Monday Reads – Numbers

I’m sensing a numeric theme in this morning’s news items.

27 — That’s the percentage jump in the number of assaults reported to Iowa City Police between 2006 and 2008, according to this morning’s Des Moines Register. And assault reports during the first three months of this year exceed the same period during the past three years.

This has been a big story around these parts, and it’s got plenty of people worried. That includes parents of University of Iowa students. School and regent’s officials are hearing all about it. Downtown, after the bars close, some bad stuff is happening.

So what’s the deal? Booze, immaturity and violence add up to  “toxic masculinity.” From Erin Jordan’s Register story:

“When you mix alcohol and immaturity along with these value systems, it’s a very negative convergence,” said Sam Cochran, director of the U of I Counseling Service.

Fighting is part of a “toxic masculinity” that is influenced by popular culture, Cochran said.

Research shows that assaults increase during some sporting events, like college football games, said Ryan Williams, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

He has researched mixed martial arts, a no-holds-barred fighting sport.

So now you know.

548 — That’s how many possible H1N1 Swine flu cases have been tested in Iowa as of Sunday, according to AP.  Of those, just seven probable cases were found.

The first confirmed case in Iowa was announced on Saturday. And a cluster of probable cases in Marshall County among school-aged children prompted Marshalltown school officials to shut down the district this week as a precaution.

Masks and hand sanitizer continue to sell, according to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

450 — The Register reported Sunday that the first week of legal same-sex marriages in Iowa saw more than 450 couples apply for licenses. Polk County had 116 applications followed by Johnson County with 80 and Linn County with 77.

Today’s Quad-City Times carries news of eight couples getting hitched at a Church on Sunday.

Media interest is fading and political heat is cooling a bit after just one week. And this is supposed to be the red hot issue of an election 16 months from now. Hmmm.

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