REGIONAL BRIEFS: Hospital system won’t sell sugary drinksDULUTH -- St. Luke’s hospital is becoming the first hospital in the state to eliminate the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages from all of its properties.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Hospital system won’t sell sugary drinks
DULUTH -- St. Luke’s hospital is becoming the first hospital in the state to eliminate the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages from all of its properties.
“What we’re learning from data that’s out there is that sugar-sweetened beverages are a significant contributor to obesity,” said Mark Branovan, director of hospitality at St. Luke’s.
St. Luke’s administrators decided on Sept. 17 to stop selling the products, Branovan said, but the ban hasn’t been fully implemented.
“We’re shooting for Nov. 1,” Branovan said. “It’s a short transition period. We have to run the product out. … We have to bring new selections in and equipment in. We also have some patient menus that have Coca Cola and Sprite. We have to reprint some of our menus.”
The ban applies to every clinic across the St. Luke’s system as well as its main campus in Duluth, Branovan said.
Familiar products still will be available at St. Luke’s, Branovan said, that includes Diet Coke, already the hospital’s best seller. All-natural, no-sugar-added juices, Diet Snapple and flavored seltzer waters are being added to the mix, he said.
Prosecutor says man admits strangling neighbor
ROSEAU, Minn. — A man charged in the death of his neighbor told investigators he strangled the victim after they fought, the prosecutor said Tuesday.
Jeremy Lemen, 34, and Desiree Shinholser, 24, both of Badger, were arraigned Tuesday in state district court in Roseau on second-degree murder charges in the death of their neighbor, John Currier, 31, early Friday.
Judge Donna Dixon set bail at $1 million cash or surety for both defendants.
Prosecutor Eric Schieferdecker asked the judge for the high bail in part because he said Lemen admitted to investigators Saturday that he had strangled Currier to death with his hands, so he posed a threat to public safety.
Lemen told investigators Currier came home drunk to their apartment building after bar-closing late Thursday or early Friday morning and tussled with him, and threw a barbecue grill at Lemen, hitting him in the face.
Lemen told investigators he put a choke hold on Currier and that Shinholser helped him and hit Currier with a hatchet or other similar weapon. He said they used belts to restrain Currier’s arms and legs.
Yearbook exclusions upset students, parents
MENAHGA, Minn. -- A group of students and parents in Menahga are upset over a decision by school administrators to exclude some photos from the school’s yearbook.
One student wanted to have her baby included in her senior photo and other students are asking to have a memorial page in the yearbook for Kyle Kenyon, who committed suicide last January.
School administrators have said no to both requests.
Kyle’s mother, Peggy Havnes, said she supports the students who want to have a memorial for her son in the yearbook.
“I think it could be used as a teaching tool with a message of suicide prevention,” she said. “The school thinks that putting a memorial in the yearbook is glamorizing suicide but that’s not what the students are doing.”
Patricia Samuelson, the parent of a Menahga senior, said she and several other parents are appealing the decision and are garnering support from others in the community.
Superintendent Mary Klamm said school staff are trying work with students “about what options are available that will remember the person who died, but also not put other students at risk.”
Jenkinson to speak at history event
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – Nationally recognized humanities scholar, author and performer Clay Jenkinson will be the featured speaker at the Otter Tail County Historical Society’s 85th annual meeting and dinner Nov. 1 at Legacy Hall on the Minnesota State Community and Technical College campus here.
A social hour will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a dinner and program. Tickets are $25 for OTCHS members and $30 for nonmembers. To make a reservation, call (218) 736-6038 or visit www.otchs.org.
Vandals hit park restroom
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- Damage estimates from vandalism to bathrooms at the Alexandria City Park is estimated at $4,000 in materials alone, according to Gary Martin, park director.
A staff person found the damage Friday. All the partition doors were either knocked off, bent or broken. Vandals also destroyed a sink, hand towel dispensers and toilet paper dispensers.
The restrooms, which opened in the spring of 2008, will be closed until further notice, possibly until next spring.
Salazar to make energy announcement at Fort Berthold
NEW TOWN, N.D. - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will visit the Fort Berthold Reservation today to make a major energy announcement.
Salazar will join Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure and Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Mike Black at noon today at the Three Affiliated Tribes headquarters in New Town.
The announcement relates to energy development on tribal lands and expanding domestic energy production, according to a news release.
(FCC, today is Wednesday)
Poll: Berg, Heitkamp deadlocked in Senate
FARGO – A new poll shows North Dakota voters equally divided in the U.S. Senate race between Republican Rep. Rick Berg and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.
The poll, commissioned by Valley News Live, shows both candidates earning 47 percent of the vote.
According to poll results, Heitkamp has more support in the eastern half of the state than Berg, who polls stronger in the Bismarck area and western North Dakota.
Berg polled 51 percent with men and 44 percent with women, and Heitkamp drew 51 percent with women and 42 percent with men.
In the U.S. House race in North Dakota, Republican Kevin Cramer leads Democrat Pam Gulleson 49 percent to 37 percent. Libertarian candidate Eric Olsen was at 2 percent.
In the presidential race, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, leads President Barack Obama, a Democrat, 54 percent to 40 percent, according to the poll.
The poll was conducted interviewing 625 adults by telephone who said there were likely to vote in the general election. The margin of error is plus/minus 4 percent.
Fourth bus accident in Mitchell area
MOUNT VERNON, S.D. — The fourth school bus crash of the school year in the Mitchell area happened Tuesday, this time in the Mount Vernon School District.
Shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, a Mount Vernon School District driver was slowing down and preparing to turn an empty bus when a van failed to slow down in time and crashed into the driver’s side of the bus, according to Davison County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Reitzel,
No one was injured. The driver of the van, Morales Chavez, was cited for careless driving.
Reitzel estimated the crash caused about $4,000 in damage to the bus and $7,000 in damage to the van.
It was the fourth crash involving a school bus within 17 miles of Mitchell since school began Aug. 20, though none have resulted in serious injuries.
Minnesota man killed in motorcycle crash
BAYFIELD, Wis. -- A Wisconsin woman was charged Tuesday in Bayfield County Circuit Court with second-degree reckless homicide and three counts of first-degree reckless injury in connection with a July 23 accident that killed her 2-year-old daughter.
The toddler was ejected from the Chevy Blazer driven by Chelsea Nicole Cadotte, 23, of Bayfield, after it left state Highway 13 just north of Washburn and rolled through a ditch and into a field, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol. Three other passengers, including two other Cadotte children, also were ejected.
Neither Cadotte nor her four passengers were restrained at the time of the accident, according to the State Patrol. Pictures taken from the scene showed a child seat among the crash wreckage in the field.
Cadotte had been stopped by law enforcement officers at least three times since 2008 for violations of seat belt laws for herself and passengers, court records show.
Vehicular homicide charges filed
ELLSWORTH, Wis. -- A Beldenville man has been charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving, causing bodily harm stemming from an alcohol-related crash that killed a passenger on motorcycle in March.
George D. Budd, 54, is scheduled to make his first appearance in Pierce County Circuit Court on Oct. 23. Both charges, which stem from a March 17 incident in the town of Martell, are felonies.
According to the criminal complaint, Budd was the driver of a car that collided with a motorcycle driven by Glen Nelson, 48, of Hammond. A passenger on the motorcycle, Julie Nelson, 47, died as a result of the crash. Glen Nelson was hospitalized until July.
Budd was taken to Pierce County Jail and booked on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Tests showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.11, above the legal limit.