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10 Great Stories to Read Right Now

Chicagoans of the Year, a story that ended solitary confinement for schoolchildren, and big changes for the Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire fans cheer on their team.   Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

1. Chicagoans of the Year

Chicago magazine’s honorees, from a real estate agent turned Samaritan, to a hockey player turned healthy eating advocate, have accomplished extraordinary things for the greater good. Read their stories here.

2. The Quiet Rooms

Journalism, it turns out, works. Immediately after the Tribune published an expose about school seclusion rooms across Illinois, the state Board of Education announced it would end the practice. Read the original story, which was reported with ProPublica Illinois.

3. Here’s How My Family Escaped the Selective Enrollment Rat Race

Tired of test pressure and long commutes, a CPS family passes up Lane Tech for its neighborhood school, which emphasizes community over achievement. Read Cassandra Kaczocha’s essay on Chicago Unheard.

4. A Chicago City Income Tax Could Be in Our Future Because Other Alternatives Are Worse

A city income tax is a better way to meet the city’s pension obligations than a big property tax hike, which would accelerate Chicago’s population decline. Ed Zotti has the numbers at the Sun-Times.

5. How Lakefront Liberals Became Milwaukee Avenue Progressives

As white leftists and working-class Northwest Side families align on political issues, they’ve formed a dominant coalition. Chicago examines a growing progressive hub.

6. Lauren Underwood’s Illinois District Considers Impeachment

While the rest of the nation is riveted by the impeachment inquiry, the 14th District’s freshman congresswoman talks about health care for veterans. The New Yorker examines the challenges facing a Democrat in a Trump-leaning district.

7. How Reagan’s Childhood Home Gave Up on Reaganism

Since opening in 1984, the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon has proudly refused government help. Now, though, it’s asking for National Park Service buyout. Politico asks what Reagan would think about the government owning his old house.

8. Southeast Side Has a Magic Over Me: “It’s Home”

Sisters Gina and Giuliana Ramirez stayed on the Southeast Side even after the factories closed. As they tell StoryCorps Chicago, it’s because their neighborhood is “a quiet little town” in the metropolis.

9. Dramatic Photos Show Chicago’s Disappearing Beaches

The city’s beaches are receding. ABC7 has the then-and-now images.

10. Chicago Fire FC’s Unprecedented Makeover Is Proof They Mean Business

New owner, new home (Soldier Field), new name, new logo, new players. mlssoccer.com asks whether the changes the Fire are making can change a decade of losing.

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