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This Week’s 10 Must-Read Stories

A lot of investigations worth reading this week: Legionnaires’ disease in a veterans home, the infrastructure trust bust, and immigration fraud in Chicago.

Congressman Dan Lipinski   Photo: Gary Middendorf/Daily Southtown

1. The Football Helmet of the Future

Riddell thinks it’s designed it—one that detects when a player may have received a concussion, and how players might avoid them. So why won’t the NFL use it? Chicago magazine looks at the device.

2. Surviving the War, But Not the Veteran’s Home

13 residents of a state-run VA home have died in three years from Legionnaires’ disease, which has remained in its system despite $6.4 million in upgrades. Does it need to close its doors? WBEZ investigates.

3. Illinois’s Home Health Care Industry Rife with Fraud, Tainted by Unscrupulous Physicians

An older population encouraged to age in place means a boom for the industry. A lack of regulations means the Chicago area is a hotspot for fraud. The Tribune examines the problem.

4. Progressives Hunt Down One of the Last Conservative Democrats

Dan Lipinski is a pro-life Democrat who’s voted with the president a third of the time. Has his district shifted enough for a primary challenger to unseat him? Politico considers the possibility.

5. Rahm’s Trust a Bust? Fails to Raise a Dime But Has Cost Taxpayers $5M

The Chicago Infrastructure Trust was supposed to put private money to work on public projects, getting things built while making a profit. So far it hasn’t done much of anything. The Sun-Times asks why.

6. A Farmer City Native Is Featured in a Perennial Christmas Song

The boy’s voice in “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” belongs to a DeWitt County native who found fame as the trumpeter for the brilliant weirdo Spike Jones. Illinois Public Media profiles the late George Rock.

7. Chicago Police Win Big When Appealing Discipline

Specifically, 85 percent of disciplinary cases that go through the CPD’s grievance process end with reduced or eliminated suspensions. ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune dig into the record.

8. These Pro-Trump Midwestern Districts Could Swing the 2018 Midterms

Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin offer some of the most vulnerable seats for a Democratic party looking to flip 24 seats into a majority. Vice runs the numbers.

9. Aiding or Exploiting?

Some Chicago businesses offer immigration services without help from attorneys, charging big money while giving out unauthorized and potentially costly legal advice. And they rarely pay a price. Chicago magazine follows the consequences.

10. An Ear to the Ground at the Third Coast International Audio Festival

It was created to connect radio producers during the flourishing of the early 2000s, when This American Life was reinventing the form. What’s to become of it in the golden age of podcasting? The Reader pays a visit.

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