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Get well wishes go out to Gil Kinnunen who fell while ice skating and is now in rehab for a brain injury. Cards can be sent to him at 1715 D Livingston Ave. West St. Paul, Mn 55118-5937. His wife Dawn would love for him to hear from you.

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I received an unexpected press release the other day that read: “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is reminding consumers that it is illegal to bring bushmeat into the U.S. for sale or consumption. 

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A couple weeks into a new year, many people use this time to start new lifestyle behaviors. This is no different for myself, although in a more professional way.

Here’s a heartwarming story to start off the new year! Brandon Gresczyk was out fishing with his boys when they saw an injured swan is on their lake. His wife and son followed its tracks to the bridge on the Tamarack River where that was the only open water. 

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I skied our trails this cold New Year’s day. The snow was deep and the woods were silent and I enjoyed the solitude. As I moved from one trail to the next I noticed the ski tracks and surrounding snow was covered in tiny yellow speckles. Looking up I saw the birch trees that have released th…

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My cousin had spent all day on a trail ride that filled her and her horse with cockleburs and other sticky weed seeds. She spent the rest of the evening carefully and gently removing them from herself and her horse. 

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and finding a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking. I heard this story or cautionary tale as a child but happily never experienced it. Historical lore traces its origin to 16th century Holland. There children would put their wooden clogs by the firep…

Minnesota’s rural communities are home to over 1,243,226 residents. To mark National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 18, 2021, Carrie Henning-Smith, an associate professor in the School of Public Health who specializes in health and healthcare in rural communities, speaks about the un…

There are an estimated 53 million caregivers in the U.S. Additionally, the number of Minnesotans turning 65 in this decade (about 285,000) will be greater than the past four decades combined.

I don’t believe I’ll ever get the chance to ride a rocket into space, even for 10 minutes time.  I would love to look down at our earth from the darkness of the cold universe, and like William Shatner I believe I would be moved to tears. How could anyone not be moved spiritually and emotiona…

According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 65% of people in the U.S. plan to participate in Halloween-related activities this year and households with children are more likely to celebrate Halloween traditions like handing-out candy and trick-or-treating.

Even with progress in care and treatment, the Minnesota Department of Health categorizes breast cancer in the top five cancer causes of death for women in Minnesota. Thirty percent of new invasive cancers diagnosed in women are breast cancer. For men, breast cancer is considered rare but the…

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women after skin cancer.  It is also the second leading cause of cancer death for women after lung cancer.  To put it in numbers:  1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.  In 2021, this means that …

The maple tree outside my window on this rainy day is glowing golden and orange.  After the drought we have been in, I didn’t expect the colors on the trees to be very impressive this fall, but I have been happily surprised by some very vibrant red and orange leafed trees.  Maples will alway…

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 10 percent of the women in Minnesota have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September, University of Minnesota Medical School expert Colleen Rivard, MD, talks about the subtle signs and risk fac…

In the past four years, eight of our sixteen judges in the Sixth Judicial District have retired or left office, with several more departures looming on the not-too-distant horizon.  Even allowing that judicial careers are relatively short because most of us are middle-aged when we start out,…

Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, this pandemic persists, in part due to resistance to the vaccine.  While I do not support vaccine mandates and believe in personal freedom of choice in health matters, it is important that people make sure they are basing their decisi…

Last month began and ended with smoke filled skies. We hope that recent rains will mean that September has better air quality than what we had last week due to a large fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  The winds caused the fire to spread and they also pushed the smoke further into Dul…

Nearly one in four U.S. households has someone living with migraine. It is the number two cause of disability in the world, according to a study in the Journal of Headache and Pain, yet some people still don’t recognize how debilitating migraine can be. 

This summer the Minnesota Legislature passed the Veterans Restorative Justice Act, which goes into effect on August 1.  The law creates a deferred prosecution program for certain veterans in the criminal justice system who are willing to undergo intensive supervision while on probation for t…

We have never experienced the kind of terrible air quality as we have in the past two weeks with some of the highest particulate readings on record.  Fires burning in Ontario, just across the border and a wind from the north is blowing the smoke into our state.  Earlier it was the fires from…

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) was recently introduced in the House and has now been introduced in the Senate — and will benefit every member of this community! Unlike many issues in Washington, this legislation has bipartisan support and is focused on delivering benefits to …

Already this summer we have lived through two episodes of extreme heat here in northern Minnesota. Records were broken on June 4, and more than 20 different DNR stations recorded high temperatures of 100F or more on the 4 and 5.  We typically would see this kind of heat in mid-July or August…

It starts off with a few “just in case” trips to the bathroom, maybe before you sit down for a meeting at work, before you get into the car for a long ride, before the movie starts. Over time, it happens a little more; “I’m near the bathroom, I’ll just go in-case.” Eventually, it becomes mor…

It is finally here!  Summer Vacation!  Although many families are ready to close the door on this most challenging of school years, learning does not need to take a backseat to summertime fun.  According to the Minnesota Department of Education, students on average can lose two months of rea…

A long with summer comes the tick season in Minnesota. Many ticks can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites that can harm humans, including Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in 2018, there were 950 confirmed Lyme disease cases and 496 confirmed o…

I think it would be hard to find a Minnesotan who didn’t love this season more than any other.  Autumn thrills us with the shocking arrays of scarlet, orange, gold, and russet; winter can provide us with postcard perfect images of snow blanketed forests and fields; though I realize there are…

You may have heard of “tennis elbow,” but only about 5% of people who report having Lateral Epicondylitis can actually attribute it to playing tennis. Tennis Elbow, or Lateral Epicondylitis is an overuse injury of the extensor muscles and tendons in the forearm. Specifically, a group of tend…

It is a toss-up whether our sense of sight or sense of hearing is most over stimulated in the spring time.  Certainly the return of the color green in so many shades is a constant pleasure, and all the newly arrived birds, filling the trees and lawn delight the eyes, as do the bright, delica…

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurologic disorder which affects movement.  The disease is named after the English doctor James Parkinson, who published the first detailed description in 1817.  The disorder is fairly prevalent, with approximately 10 million cases in the US and 100 mill…

Have you held tension and stress in your shoulders? Maybe you’ve noticed that you even clench your jaw or grind your teeth. However, did you know that you can actually be holding tension anywhere in the body, and that there is a direct connection between tension in your jaw, your ability to …

It’s raining now.   A slow, soaking rain.  The kind we like in the early days of spring because it helps reduce the fire danger before everything ‘greens’ up.  It has also been a day of phenological significance. Phenology is the observation and recording of seasonal events in nature and spr…

  It has been a year – yes a whole year – since we have heard of this plague of COVID-19. We Americans are an independent lot and there are some, after 500,000 deaths, still insist that masks and social distancing are not necessary.

“I’ve been exercising less.” “I spend so much more time sitting than I ever used to.” “I stopped exercises last year when the gyms closed and have not resumed.” “I used to be more active for my job, but now I work from home and sit all day.”  These are the statements I hear on a daily basis …

If you see people wearing green ribbons in March, it might be they are Irish or honoring  St. Patrick’s Day, but it also might be to raise awareness for  National Kidney Month!  The kidneys are a sometimes over-looked, but important part of several of the body’s organ systems.  They consist …

As I write this on a snowy Sunday morning, the sun has come out and it is a perfect winter scene. In the meantime, there is a steady dripping coming off the roof as the solar energy kicks in.  Tomorrow is the first day of March – the beginning of meteorological spring.  We in northern Minnes…

The morning was perfect.  No wind, clear blue sky and a cloak of white draped over the land.  I dressed in layers, because the thermometer registered just 5F, and hurried out the door, as excited as a kid to put on my skis and hit the trails.  Why is it that so many of us adults lose that wo…

When the restrictions associated with the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic were implemented in March of 2020, many looked forward to a vaccine which would end the pandemic.  Now that vaccines are available, however, some individuals have questioned the safety of vaccination against COVID-19. 

January is a month that normally sees a covering of white on everything, but the past four days we had the unusual condition of rime frost on the branches of all the trees, both pines and bare limbed hardwoods.  The frosted forests painted a winter scene not often encountered, but which was …

When we are children learning the names of the primary colors, we come to associate certain colors with certain objects.  Grass is green, apples are red, the sky is blue and the sun is yellow. We draw it as a large, round ball, sometimes with lines of yellow poking out around the edges and s…

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God’s Blessings to Andrew Kachinske, son of Sara and Jake Kachinske, as he was Confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wright on Sunday, July 5, 2020.