Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman continues to say that he is withholding judgment on his team until they get their pads on at training camp. But there is just no denying that Spielman and the entire staff know this is a Super Bowl-caliber club, and after reaching the NFC Championship Game last season, that will be their only goal when training camp kicks off in July. “We’re excited about the football team. We thought on paper we made some improvements through free agency and the draft this year,” he said. “Now you just have to stay healthy. I think everybody knows the expectations on this club, but we just take it one day at a time.” Spielman did say that these young players are going to give the team excellent depth and that the secondary might be the strength of the team with the defensive line not far behind. “I think that is a strength of this team and, as I’ve said, we have a lot of depth behind the starters that I think will help in … [Read more...] about Vikings face challenge of high expectations as camp nears
Stage & Arts
Tragedy struck the Blaine Police Department last weekend when an off-duty officer and his wife were killed in a motorcycle crash in Elk River. Steve and Susie Nanney of Ham Lake left behind a chocolate Lab named Ranger. Now a colleague who regularly served as a dogsitter for the couple has stepped in to adopt the canine. Jennah Justen, a Blaine community service officer, welcomed Ranger to her own household this week. "Jennah has routinely watched Ranger for Steve and Susie, therefore it was a natural decision for the family," Blaine police announced on Twitter, alongside smiling photos of Justen hugging the pup. In one photo, Ranger calmly rides shotgun in Justen's squad car. "As you can see, they are both extremely happy!" the post continued. The Nanneys, both 51, died last Friday evening when their Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided head-on with a pickup truck near the 21100 block of Twin Lakes Road. The truck driver, a 17-year-old Elk River resident, suffered minor injuries, … [Read more...] about Blaine officer adopts dog after motorcycle crash kills colleague, wife
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The mayor of this Texas border city has been dealing with a crisis. This past week, he declared a state of emergency. Drones filled the skies and emergency vehicles raced down the streets. But none of it had anything to do with illegal immigration. It had to do with the weather. A severe thunderstorm caused widespread flooding throughout the Rio Grande Valley in recent days. That other crisis — the one that President Donald Trump says has been unfolding on the border because of the illegal entry of immigrants — is largely a fiction, the mayor, Tony Martinez, and other Brownsville residents and leaders said. “There is not a crisis in the city of Brownsville with regards to safety and security,” said Martinez, who has lived in Brownsville since the late 1970s. “There’s no gunfire. Most of the people that are migrating are from Central America. It’s not like they’re coming over here to try to take anybody’s … [Read more...] about Backed by data, Texas city asks Trump: What border crisis?
A calculator that predicts the risk of someone hurting or killing themselves could be the next tool to combat a surge in suicides in Minnesota. Researchers with Bloomington-based HealthPartners Institute and two other U.S. groups developed the tool by crunching the medical records of 3 million patients and finding common traits among the 24,133 people in the group who attempted suicide and the 1,240 who died by suicide. Feeding that information into a predictive calculator, the researchers found that patients with the highest scores had a 13 percent chance of attempting suicide within 90 days. Only 0.1 percent of patients with the lowest risk scores attempted suicide. "We're taking something that has historically been thought of as unpredictable, and we actually have found pretty good predictability," said Dr. Rebecca Rossom, a psychiatrist with HealthPartners, which joined in the study with five West Coast medical centers aligned with Kaiser Permanente and the Henry Ford Health System … [Read more...] about New tool helps identify patients’ suicide risk
WASHINGTON – Amid sharply rising rates of teen suicide and adolescent mental illness, two states have enacted laws that for the first time require public schools to include mental health education in their basic curriculum. Most states require health education in all public schools, and state laws have been enacted in many states to require health teachers to include lessons on tobacco, drugs and alcohol, cancer detection and safe sex. Two states are going further: New York's new law adds mental health instruction to the list in kindergarten through 12th grade; Virginia requires it in ninth and 10th grades. Nationwide, cities and states have been adopting a variety of initiatives over the past decade to address the rising need for mental health care in schools. But until this year, mandated mental health education had not been part of the trend. "We're seeing a huge increase in youth anxiety and depression," said Dustin Verga, a high school health teacher in Clifton, N.Y., who … [Read more...] about States ramping up mental health education in schools