Portland ranks in top 10 fittest cities

Portland ranks in top 10 fittest cities

When people think of Portland, they almost always associate it with rain, beer, hipsters, and Portlandia. Few ever think of it as one of the health and fitness capitals of the nation. But new studies and rankings are showing that it is just that.

The 2015 American Fitness Index report shows Portland ranking in the top 10 fittest cities nationwide:

American Fitness Index Top 10 Fittest Cities:

1. Washington, D.C. 

2. Minneapolis, MN

3. San Diego, CA

4. San Francisco, CA

5. Sacramento, CA

6. Denver, CO

7. Portland, OR

8. Seattle, WA

9. Boston, MA

10. San Jose, CA

Though seventh in the nation is certainly something to brag about, it is actually not the first or the highest top spot ranking Portland has received in recent years. It was ranked the first fittest city by Men’s Fitness and the second fittest city by WalletHub in their 2014 rankings. It also ranked 11th out of the 25 healthiest cities in the U.S. earlier this year. 

Portland’s consistently high rankings likely stem from the myriad of low-cost recreational activities available to residents, making it incredibly easy to live an active lifestyle. And with obesity rates on the rise nationally, Portlanders can confidently mount this accomplishment on the wall next to their craft brewing trophies.

Teen model sets out to change wrong perceptions of Down syndrome

Teen model sets out to change wrong perceptions of Down syndrome

Madeline Stuart is a beautiful, confident, energetic, and active teenager pursuing interests ranging from dancing and cheerleading to swimming. She is an aspiring model and has already done a shoot with the Living Dead clothing label. She also has Down syndrome.

Stuart, 18, had struggled with her weight a year and a half ago when she decided to add swimming to her routine of dancing and cheerleading. She also cut fast food from her diet. The lifestyle changes helped her to lose 40 pounds, and she became much more confident in herself and took an interest in modeling.

Stuart explains her modeling mission on her Facebook page, which has already garnered close to 200,000 fans.

“[I] would like to be a model, modelling will help change societies view of people with Down Syndrome, exposure will help to create acceptance in life.” 

According to Stuart’s mother, people were not accepting of Madeline as a baby.

Madeline modeling“I remember having her in a [stroller] when she was a baby and small-minded people telling me she should not be out in public,” she told Buzzfeed. “But things are changing every day, and people are more accepting of what they don’t understand yet.”

Kristie Hagen of the National Down Syndrome Society has also praised Stuart for her accomplishments, telling Yahoo Parenting, “When people like Maddy get out and show who they are, and that their ability is more important than any disability they may have, it brings awareness to fact that people should not be limited by what others think of them.” 

Model3Stuart’s mom could not be more proud of her, and she is equally supportive of Stuart’s mission to change perceptions of people with disabilities.

“I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated,” she said. 


Top 10 safest (and most dangerous) cities in Oregon

Top 10 safest (and most dangerous) cities in Oregon

Though Oregon is not likely to be found on a “most dangerous states” list anytime soon, there are still a number of cities with higher than average crime rates. Violent crime rates are likely of special concern to  young people looking to settle down in any Oregon city.

Using the most recent state data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, we compiled and ranked the Oregon cities with the lowest and highest rates of crime statewide. The data is divided into two categories of violent crime and property crime. Violent crime includes reported incidents of murder, rape, robbery, and assault, while property crime includes burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

With personal safety being of the utmost concern, the cities included in the following lists were ranked by violent crimes per 1,000 residents followed by property crimes per 1,000 residents. You might be surprised by what we found.

Top 10 safest cities in Oregon:

1. Malin – 0.00 violent crimes and 1.24 property crimes per 1,000

2. Condon – 0.00 violent crimes and 1.41 property crimes per 1,000

3. Adair Village – 0.00 violent crimes and 4.71 property crimes per 1,000

4. Gearhart – 0.00 violent crimes and 8.8 property crimes per 1,000

5. Manzanita – 0.00 violent crimes and 11.57 property crimes per 1,000

6. Columbia City – 0.00 violent crimes and 11.72 property crimes per 1,000

7. Jacksonville – 0.00 violent crimes and 13.80 property crimes per 1,000

8. Cannon Beach – 0.00 violent crimes and 15.82 property crimes per 1,000

9. Banks – 0.00 violent crimes and 18.62 property crimes per 1,000

10. Hines – 0.00 violent crimes and 20.47 property crimes per 1,000

Although the crime ratio is still low in each city, all of the safest cities in Oregon have fewer than 3,000 residents. Rogue River was the only other city that reported zero violent crimes, but it had a high rate of property crime (36.99 per 1,000 residents).

Top 10 most dangerous cities in Oregon:

1. Lakeview – 9.94 violent crimes and 10.38 property crimes per 1,000

2. Toledo – 8.33 violent crimes and 40.48 property crimes per 1,000

3. Ontario – 7.23 violent crimes and 75.43 property crimes per 1,000

4. Veneta – 6.07 violent crimes and 44.41 property crimes per 1,000

5. Lincoln City – 6.02 violent crimes and 45.93 property crimes per 1,000

6. Medford – 5.59 violent crimes and 58.10 property crimes per 1,000

7. Portland – 5.17 violent crimes and 50.92 property crimes per 1,000

8. Newport – 4.58 violent crimes and 48.71 property crimes per 1,000

9. Gaston – 4.57 violent crimes and 44.21 property crimes per 1,000

10. Creswell – 4.52 violent crimes and 33.01 property crimes per 1,000

Ontario ranked as the third most dangerous when it comes to violent crime, but it takes first place for the number of reported property crimes—a whopping 75.43 per 1,000 residents. The next highest ranked city for property crime was North Bend, which had a property crime rate of 59.53 with a relatively low violent crime rate of 1.13.

High school quarterback takes friend with Down syndrome to prom

High school quarterback takes friend with Down syndrome to prom

It was seven years ago in fourth grade that Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz pledged to go to prom together. Two years after the childhood pledge, however, Mary transferred to another school, and the friends lost contact.It wasn’t until last year that the two met up again at a football game between their rival schools.

Moser was the quarterback for his high school, and Lapkowicz was the team equipment manager for hers. Seeing Lapkowicz again reminded Moser of the pledge they had made in elementary school.

Later giving her balloons with the question “Prom?” on one of them, Moser formally invited Lapkowicz to go to prom with him—a gesture that absolutely thrilled her and her family, according to Yahoo News.

“I was surprised. I was going to go with some friends,” Lapkowicz said.  

The friends followed through on their pledge on May 8, attending Moser’s high school prom together.

Prom 3

“He made good on that promise,” said Lapkowicz’ brother, Tom. “And in the process put a smile on Mary’s face [and] restored my faith in humanity.” 

Moser’s mother was equally thrilled by her son’s prom invitation.

“Today was probably the proudest I have ever been of my son in his lifetime to date,” she shared. “He has accomplished many things on the football field, on the baseball field, in the classroom, and just in his life.

“He has grown into a man with a big heart, a deep sense of putting others first, and most of all making people feel special and loved.” 


The 9 Safest Hospitals in Oregon

The 9 Safest Hospitals in Oregon

Everyone wants to feel that their health and wellbeing are in the hands of capable doctors and nurses who care about their patients and are good at what they do. But when was the last time you actually checked the safety rating of your hospital?

Twice a year, data from various government agencies and hospital survey sources is collected and compiled by Hospital Safety Score from over 2,500 hospitals nationwide. Ratings are then derived from a 28-measure score that serves to rank and grade each hospital’s safety record.

The latest grades were just released in April, and nine Oregon hospitals earned an “A” grade. Here are the nine that made the cut.

1. Adventist Medical Center – Portland 

2. Asante Three Rivers Medical Center – Grants Pass 

3. Kaiser  Sunnyside Medical Center – Clackamas

4. Legacy Meridian Park Hospital – Tualatin 

5. McKenzi-Willamette Medical Center – Springfield

6. Mercy Medical Center – Roseburg

7. Providence Newberg Medical Center – Newberg

8. Providence Portland Medical Center – Portland

9. Providence St. Vincent Medical Center – Portland 

The A-rated hospitals are accompanied by four Oregon hospitals that received a “B” grade and 16 that received a “C” grade. The full list of Oregon hospital ratings can be found through Hospital Safety Score’s online report. Where does your hospital rank?