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.
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."
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.
ELLSWORTH — A Pierce County jury has fond Stuart Earl West guilty on 62 misdemeanor charges related to treatment of dogs in April 2016. The rural Elmwood man was found not guilty on 63 charges. The verdict came in around 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. The panel of 12 jurors deliberated for more than six hours.
ELLSWORTH — Jurors began deliberating Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 25, in the case of a rural Elmwood man charged with 125 misdemeanor counts related to treatment of Labradors at his Alma Bottom Pointing Labs facility.
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: