1. Illinois Lawmakers Gave Chicago’s Mayor the Freedom to Ruin School Finances

CPS’s current financial crisis has its roots in… its previous financial crisis. The Tribune goes back through the history.

2. The Culture of the Kitchen

The star chef of Elizabeth reflects on what goes on behind the scenes of a fine-dining restaurant. Iliana Regan gives a first person account in Lucky Peach.

3. Predicting Police Misconduct Before It Happens

As part of a White House program, University of Chicago fellows are using data (and ride-alongs) to improve how police departments deal with use of force. WBEZ explains.

4. The Wonderfully Weird World of Martellus Bennett

Off the field, the Bears’ star tight end creates children’s books in his “imagination lounge.” Chicago profiles the 28-year-old dad, artist, and football player.

5. The Story Behind a Famed Hyde Park Racing Team and Its Hidden Shop

Inside a foreign-car shop near the University of Chicago is the legend of Team Wink. DNAInfo uncovers its history.

6. Records Show Chicago Police Spied on Olympics Protesters

The cops kept an eye on No Games Chicago, even as lots of police objected to the city’s push for the games. The Reader uncovers the documents, with help from a persistent organizer.

7. How a Ban on Plastic Bags Could Go Wrong

Chicago just got one. How has it worked out for Austin, Texas? BloombergView answers the question.

8. On a Block in Chicago, a Participatory Project Visualizes Jail Data

“Park: 96 Acres” used black, brown, and white cars to mirror the inmates of Cook County Jail, right across the street. Hyperallergic captures the piece.

9. University of Chicago’s ‘Plenario’ Changes How We Use Open Data

The “hub of hubs” allows researchers to put together data across jurisdictions, departments, and categories. Government Technology details the project.

10. Why Nature Is Good for the Brain (Even If We Don’t Know What Is Natural)

A University of Chicago psychologist is trying to figure out just why it happens. Chicago talks with Marc Berman.