The numbers may change slightly, but the message is still the same according to Purdue Extension.
A recently issued report ranked Starke County first in the state of Indiana in meth lab seizures. A team of researchers used population data to determine Starke County’s population, but in writing the report transposed the first two numbers – making the county’s population 32, 197 instead of the more accurate 23,197.
Janet Ayers with Purdue Extension says the numbers are not the important part.
“The message is about meth use in our communities and becoming more aware of how prevalent it is and what we can do to raise awareness,” says Ayers.
The change doesn’t alter Starke County’s ranking for meth seizures, but it affects by how much the county ranks first in the state.
WKVI reviewed the data used and confirmed with Purdue Extension that Starke County’s meth seizure rate increases from the incorrect rate of 10.3 to 11.6 between 2011 and 2013.
Ayers says meth is an increasing problem in rural areas of Indiana.
“It’s costing a significant amount of money to property owners and others, to the county where there has to be a clean-up,” says Ayers.
Purdue Extension says they will be making a change on the publication itself, but more questions will need to be asked before finalizing the new report.