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The flu bug has bitten Minnesota's nursing care residents particularly hard this winter, a state health official says. "We've seen a record number of outbreaks," said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control for the Minnesota Department of Health, in an interview on Thursday. "Our long-term care facility outbreaks are way up."
Go outside and play It has been a cold winter so far. But that shouldn't keep you from playing outside, an Essentia Health doctor says. "If you're wondering whether you should get outside this winter, I say go," said Dr. Dan Ostlie, a Fargo, N.D.-based orthopedic and sports medicine specialist, in an Essentia news release. "If you wear the appropriate gear, you can enjoy the outdoors and stay fairly warm at the same time." Ostlie's tips:
Friends are remembering Bardon "Bo" Setterquist for his upbeat attitude, his sense of humor and his honesty. "People always knew that he was being a truthful, honest person," said Joan Friedrich, a longtime colleague and friend. "He was very raw and simple." Setterquist, a Cloquet native who had a successful business career and returned to his hometown last year after being diagnosed with ALS, died on Jan. 2 at North Shore Estates in Duluth. He was 57. A memorial service is taking place today.
The obituary was unusual, and not just because it was partially written in the first person. "My family promised me that I wouldn't have a boring obituary that reads like a resume, and I sure do hope they follow through on my wishes," Linnea Stephan wrote in the obituary that appeared in Sunday's News Tribune. "Actually, I know they did because I have an amazing family." A typical obituary might have said that Stephan, of Duluth, died on Jan. 3 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. She was 49.
HIBBING — No longer willing to fight the return of a life-threatening, mood-altering brain tumor, Peter Carvalho decided to end it all. It was May 4 of last year, and the Hibbing man gulped down the entirety of his anti-seizure medication and all of his sleeping pills, hoping to fall asleep and never wake up.
Bill Ojala, an outspoken Iron Range lawyer whose political career extended into his 80s, died on Saturday. He was 92. Family and friends said Ojala’s life was characterized by integrity and passionate convictions. “When you got to know Bill you would know that you were speaking to a very honest man,” said Gabe Brisbois, who once formed a separate political party with Ojala. “Very, very honest.”
A $7,700 tax credit Northeastern Minnesota residents enrolling for health insurance via MNsure are faring a little better than people in the rest of the state in terms of tax credits. In a news release, MNsure reports the average household tax credit is more than $7,700 for Northeastern Minnesota, about $700 more than the average for Minnesota as a whole. About 65 percent of enrolled households are receiving tax credits in the region that includes Duluth, Two Harbors, International Falls and other communities.
Mark Olsen lay in a clear tube, dressed in hospital blue, his head propped up on a pillow as he looked at a TV screen fixed above him. The burly 57-year-old from Spooner was in for two hours of this, with no opportunity to do anything but lie in that tube. He wasn't bored, Olsen said through a speaker connected to a telephone receiver attached to the tube's exterior. "I've got the TV for that," he said cheerfully.
A 21st century Bible with Middle Ages heritage will be presented on Monday at the Benedictine Living Community, 935 Kenwood Ave. A Heritage Edition of the seven-volume Saint John's Bible, one of only 299 that were created by a team of artists and scribes in Wales, will be unveiled with a welcoming and blessing event at 10 a.m. in the chapel at the Benedictine Living Community, according to a news release. It's on tour, and will be on display there until Jan. 19.
Thirteen Minnesota health systems — including Duluth-based Essentia Health — are joining forces to take on two of the state's most vexing health issues: opioid addiction and mental health care. "They are tremendous societal and health problems that all of us were already working on, but none of us felt that we could come to the solutions within our communities by ourselves," said Dr. David Herman, CEO of Essentia.