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10 Great Stories to Read This Week

The tragic tale of Chicago’s almost-famous boxer, how CPS principals succeed, and unexpected ethic food in suburbia.

Studs Terkel   Photo: Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune

1. The Ballad of Ed “Bad Boy” Brown

He emerged from East Garfield Park as a gifted boxer and title contender. But he couldn’t escape it. Chicago magazine profiles the late pugilist.

2. The World According to Studs Terkel

He wasn’t just a great oral historian and radio host; he was the conscience of liberal America. How did it happen? A BBC World Service documentary explores his career.

3. Life Under the City’s ‘Structurally Deficient’ Bridges

The Lawrence Avenue viaduct is crumbling. But it’s not just cars that use it. DNAInfo visits the people who shelter there.

4. Growing Up with Poverty and Violence: A North Lawndale Teen’s Story

His mother was 14 when she had him. His 66-year-old great aunt is raising him on less than $1,000 a month, and they’re just trying to get through until he can go to college or join the military. The Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton tells his story.

5. Want to Fix Schools? Go to the Principal’s Office

Chicago has made considerable gains on math and reading scores, and it might have something to do with the people running the schools. The New York Times looks behind the numbers.

6. Rail Yard Expansion in Englewood Raises Questions of Eminent Domain’s Scope

Is there enough of a public purpose to justify taking homes? Homeowners who are hanging on don’t think so. The Chicago Reporter explores the issue.

7. Saudi Chicken, and Other Unexpected Finds in Suburbia

Elmhurst Road in Des Plaines and Mount Prospect hides a wealth of food (Korean, Indian, Japanese, Bosnian) in generic strip malls. Fooditor finds a cross-cultural menu at Saray Grill.

8. Suspended Cop Skirts Punishment for 14 Years

He was given a 15-day suspension in 2006 for a 2003 incident. So why hasn’t he served it? The Sun-Times delves into the CPD bureaucracy.

9. Pick ’Em If You Got ’Em: Why Bulls Need to Keep Their Second-Round Slots

One of the best players in basketball, Isaiah Thomas, was picked with a second-rounder the team gave up. It’s a lottery, but one the team doesn’t play enough. The Athletic makes the case.

10. Which Chicago Neighborhoods Have the Most ‘Character’?

By certain criteria—older, mixed-age buildings of moderate density—some of Chicago’s most thriving neighborhoods have the most of it. Chicago magazine maps it out.

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