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10 Stories You Should Read This Week

Tracy Letts in the spotlight, the rise of the Loyola Ramblers, and the decline of pot busts in Chicago.

Tracy Letts and Carrie Coon   Photo: James C. Svehla/Chicago Tribune

1. After Unthinkable Loss

The Mother’s Healing Circle brings together women who have lost children—whether to homicide or to prison—to support each other in their loss. Chicago magazine and City Bureau go inside the circle.

2. Behind College Basketball’s Best Surprise Story, a Pioneer for Racial Equality

The Loyola Ramblers are aiming for their first NCAA Tournament bid in more than 30 years. It would be a return to glory for one of the most historically important programs in the game. The Washington Post tells the tale.

3. He Already Has Two Tonys and a Pulitzer. Now Tracy Letts Is Having Another Moment.

The Steppenwolf stalwart is a key actor in three of 2017’s best films, his new play is going from Chicago to Broadway, and his wife—Carrie Coon, star of The Leftovers and Fargo—is pregnant with their first child. Slate talks to the actor and playwright.

4. Chicago Drug Arrests Reach Historic Lows, But Those Busted Could Still Fill Stadiums

There were fewer than 3,200 arrests last year. Ten years ago? Over 25,000. WBEZ looks at the numbers.

5. More African-Americans Apply to Become Cops, But Few Make It to Finish Line

The city’s been trying to diversify its force, and it’s succeeded in diversifying its pool of applicants. But attrition means little change on the force. The Chicago Reporter looks at the reasons why.

6. Chris Ware Talks About Higher Education, Creating Art as a Chicagoan, and Making Peace with Self-Doubt

The city’s lack of pretense and glamour, the cartoonist says, “frees one up to do whatever one wants.” The Reader asks him about his new retrospective.

7. Chicago Bobsledder Aja Evans on Chasing Olympic Gold: “I Refused to Let Anyone Tell Me I Couldn’t”

How’d she go from toboggan chutes in the Dan Ryan Woods to two-time Olympian? Her success in shotput and track at the University of Illinois made her a natural convert to the explosive role of brakeman. The Tribune profiles her on the way to Pyeongchang.

8. Thoughts on (Finally) Going to Chicago’s Most Celebrated Restaurant, Alinea

What happens when a longtime food writer goes to his city’s most famous restaurant—13 years after it opened? Michael Gebert reflects on his experience at Fooditor.

9. “They Don’t Live Very Fancy Here at Cabrini”

In 1981, Chicago’s mayor moved into its most notorious housing project, after 11 people had been murdered in three months, and stayed there for 25 days. What did she (and we) learn? Chicago magazine looks back.

10. Sensing the City

Chicago’s Array of Things promises to monitor the city’s environment block by block. But what can we do with the data—and who will do it? South Side Weekly explores the project.

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