“America’s Friendliest Hometown” Through the Years

Just 60 miles northwest of Orlando, Florida, lies a retirement mega-community.

The Villages is marketed as an “active adult community,” allowing retirees to maintain a physical and social lifestyle that caters to their needs as they enter old age.

Most residents get around the Manhattan-sized development exclusively in golf carts.

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Golf cart bridge over U.S. 27 (Photo: Ebyabe via Wikipedia)

In March 2014, the Census Bureau named The Villages the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S.

Developer H. Gary Morse switched The Villages from mobile homes to a permanent housing development in the 1980s. He appealed to retirees from northern states by offering “free golf for the rest of your life” and the comfort of a community without children. From there, construction took off and the community expanded rapidly as new retirees clamored to move in.

The Villages is now home to over 100,000 retirees over the age of 55.

A Google Timelapse illustrates the drastic change in the area, from mainly farmland to a sprawling retiree community complete with active town squares, over 2,500 social clubs and almost 50 golf courses.

Butler Basketball Coach Wins Coach of the Year Award

CollegeInsider.com awarded Holtmann this year’s John McLendon Award, honoring him as college basketball’s coach of the year. Holtmann has been coaching Butler since the 2014-15 season.

Butler made it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2011 this year.

Click here to view the full chart.

In the past decade, Butler has had three different coaches and competed in three different conferences.  Under Chris Holtmann, the team’s strength of schedule and relative win-loss percentages have gone up.

Click here to view the full chart.





Map Visualization: America’s 10 Cities Dealing with a Drinking Problem

Men’s Health magazine used data from a Centers for Disease Control study on alcohol use to rank U.S. cities by their “drunkenness.” Using an unscientific method, the magazine gave cities rankings based on liver disease, DUI arrests, etc.

Fresno, Cali. topped the list, followed closely by Reno, Nev. and Billings, Mont. Most of the cities on the list are concentrated in the Southwest.

See the map here.

Popularity of South Bend Cubs Continues to Rise

With the close of the 2016 baseball season, the South Bend Cubs broke their regular season attendance record for the third year in a row.

The team’s success has been attributed to a change in ownership in 2011, $7 million spent on renovations to Four Winds Field and the name and affiliation switch.

The team, previously called the Silver Hawks and affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, became an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in 2014.

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Interactive chart

Will Obama Stay Relevant?

After eight years in the White House, former President Barack Obama has left the building.

But he’s not finished yet.

While he told Barbara Walters in 2013 that he was done running for office, Obama plans to tackle many of the issues he battled with as leader of the country, such as immigration and gun control.

But will the former president retain his purported ability to speak to and for the people?

Google Trends says maybe.

A comparison of Google searches for President Donald Trump and Barack Obama shows a stark difference at the time of the 2012 and 2016 elections.

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Searches for Obama did peak around the time of the 2012 election, but those numbers are nowhere near the number of searches for Donald Trump before and during the 2016 election. In fact, searches for Trump were more numerous in the months leading up to November 2016 in comparison to searches for Obama in 2012, which picked up much closer to the election.

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In the past 90 days, searches for Obama have remained higher than during the years of his presidency. While his numbers are far lower than Trump’s, they peak at the same time. This data seems to show that people care what our former president has to say about our current president’s recent actions. In this way, Obama may continue to be a public voice.

Lyft vs. Uber in South Bend

Dakota Connell-Ledwon
South Bend

You’ve probably used Uber, the ride-sharing app that lets you order a car to pick you up at your exact location. But there’s a new competitor in town–Lyft expanded its operations to South Bend last Thursday.

In a comparison of Google searches using Google Trends, Uber remained dominant after Lyft’s launch.

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The graph shows that Google searches for Lyft increased after its launch at noon on Jan. 26–perhaps because the company advertised a $5 coupon promotion for riders beforehand–and searches for Uber were still higher but comparable at the time.

Moving into the weekend, the gap between searches for the two companies widened, with Uber peaking early in the morning on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Lyft experienced similar but much smaller peaks.

A city with multiple universities such as the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend is rich ground for ride-sharing companies. Freshman at the University of Notre Dame are prohibited from having a car on campus during their first semester. Students without cars have utilized Uber or taxi companies to get around in the past.

Google Trends will be useful in following interest in Lyft over the coming weeks–will it continue rising in popularity and cut into Uber’s ride-sharing monopoly on South Bend? Or will it fail to take off?