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This Week’s 10 Must-Read Stories

Cook County Jail, Transgender Kids, the 606, and more

Avery Kaplan, a transgender patient at the new gender identity clinic at Lurie Children’s Hospital.   Photo: Chris Strong

1. Cook County Jail: America’s Largest Mental Health Facility

It’s estimated that one-third of inmates suffer from mental illness. And the jail is responding to the crisis faster than the judges. The Atlantic goes inside.

2. The Change Agent

A doctor at Lurie Children’s Hospital helps kids as young as 14 change sexes. But how young is too young? Chicago profiles Robert Garofalo.

3. Only Two Black-Owned Banks Are Left in Chicago. For This Exec, Saving His Is Personal.

Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan started in Bronzeville in 1934. Can it get the money to keep going? Crain’s Chicago Business talks to CEO Norman Williams.

4. Teaching Youth to Think ‘Slow’ May Help Reduce Crime

A cognitive-behavioral therapy program in Chicago continues to show evidence that it works. FiveThirtyEight examines Becoming a Man.

5. From Teklife to the Next Life

The dance style known as footwork grew up in Chicago and conquered the world. Now it’s trying to survive the loss of one of it’s great musicians. The Pitchfork Review traces its history.

6. Dobler Effect: The Good Vibrations (and Martial Artistry) of John Cusack

Even though he’s one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, he lives in Chicago to keep his sanity. Grantland goes to the Metro with the city’s biggest film star.

7. The Revolution in High-End Mexican Food

Three prominent food journalists sit down with Rick Bayless to talk about the state of the cuisine. The Feed Podcast hosts Frontera’s chef.

8. The 606 Shows How to Design a Park in the 21st Century (and Beyond)

Like its local predecessors, the city’s newest park tells a story of environmental anxiety and renewal. Chicago tours the trail.

9. The Truth About America’s Graduation Rate

It’s climbed substantially in the past decade. But the rate (in Chicago and elsewhere) hides a tricky reality. NPR surveys the statistics.

10. Is the Bloomingdale Trail a Path to Displacement?

It connects Wicker Park to Humboldt Park. Is it bringing gentrification in its wake? The Chicago Reader follows its path.

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