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More than 4,200 people have been hospitalized with influenza-like symptoms in Minnesota so far this season, the highest number in at least a decade. And it's not over. "There's a few promising numbers that seem to be going down," said Melissa McMahon, an epidemiologist for the Minnesota Department of Health. "But it is still widespread. We're still at very high activity."
The number of Minnesota youth vaping e-cigarettes has risen nearly 50 percent in three years, a statistic state health officials on Thursday described as alarming. "These findings really should be a red flag for us, a worry," said state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm during a news conference to unveil results of the Minnesota Department of Health's triennial Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. "E-cigarettes do pose a serious health concern for our youth, as nearly all of these products contain nicotine."
Romance can blossom any old time, or so the song says, and perhaps it follows that romance also can blossom any old place. Even among the kettle drums. "She just happened to be standing back by the kettle drums during a break in the rehearsal," Michael Husby recalled of his first encounter with his future wife Betsy, more than 30 years ago. "I thought she looked mighty fine."
For believers with tight schedules who still want to mark a significant day in the church year, a West Duluth church is offering drive-through Ash Wednesday services. "It's an opportunity for us to say, 'Hey, if you're working a shift that you can't come Wednesday night or maybe you have little kids' ... to still have that experience of prayer and confession and receiving ashes," said the Rev. Liz Davis, pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 4831 Grand Ave.
As a social work intern in the Twin Cities, Najma Mohamed hears traumatic stories from her fellow Somali immigrants every day. "These are clients that are coming from war-torn countries," said Mohamed, 26, who came to the U.S. when she was in her early teens. "They witnessed a lot of violence, a lot of robbery, a lot of burning houses. ... I had one client, she said she was raped by 10 men."
Grants help local programs Life House and CHUM are among Duluth organizations that received grants from the Medica Foundation to help pay for programs and services this year, the charitable nonprofit announced in a news release.
The Duluth school system's effort to sell the white elephant that is the Central High School property may enter a new phase next week. At a business committee meeting on Monday, School Board members heard Superintendent Bill Gronseth explain how he'd chosen Greg Follmer Commercial Real Estate as the best agent to handle the sale of the former Central High and Nettleton Elementary schools as well as other school district properties. The board will vote next week on whether to give Gronseth the green light to negotiate a deal with the Duluth firm.
U.S. Rep Rick Nolan is retiring at the end of the current term, he announced Friday morning — a major shakeup in what already was shaping up to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation this year. Nolan is in his third term representing Northeastern Minnesota's 8th District in Congress; he previsouly served in Congress from Minnesota's 6th District from 1975-81. He had previously stated that he would run for re-election this year.
Classes held in the largest lecture hall at the University of Minnesota Duluth were canceled Thursday and today because of a water main break. The break occurred in a crawl space under the Kirby Student Center at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, said John Rashid, facilities management director at UMD, sending water into the lower level of Bohannon Hall — including the Bohannon 90 lecture hall — and the Ven Den lounge.
Clients suffered from neglect at two area nursing facilities, the Minnesota Department of Health ruled in findings posted on its website this week. Both clients have died, one in late 2016 and the other early last year. In one case, special investigators Rhylee Gilb and Amy Hyers issued a neglect finding to Edgewood Hermantown Senior Living for failing to assess a bowel infection in a client cared for in the memory-care unit.