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Arndt Braaten was never one to make impulsive decisions. When he was confirmed into the Lutheran church, for example, the 13-year-old saw it as an irrevocable lifetime commitment. "I was very much aware that I was standing before almighty God who created the universe and everything in it, promising to be faithful to him to the end," said Braaten, now 91. "Now that was very awesome, and I wasn't about to break it."
DULUTH — Morgan Long loved the color purple, butterflies and Converse tennis shoes. "Fifteen at least," said her friend Anissa Jones about the number of pairs in Long's closet. "She had every color, every style." So it only makes sense that when members of Team Morgan Long run in Grandma's Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon on Saturday, each will be wearing a purple T-shirt that includes a drawing of a butterfly. They will NOT necessarily be wearing Converse tennis shoes.
DULUTH — Teenage pregnancy and birth rates are continuing to tumble in Minnesota, according to a report released on Wednesday by University of Minnesota researchers. But they tend to be higher in rural counties than elsewhere — including in Lake County, with a rate of 46.3 pregnancies per 1,000 adolescent girls, third-highest in the state and well above the statewide rate of 13.7.
DULUTH, Minn. -- It was expected that Allie Heidemann would be born on the Fourth of July, but Charlie and Billie Heidemann's second child had other ideas. Allie arrived early — way early — weighing just over 2 pounds and measuring in at 1 foot long when she was born on March 27. Because of that, the Heidemanns of West Duluth have been spending a lot of time with her in the neonatal intensive care unit at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center. They've also been getting some lessons, including training in infant massage.
DULUTH, Minn. — It was last June, and Suzanne Keithley-Myers was driving back to her family's Duluth Township home after mushroom hunting in the Aurora area. As she drove, she spotted a few ticks on her body, and she reacted as any Northlander would. "Driving home, pulling ticks off, chucking them out the window," said Keithley-Myers, 40, earlier this month in the woodsy home she shares with her husband, Billy, their three school-age children and their two dogs.
DULUTH — Robert Feyen's lanky frame was half in and half out of the small, brightly lit, plastic-enclosed space, his knees on the hard floor, his face peering at a cage-like device inside. "Zing!" The sharp, metallic sound was heard throughout the University of Minnesota Duluth's Motion + Media Across Disciplines Lab, aka the MMAD Lab. "Ah!" Feyen called out, the satisfaction evident in his voice. "There he went!"
VIRGINIA, Minn. — When the idea of mental health counseling via video was first suggested to her, Mary Carpenter wasn't exactly enthusiastic. "I was absolutely going: 'What!? No way!'" recalled Carpenter, a psychologist who is CEO of the Range Mental Health Center in Virginia and Hibbing. Three years in — but only two years in terms of regular use — Carpenter is a convert. "I had to be pulled along kicking and screaming, but as I've seen the results ... I'm absolutely a believer," she said.
DULUTH, Minn.—Four-year-old Ina Halfkann walked over to Merissa Edwards, giving her a plastic Easter egg from a display in the lobby of the Edgewater Hotel. It was Thursday afternoon, and the little girl from near Cologne, Germany, and the 40-year-old Duluth woman had known each other for less than 24 hours. But it was obvious that Edwards already had bonded with Ina and her little sister Mila. They were together because the girls' mother had given Edwards a much greater gift: the gift of life.
As a nurse, Heather Miller had talked to patients who had seen themselves approaching a light as they went through near-death experiences. The Iron River woman had no reason to suspect it would happen to her. And then it did. Three times on May 26 of last year, as her colleagues at St. Luke's hospital in Duluth labored furiously to save her life, the unconscious Miller saw herself in darkness, being drawn toward a warm, comforting light. It has changed her perspective, Miller said, on her work, on her family, on life and on life after death.
DULUTH, Minn.—When people suggest to Kevin Rodlund that his job must be depressing, he disagrees. "It's not sad," Rodlund said. "There's a lot of smiles and jokes up here at Solvay." That would be Solvay Hospice House, a homelike building on wooded property in Duluth Heights where residents may be infants or very old, male or female, rich or poor — but all, at least in the opinion of their doctors, are in the very last stages of life. For the past couple of years, Rodlund has been nurse manager at Solvay, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.