Public Affairs

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?

Roger Patterson/Robert Gimlin

If you think high-tech innovations like satellite and  thermal imagery - and even the ubiquitous smart phone cameras -  have put to bed persistent rumors of creatures like Bigfoot, think again. 

Bob Sherman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Bob Olson of Deer River are the Northern Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team.   Don says, far from debunking the idea of a Sasquatch, things like trail cameras mean people are capturing images of the creatures even more often.

Every year, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) in Duluth helps over 600 homeless youth in our community.  They provide a gamut of services, from a teen clinic and a runaway program, to transitional housing and street outreach - even help for kids about to age out of the system.

But those services are located throughout the city and aren't always easy to get to.  So LSS has announced plans to build the Center for Changing Lives, one central location in Duluth where homeless kids can find all the help and services they need under one roof.

Markus Grossalber/Flickr

In the quest to develop better doctors, an addition to the anatomy program is teaching students at the College of St. Scholastica about when to cultivate professional detachment ... and when not to.

promologicllc/Flickr

St. Louis County is taking its reputation as one of the top five counties in Minnesota for impaired driving seriously.

Since 2008, South St. Louis County's specialty DWI court brings together judges, attorneys, treatment professionals, probation officers and law enforcement to offer chronic felony offenders an alternative to jail. 

And according to Sgt. Ryan Morris of the Duluth Police Department, it's working.

Nora Naranjo Morse

UMD’s 2nd Annual Creativity Conference was organized around the ideas of creativity across disciplines and cultures this year.  But as our free-ranging conversation with the two conference guests unspooled, it became apparent that creativity is not only useful in a wide variety of contexts … it lurks in some unlikely places.

holdenarmstrong/Flickr

Back in the day, binge drinking* at college was almost a rite of passage. 

But back in the day, we didn't know about things like date-rape drugs and alcohol poisoning.  Plus, with drinking ages at 18 or 19, college students were in bars where there were people who could cut them off or get them help if they needed it.

Laurette Perry is a UMD Health Educator who works with the Tri-Campus and Community Coalition to help educate college students about the dangers of binge drinking, especially since now, the binge drinking is more likely to be happening at someone's home.

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