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10 Stories to Read This Week

A ghost town in Naperville, Chicago’s resurgent magician community, and Red Line expansion hopes.

Feral cats eating dinner.   Photo: Kevin Tanaka/Pioneer Press

1. Inside the Mind of Rajon Rondo

D-Wade’s homecoming is a big story, but the Bulls’ new point guard is one of the smartest, most divisive, and interesting players in the sport. Chicago profiles their enigmatic backcourt prodigy.

2. A Modern Ghost Town

Ashwood Park was supposed to be a new enclave of wealth in Naperville. One-third of it remains vacant and values collapsed. What happened? Crain’s visits the eerie neighborhood.

3. Open Data Projects Are Fueling the Fight Against Police Misconduct

And Chicago is on the cutting edge. The Intercept explores the projects.

4. The New Must-Have Yard Accessory: A Feral Cat

With the rat population on the rise, there’s a six-month wait in Chicago for spayed or neutered stray cats to keep them at bay. The Wall Street Journal follows the trend.

5. Spending Time with Noname, Chicago Rap’s Next Big Thing

The 25-year-old rapper and poet is in a great city at a great time to be in hip-hop, but she’s trying to take it slow. Vulture goes to Original Pancake House with the young MC.

6. The Cubs’ Continuing Curveball Crisis

They’re the best team in baseball, but they have a weakness. And Cleveland has been exploiting it. FanGraphs zeroes in on what’s killing the Cubs.

7. The Resurgence of Magic in Chicago Is No Illusion

The city has a rich history in the form, and its future is a young (but lifelong) magician who draws on art and folklore as much as trickery. The Reader devotes an issue to sleight of hand.

8. For Riverdale, Red Line Extension May Be Path to Employment

Sixteen miles south of the Loop, the neighborhood has the city’s highest unemployment rate—and very little public transit. They’re hoping both will change, hand in hand. The Chicago Reporter looks at the possibility.

9. The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle on His 1995 Song “Cubs in Five”

The singer-songwriter became a fan because of a story he read as a kid in My Weekly Reader. Then the team became passion, metaphor, meaning—and one of his early songs. He talks about the team in Slate.

10. Why I Left My Dream Job at Second City

Since election season began, comics have been subjected to a torrent of racist, misogynistic, and homophobic abuse. Peter Kim explains in Chicago magazine.

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