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This Week’s 10 Must-Read Stories

The tricks of a private eye, the legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, and community organizers versus Obama

Gwendolyn Brooks reading poetry to a lunchtime crowd in Union Station.   Photo: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune

1. How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists into Bankruptcy

Over 10,000 bankruptcies in Chicago last year included debt to the city, with an average of nearly $4,000 owed. What’s driving it? A city increasingly reliant on fines for income. ProPublica Illinois and Mother Jones investigate.

2. Chicago’s Particular Cultural Scene and the Radical Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks

The poet’s work lives on with the city’s young artists, as well as her blend of art and activism. The New Yorker pays a visit.

3. The Invention of a Man

Nicolai De Raylan was a man about town in turn-of-the-century Chicago—and born Anna Terletsky in the Ukraine. When he died, his secret caused a scandal. Chicago magazine unravels his story.

4. Parkland Survivors Meet with Chicago Students to Tackle Gun Violence ‘Beyond Gated Communities’

The Florida high schoolers have gained massive momentum, and they’re joining forces with their peers here to broaden the movement. HuffPost reports on their conversations.

5. Why This Off-Putting Chicago Novelty Liquor Is So Damn Special

Wormwood-based Malört is famously bad, but it has pride of place in its hometown. Food & Wine examines its meaning.

6. DIY Gunshot Treatment on Chicago’s South Side

Ujimaa Medics is teaching residents, including children, how to provide first aid before ambulances arrive. Vice shows how they do it.

7. How the Cubs Mastered the Free Agent Pitch

The team speaks for itself, so they sell prospective players on what’s off the field. The Wall Street Journal explains.

8. Meet the Community Organizers Fighting Against… Barack Obama

His presidential center is facing pushback from the same kind of organized locals he worked with at the beginning of his career. Politico looks at the irony.

9. Bed Rest and Sputum Tests: Inside Chicago’s Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium

For 60 years, Peterson Park’s fieldhouse was a medical center—all the way up through 1974. Its former residents have mixed feelings about it. WBEZ looks back.

10. Watching the Detectives

John Frycek is 52, and he’s spent 32 years of that as a private eye. He’s learned some things. Chicago magazine profiles the expert in “constructive deception.”

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