Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.
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Area counties ranked highly in their respective states based on more than 30 health-influencing factors and outcomes, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report out this month. Washington County fared the strongest, ranking second out of 87 Minnesota counties in health factors and third in health outcomes. In Wisconsin, St. Croix County ranked fifth in the state for health factors and sixth in health outcomes.
Healthy gums are an important aspect of oral health, but the benefits don't stop there. February has traditionally been designated Gum Disease Awareness Month, a time to recognize the role of gum health in a person's overall health. More than 47 percent of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Prevalence increases to more than 70 percent for adults aged 65 and up.
Senator-elect Karla Bigham of Cottage Grove was sworn in 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea administered the oath of office The DFLer defeated Republican Denny McNamara of Hastings in a District 54 special election Monday, Feb. 12. The legislative session began noon Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis will be checked out at a Virginia hospital after a train carrying Republican lawmakers hit a garbage truck Wednesday morning, Jan. 31. A message from Lewis relayed by the Republican congressman's staff on Twitter Wednesday afternoon indicated he would be seen at a Virginia hospital "per standard concussion protocol." The message continued: "I'm fine compared to, tragically, the truck drivers, and thankful for the prompt action of our doctors and first responders. My thoughts are with the family of the individual who passed away."
Temperatures could climb to as high as the mid-40s Wednesday, Jan. 10, but snow and freezing weather is back in the forecast. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Dakota, Goodhue, Pierce and St. Croix counties and a winter weather advisory for Washington County. The alerts warns of mixed wintry precipitation late Wednesday night turning to snow Thursday morning. Plummeting temperatures Wednesday also could lead to flash-freezing on roadways, according to the weather service. Useful links:
With snowfall totals adding up, people around the region are getting their snow blowers out of storage. Before the next big snow hits, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute recommends owners prepare their snow blowers ahead of time and review the manual. "Weather today is more unpredictable than ever, and you need to have your snow thrower serviced and ready to power up," OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser said in a news release. "You want to have the right fuel on hand and review your owner's manual now so you can use your equipment safely."
Small items can make a big difference when it comes to getting out of homelessness. "Being homeless is expensive and exhaustive," said Terre Thomas, executive director of the Twin Cities-based nonprofit Small Sums. Steady income is an important piece to securing stable housing, Thomas said, but success at a new job can hinge on having access to something as basic as a good pair of shoes. Small Sums works one on one to supply homeless workers with job essentials as well as professional trade testing and licenses. The organization's programs include:
With a combination of big crowds, stress and long-distance travel, it can be a challenge staying healthy around the holiday season. We asked Gwen Verchota, lead nurse practitioner and care delivery manager at HealthPartners online clinic, www.virtuwell.com , to give some tips on how to avoid getting sick as well as what to do if you come down with an illness while out of town.
River Falls Rotarians Gorden Hedahl and Linda Yde said they remember what it was like to live under the spectre of polio and iron lung machines. "I remember people standing in line to get the shots in the late-50s," said Hedahl, who was 10 years old when the polio vaccine was developed. A couple of his classmates contracted the disease as children. If trends continue, Hedahl and Yde will see polio eradicated for good. Area Rotary clubs observed World Polio Day on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Part of the message this year is just how close the world is to wiping out the disease.
Humans have long relied on horses for transportation, plowing fields and other physical tasks. At a company in western Wisconsin, horses are also helping people better themselves. Stable Relations in Roberts offers equine-assisted growth and learning services to individuals and groups, including continuing education classes for social workers and team-building activities for businesses. We asked Bridget McConnell, the program coordinator at Stable Relations, to explain more about the business and how horses can help people grow: