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Schoolchildren and parents in four Northland communities can donate coins during April to help fight childhood cancer. The Duluth Noon Optimist Club and the Superior Optimist Club have organized a fundraiser to benefit families served by Essentia Health's Erick Peter Person Children's Cancer Center in Duluth, an Essentia Health news release said. During April, special coin canisters are being placed in schools in Duluth, Superior, Maple and Iron River, said Mike Pennington, the fundraiser's chairman for the Duluth club.
Lake County residents asked for it, and soon they'll have it: urgent-care services without having to drive to Duluth. Our friends at the Lake County News-Chronicle report that Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors will open an urgent-care clinic early this summer. It is expected to operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., although the hours may be tweaked depending on patient demand. Brian Carlson, president and CEO of the hospital, said consumer demand led to the decision to offer urgent care.
The "no-smoking" sign will be on for homes with foster children, if a bill in the Minnesota Legislature is passed. The legislation would follow the lead of St. Louis, Lake and Beltrami counties, which already require foster homes to be smoke-free, said Jill Doberstein, Duluth-based program manager for tobacco control with the American Lung Association in Minnesota. State Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, a sponsor of the bill, said it was introduced too late in the current session to be passed as stand-alone legislation.
Minnesota is ahead of most states when it comes to setting up health-insurance exchanges, one of the people involved said last week. "There are a couple of states that are out ahead of us, but we are fairly close to the front of the pack," said Phillip Cryan of the labor union SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
A medical residency program in the heart of Duluth that trains future doctors to work in rural areas is being squeezed by decreasing funding and increased regulation, its director said. "We're trying to make sure that this program that's really valuable to Minnesota has funding for the future," said Dr. Roger Waage, program director of the Duluth Family Medical Residency Program, 330 N. Eighth Ave. E. State Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, tried last week to steer money toward the Duluth program and similar programs in St. Cloud and Mankato but was unsuccessful.
CLOQUET -- It's going to take a lot of pancakes to build the skate park that Matt Anderson has in mind. About 150 people attended a pancake breakfast at the Cloquet Senior Center on Saturday morning, paying $5 apiece to raise money toward a concrete skate park planned for a section of the city's Athletic Park. If all goes well, Anderson and other members of the Cloquet Skateboard Association hope to open the skate park on about 8,000 square feet of land in fall 2013. It's an audacious goal, because they don't just want a skate park.
Minus pews, altars and pulpits, a worship service sprang up on Good Friday amid the bustle of the Holiday Center atrium. It was an appropriate place to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, participants said. "We're gathered together here in this very public place to worship the one who was sacrificed in a very public place," said Paul Harkness, director of the Northland Chapter of Minnesota Teen Challenge, who served as master of ceremonies for the noontime service. He spoke to an ever-shifting congregation.
Sgt. Andy Mickus reached into a grocery bag and pulled out what looked like a Dr. Pepper can. Then he unscrewed the can, revealing a hiding place for illicit drugs. Police find drugs hidden in what appear to be water bottles, pop cans and Duracell batteries, said Mickus, a Duluth police officer who is supervisor of the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force. They've found drug scales disguised as CD cases. "You can get them on the Internet," Mickus told an audience Thursday evening at the Morgan Park Good Fellowship Building. "Head shops sell it.
The number of confirmed and suspected cases of a waterborne disease outbreak linked to Duluth's Edgewater Resort and Water Park continues to rise. As of Wednesday, 16 confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis -- typically shortened as crypto -- had been reported among people who spent time at the water park in March, said Trisha Robinson, epidemiologist for the Minnesota Department of Health. An additional 62 suspected cases had been reported. At least one person has been hospitalized because of the illness, Robinson said.
A talk on Monday evening will focus on the ethical ramifications of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," the book featured in this year's "One Book, One Community" area-wide reading program. Dr. Stephen Huddleston offers a particular perspective: He's on the staff of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which plays a key role in Rebecca Skloot's nonfiction book. Henrietta Lacks was a poor, black woman who was treated for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins in the early 1950s. Without her knowledge, doctors removed cell samples from her.