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10 Great Stories to Read Right Now

Chicago’s Black restaurant scene, an unsolved murder at U of C, and the Bears’ breakout star.

Khalil Mack   Photo: Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune

1. Here’s What Happened to the 99 Immigrant Children Separated from Their Parents and Sent to Chicago

A continuing investigation into the welfare of minors put in the federal government’s secretive detention system for immigrant children reveals how the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy is causing what advocates say is “incalculable harm,” fraught with depression, thoughts of suicide, and despair. ProPublica Illinois’s latest installment of the investigation is in both English and Spanish.

2. More Than 2,000 Apply in Latest Round to Buy City-Owned Vacant Lots for a Dollar

Since 2014, the city’s Large Lots Program has intermittently given Chicagoans on the South and West sides the opportunity to buy a lot on their block for just a buck. With another installment of the program starting, how have residents used the new land? The Sun-Times looks at the program’s data.

3. ‘I’m Not Going to Change My Name’: Bill Daley on Why He’s Seeking to Become Family’s Third Chicago Mayor

The younger brother to one Chicago mayor and the son of another is jumping into a crowded mayoral field where the Daley name carries strategically valuable name recognition — and a whole lot of baggage. The Tribune talks to the newly-announced candidate.

4. Elon Musk’s Chicago Tunnel: A Breakthrough or a Pipe Dream?

The ambitious-yet-secretive dream of a 12-minute trip from the Loop to O’Hare had plenty of skeptics from the start — and that was before the two key players had plot twists of their own. The New York Times reassesses the landscape.

5. Two Years Later, ‘Black Chicago Eats’ Is Still a Gift to the City’s Restaurant Scene

In a robust restaurant town, most guides and lists still manage to miss big swaths of the city. A Chicago journalist has tried to correct the course with a website that highlights the overlooked gems. Food & Wine has this valentine to Chicago’s black restaurant scene.

6. Out West II: A Mississippi Story

In the second installment of this series, Tiffany Walden explores family history to trace important links between Southern Black migration to Chicago’s West Side. The Triibe’s co-founder shares her story.

7. How Political Clout and Union Might Created Chicago’s Lead Water Problem

Chicago’s lead water problem is a big issue that’s only growing more urgent and surprise, surprise — it has roots in political favoritism and cronyism. WBEZ’s Curious City investigates.

8. What the Trial of Laquan McDonald’s Killer Means for the Future of Chicago

As one of Chicago’s biggest murder trials in recent history starts in earnest this week, Alex Kotlowitz takes a moment to weigh what’s at stake with the eventual outcome. Kotlowitz reflects in The New Yorker.

9. The Cold Case of a University of Chicago Professor’s Murder

A former University of Chicago student reexamines their own connection — and fascination — with back the unsolved 1991 killing of professor Ioan Culianu. Valer Popa revisits the details for Chicago.

10. Khalil Mack’s ‘After-School Tutor’ Has Helped with the Learning Curve in Chicago

The Bears’ breakout linebacker didn’t just walk off the plane ready to rumble — some of his early success with his new team is thanks in part to his hunger to learn, and outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley’s willingness to teach. Sports Illustrated looks at their relationship.

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