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DULUTH — When he was 13 months old, Keenan Oswald's mom gave him a taste of a new treat: peanut butter toast. "He stuck it on his tongue, spit it out, and then his head just swelled up with hives all over," said his mom, Alanna Oswald. A doctor told the Oswalds, who live in West Duluth, to keep their son away from peanut butter. A couple of years later Keenan was diagnosed with asthma and a severe peanut allergy.
DULUTH, Minn.—The victim of a fatal shooting in downtown Duluth early Saturday was "a big teddy bear" who "could talk to anybody," friends said. Scott Allen Pennington, 31, died on Saturday morning following the shooting that was reported just before 1 a.m., Duluth police said. Jamal Tyshawn Jackson, 25, was booked into the St. Louis County Jail on Monday afternoon on suspicion of second-degree murder related to Pennington's death.
DULUTH—Imagine going to your favorite restaurant, ordering a meal and then being asked to pay twice as much as your friend paid for the same meal. That might be unthinkable, but such price differences happen routinely with regard to surgical procedures at Minnesota hospitals, according to a report released on Thursday, Aug. 9, by the Minnesota Department of Health. Actually, it's more extreme than that. A patient undergoing one of four hospital procedures may pay between two to nearly seven times as much as another patient at the same hospital, according to the report.
The retirement of two psychiatrists from Essentia Health brings attention to an already heavy demand for mental health care in the Twin Ports.
DULUTH—Joe and Dorothy Sayers disagree, slightly, on what their monthly health insurance premium had risen to six or seven years back. It was either $1,600 and slated to rise to $2,300, or it already was $2,300 for themselves and their three daughters. Either way, $2,300 was the breaking point for the couple, who live in Duluth's Lakeside neighborhood. "That's when I said, 'This is enough,'" Dorothy Sayers said during a recent interview.
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."
DULUTH—Hospitals in northern Minn. and across the state have been scrambling to cope with a nationwide shortage of injectable opioid painkillers. "The supply is just inconsistent," said Gina Lemke, pharmacy director at St. Luke's hospital. "We can't place an order and trust that it's going to arrive." Given the effort to cut down on the number of opioids that are prescribed, it may seem ironic that there's a shortage of some opioids used in an injectable form. But in that setting, opioids still perform a needed function, pharmacists say.
DULUTH—Tyesha Nelson isn't down on medical marijuana, even though it didn't help her with her intractable pain. The 31-year Duluth woman "was placing all my bets on the medical marijuana" to relieve the pain from the rheumatoid arthritis with which she had been diagnosed at age 23, she said on Wednesday, Feb. 28. She had a dose in August 2016, soon after intractable pain was added as an approved condition for treatment with medical cannabis in Minnesota. Not only did it fail to relieve her pain, Nelson said, it "gave me the worst anxiety I ever experienced in my life."
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."