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LeAnn House and Shelley Gruskin can trace their lineage at the College of St. Scholastica to the late Sister Monica Laughlin, who taught in the school's music department for 60 years. Laughlin spearheaded Scholastica's emphasis on Early Music, or music from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods predating the large-scale orchestras of later classical music. Under Laughlin, St. Scholastica became the first school in the country to offer an undergraduate degree in Early Music, House said.
A conversation with Drs. John and Linda Van Etta tends to be wide-ranging, with numerous topics explored and names dropped. What follows is a sampling. Smoking bans John authored a column in favor of Duluth’s smoke-free ordinance for the News Tribune in 2000, and later he testified before a committee on the statewide legislation. He was asked to testify, he said, because there was a snowstorm and no one else could get to St. Paul.
When asked about Dr. John Van Etta’s reputation for fighting insurance companies, longtime colleague Dr. Ray Christensen responded wryly. “John’s a big man,” Christensen said. “He’s not afraid. He was never afraid to stand up against adversity.” At 6 foot, 7 inches, and solidly built, Van Etta is a big man physically. But he and his wife, Dr. Linda Van Etta — both of whom retired from St. Luke’s hospital within the past six months — also share a bigger-than-life reputation in the medical community.
In retirement, Drs. John and Linda Van Etta say they plan to continue a fight they began a decade ago. Their target: "secure exams" required of physicians seeking to extend their board certifications. "A secure exam means you have nothing other than your head and a pencil," John said. "Right," Linda agreed. "Which is not the way we want physicians to practice now. I mean, in my Smartphone I have an entire textbook of medicine."
Suicide prevention on Iron Range Two workshops on suicide prevention will take place on Feb. 22 in Virginia. At 11 a.m., a one-hour session called QPR Training (for "Question, Persuade, Refer") will be offered for any community member older than 16. Like CPR for the heart and lungs, QPR is considered an emergency response to someone in a mental health crisis, and it has been taught to more than 1 million adults in 48 states.
Each of Duluth's hospitals temporarily diverted patients to the other during a busy weekend. "Basically, ICU was our problem," said John Strange, president and CEO of St. Luke's hospital. "We were out of ICU beds." The situation occurred Sunday night, Strange said, when the hospital went on "critical care divert," meaning new critical care patients were being sent down the street to Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center.
Organizers are just a fundraising campaign away from a monument in St. Louis County that will honor Vietnam War veterans afflicted by Agent Orange. "Everybody has been affected by the death of a Vietnam veteran," John Marshall said. "I think this is really an easy sell." Marshall, the captain of the Duluth Honor Guard, is spearheading a campaign to place a monument titled "Vietnam Veteran Walking into Wall" in the state veterans cemetery to be developed off of U.S. Highway 53 south of Pike Lake in Grand Lake Township.
Hundreds of men, women and children filled the downtown skywalk on Saturday morning for Duluth's version of the Women's March. There was little rancor but plenty of high-spirited determination in the packed downtown walkways, with many wearing T-shirts and waving homemade signs championing their causes.
Tonya Sconiers looked up at the eight 4-foot-by-6-foot photographs, newly hung on a wall overlooking the commons area at Denfeld High School. "It's stunning," said the school's principal, almost in a whisper. The photos of nature and outdoor scenery are the work of Susan LeGarde Menz, a 1973 Denfeld graduate who died while engaging in her passion for photography, struck by a car as she took pictures at the Twin Ponds on Skyline Parkway in October 2015.
Three Iron Range congregations are joining to offer a six-week small group study on race and racial equality at four times and locations beginning next week. The study, "And Who is My Neighbor?" created by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, is being presented by Gethsemane Lutheran of Virginia, Hope Community Presbyterian of Virginia and Messiah Lutheran of Mountain Iron, the congregations announced in a news release.