In and near its downtown, there are more boarded-up and empty storefronts and vacant lots in Granite City, Ill., than there are businesses. David Schaper /NPR hide caption

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Motorists in Chicago navigate the morning rush hour as they make their way toward downtown.

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As the Chicago Cubs' Moises Alou made a leaping attempt at a pop foul during the National League Championship Series, Steve Bartman (in Cubs cap and dark sweater) was among the fans reaching for the ball. While one image suggests he acted alone, the second photo tells another story.

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Jose Zacarias lives in an old farmhouse flanked by corn and soybean fields near the edge of town. The Mexican-born immigrant came to West Liberty more than 25 years ago.

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David Protess, shown in 2009, is no longer with Northwestern University. But he led the Medill Innocence Project when students discovered evidence questioning the guilt of Anthony McKinney, jailed since 1978. The judge in the case has ruled that the students weren't acting as journalists, protected by the Illinois reporter's privilege law, but as investigators for the defense. M. Spencer Green/AP hide caption

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This NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Irene as it approached the East Coast on Friday. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Russell Zanca, 47, of Chicago, is selling his three-bedroom house despite the uncertainty in the housing market. David Schaper/NPR hide caption

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Construction crews at a new air traffic control tower at Oakland International Airport were told on July 19 to stop working after the U.S. House refused to reauthorize routine funding of the Federal Aviation Administration. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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