Five stories that have North Texas talking: Colleges hope adding football will make campuses dude magnets, meth addicts raid ranches to score quick cash, a colored dot for every American paints an interesting picture and more.
Twelve colleges and universities are adding a football program this year and a record nine are joining the NCAA. Two of those campuses are in Texas; Houston Baptist University is joining Division I and Southwestern University in Georgetown is adding in to Division III. While most people think adding a football program is a money-making move, new information suggests that colleges and universities are more focused on upping male enrollment.
According to the American Council on Education, women outnumbered men on college campuses by more than 7 percent during the 2011-12 academic year. Because gender balance is important in higher education, schools hope adding the most popular college sport to their extracurricular activities roster might shake things up. For example, when Pacific University in Oregon cut its football program in 1991 to save money, male enrollment dwindled. It was down to 36 percent in 2009, but after bringing football back in 2010, male enrollment jumped back to 42 percent. [Marketplace]
- Stealing Cows To Score Meth: Cattle rustling sounds like a lost criminal art, but cow thievery in Texas is on the rise and authorities blame meth addicts. Cattle theft saw a dramatic 40 percent spike in Texas and Oklahoma when comparing last year to the year before. Drought has forced most ranchers to cut their herds significantly, so the remaining cows are very valuable. And cows worth thousands are appealing targets for those hoping to score quick cash. “Not always, but I would say the majority of these cases are driven by the meth community,” says special ranger Doug Hutchison. [KUT via NPR]
- Serving Those Who Served: Housing vouchers could help more than 1,100 veterans exit homelessness and find a place to live. According to the Washington Post, the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development are putting almost $8 million towards this new program. The most recent figures found 62,619 veterans homeless on a single January night in 2012. The Long March Home breaks veteran homelessness down state-by-state. According to their map, Texas has the fourth highest number of homeless vets in the U.S. behind California, New York and Florida.
- A Watercolor View Of Racial Diversity In America: A demographic researcher named Dustin Cable has put together a visually stunning bird’s eye view of race in the U.S. By assigning all 308,745,538 of us a colored dot that represents race (yellow for Hispanic, blue for Caucasian, etc.) the whole country is swathed in different hues. Most urban areas look purple or teal, which signals diversity. But when you zoom in, you can see clear concentrations of different colors. In North Texas, for example, the word Arlington on the map is almost split down the middle by two distinct colors; blue (white) to the west and yellow (Hispanic) to the east. Just northwest of Plano, a predominant red (Asian) pocket is plotted. Zoom in on your neighborhood here. [Atlantic Cities]
- Stay Minty Fresh, Keep Oral HPV at Bay?: A Texas led study finds that simple oral hygiene, we’re talking brushing and flossing, can help prevent oral HPV. According to research from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, people with poor oral health are more likely to have an oral HPV infection. Almost a third of the 3,400 people studied had poor to fair oral health, and that group was 50 percent more likely to be infected with HPV. The human papillomavirus is a major cause of mouth and throat cancer. [NPR]