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Sunday, April 20, 2014

10 Cities Where Americans Are Pretty Much Terrified to Live

10 Cities Where Americans Are Pretty Much Terrified to Live


10 Cities Where Americans Are Pretty Much Terrified to Live

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT

According to Gallup, 70.5% of Americans surveyed in 2012 and 2013 said they felt safe walking alone at night. This is effectively unchanged from 2011, when 71% of respondents said they felt safe.

In a number of metro areas, however, far fewer residents felt safe at night. In McAllen, Texas, where Americans were least likely to feel safe, less than half of all respondents were comfortable outside of their homes after dark. Based on data gathered by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, these are the 10 cities where Americans felt the least safe.

Seven of the 10 metro areas in which residents felt the least safe had violent crime rates above the nationwide rate of 386.9 incidents per 100,000 people in 2012. In the Memphis, Tenn., area, there were 1,056.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the most of any metro area in the country. Stockton, Calif., also had one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, with 889.3 incidents per 100,000 residents.

But not all metro areas where residents felt unsafe had high violent crime rates. In two metro areas, McAllen and Yakima, Wash., there were just 319 and 349 violent incidents, respectively, for every 100,000 residents in 2012. In both cases, this was below the national rate.

Click here to see the cities where Americans don't feel safe

24/7 Wall St. discussed the issue with John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think-tank based in Washington, D.C. "A fact of modern life [is] that people are bombarded with negative stories about crime," Roman said. People "develop the perception that where they live, or wherever they like to go, isn't safe."

While concerns about safety may be somewhat misplaced in some areas, in others, such "perceptions of feeling unsafe are right on," Roman added. In those areas, residents may feel unsafe because crime is underreported. In immigrant communities, because "people who are victimized are afraid to come forward and report it, there's a hidden number of crime," Roman explained.

However, in bigger cities, like Washington, D.C., New York and Dallas, "immigrant populations are thriving because they can do business with the local governments in Spanish. Those cities that are attracting a lot of first and second generation immigrants have really much lower crime rates than you'd expect," said Roman.

Residents of areas who are less likely to feel safe tended to also struggle to afford adequate shelter. According to Gallup, the relationship between the concerns for personal safety and being able to afford housing is not coincidental. "The factors that contribute to both of these problems are often rooted in socioeconomic status and are likely traced back to poverty and the discontent that comes with it," Gallup noted.

In fact, these areas also suffered from high poverty rates. Each of the 10 had a poverty rate greater than the national rate in 2012. In Fresno, Calif., and McAllen, 28.4% and 34.5% of the population lived below the poverty line that year. Both were among the highest rates for any metro area in the country.

However, Roman noted that the state of the local economy is often "less related than you might think it might be" to perceptions of safety. Instead, perceptions of where an area is heading might be more important. Certain parts of the country that are improving "might be poorer than average, but there's a sense of optimism, there's a sense of development," he explained.

MORE: Ten Cities Where Young People Can't Find Work

Not surprisingly, residents in these areas also reported being unhappy with where they lived. Across the United States, 85% of residents told Gallup they felt satisfied with where they lived. In nine of the 10 metro areas where residents felt least safe, residents had lower satisfaction rates. In Stockton, just 73.3% of people surveyed were satisfied with the area, the second lowest rate in the country.

To determine the 10 metro areas where people felt most unsafe walking alone at night, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed figures from the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index. Responses were collected for the index over 2012 and 2013. To determine how recorded crime rates actually aligned with citizens' opinions of these areas, we considered figures published in the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 2012. Unemployment rates are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for December 2013 and are seasonally adjusted. Other figures such as poverty rates, education and income are from the Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey. Population figures are from 2012 as well.

These are the cities where Americans don't feel safe.

5. Modesto, Calif.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 54.2%
> Pct. without money for shelter: 14.2%% (10th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 549.4 per 100,000 (48th highest)
> Poverty rate: 20.3% (64th highest)
> Population: 523,330 (124th highest)

With relatively high crime rates, Modesto residents are not likely to feel completely at ease walking alone at night. Motor vehicle theft was particularly bad in the area, with more than 780 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2012, second worst nationwide. Like many metro areas where people feel unsafe, Modesto's economy has been strained in recent years. The unemployment rate was an abysmal 12.3% at the end of last year, among the highest rates nationwide. More than one in five residents lived in poverty in 2012, also among the highest rates in the nation. More than 14% of respondents said they had enough money for shelter at all times in the past 12 months, among the worst rates in the country.

4. Columbus, Ga.-Ala.

> Pct. feel safe at night: 54.2%
> Pct. without money for shelter: 14.8% (7th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 437.4 per 100,000 (99th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.7% (102nd highest)
> Population: 304,291 (182nd highest)

Like in many of the cities in which people do not feel safe, 14.8% of Columbus residents said that they did not have enough money for adequate shelter within the past year, among the 10 worst rates in the country. A high percentage of people in the area struggled economically. The area's median household income was less than $43,000 in 2012, versus more than $51,000 nationwide. Additionally, the area had one of the nation's highest portions of residents on food stamps, at 20.6% that year. The region also had 166.3 robberies per 100,000 people in 2012, among the highest rates in the nation, and 4,778.6 property crimes per 100,000 people, worse than all but just five other metro areas in the country.

3. Stockton, Calif.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 52.2%
> Pct. without money for shelter: 12.5% (tied for 34th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 889.3 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.4% (108th highest)
> Population: 702,670 (97th highest)

Stockton had 889 incidents of violent crime for every 100,000 residents in 2012, higher than all but a handful of metro areas nationwide. That year, there were 89 murders, or 12.7 per 100,000 residents, among the highest rates in the nation. Cases of aggravated assault and robbery were also extremely frequent. Violent crime was such a problem in Stockton that year that the city's police declared a policy of immediately dispatching officers only in cases of violent crimes and crimes in progress. The city of Stockton, which is currently working on plans to exit from bankruptcy, has lost police officers in recent years due to a combination of layoffs and retirements. At the end of 2013, 12% of the area's workforce was unemployed. While this was down from 16% two years before, it was still among the worst unemployment rates in the nation.

2. Yakima, Wash.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 51.3%
> Pct. without money for shelter: 12.5% (tied for 34th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 349.4 per 100,000 (172nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 23.1% (29th highest)
> Population: 249,564 (178th lowest)

While Yakima residents often felt unsafe walking home alone at night, the area's violent crime rate was actually lower than the national rate. Property crime, however, remains a problem. Despite Yakima County's Crimestoppers grassroots organization, which encourages citizens to report crimes, the area had 1,217.7 burglaries per 100,000 people in 2012, and 673.2 car thefts per 100,000 people, both among the highest rates in the country. Like most metro areas in which residents do not feel safe walking alone at night, Yakima is struggling economically. Nearly one-quarter of the area's residents had to rely on food stamps for at least part of 2012, and 23.1% of residents lived in poverty in 2012 — both among the worst rates in the country.

MORE: America's Most Miserable Cities

1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
> Pct. feel safe at night: 48.5%
> Pct. without money for shelter: 24.5% (the highest)
> Violent crime rate: 319.2 per 100,000 (160th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 34.5% (2nd highest)
> Population: 809,759 (90th highest)

McAllen was the only metro area in which less than half of all respondents felt safe walking home alone at night. This was despite the fact that McAllen actually had a lower violent crime rate than the United States overall in 2012, at just 319 incidents per 100,000 residents, versus 387 crimes for 100,000 residents nationally. However, violence along the border with Mexico remains a concern for many McAllen residents. The State Department warns against traveling to the neighboring city of Reynosa, Mexico, due to high levels of drug-related violence. Additionally, nearly 25% of residents stated they did not have enough money for adequate shelter at some point in the previous year, by far the most of any metro area. A lack of adequate shelter may be tied to the relatively low economic prosperity in the region. In 2012, 34.5% of residents lived below the poverty line, and the median household income was just $33,761, both among the worst in the nation.

Visit 24/7 Wall St. to see the remaining five cities where Americans don’t feel safe.

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Jack White Sets World Record for Fastest-Released Record

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:23 AM PDT

It took Jack White three hours, 55 minutes, and 21 seconds to set a new world record Saturday for the fastest-released album.

As a part of Record Store Day festivities, White performed the title track of his upcoming album, Lazaretto, due June 10, for a small crowd in Nashville, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Immediately after White’s performance, master recordings of the show were delivered to United Record Pressing, which began pressing vinyl 45s using pictures of the show as sleeves.

Fans who stuck around were able to buy recordings of the concert they had just heard hours before.

Swiss polka group Vollgas Kompanie held the previous record for releasing a live album one day after they recorded it, Rolling Stone reports.

[THR]

Take a Look at Jane Austen, Roald Dahl, and Albert Einstein’s Stunning Business Cards

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:13 AM PDT

What would some of the world’s most famous writers, thinkers, and politicians’ stationary look like if they were alive today? Online printing company MOO has an answer—sort of. The firm has designed a collection of modern letterheads and business cardsfor the likes of Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. For more, check them all out here.

MOO
MOO
MOO

‘Capt. America’ Tops Box Office for Third Week

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:00 AM PDT

(LOS ANGELES) — Captain America continues to vanquish box office foes, triumphing in ticket sales for the third consecutive week and beating formidable contender Johnny Depp.

According to studio estimates Sunday, the Marvel sequel added another $26 million to its coffers, while Depp’s sci-fi thriller, “Transcendence,” opened in fourth place.

Another newcomer, the religious film “Heaven Is for Real,” debuted in third place, while another sequel, “Rio 2,” held on to second.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” set a box-office record as the biggest April release ever when it opened with more than $96 million in domestic ticket sales. Starring Chris Evans as Capt. America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, the Disney release has earned more than $200 million to date in North America — the 12th Marvel film to do so.

Saudi Arabia Confirms 20 New Cases of Deadly MERS Virus

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry this weekend confirmed 20 new cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS. All told, the MERS virus has infected 244 people in Saudi Arabia, with 49 confirmed cases in the last six days alone.

Of the 244 infected people in total, 76 have died, Reuters reports. MERS has no known cure and kills approximately a third of the people it infects.

Saudi Arabia Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabia said Sunday that he did not know the cause of the sudden rise in cases. He said there was no current need for extra precautionary measures such as travel restrictions.

Authorities say the disease, which scientists have linked to camels and is similar to the SARS virus, does not spread easily from person to person and could die out on its own.

[Reuters]

Rubin Carter, Wrongly Imprisoned and Later Freed

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 09:51 AM PDT

Female House Candidates Struggle to Break Through Despite GOP Efforts

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 09:18 AM PDT

At a time when the Republican Party has been reaching out to women and minorities, Marilinda Garcia would seem like the perfect candidate for Congress. The eight-year veteran of the New Hampshire State Legislature is hoping to take on Democratic Rep. Ann Kuster in New Hampshire's second district. In 2013, the Republican National Committee named her one of its "Rising Stars.” The Susan B. Anthony List, which supports pro-life female candidates, endorsed her. She was featured in Governing Magazine as one of a dozen State Legislators to watch in March. And GOPAC, a Republican group that helps elect State Legislators to federal office, also endorsed her this spring.

She's slightly ahead in the polls with her primary opponent, Gary Lambert, a former Marine and small businessman. And even more striking is if the election were held today, Garcia beats Kuster 38% to Kuster's 14% among independent voters and Lambert would beat her 34% to Kuster's 14%. According to the survey, the main reason Garcia does better is her strength with women voters: Kuster leads Lambert by 16 percentage points among women, but she only leads Garcia by 5 percentage points among women.

So, why has the National Republican Campaign Committee named Lambert, a candidate with no political experience, one of their "Young Guns,” while Garcia hasn’t been given that designation?

Garcia is running at a time when Republicans have struggled to recruit more women candidates for the House. Despite concerted efforts, recruitment efforts lag behind the GOP’s 2012 numbers. Many prospective female Republican candidates say they don’t want to run because they don’t get enough institutional and establishment support. "Every conversation when I approach any of these organizations, they're very encouraging with their words and I would appreciate anything else that would follow from that but I haven't felt it as of yet and I would love to feel it," Garcia tells TIME.

To be fair, Lambert has raised more than $320,000 so far to Garcia's nearly $112,000. Though Garcia points out that she only entered the race late last quarter and both she and Lambert raised almost equal amounts this quarter, so by that measure they are on par. But the NRCC Young Guns program only takes candidates that have at least $100,000 cash on hand, which is how Lambert qualified. Garcia is hoping to apply when she has enough money; she currently has $60,000 cash on hand. “Anyone can participate in the young guns program if they meet the required benchmarks,” says Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the NRCC. “We have encouraged her to enroll. [We] have met with her several times.”

One of the challenges for female candidates on either side of the aisle is training them in raising money, generally a harder task for women than men at first. Emily's List on the left holds regular training seminars around the country that are free to all perspective candidates. But the Susan B. Anthony List, which raises less than one-fifth of the money Emily's List does, has not yet been able to launch such a program. "Do we wish that [Garcia] had more support? Do we wish that we had more money to give her to cross the finish line? Of course I do," says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. "I do wish the NRCC would do more."

Ostensibly, the NRCC is doing more. Last year, they launched a program called Project GROW to help female candidates. But Garcia, though she is a female Republican running for the House, has yet to get anything from the group. “Project GROW is led by the women members in the GOP caucus who mentor Republican candidates,” NRCC’s Bozek says. “The main objectives have been to expand engagement to women voters through messaging, events and the recruitment of strong female Republican candidates.” When asked, Bozek did not respond to questions about why Garcia has not yet gotten a mentor or a fundraiser.

Miss America: Rethink Suspension Over Prom Query

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 09:03 AM PDT

(YORK, Pa.) — Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a high school senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly.

The York Dispatch reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1iBazDw ) that Nina Davuluri posted a statement on the Miss America Organization’s Facebook page saying she contacted Central York High School to ask officials to rethink the three-day in-school suspension issued to 18-year-old Patrick Farves.

Davuluri says her travel schedule will prevent her from attending the dance with Farves.

School officials had learned ahead of time about Farves’ stunt and warned him not to do it. They say Farves was suspended for misbehaving.

He apologized for disrupting Thursday’s event. Davuluri was there to talk about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math studies.

Check Out Queen Elizabeth’s Fancy New Birthday Portrait

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 08:51 AM PDT

A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has been released in honor of her 88th birthday, which falls on Monday, April 21. And if we may be so bold, she’s looking pretty great.

British photographer David Bailey took the simple black-and-white portrait at Buckingham Palace, the BBC reports. Bailey said he’s always been a big fan of the Queen.

“She has very kind eyes with a mischievous glint,” Bailey said. “I’ve always liked strong women, and she is a very strong woman.”

Well, anyway — happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth! Most people hope to be treated like queens on their birthdays, but you already are one! Good job.

Video: Inside the Air Search for MH370

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 08:47 AM PDT

Watch this elite crew of New Zealand air searchers as they survey an area nearly the width of the U.S. for any sign of missing Flight MH370.

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