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10 Stories You Should Read Right Now

Election mania, breaking the ice on the West Side, and why Chicago is sinking

Photo: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune

1. Chicago’s Election Signals Break From the Past — in Wards and at City Hall

Chicagoans received something in the municipal primary that they’re not used to: An unexpected outcome. And it wasn’t just the history-making candidates (two black women for the first time ever) in the mayor’s race — several longtime aldermen who had ruled their wards for decades were cast out of office. Mick Dumke breaks down the results for ProPublica Illinois.

2. “They’ve Got Him!”: The Emotional Scene at the R. Kelly Hearings

It’s no surprise that the most probing look at the R&B superstar’s recent criminal sex abuse charges come from the reporter who’s doggedly followed the story and listened to Kelly’s alleged victims for the better part of two decades. Kelly recently appeared in bond court, but it meant so much more to one of the women he allegedly abused as a girl. Jim DeRogatis sends his dispatch for The New Yorker.

3. In Chicago, History-Making Didn’t Have to Be So Hard

In a field of 14 mayoral candidates, Chicagoans had a lot of choices and no clear favorite. As the city’s political races have changed, should the old voting system go, too? A New York Times column explores what ranked-choice voting would look like for Chicago.

4. Chicago Is Sinking. Here’s What That Means for Lake Michigan and the Midwest.

The grade of the shoreline — or your basement — is a good four inches lower than it was a century ago. The area’s literal rise and fall may be incremental, but we’ll all start to feel it when floodplains shift and water levels rise. The Tribune’s Tony Briscoe has the fascinating report.

5. Burnham’s “Make No Little Plans” Quote: Apocryphal No More!

The Chicago city planner’s words are everywhere, but like many famous quotes, the origins are often murky. At long last, it looks like that mystery may be solved. Mysterious Chicago Tours traces the origins of Daniel Burnham’s most famous words.

6. A Very Serious Party

If the idea of a collective high at a black-market drug party feels oh-so 1970s, think again. Chicago peeks inside the freakiest rager this side of the lake.

7. At Chicago City Hall, the Legislative Branch Rarely Does Much Legislating

Most people would be out of a job if they did as little work as Chicago’s aldermen, but alas. ProPublica Illinois looks at how much (or rather, little) time Chicago’s lawmakers spend actually legislating.

8. Ice Breakers

Youth hockey participants have long skewed white and wealthy, but a West Side program is opening up the joys of the ice rink to kids who have long been left out of it, and who are building better futures as a result. South Side Weekly has the story.

9. Cellar Door Provisions Is the Perfect Restaurant That Is Positive It Could Be Better

It’s a spin on the “local restaurant makes good” story, which is a well-worn one in Chicago. But this love letter to Logan Square’s Cellar Door Provisions also takes a look at why Chicago’s food landscape uniquely enables restaurants like it to thrive in their own special way. Bon Appetit shines a spotlight on the beloved neighborhood spot.

10. In Chicago, Sanders Signals His Intent to Reach Black Voters

During Bernie Sanders’s last presidential run, he never made much about his one-time Chicago ties (he was a U of C undergrad in the ’60s). But his recent rally in the city reveals a lot about how he’ll recast his campaign for 2020, and why it will lean heavily on his time in the city. NBC News takes a look.

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