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Here Are Chicago’s Must-Read Stories of the Week

This week: Why Emanuel was called “Mayor America,” a look at how this insane winter compares historically, the city’s annual power rankings, and more.

This winter? A once-in-a-lifetime experience!   Photo: Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune

1. Rahm Emanuel: Mayor America

As New York turns to a populist mayor, can Rahm retain his hold on the city—and on the black vote? The Financial Times profiles Chicago’s “whirling dervish.”

2. Spying by N.S.A. Ally Entangled U.S. Law Firm

Chicago-based firm Mayer Brown, representing the government of Indonesia, was reportedly ensnared in Australian surveillance. The New York Times explains the tangled story.

3. New DCFS Boss Pleaded Guilty to Stealing From Social Service Agency’s Clients

When he was hired by DCFS in 1995, Arthur Bishop had a felony theft charge pending against him, for stealing more than $9,000 from a social-service agency, and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. The Sun-Times investigates.

4. Back in the Old Neighborhood, Parolees Struggle For Fresh Starts

Austin has 21 percent unemployment, a figure driven in part by a large number of former inmates who struggle to find work. WBEZ talks to residents and the jobless.

5. Brain-Fitness Industry Caters to Worried Boomers

Chicago companies are pursuing a new fitness trend: a flood of newly elderly customers looking to train their brains for old age. Crain’s looks at a different kind of mental-health practice.

6. The Power 100

Which Chicagoans are the most influential and the most clouted in 2014—and why. Chicago magazine picks the city’s players.

7. Chicago’s Winter Among the Worst in Generations

The good news? It’s a “once-in-a-lifetime, maybe twice-in-a-lifetime” experience. The Chicago Tribune compares 2014 with the record.

8. Faculty on Strike

Why University of Illinois-Chicago teachers are preparing to walk the picket line, from the perspective of two of its professors. Lennard Davis and Walter Benn Michaels make their case in Jacobin.

9. Digging Deeper into Suspensions Data

The city is touting a huge drop in school suspensions—but racial disparities remain high, and elementary-age suspensions have increased. Catalyst Chicago reports on a confidential document.

10. Does Northwestern’s Football Union Stand a Chance?

As Kain Colter and his teammates make their case, case law suggests the National Labor Relations Board could be supportive. Chicago magazine looks at the arguments.

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