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10 Stories You Should Read This Week

A once-in-several-lifetimes view from Carbondale, an oral history of NBA Jam, and looking at Illinois’s coal basin.

Coal miners in southern Illinois   Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

1. The National Public Housing Museum’s Long Journey Home

The idea took two decades to take hold. Now they have to tell the stories of its failures, but also of the communities that were created and are now gone. The Reader tells its story.

2. What’s in Their Fridge?

Top chefs are just like us: frozen food, leftovers, avocados, salsa, and Ben & Jerry’s. Chicago goes inside the home kitchens of Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard, and others.

3. A College Town Gets Ready for Its Moment Under the Sun

Carbondale will be one of the best places in the world to see the August solar eclipse. Visitors are paying big money to stay, and local experts are prepared. The New York Times previews the festivities.

4. Boom Shaka Laka

The cartoonish video game NBA Jam is a beloved legend, and it came out of Chicago. Sports Illustrated does an oral history of its creation.

5. The Problem in Illinois No One Is Talking About

Moving Medicaid recipients to privately insured managed care is supposed to save money. But the insurers aren’t moving people over. Crain’s investigates.

6. A Look Inside the Coal Communities in the Illinois Basin

Appalachia gets all the attention, but the industry (and the regulations that govern it) mean a lot to downstate. Pacific Standard visits.

7. Ability to Vote Compromised for Thousands Behind Bars

Jail inmates awaiting trial can register and vote in Illinois. But the law and institutions don’t make it easy. The Chicago Reporter examines the process.

8. “I Ride to Win”

Isaac Burns Murphy won the first-ever American Derby in Washington Park—at a time when the country’s best jockeys were black. South Side Weekly looks back.

9. State Budget Passes. Now What?

It buys the city and state more time, but old problems will rear their heads. Chicago Tonight explains.

10. The Strange Numbers Behind the Cubs’ Disappointing First Half

Last year the Cubs torched right-handed pitchers. Now they’re well below .500 when they face them. What happened? Chicago magazine delves into the stats.

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