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DULUTH—The number of Minnesota high school youth vaping e-cigarettes has risen nearly 50 percent in three years, a statistic state health officials described as alarming on Thursday, Feb. 15. "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."
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.
DULUTH—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."
DULUTH—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."
DULUTH -- U.S. Rep Rick Nolan is retiring at the end of the current term, he announced Friday, Feb. 9. Minnesota's 8th District representative in Congress served three terms and had previously served from another district. "With deep appreciation and thanks for allowing me to represent you in the Congress of the United States, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election, and will retire at the end of the current term," Nolan said in a statement.
DULUTH—Carly Sandmann was practicing with her teammates when something went awry. "I got a concussion," the 21-year-old College of St. Scholastica senior said. "That's a risk you take." Sandmann's sport is not basketball or hockey; it's cheerleading. And the risk she and her 27 fellow CSS cheerleaders take is real. "There are a few things that are real common in cheerleaders," said Dr. Janus Butcher, an orthopedics and sports medicine specialist at Essentia Health. "And, believe it or not, head injuries are very common."
DULUTH—Some of Minnesota's community health centers will start making cuts in early February if Congress hasn't resolved federal funding by then, advocates say. "It's fairly doom and gloom," said Jonathan Watson, public policy director for the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers. "I have a couple of health centers here in the Twin Cities that would be laying off at least 45 staff; another health center laying off about a third of their staff."
Recovering opioid addicts will have greater access to a maintenance drug, especially in rural areas, under a measure announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23, by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, a Minnesota expert on addictions said. The new regulation gives nurse practitioners and physician assistants the ability to seek waivers giving them authority to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine, a drug used to help people quit or reduce use of opiates, such as heroin.
DULUTH, Minn.—Andrew Carroll, the former University of Minnesota Duluth hockey captain who died on Monday, Jan. 22, took his own life, according to the Chicago medical examiner's office. "The cause of death is complications of multiple blunt force head injuries due to a jump from height," Becky Schlikerman of the Chicago Bureau of Administration wrote in an email. "The manner of death is suicide."
SANDSTONE, Minn. — A group of Pine County residents who successfully fought to change state law affecting Medicaid payments and their estates now is trying to do the same thing in Washington. "It needs to be removed at the federal level because it can come back to haunt us at any time, really," said Julie Gelle of Sandstone.