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This Week’s 10 Must-Read Stories

An oral history of Chance the Rapper’s breakthrough, how to renovate a Frank Lloyd Wright House, who ruined Illinois, and more.

Singer-songwriter John Prine   Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

1. Who Ruined Illinois?

Pick a culprit, and you’re probably at least partially right. But maybe the real turning point was 1998. Governing goes deep.

2. At a Private Meeting in Illinois, a Group of Evangelicals Tried to Save Their Movement from Trumpism

What does the support among white evangelicals for the president mean for the movement? They’re starting the long process of figuring it out, starting in Wheaton. The New Yorker reports from inside.

3. How to Renovate a Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece

Just getting the plaster right in the Robie House is a weeks-long process. Chicago magazine takes a look.

4. Private Schools, Poised to Grow in Illinois, Move into Closed Chicago Public Schools

They can’t turn into charter schools, but private schools are fair game. And a new tax credit means more private schools are on the way. The Chicago Reporter investigates.

5. The $3 Million Research Breakdown

Last year the University of Illinois-Chicago had to repay $3.1 million to the federal government. The trail leads back to a child psychiatrist. ProPublica Illinois and The Chronicle of Higher Education follow the money.

6. The Oral History of Chance the Rapper’s ‘Acid Rap’

He went from passing out a mixtape downtown from a cardboard box to a national figure with one release. Behind it was a lot of hard work and a lot of charm. 22 people who were there talk to Complex about its creation.

7. Farmland Owners Becoming Less Connected to Land as Generations Age

Half of the farmland in Illinois is owned by non-farmers—including the owner of Jimmy John’s and the Mormon Church. IowaWatch explores why.

8. Illinois Case Questions Bullet Analysis by State Police

Patrick Pursley went to prison for 23 years after ballistic evidence helped put him away. That evidence is now doubted, and he’s free on bond while judges figure it out. WBEZ explains.

9. Life, Death, and John Prine

“Well, there’s only two things. There’s life, and there’s death. So it’s a 50/50 shot.” Pitchfork talks to him about his new album.

10. The American Dream, in Frosting: the Art of Yvette Mayorga

The Moline native works in cake frosting, toy soldiers, and Cheetos bags. But there’s darkness beneath the day-glo surface. The Reader profiles the rising artist.

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