1. How Chicago Gets Its Guns

It’s the same way teens get beer—through social networks instead of big traffickers, which makes it much harder to stop. ProPublica Illinois, the Sun-Times, and WBEZ investigate.

2. Doomed by Delay

For years Illinois tried to test children for Krabbe disease, a rare, devastating lysomal disorder. Bureaucracy delayed it for a decade as children succumbed. The Tribune follows the process.

3. We “Ran the Circuit” at Italian Village for Its 90th Anniversary

Three restaurants, three hours, and years of history at the legendary downtown restaurant: it can be done. Chicago recounts the adventure.

4. The Story Behind the Chicago Newspaper That Bought a Bar

In 1976, the Sun-Times started running a tavern in order to expose corruption in city government. Topic tells the tale with an oral history.

5. The Art Ensemble of Chicago Celebrates 50 Years of Channeling and Challenging History

The group emphasized collective improvisation over star solos, and it’s maintained its philosophy even as its lineup and sound have changed over the decades. NPR’s Jazz Night In America looks back.

6. Why Chicago’s Soda Tax Fizzled After Two Months—and What It Means for the Anti-Soda Movement

Did Cook County just screw it up? Or is the tide turning against the idea? The Washington Post considers the question.

7. Seeing the Future: Lee Bey on Conservation, Preservation, and How to Get Fed

He’s been an architecture critic, deputy chief of staff to the mayor, SAIC prof, and now a VP at the DuSable Museum. So what’s he learned from all this? South Side Weekly sits down with the local Renaissance man.

8. How RxBar Became a $600 Million Target

They started with (literally) homemade protein bars, with packaging designed in Powerpoint. Four years later, they caught the eye of Kellogg. Crain’s profiles the company.

9. The Making of Richard Thaler’s Economics Nobel

He challenged the purist assumptions of the Chicago School of economics through psychology, then reached the apex of the profession at the University of Chicago itself. The New Yorker explains his work.

10. There’s Only Room for One Madigan at the Top of Illinois Politics

He’s 75, and has been speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for 32 of the last 34 years. His daughter, 51, has time to run for office again after stepping down from the Attorney General’s office, but will he ever step aside? Chicago looks at their futures.