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10 Great Stories to Read This Week

What going right in Chicago, what poverty means in a neighborhood school, and the women of Bleeders Riders Club.

Crispus Attucks Elementary School, closed in 2008   Photo: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune

1. The View from Room 205

What happens in an elementary school in a poor Chicago neighborhood? And why aren’t schools like it what we want them to be? WBEZ devotes an hour-long documentary to Penn Elementary in North Lawndale.

2. The Improbable Encore

Alex Klein was an oboe prodigy, and at 30 the principal oboist of the CSO. A rare disorder took away his career for 12 years and he nearly took his own life. Now he’s classical music’s best comeback story. Chicago magazine follows him back to his chair.

3. Racial Segregation Is Still at the Heart of Chicago’s Ills… and America’s Too

Yet national reports about those ills rarely get to that heart. WBEZ’s Natalie Y. Moore makes the case in The Guardian.

4. The Women of Chicago’s Bleeders Riders Club Don’t Ride Bitch

And they’re open to anyone who wants to ride motorcycles (except men). Jezebel rides along.

5. Live Video Grows as Platform to Broadcast Violence

The Facebook torture video is notorious, but the services intersect with crime in many ways. The Wall Street Journal examines the trend.

6. What’s Going Right in Chicago

For all its troubles, its economy is still the region’s, and the state’s economic engine. Bloomberg looks at the numbers.

7. Crime in Chicago and America’s Policing Crisis

The city’s problems have, for decades, been intwined with the nation’s; the recent Department of Justice Report continues this history. The New Yorker illuminates its findings.

8. Chicago Housing Authority Stockpiles Cash, Pays Debts as Families Languish on Waiting List

The department has a great credit rating and huge cash reserves—and almost 120,000 people on its waiting list. The Tribune investigates their strategy.

9. Behind Sale of Closed Schools, a Legacy of Segregation

The city is trying a mass sale to get languishing properties off the books, which residents say will lead to promises being broken. The Chicago Reporter returns to a forgotten scene.

10. This Could Be the Oldest Photo in Chicago’s History

And it was taken by the most famous daguerreotypist of his day. DNAinfo takes a look.

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