RUN OF HOMICIDES: We’re wincing and wondering why after a series of seven homicides and nine deaths all told within four weeks in our region. Two of the five incidents were domestic murder-suicides in Cedar Rapids. Two others happened at the Meskwaki Settlement near Tama. In Cedar Rapids alone, there’s already been more homicides during 2014 (four) than for any full year since 2006, when there were six.
WATER PIPES AND EAGLE EGGS: Frozen water pipes continue to plague many Eastern Iowa residents during this extended run of subzero weather. The extreme conditions are affecting many creatures, too, including Decorah’s famous webcam eagles. Despite the severe cold, eggs were laid and the parents face a big nesting challenge to keep them from freezing. Warmer temperatures? They may arrive later this week.
DATA DISPUTE: Surely the University of Iowa and Linn County Public Health can find a way to share UI data on cancer cases without violating patient privacy. LCPH wants to study whether environmental factors are behind a county cancer rate that’s higher than the state rate. The UI has collected cancer statistics statewide for 40 years but is leery about releasing it to Linn County. We respect the privacy concerns. However, these are both public institutions that should be able to work toward a data solution that’s in the best interests of Iowans’ health.Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 398-8262