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The St. Louis County Attorney's Office is increasing its staff, a move that's related to the ongoing opioid addiction crisis. The St. Louis County Board unanimously approved on Tuesday the hiring of an attorney and a legal secretary, who would be allocated to the Virginia and Hibbing offices. The staff increase is the first for the office in more than a decade. The two new positions weren't included in the 2018 county budget, but increasing caseloads in the county's Public Health and Human Services Division has stretched the staff thin.
The College of St. Scholastica is ending its presence in Arizona four years after it decided to expand into the state. St. Scholastica decided to stop admitting new students to its Arizona-based social work and nursing programs a little more than a year ago, said Bruce Loppnow, dean of the college's School of Health Sciences. Students already enrolled in the programs are allowed to finish their degrees, but St. Scholastica will be out of the market once those students have concluded their studies, he said.
A new collaboration is taking shape in Wisconsin to connect firefighters to mental health resources. The Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association has created a task force on mental health to ensure support services are available to fire departments statewide. Association President Jon Cohn, fire chief in Greenfield, Wis., said they're using existing resources in the interim while they build a network of peer counselors, who will be trained in talking to firefighters needing help and also in recognizing when a firefighter needs a mental health professional to step in.
Linda Harper has been named the Port Cities Woman of the Year for her volunteer work in the community. The announcement came at the Port Cities Luncheon on Wednesday. While the description of this year's recipient was being read and before Harper was named, she smiled, realizing it was her. Her daughter squeezed her mother's shoulder in congratulations as she stood behind her, bouncing her baby. Harper said she was thankful for the nomination and for her family.
Donning blue or tan Cub Scout uniforms, five girls from Northwestern Wisconsin said they want to swim, canoe, hike, kayak, camp and roast marshmallows — activities some of them have watched older brothers do as Scouts. "It seems like fun," Abby Huber said. Isabelle and Abby Huber and Mary Catherine Jarman, all of Lake Nebagamon, and Hailey and Abby Monroe of Hawthorne were among the first girls in the Northland to join Cub Scouts on Tuesday, the first day girls could officially become part of the organization.
The city of Hermantown is continuing to discuss its proposed stormwater utility fee after experiencing pushback from the city's business community, which argues the fee disproportionately affects them. The fee is expected to fund the city's maintenance of ditches, culverts, bridges and stormwater ponds, as required by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, according to City Administrator John Mulder. It balances funding, the city's maintenance needs and protecting the environment, he said.
ON LAKE SUPERIOR — The large container filled with mud sat on the Blue Heron's deck looking like a blob of pudding. The cold, thick mud from Lake Superior's floor stayed in place as the University of Minnesota Duluth students prodded it with their fingers. At the urging of UMD instructor Angela Sharp, they held the mud to their noses to take a whiff. Then they took a small taste of the mud.
A Superior Fire Department battalion chief who retired just a few weeks ago died on April 18 after "a long and brave struggle" with mental illness, Mayor Jim Paine said on Tuesday. Erik Sutton, 46, who had served on the Superior Fire Department for 20 years, took his own life, Paine said. Sutton had sought and received care prior to his death. Paine said he has offered his condolences and support to the fire department leadership and Sutton's mother.
A construction worker, miner or firefighter is usually what pops into people's heads when they think about workplace safety. But it's also a nurse not overburdened with patients, a teacher being safe in a classroom and employees being free from workplace violence and harassment, local labor leaders say. Union members, managers and elected officials gathered at the Duluth Labor Temple on Monday morning for the annual Workers Memorial Day breakfast.
The price tag to repair the Lakewalk has increased, thanks to Mother Nature's fury earlier this month. The damage to Duluth's shoreline caused by the April 14-15 storm is expected to cost at least $600,000 to repair — on top of the millions of dollars in damage still left to be repaired from a storm last October. "What's fun about living in Duluth is that we have this beautiful lake here. What can be challenging is that she can be very fierce when the weather stirs up," Mayor Emily Larson said during a press conference on Monday.