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ELKHART, Ind.—Traffic was almost at a standstill. Out-of-towners set up shop to sell memorabilia. Protesters and supporters faced off. Thousands of people stood in line for hours. All because the president came to town. When a president visits a community, it's bound to create a stir, especially when it's one who inspires equal measures of devotion and disdain as President Donald J. Trump.
DULUTH—Shawn Bolf works at his family's garage-door company, as he has for 25 years, but these days the work is mostly at a desk, preparing bids and ordering supplies. He doesn't hunt anymore, either. He wouldn't be able to climb into a deer stand without wearing a harness.
DULUTH—Benjamin Clarke's bank doesn't make loans, and it doesn't have a drive-through window. He does want deposits, although he's a bit picky about what he'll take. "I really prefer the deer tick," said Clarke, in his office on the third floor of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Duluth campus. "I'm after Lyme disease. It's very particular about what tick it's in."
The rate of "deaths of despair" has risen dramatically over the past decade in the United States, says an annual report released today. Why that's the case is a vexing question. "Alcohol (abuse) is going up, suicide is going up, drug overdose is going up," said Jon Roesler, epidemiological supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Health. "We're changing as a society. Something is going on, which is bigger than I can wrap my head around."
ST. PAUL—The perception that most high school kids drink alcoholic beverages isn't true, the Minnesota Department of Health reports. And it's less true now — much less true — than it was at the beginning of the century.
An e-cigarette that looks like a pocket-sized computer device is alarming health officials because of its potency and popularity among teenagers. But area school officials say so far they haven't found the vaping pod known as Juul in their facilities. "We're familiar that they're out there," said Tim Rohweder, principal at Proctor High School. "I haven't seen one or confiscated one here at our school. I know that they're around."
DULUTH—Almost three years after marijuana was legalized for some medical purposes in Minnesota, some providers, patients and patients' loved ones say the program is frustrating, and the medicine, for many, is unaffordable. "I just think it's so sad why we can't set up a program that someone would find easier than (it is)," said Pat Mullen of Duluth. "They've got to find a way to inform people."
DULUTH—Romance can blossom any old time, or so the song says, and perhaps it follows that romance also can blossom any old place. Even among the kettle drums. "She just happened to be standing back by the kettle drums during a break in the rehearsal," Michael Husby recalled of his first encounter with his future wife Betsy, more than 30 years ago. "I thought she looked mighty fine."
DULUTH—As a social work intern in the Twin Cities, Najma Mohamed hears traumatic stories from her fellow Somali immigrants every day. "These are clients that are coming from war-torn countries," said Mohamed, 26, who came to the U.S. when she was in her early teens. "They witnessed a lot of violence, a lot of robbery, a lot of burning houses. ... I had one client, she said she was raped by 10 men."
DULUTH -- U.S. Rep Rick Nolan is retiring at the end of the current term, he announced Friday, Feb. 9. Minnesota's 8th District representative in Congress served three terms and had previously served from another district. "With deep appreciation and thanks for allowing me to represent you in the Congress of the United States, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election, and will retire at the end of the current term," Nolan said in a statement.