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Matthew Sanford was 25 minutes into his presentation when he invited those in his audience to take off their shoes. "And if you have real courage, take off your socks," he said. The 51-year-old Duluth native, a pioneer in adaptive yoga who has been paralyzed from the chest down since an automobile accident when he was 13, was speaking to well over a hundred people at lunchtime on Thursday in the University of Minnesota Duluth's Kirby Ballroom.
Friends of Jeff Sorvik wanted to help his family in the wake of his death in a house fire on Saturday. His family had other ideas. "It was set up as a relief fund for the family to help with their immediate needs, as well as longer-term needs," said Ryan Underwood, a pastor at Duluth's Anchor Point Community Church, which Sorvik founded and served as senior pastor for seven years. "The family is asking people to give to a couple of other designated funds."
Brooks Maxwell likes to laugh as much as any other 12-year-old boy. "Sometimes I laugh really hard with all my friends, when something really funny happens," he said. But it was a little weird, Brooks acknowledged, to be one of two kids in a room full of adults laughing hysterically when nothing funny happened.
Snowed in (to the hospital) This might fall in the category of: They needed a study for that? According to a study published online last week in the American Journal of Epidemiology, bad winter weather can lead to more hospital visits. The study, led by Jennifer F. Bobb of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, looked at admissions to the four largest hospitals in Boston during the winters of 2010-15. The researchers learned that the danger occurs not so much on the day of a big snowfall but on the days following it.
The flu bug is pushing its way into area hospitals. "We are seeing it," said Dr. Harmony Tyner, an infectious-disease specialist at St. Luke's hospital. "We're seeing what the rest of the state is seeing. We've dedicated part of a floor, our seventh floor, to influenza-like illnesses." Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet also has been seeing more people with influenza recently, said Shelly Demers, director of staff education and infection prevention. Some of them have been hospitalized, she said.
Rob Caskey sat close to his mother, Sandra Troy, who was lying on a bed in a room at St. Luke's hospital. The husky, mustached North Carolinian looked at her with the tenderness one might expect of a man spending time with his mom when she'd been going through health difficulties. But there was a difference: Until this week, Caskey, 48, hadn't seen his mom for 30 years. Until recently, he had no idea she was living in Duluth; no idea, in fact, that she was alive.
A small nursing home in Buhl has been cited for neglect in the case of a resident who fell on a concrete sidewalk just outside the facility and later died as a result of her injuries. In a report published online on Tuesday, the state's Office of Health Facilities Complaints found that "based on a preponderance of evidence, neglect occurred" in the incident last May 5 at Cornerstone Villa, a locally owned, not-for-profit, 44-bed nursing home.
Savings from not smoking We know that the rate of smoking in Minnesota is at an all-time low. But what would it look like if none of us smoked? Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota asked that question, and the agency released the report it commissioned last week. It concluded that smoking is responsible for 6,312 deaths and $3.19 billion in excess medical costs in the state each year. That means the economic burden of smoking on taxpayers, employers and governments translates to $593 for every adult and child in the state, according to the study.
They all want the same job, but the four candidates for Superior mayor seemed pretty much in agreement during a debate on Monday evening about the main challenge facing their city. "Of course it's economic development," said candidate Mike Herrick, a current city councilor, when asked by the Superior Telegram's Shelley Nelson what his top priority would be as mayor. With different nuances, all four candidates talked about the need for growth, economic development and improved housing as key challenges facing whichever of them is chosen to replace retiring Mayor Bruce Hagen.
A pill taken once a day has high success rates in preventing HIV infection, experts say, but word isn't getting out to some of the people who need it the most. "Many who can benefit from PrEP aren't taking it," said Japhet Nyakundi of the Minnesota Department of Health. "It's under prescribed and underutilized."