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The 10 Best Stories to Read This Week

Six months of shootings in Chicago, why people should stop ruining bungalows, and a visit with home-visit specialists.

Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (center)   Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

1. ‘My Country Accepts Me As a Woman’

A 58-year-old transgender woman, who runs a small construction company in Rockford, explains how policy changes made it possible. Politico talks with Jackie Richter.

2. Six Months of Shootings in Chicago

Reporters and photographers knit together half a year of video, audio, and photos. The Tribune bears witness.

3. Ex-Gov. Jim Edgar Aims to Cash in on State’s Cash Woes

Vendors to the state can get their money up front through a financing company with heavyweight ties, which then gets the late fees. The Sun-Times breaks the story.

4. Are CPS Schools ‘Crumbling Prisons’? The Data Say Otherwise

By many measures, CPS has improved over the past 20 years. But its financial crisis puts that progress at risk. Chicago runs the numbers.

5. The Limits of Chicago’s Back-to-the-City Movement

Affluent, well-educated whites are moving into the city, but the same demographic among blacks and Hispanics is more likely to live in its suburbs. CityLab looks at the trends.

6. The Team Effort Behind Cubs Catching Phenom Willson Contreras

How does an anonymous summer-league infielder turn into a star catcher? A robust organization all the way down to its roots. Vice Sports charts his rise.

7. A Social Service Program on the Brink

Home visiting programs help poor, single mothers with parenthood, to prevent problems down the line. The state’s budget impasse puts them at risk. The Reader makes visits with one home-visit worker.

8. Remembering Abner Mikva

The former state legislator, congressman, judge, Obama mentor, and Clinton advisor is a legend in Chicago politics. WBEZ tells his story.

9. As Budget Impasse Plods On, 36 Percent of Service Agencies Say They Could Have to Close Their Doors

A million people have already lost services, and it could get worse. Chicago analyzes the toll.

10. Stop Adding Ugly Additions to Historic Chicago Bungalows, Association Urges

The “Stop the Pop” campaign seeks to dissuade homeowners from clashing second-story “pop-tops” that add space but ruin the feel. DNAInfo examines the scourge.

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