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Prepared for measles? As a measles outbreak expands, local and state health officials are stepping up calls for children and many adults to be vaccinated against the disease. By the end of last week, 41 cases had been confirmed since April 11 in Hennepin, Ramsey and Crow Wing counties, the Minnesota Department of Health reported. Measles is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death, the health department warned. It spreads easily among unvaccinated people.
Jireh Mabamba's theme for his speech at the University of Minnesota Duluth's commencement ceremony on Saturday was "Journey," and he certainly has been on an unlikely one. Mabamba, 22, was one of 1,861 undergraduates — plus 189 graduate students and eight doctoral students — to receive diplomas during two pomp and circumstance-filled ceremonies in an over-capacity Amsoil Arena.
A challenger has emerged for the 2nd District seat now held by Duluth City Council President Joel Sipress. First-time candidate Dave Zbaracki, 34, announced his bid for the council on Saturday, saying he would advocate building a municipal fiber optic network in Duluth. "We can no longer accept the status quo offered to us by the major telecoms who have a virtual monopoly on internet services in the city," Zbaracki said in a news release. "Duluthians pay too much for a substandard product, and we're getting left behind."
Sandstone is finally getting its new hospital, and area residents are being invited to celebrate. An open house including "self-guided tours, burgers and brats, music and fun" will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Essentia Health-Sandstone hospital, 705 Lundorff Drive in Sandstone, according to an Essentia Health news release. The new hospital is located at the site of what used to be Sandstone Airport.
Area residents will have the chance to weigh-in on an attempt to slow the soaring cost of private health insurance premiums at a public meeting on Monday. Hosted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the event will seek input on the $542 million "reinsurance" bill the Minnesota Legislature passed earlier this spring. Gov. Mark Dayton didn't sign the bill but allowed it to become law.
A Duluth nursing facility is back in good graces with state and federal agencies after correcting nine "deficiencies" cited by inspectors late last year. Bayshore Residence & Rehabilitation Center on Park Point was recertified for participation in Medicare and Medicaid in an April 6 letter from Mark Meath, an enforcement specialist with the Minnesota Department of Health to David Uselman, the facility's administrator.
The launch of a physician assistant graduate program in Duluth "is going to be part of the solution" to a shortage of doctors, particularly in remote areas, a rural health expert said. "There certainly is a need," said Kate Dean, executive director of the Essentia Institute of Rural Health. "We're very excited to have this program off the ground and running."
For much of his life, Mark Jones had little ability to communicate. "He could say 'I hurt,' but he couldn't tell you where he hurt," said Mark's father, Ken Jones, in a telephone interview from the family's home 16 miles south of Superior. Severely autistic, Mark displayed the symptom of the autism spectrum known as echolalia. That means he could accurately repeat what he heard but with no comprehension of the words.
Fighting off diabetes The diabetes prevention program is being offered in Duluth and Cloquet beginning this month. The program, which takes place over a one-year period, has been shown to help people make lifestyle changes to lose weight and prevent type 2 diabetes, according to a news release from Healthy Northland.
Although officially a rally on behalf of all missing, murdered and trafficked indigenous people, a group who gathered in Canal Park on Monday afternoon had one specific woman in mind. "I'm going to speak about Sheila St. Clair today," organizer Shawn Carr said in advance of a ceremony along the brick walkway outside of the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace that mixed solemnity with defiance.