1. The Real Story of Sandra Bland

Five months ago, the Chicago native was arrested in Texas following a minor traffic infraction. After being found hanging in her jail cell, she became a cause. Her family is still looking for resolution. Chicago magazine tells her story.

2. The People Issue 2015

A trauma therapist, a tennis prodigy, a hunger striker: 21 Chicagoans tell their stories. The Reader sits down with them for its annual issue.

3. Read Garry McCarthy’s Report on “Listening Tour” Shelved by City Hall

The former top cop conducted high-profile meetings that were closed to the press in order to get community input. The Emanuel administration sat on the results—which look relevant in light of recent scandals. DNAInfo gets the story.

4. The Complicated, Short Life of Laquan McDonald

Who was the young man shot and killed by a police officer? A ward of the state, on the fringes, but also surrounded by family, friends, and mentors as he was getting his life on track. The Tribune profiles McDonald.

5. How Chance the Rapper Ended His Most Successful Year with a Legendary SNL Performance

One small step for Chance, one great leap for independent artists. Complex breaks it down.

6. Prototyping Secret Hitler

Max Temkin, one of the co-creators of Cards Against Humanity, shows how games are created. Medium presents the process.

7. Despite Rhetoric, Syrian Refugees Find Chicago Welcoming

It took three years to get to America, for a bare one-bedroom apartment for a family of four. But they’ve found help, a community, and peace. WBEZ follows their path.

8. In Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Surveillance State, Controlling the Data Is Key

Chicago is “the most surveilled metropolis in the United States.” But the battle for its product is a big one. Law professor Bernard Harcourt explains in The Intercept.

9. What the CTU Can Do

The local teachers’ union is well-organized, and likely to go on strike again next year. But can it address the root causes of the problems its members deal with? Jacobin considers the possibilities.

10. The Changing Face of Chicago Protesters

The tragedies of the city often fall on its youth. And its youth are taking up the burden. NBC News introduces the activists.