Public Affairs

5/28 Forever Home

May 28, 2015

  Cooper is a male Poodle mix guessed to be about 10 yrs old. Cooper came in as a stray and was never claimed. He is housebroken, likes dogs and cats and friendly to all he has met. He really is an affectionate little guy who deserves a family of his own. He has been neutered, vet checked and given his canine and rabies vaccinations.

The future of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare may not be as bleak as it's being made to seem.  But that's part of the problem: not only too much contradictory information out there, but the issues being politicized and manipulated for votes.

For the first time since 1978, sometime this summer there won't be steam coming out of the iconic Duluth steam plant smokestack in Canal Park. The plant's been operating continuously for the last 37 years, but the shut down for a few weeks will be part of its transition to Duluth Energy Systems.

joshua_putnam'Flickr

Floods, fires, benzene spills ... when there's a disaster in the Northland, the emergency preparedness, management and response folks are the ones we count on to keep us safe.

Last week, many of those professionals attended the Under One Roof conference.  Tony Guerra is the Readiness Coordinator for the American Red Cross in Duluth and he was one of the attendees.

A couple of the take-aways? 

Some wins ... some losses and a fresh list of priorities for next session.  Representative Jen Schultz joins us this morning to talk about the highs and lows of her freshman year in the Minnesota House, and how the cards are stacking to create a more partisan - not less - legislature.

5/21 Forever Home

May 20, 2015

Sammy:

Sammy is a Spaniel mix, male, D.O.B. 9/7/04. Sammys' owner moved away and decided not to take Sammy.  How could anyone leave such a  kind, gentle , loving boy. He just wants a home again. Do you have room for a good boy who only wants some affection, food, and an occasional stroll with you? Come meet Sammy; you will fall in love!

Salmon:

Schplook/Flickr

Kids at Lincoln Park Middle School aren't getting suspended nearly as often as they used to.

In fact, the number of days students were suspended has dropped by more than half in just one year.

Rumors and misinformation, helped along by social media, aren't painting a true picture of the school, especially these days, says Principal Brenda Vatthauer, who's wrapping up her first year at Lincoln Park.

Michael Taggart/Flickr

Assisted suicide is against the law in Minnesota.

You can't advise, encourage or help someone take their own life here.

For years, the conversation - and controversy - has swirled around cases where someone who is already dying or in chronic pain wants to end their own suffering ... cases where, you might argue, someone is trying to compassionately help another end their pain or die with dignity.

But what about cases where that advice is, perhaps, being offered over social media, by someone trying to bully someone else into killing themselves?

Ruben Schade/Flickr

Tiny houses.  Micro-homes.  Re-purposed shipping containers.  We've heard the buzz about them not only as environmentally friendly housing options, but as low-cost options to help house the homeless in our country.

In Madison, WI, tiny houses to shelter the people struggling with homelessness cost about $4,000 apiece.

In Duluth, plans were afoot a year ago to convert shipping containers - which are plentiful and comparatively inexpensive in the Twin Ports - to housing, and at about half the cost per unit of traditional low-income housing.

5/14 Forever Home

May 14, 2015

Kids, camps and critters: that's what summer is all about at Animal Allies Summer Camps.  Pat Castellano is Animal Allies' Humane Educator, and she says they've added a couple of new camps this year.

Also, meet just four of the animals looking for their Forever Homes this week!

Ali Gold/Flickr

Many families are familiar with the wrenching decisions that have to be made when a parent can no longer live alone.

But what happens to our elders who have no families - or homes, for that matter?

This week, KUMD takes a look at who is experiencing homelessness in the Northland. Who are they? Why don't they have homes? What are their options?

After her year as president of the League of Women Voters Duluth, Zandy Zwiebel steps down with one event on her "we just didn't get to it this year" list and two pages of things she's proud the League accomplished.

Tanya Dawn/Flickr

Around 600 kids aged 14 to 21 find their way to Life House in Duluth in the course of a year. And contrary to what you might think, kids aren't homeless because they "don't want to follow rules at home."

Substance, domestic or sexual abuse at home forces many kids out on the streets or into "couch-hopping" with friends every year.

This week, KUMD takes a look at who is experiencing homelessness in the Northland. Who are they? Why don't they have homes? What are their options?

Jeffrey/Flickr

What would it take to make you leave your home with nowhere to go?  For many women and families, it would take nothing less than violence.

1695 people* were helped by Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center last year, many fleeing domestic abuse.

This week, KUMD takes a look at who is experiencing homelessness in the Northland. Who are they? Why don't they have homes? What are their options?

In this installment of our "Finding Home" series, Sarah Breyer of Safe Haven talks about women and children and where they can go -- short- and long-term -- when home isn't safe.

Deb Holman

The celebrated openings of the  Steve O'Neill and Lincoln Park Apartments gave our community hope that we're making headway in the effort to stop homelessness.

But not every housing option works for every situation.

This week, KUMD takes a look at the folks experiencing homelessness in the Northland: who are they?  Why don't they have homes?  What are their options?

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