For many rural fire departments in this region, recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters is a difficult and continuing challenge, fire chiefs say. The North Dakota Firefighter's Association has turned to a statewide media campaign to stir interest in a "job" that doesn't pay, but is a valuable community service. "We're in a blitz right now — TV, radio, newsprint — trying to recruit," said Dale Trosen, NDFA president and former chief of the Larimore fire department.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — The "toolkit" to protect the rights of transgender students, which recently was distributed to Minnesota school superintendents, "was given to us as a guide" and is not legally binding, said East Grand Forks Superintendent Mike Kolness. "The Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students" was approved last month by an advisory council of the Minnesota Department of Education.
GRAND FORKS—Cases of dog flu in central and eastern Minnesota have put veterinarians on alert for possible signs of the disease in the Red River Valley. The virus has been reported in Crow Wing, Kandiyohi, Ramsey, Sherburne and Wright counties in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health website. The virus, which is "extremely contagious," is spread through coughing, sneezing and direct contact between dogs or contaminated surfaces, said Dr. Stacy Lord, veterinarian at Petcetera Animal Clinic in Grand Forks.
Sixty-five students received the Doctor of Medicine degrees Sunday, May 14, at the commencement ceremony of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. William Mann, clinical professor of family and community medicine at the UND medical school, delivered the keynote address, "Reflection of a Half Century—the Meaning of Professionalism." Mann, who has a special interest in sports medicine, is a family physician with Altru Health System and assistant director of the Altru Family Medicine Residency Program in Grand Forks.
GRAND FORKS — Telling student to embrace, not fear, technology, University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy addressed graduates Saturday, May 13, at Alerus Center in Grand Forks. More than 1,800 UND students were eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies Saturday. For the first time, UND added a commencement ceremony, held in the morning, for more than 500 students who earned graduate degrees. A commencement ceremony for about 1,330 undergraduate students, who have earned baccalaureate degrees, was held in the afternoon.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Edgewood Management Group, based in Grand Forks, plans to build an assisted living and memory care facility on 11th Avenue South, west of Altru Hospital. The 56,000-square-foot facility will include about 70 units, to be split roughly equally between assisted living and memory care, CEO Phil Gisi said. Work on the facility could begin late this year, but more likely will begin in 2018, he said. "We still have planning to do to come up with the right mix of product," he said, referring to the number of beds for each type of care.
PARK RIVER, N.D.—On April 6, 2007, Good Friday, Ben Hylden, 16, was running late for an appointment in Park River, so he took the shorter but more dangerous route from his farm home, a gravel backroad, rather than the highway. A half-mile from home he lost control of his car on the icy road and drove into a ditch where he struck an approach, causing the car to flip end-over-end into a field. With no seatbelt on, Ben was tossed around "like a ragdoll" in the car, he said. When the passenger door ripped off he was ejected and thrown face first into the frozen soil.
GRAND FORKS — As Laminda Murach settles into a comfy recliner in a small room at the Cancer Center of North Dakota in Grand Forks, she's smiling, talkative and cheerful. The Buxton, N.D., woman is ready for an immunotherapy treatment for metastatic lung cancer, a diagnosis she received four years ago. "I feel good," she says. "I don't let cancer get me down." She's a motivated grandmother. "I've got little grandkids and great-grandkids," Murach said. "I'd like to see them grow."
GRAND FORKS — If you've noticed that it's getting harder to focus on things up close as you've gotten older, you're not alone. With aging comes inevitable changes in vision, a local eye specialist said, but there are steps you can take to protect your eye health and possibly slow deterioration. The most common vision problem in older adults is "presbyopia" which affects the eye's ability to focus on near objects, said Dr. Mark Sczepanski, an ophthalmologist at the North Dakota Eye Clinic in Grand Forks. This is because "the lens gets larger and less pliable."
Heavy drinking has become a bigger, more socially accepted part of American women's lives. And health statistics show the results have been deadly. "Alcohol is killing twice as many middle-age women as 18 years ago," said Kristie Gerrells, a licensed addiction counselor and clinical supervisor at the Red River Behavioral Health System in Grand Forks. "We have more understanding of why that takes place. Women have an extra predisposition to health problems stemming from alcohol abuse, due to their physiology," she said.