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10 Stories to Read Right Now

Betting the farm on hemp, a top chef’s secrets, and lessons from a school merger.

Hemp plants under specialized lighting in a grow house   Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

1. The Mind of a Chef

What’s it like spending every moment obsessing about creating the perfect doughnut? Or checking at 3 a.m. to see if the menu is updated online? The woman behind Michelin-starred Elizabeth takes us inside her frenzied world. Chicago has an excerpt adapted from Iliana Regan’s forthcoming memoir, Burn the Place.

2. “You’re Destroying Families”

As Guatemalan-born Jorge Matias fought to get his baby out of foster care in Chicago, he learned that his infant son had been placed with a family that only spoke Slovak. As his communication barrier grew, his bond with his son dissolved — and that was only the start. ProPublica, co-published with the Sun-Times investigated the high-stakes ways DCFS has failed Spanish-speaking families.

3. Lessons From a Chicago School Merger: Race, Resilience and an End-of-the-Year Resignation

As more of Chicago’s public schools become susceptible to closings due to low enrollment, mergers could rise. Jenner and Ogden were blocks away on the North Side but worlds apart inside. Chalkbeat Chicago looks at the first year at the blended school.

4. Gambling on Hemp

Illinois began accepting applications to grow industrial hemp at the end of April. But the first legal crop in more than eighty years is accompanied by a lot of uncertainty. BELT Magazine looks at what’s at stake for the state’s farmers eyeing the potential cash crop.

5. 50 Years After Sex Discrimination at UChicago, Two Female Students Receive Ph.D.s

Two promising doctoral students were derailed by sex discrimination at the campus in the 1960s. Half a century later, the women — who weren’t aware of each other — have returned to claim what’s theirs. WBEZ was there for the ceremony.

6. Broken Promises, Cracks in the Walls, Culture of Distrust: How the Humboldt Park Veterans Building Is Failing Its Residents

A developer’s lofty promises for a veteran’s home have literally turned to rot, and the residents there’s no plan to fix it. Block Club Chicago investigates the fast-crumbling promises of the ambitious veterans housing project.

7. The Memory Hackers

Researchers are probing the most fundamental aspects of human consciousness. What they’ve found will change the way you think about the past — and the future. Chicago explores the mind-bending science.

8. For Women of Color on Medicaid, Health-Care Options More Likely to Include Catholic Hospitals

In Chicagoland, 38 percent of hospitals with labor and delivery units are Catholic facilities, where religious rules generally restrict abortion, tubal ligations, contraception, fertility treatments, and gender-affirming surgeries. Rewire News reports.

9. Why Illinois’s Marijuana Legalization Law Is Different From All Others

Come January 1, 2020, Illinois will be the first state to have legal recreational weed via the legislature, not the voters. But that’s not the only thing making our path different from the rest of legal weed states. Governing magazine breaks down the new law.

10. As Trump Attempts to Prop up the Struggling Coal Industry, Illinois Is Taking Another Step Away From Its Dirtiest Source of Electricity

The president and the energy industry at large — including Illinois’s — are moving in two very different directions. The Tribune takes a look.

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