On Chicago’s West Side, No Rebound From the Recession

La Risa Lynch

While the overall unemployment rate in Chicago has declined since the recession ended, the rate in African-American communities has remained high. The citywide unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in 2014, but it has been well into the double digits in neighborhoods like Austin, North Lawndale, Englewood and Garfield Park, according to a Reporter analysis. The interconnection between unemployment and incarceration has made these communities least likely to share in the economic recovery.

Prince, Bowie and Haggard: Icons or Legends? What’s the Difference?

Lynn Stuart Parramore

From his incarnations as the glam Ziggy Stardust and the avant-garde Thin White Duke, to his nimble turns at rock ‘n’ roll, disco, new wave, folk rock, industrial rock and electronica — as well as his memorable turns in films like The Man Who Fell to Earth — Bowie became known as an innovator and a surprising shape-shifter. According to music journalist Joe Lynch, Bowie influenced more musical genres than any other rock star. “Without David Bowie,” the singer Moby said, “popular music as we know it pretty much wouldn’t exist.”

The 4-Year College Myth: Why Students Need More Time to Graduate

Joanna Pulido

Four-Year Myth, a report from the national nonprofit, Complete College America, declares that a 4-year degree has become a myth in American higher education. The study finds that the majority of full-time American college students do not graduate on time, costing them thousands of dollars in extra college-related expenses. Policy experts who analyzed the statistics believe a more realistic benchmark for graduation is six years for a bachelor’s degree and three years for a “two-year” certificate.

Lost and Found: The Life of Artist Edith Lake Wilkinson

Sandra Bertrand

Anderson and Tess busy themselves with painting the walls green at the Larkin Gallery for Edith’s first show in over 90 years and the reception is obviously a successful one.   Along with the exhibit preparations, Anderson finds out through a letter that one of the town’s history buffs shares, that before Edith’s incarceration, she was planning a trip to Paris. She had big plans for her future. Another rather humorous event is a visit Anderson pays to a local psychic who supposedly “channels” Edith, relating how the woman “loved to party and made a lethal rum punch.”

In War-Torn Damascus, Syrians Flock to Burgeoning Bar Scene

John Davison

By a military checkpoint in Damascus's Old City, just a mile from the battered frontline between government and rebel-held territory, young Syrians sit on a garden wall smoking, drinking beer or soft drinks, and talking about anything but the war. It is a week night, but the Damascenes are keen to head out to a strip of new bars that have opened in the last few months -- some to socialize and others to work in the venues.

From the Campaign Trail: Trump, Boehner Heap Attacks on Clinton, Cruz

Doina Chiacu and Megan Cassella

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump waded into politically risky territory this week when he accused Democrat Hillary Clinton of exploiting her gender to win votes and said she would have little support if she were not a woman. As Trump and Clinton, fresh off big wins in five Northeastern state primaries on Tuesday, circled each other for a potential matchup in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, his comments portended what could be an unusually nasty campaign.

The Development of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Rebekah Frank

Our public school system employs about 46,000 full-time and 36,000 part-time officers across the country. In theory, these officers supervise lunchrooms, coach sports, teach drug and alcohol awareness and, in many situations, become confidants to kids who need an ally at school or don’t have the support they need at home due to myriad different reasons. But, as the incident in South Carolina indications, the existence of SROs in schools is not always positive.

Viet Thanh Nguyen Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

John Freeman

Nguyen spent his first three years in the US in a refugee camp in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsyvlania and then with a host family in Harrisburg, where he was separated from his mother and father and sister. “Not everyone would take a whole family,” he says, speaking by phone from Boston. “This period had a big impact on me, I didn’t realize how deep until much later.”

Where to Find the Best Bagels in New York City

Beth Kaiserman

When you live in a city that freaks out over a rainbow bagel, and then freaks out when it can no longer get a rainbow bagel, you tend to know a thing or two about our round, doughy friends. Though not as ubiquitous as I thought they would be in New York City, bagels still play a major part in New York living. The hangover bagel. The brunch with parents bagel. The desperate dinner bagel. And the bagels keep on spinning.

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