 9-year-old Brendan Conkey, who has autism, and his parents, is a follow-up of a 2005 Hour Detroit story she wrote about this family. At that time, Brendan’s parents, Brad Conkey and Cheryl Matthews, an Oakland County Circuit Court judge, had just learned Brendan, then 2, had autism. “Seeing the progress of Brendan and his family since that time was so inspiring,” James says. “It offers a real message of hope and inspiration for all families facing this very difficult diagnosis.”
Longtime Hour Detroit contributor Lessenberry has been fascinated by politics ever since he tried to stay up all night when he was 8 to see whether John F. Kennedy would defeat Richard Nixon. Currently the senior political analyst for Michigan Radio and a full-time faculty member at Wayne State University, he has covered elections in Michigan and elsewhere throughout his professional life. He lives in Huntington Woods, with his campaign manager, Elizabeth, their dog, Ashley, and copies of every Michigan Manual published since 1869 and every Almanac of American Politics since they were first published. In this issue, he writes about redistricting.
Canada-based illustrator Schykulski studied painting, illustration, and design at Alberta College of Art & Design at Macewan College. His clients include GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, Family Circle Magazine, and Time Out New York, among others. This month, his work illustrates a story on testing blood pressure at home. “I wanted to show a man who’s confident and in control of his life in a dynamic and positive way,” he says, one “who benefits by actively taking care of himself by his own means in his own home.”