1. What Firefighters Know

Their heroism is the stuff of movies and TV. But what is life really like for the men and women of the Chicago Fire Department? Chicago sits down with the everyday heroes.

2. The Chicago Teachers Strike Proves We Can’t Rely on Democrats

Is our teachers strike a microcosm of the nomination battle between left-leaning Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and moderates Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg? The Nation thinks so.

3. Still Ghoulin’ After All These Years

If you don’t love Svengoolie, you’ve probably never watched TV in this town. As he celebrates 40 years on the air, the Reader asks the man behind the makeup, “Why Berwyn?”

4. There’s Some Progress in Lightfoot’s Budget Plan, Despite Progressive Backlash

Progressives are grumbling that Mayor Lightfoot is trying to balance the budget with regressive restaurant and ride sharing taxes. In the Chicago Reporter, Curtis Black prefers to give her credit for proposing a tax on high-dollar real estate sales.

5. The Cubs Got Their Guy in David Ross. But Will He Be a Difference-Maker?

Is Grandpa the leader to take the Cubs to the World Series? In this age of data-driven player decisions, and instant replay, it may not matter who manages the Cubs. So argues Paul Sullivan in the Tribune.

6. High Lake Levels Are Pushing City to Prepare for a Dangerous Winter and a Precarious Future

At a Loyola University meeting, Far North Side aldermen talked about holding back Lake Michigan with concrete jersey barriers this winter. Long term, the city may have to pile up sand and plant grass to prevent erosion, reports Block Club Chicago.

7. These Cities Have the Worst Rat Problems in the Country

According to pest control company Orkin, Chicago is the “rattiest city” in the U.S. Read the entire list on Thrillist.

8. Death and Rebirth at Big Marsh Park

Music and dancing at the Southeast Side park celebrate an ecological recovery from a past as a dumping ground for the steel industry. South Side Weekly has the story and pictures.

9. Ulrich Klopfer, Abortion Doctor Who Kept Fetal Remains in Home and Car, Was a Villain to Many — Both in Life and Death

Klopfer was a prolific abortionist who competed with colleagues to perform the most procedures. After he died last month, 2,246 fetuses were found in his Crete home. The Associated Press profiles the controversial doctor.

10. Kanye West’s New Album Jesus Is King Wants to Make Faith a Pop Culture Force

Can Kanye West bring together the worlds of hip-hop and evangelical Christianity? On nbcnews.com, Steve Krakauer calls West “a genius” who is “building a cultural bridge.”