1. Chicagoans of the Year

From a rapper to a doctor to a high-school dropout who runs a boxing program that keeps kids out of jail, these locals are making Chicago (and the world) better. Chicago highlights their efforts.

2. Kindness for Tyshawn After Unimaginable Cruelty

The fourth grader, killed in a Chicago alley, was laid to rest under the attentions of a Lawndale funeral home. The Tribune observes his memorial.

3. Crossing the Digital Divide on Chicago’s Toughest Streets

Smart Chicago used flyers and shoe leather to get kids in Internet deserts into an intensive summer tech program. Backchannel profiles Youth-Led Tech.

4. Conversation: The General & the Neighbor

Why is a South Side man afraid that his neighborhood is vulnerable to climate change? And what’s he learning from New Orleans? WBEZ’s new collaboration with the WNYC show The Takeaway, Heat of the Moment, finds out.

5. Rescued from Near Extinction, a Rare Heirloom Pepper Is Slowly Making a Comeback

A Hungarian immigrant brought it to Wisconsin over a century ago. Now a German immigrant who ran a biodynamic vineyard in Tuscany is bringing it back to life in and around Chicago. The Reader traces the history of the Beaver Dam pepper.

6. Bill Siebel, Leader of Historic Chicago Beer Brewing School, Dies at 69

His great-grandfather established the Siebel Institute in 1872, and it has educated some of the biggest names in beer over the years. The Sun-Times remembers his work.

7. How Law & Order Creator Dick Wolf Took Chicago

What does he like about the city? Sincerity. (And tax breaks.) The Wall Street Journal goes inside his new TV empire.

8. Is That a Choice?

Sociologist Mary Patillo was a founding board member of a charter school network, but in her newest research, she looks at the competitive education model from the outside. The South Side Weekly gets her take.

9. What Went Wrong with Union Station?

It’s one of Chicago’s architectural marvels, but most of its activity is crammed into a charmless underground maze. Chicago magazine looks at its fall, and potential rise.

10. On Chicago’s Southwest Side, Immigrants Have Breathed New Life into Communities

The city’s ports of call have shifted, along with the fortunes of the places new residents call home. The Chicago Reporter follows their path.