BELOIT

Saying the city has “plenty to celebrate,” Beloit officials have responded to a USA Today article that named the city the worst place to live in Wisconsin.

A statement on mystateline.com attributed to City Manager Lori Curtis Luther acknowledges some of Beloit’s shortcomings but said USA Today used old data that does not accurately reflect the city.

For example, March numbers pegged Beloit’s unemployment rate at 4.4%—much lower than the 6.5% mentioned in USA Today.

“We’re investing in our neighborhoods, reducing violent crime, celebrating together in our beautiful parks and engaging in life-long learning at our robust library,” Luther says in the statement. “We have much to be proud of here in Beloit!”

USA Today published its story Tuesday, listing one city from each state. It looked at violent crime, unemployment and property values. It also examined less significant factors such as entertainment options and number of parks.

USA Today said nearly one in four Beloit residents lives below the poverty line, a larger share than 90% of U.S. cities. The average home value is about half the Wisconsin average, the story says.

In the past decade, Beloit has earned recognition for its downtown. The National Trust for Historic Preservation gave a downtown civic group the Great American Main Street Award in 2011.

Beloit was also an All-American City finalist in 2012, an award presented by the National Civic League.

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