Senior reporter Erik Hogstrom looked back on Dubuque’s crime statistics in 2020, and what it revealed was maybe not altogether surprising, but it certainly was troubling.

If you didn’t get a chance to read Erik’s story on Sunday, it’s worth circling back to. It’s eye-opening.

Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing said it took a while for officers to see crime patterns emerging amid the pandemic. With fewer gatherings and limited activity at bars and restaurants, there was bound to be an impact on crime.

Indeed, there was.

COVID-19-related restrictions on movement and activities prompted a drop off in certain crimes. When people are stuck inside, there tends to be less theft and other property crimes. But being stuck with the same people also can stir frustrations.

Crimes against persons grew by 40.5% in Dubuque during 2020, while the incidence of other crimes remained relatively static or fell. Domestic violence calls were up 13%.

Many people are dealing with challenges brought about by COVID — health care issues, unemployment, economic toll, isolation. For some people, all those pressures will become too much to bear. As we continue to weather this storm, reach out to those who might be in danger, and let’s help take care of one another. The wrath of COVID-19 claims victims far beyond the virus itself.

A Life Remembered

We have long done stories about the deaths of local individuals when they are people who are particularly accomplished, well-known or interesting.

One needs only to read the obituaries that run daily to see that we could easily write stories like that on any one of those folks — everybody has a story, after all.

Senior reporter Bennet Goldstein has begun digging into those stories. Each week, Bennet will tell the story of a member of our local community who has died. They won’t necessarily be the stories of business leaders, philanthropists and elected officials, who often draw the headlines. Instead, Bennet will focus on ordinary folks who lived ordinary lives, and he will remind us that in every life, there is something extraordinary.

Bennet has a great writer’s touch for this kind of storytelling. I have enjoyed the pieces he’s written thus far and hope you have, too. Watch for “A Life Remembered” by Bennet Goldstein each week in the Telegraph Herald.

You can almost smell the fish frying

Maybe you’re like a lot of people who haven’t been going out to restaurants. Good for you for staying safe.

But cooking every meal every day — let’s face it: That gets old.

Hopefully, you’ve been supporting local restaurants by ordering takeout. Just in case you haven’t, this month brings a taste you won’t be able to resist. We present: the all-American fish fry.

Happy Lenten season, people, it’s time to get our fish on. Sure, it won’t be the same when you’re not crammed into a church hall with half the town, but some fresh fried fish would hit the spot.

Like last year, we’ve got a handy-dandy online map that will tell you where and when a bunch of area fish fries are happening. You can even add one if you know of one we missed. Check it out at

Email Gilligan at

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