1. FBI Looked into Byrd-Bennett Before She Worked in Chicago

A former school officer in Detroit was interviewed several times by the agency about a “giant” contract for textbooks that Byrd-Bennett was involved in. The Sun-Times breaks the story.

2. A Global Chill in Commodity Demand Hits America’s Heartland

Stagnant overseas markets are hitting home in cities across Illinois, small and large. The New York Times traces the effects.

3. Why I Drafted Jay Cutler, and What Happened from There

The Broncos GM who picked the embattled quarterback reveals the process. Ted Sundquist opens up in Bleacher Report.

4. Spike Lee Sounds Off on Chi-Raq, Gun Violence, and Rahm

“To be honest, he’s a bully.” Chicago magazine sits down with the director.

5. The Social Cost of Rauner vs. Labor

Did the governor engineer a social-services crisis to drive a wedge between Democrats and unions? WUIS looks at his record.

6. Theo Epstein, Language, and the Shape of the Cubs’ Offseason

He speaks carefully and isn’t known for hiding his intentions. What does that mean for 2016? Baseball Prospectus Wrigleyville games out his options.

7. Our Terrifying Children’s Epidemic: Gun Violence

“During my first week in Chicago, I cared for as many children with gunshot wounds as I had seen over the course of two years in Boston.” The medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Chicago writes about her experiences for the Tribune.

8. Up from the Basement: The Artist and the Making of the Just City

How the profession can hack the systems of power. Theaster Gates explains for The Nature of Cities.

9. What’s Happening in Lake View Is a Crime

Is Wrigleyville out of control? Greg Hinz makes the case in Crain’s.

10. Here We Are

One of the nation’s poorest towns, founded by a runaway slave, sits an hour from Chicago. Chicago magazine visits Pembroke.