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10 Great Stories You Should Read This Week

Our interview with Rod Blagojevich, Rust Belt revitalization, and why girls join gangs.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is presiding over a slow comeback in the northwest Indiana town.   Photo: Mark Davis/Post- Tribune

1. Blago: His Life in Prison

In his first interview behind bars, the former governor describes how he gets along and gets by during his long sentence. Chicago magazine talks to Rod and Patti Blagojevich.

2. The Man with the Education Reform Mission

In the midst of political chaos, downstate Democrat Andy Manar managed to rewrite how education is funded in Illinois. Here’s how he did it. NPR Illinois profiles the Bunker Hill state senator.

3. ‘I Did Earn My Name’

We don’t know how many girls are in Chicago gangs—but they play an important role in them. WBEZ finds out why they join.

4. An Exit Interview with Richard Posner, Judicial Provocateur

The legendary judge, retiring after 35 years on the federal bench, realized the judiciary wasn’t serving people who don’t have lawyers—and lost interest in his cases. The New York Times sits down with him.

5. Utopia Parkway

Big thinkers see the Rust Belt as a blank slate for their grand schemes, but little plans are being made there every day. The Baffler reflects on Gary, Indiana.

6. Cancer’s Invasion Equation

What can invasive mussels in Lake Michigan tell us about disease? The New Yorker explores the question.

7. As Sign Violations Spike, ‘Erratically Enforced’ Law Questioned

Want to put a sign that says “pizza by the slice” in your store window? That’ll cost you for a permit, or for the fines you might get if you don’t get one. DNAinfo investigates.

8. Gary, Indiana: A Midwestern Steel Town Making a Slow Comeback

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was hailed as a savior when she was elected in 2012, but she describes her redevelopment method as “hitting singles.” Curbed pays a visit.

9. Candidate for Illinois Governor Divests Himself of Running Mate over Israel Criticism

The match between Daniel Biss and alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa fell apart after a few days over the BDS movement. So what is it, and what does it say about the Democrats’ future? Huffpost explains.

10. The Hunting Accident

Charlie Rizzo’s dad always said he was blinded in a hunting accident. When Rizzo was 20, the cops came to their door—and that lie unraveled into a long story of Chicago crime that’s emerged as a graphic novel. Chicago magazine unwinds it.

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