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10 Stories You Should Read Right Now

An enduring protester at the Jason Van Dyke trial, the death of Treasure Island, and Chicago’s own iconic typeface.

Lead organizer William Calloway joins protesters outside the Leighton Criminal Court Building.   Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

1. How Chicago’s Public Schools Are Teaching the History of Police Torture

In the days following the recent death of the disgraced CPD Cmdr. Jon Burge, Chicago didn’t need to look back and reflect; the legacy of lack men tortured into false confessions at Burge’s behest is one the city is still paying for. As part of the plan to make it right, officials opted not only to compensate victims, but make sure their stories are told to future Chicagoans. The New Yorker delves into Chicago’s unique school curriculum, born of the city’s reparations to police torture victims.

2. The Last Woman to Win a Nobel Prize in Physics Did the Work Without Being Paid

This week, Donna Strickland became the first woman in 55 years to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Her predecessor, Maria Goeppert Mayer, earned the prize for her work the University of Chicago — back when even transformative work done by a woman was considered “volunteering.” Atlas Obscura tells Mayer’s story.

3. Chicago: The Typeface

The blocky typeface, named for our skyline, was all over Apple products in the ’90s and early aughts. Chicago has the tale of the iconic lettering.

4. Hear the Story of Chicago Residents Fighting Against Mountain of Debris Dumped Near Homes

The new podcast, The City, details Operation Silver Shovel, the stunning but true story of the undercover FBI investigation from the early ’90s that’s laced with corruption, crime, and a neighborhood’s resilience. USA Today, which produces the podcast, details the story.

5. Jalen’s Journey

A young Chicago boy’s life was changed when a bullet meant for someone else severed his spine and paralyzed him. Now 12 years old, he must reconfigure his life and find a new normal. The Chicago Tribune has his story.

6. Otis Rush, Influential Blues Singer and Guitarist, Is Dead at 83

The legendary musician modernized what became known as the West Side Sound and fortified Chicago’s status as a mecca for the blues. The New York Times has a lovely obituary detailing Rush’s life.

7. The Battle for Treasure Island

A few weeks ago, beloved Treasure Island grocery chain announced it will close all stores. An indelible part of the chain’s history, though, was its fraught relationship between its employees, the union, and shoppers. In 2004, Chris Hayes (now of MSNBC fame) explored the issue. The Chicago Reader archives has the history.

8. Inside Information from the Fed? Follow That Cab

Leaks, hacks, and data are some obvious ways to get sensitive info. But what if you watch the way powerful people — like commercial bankers and federal regulators — move around town? Chicago Booth Ph.D. candidate David Andrew Finer mines a fascinating data set. Chicago Booth Review has the insights.

9. Jack Delano’s Color Photos of Chicago’s Rail Yards in the 1940s

Who doesn’t have a soft spot for brilliant photos of a long-ago version of Chicago? Some of Jack Delano’s Kodachrome work that captured Chicago 75 years ago resurfaces. The Atlantic turns its lens on Chicago’s history.

10. With a Flag and a Microphone, Protester Demands Justice in Van Dyke Trial

As the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke enters its third full week, protests outside the courthouse have been minimal. But one man has showed up, every day, to make his voice heard. What’s he after? Accountability, an apology, and peace. Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton talks with “Brother West Side.”

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