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10 Great Stories to Read Right Now

Inside Nick Kokonas’s mind, Chicago’s forgotten village, and a college admissions scam to rule them all.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune

1. The Lost Hours of Melissa Lorraine

Two years ago, the Theatre Y cofounder survived a sexual assault in a car she thought was her Uber. With the perpetrator still out there, she had to find a different kind of closure. Chicago tells the actor’s harrowing story.

2. Nick Kokonas Has Some Enemies

Alinea cofounder Nick Kokonas changed the restaurant industry forever. Along the way, he ruffled some feathers. Chicago profiles one of the city’s best-known restaurateurs.

3. Parents Are Giving up Custody of Their Kids to Get Need-Based College Financial Aid

Is it (yet another) scandalous college scam perpetuated by the affluent, a damning indictment of rising college tuition costs or a mix of both? ProPublica Illinois broke the now-viral story.

4. Making Pasta in a Window on Division Street

Can Tortello, a new pasta shop and restaurant in Wicker Park, bring the disappearing foodways of small villages to the city? Fooditor looks at one shop’s efforts to preserve old-world traditions.

5. Glass House People

Chicago is a massive population hub for scores of nationalities like Polish, Puerto Rican and Mexican. Less well-known: The city’s distinction of having the largest Luxembourger population in the world outside of Luxembourg. The Reader looks at the history of overlooked Luxembourgers.

6. The Lost Village of Pennock: Remnants of West Logan Square’s Long-Forgotten History Still Around Today

Not many people know West Logan Square in the 1880s was home to an industrial village founded by a mysterious con man with big dreams. Block Club Chicago dives into the history.

7. Here’s What You Need to Know About the Ongoing Bail Debate in Chicago

City and county officials are at odds over what impact bail reform efforts are having on gun violence in the city. WBEZ breaks it down.

8. Jimmy Curry, a Fixture for Over 40 Years at the Last Honky Tonk in Chicago, Has Died at 77

The small, scrappy fixture at Carol’s Pub in Uptown represents a kind of end of an era for the community of Appalachians who migrated to Chicago mid century. The Sun-Times has the remembrance.

9. Chance the Rapper Didn’t Sell Out. He Grew Up.

His latest, The Big Day, has been criticized as 22 songs about happy marriage. In truth, it’s a celebration of the culture that forged him. Culture writer Ernest Wilkins reviews The Big Day for Chicago.

10. Meet the People Working to Kick Chicago out of Illinois

For years downstate Illinoisans have felt resentful and marginalized by the political sway of the Chicagoland area. As some motivated residents look for ways for the lower half of the state to break away, not everyone is willing to have an honest discussion about the racist roots of expelling the state’s urban metropolis. The Tribune looks into a nascent secession movement in southern Illinois.

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