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10 Stories You Should Read Right Now

Muting R. Kelly, the Deep Tunnel, and the silver lining of the Bears’s season

Attila Gyulai, right, with chef Thai Dang in late 2012.   Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune

1. Who Hasn’t Received Money From Ald. Ed Burke?

Chicago’s longest serving alderman, Ed Burke, finally caught the bug every politician dreads: a federal wiretap and a case. If Burke goes down in disgrace, his long history of influence-peddling all but guarantees he won’t go alone. The Chicago Reporter looks at the breadth of Burke’s influence.

2. How Solitary Confinement Drove a Young Inmate to the Brink of Insanity

A man recently released after decades in Illinois prisons recounts how the harrowing experience of solitary confinement felt more akin to torture than anything resembling punishment or protection. Chicago Tribune shares Gay’s decades-long fight for survival.

3. Tunnel Vision

An instructive look at the “Deep Tunnel” that effectively bottles Chicagoland’s rainstorms and prevents the area from floating in a sea of sewage. It works (most of the time). But was it the best solution? Slate looks at broader cost of Chicago’s engineering feat.

4. What Turned These Chicago Restaurateurs Into International Fugitives?

New Year’s Day marked the end of one of the Chicago restaurant scene’s stranger schemes when Attila Gyulai, an ex-Chicago restaurateur who once co-owned one of the hottest spots in town, was arrested in Spain with his wife for wire fraud, among other charges. A Crain’s Chicago Business archival story lays out the scheme.

5. How the Bears’ Defensive Legacy Lives on Through Khalil Mack and This 2018 Team

We all know how the Bears’ 2019 season ended (oof) but on the plus side: We still have Khalil Mack. A blog entry from The Ringer is a far better way to remember the Bears’ 2018 season than Cody Parkey’s final kick.

6. Why Anthony Rayson, Anarchist Grandpa, Sends Zines to Prison

Zines may be products of a bygone era of self-published print, but the creations of a suburban Chicago activist are getting a fresh look thanks to DePaul University. Chicago reflects on his work.

7. In Springfield, Ending the ‘Chicago vs. Everyone Else’ Approach to Schools

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, a Democrat representing the western suburbs of Chicago, discusses ways Illinois’s funding of education (and teacher pensions) could be reimagined when the new governor and state legislature taken the wheel. Chalkbeat Chicago has the interview.

8. There Is Nothing Redeemable About R. Kelly. ‘But His Music’ Was Never a Good Enough Argument.

In the wake of the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly, the response to the Chicago superstar and alleged predator’s legacy prompts fresh questions about when it’s time to separate the art from the artist. Esquire makes the case for muting R. Kelly for good.

9. Chicago Seized and Sold Nearly 50,000 Cars Over Tickets Since 2011, Sticking Owners With Debt

For the mostly low-income residents caught up in the city’s system of parking penalties, tickets are only the start of the financial problems. WBEZ (along with ProPublica Illinois) continue the deep dive into the city’s broken parking ticketing system.

10. John ‘Jack’ Lyle, one of the Legendary Tuskegee Airmen, Dies at 98

As the number of Tuskegee Airmen dwindles, a look at the incredible life of a national hero and native son of Chicago. The Sun-Times has the obituary.

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