UP: Public Safety. The Madison Police Department reports that crime dropped 4% in 2009 to 8,740 offenses, down from 9,147 the year before. Reported homicides, rapes and aggravated assaults all dropped. But thefts, particularly from vehicles, increased.
DOWN: UW-Madison. The number of National Merit Finalists and All-State scholars attending the university dropped to 111 last year, from 152 the year before. "We recruit National Merit Finalists," Joanne Berg, the UW-Madison's vice provost for enrollment, tells the Wisconsin State Journal. "We send them nice letters and congratulations, but we don't have the money to match it."