Tricounty News

Keep kids healthy at the petting zoo

Summertime brings the opportunity for kids and families to visit petting zoos, county fairs or farms. Children enjoy feeding the goats, petting a rabbit, holding a baby chick or riding a pony.  Unfortunately, in addition to the cute baby animals, petting zoos sometimes allow kids to meet critters with names like Salmonella or E. coli 0157:H7. These bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of some animals and are shed in the droppings. Animal fur, hair, skin and saliva can become contaminated with bacteria from the droppings and transmission may occur when kids pet, touch or are licked by animals.

While petting zoos can be an excellent educational and social event, unfortunately, many people become sick every year because of a visit to an animal exhibit. The human-animal contact can result in an uncomfortable bout of stomach and intestinal illness with dehydration or more serious illness. At a higher risk for infection are children less than 5 years of age, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.


PAHCS to affiliate with CentraCare Health

The Paynesville Area Health Care System (PAHCS) Board of Directors voted Wednesday evening, June 26, to affiliate with CentraCare Health (CCH)

Under the affiliation agreement with CentraCare Health (CCH), a new private, non-profit limited liability corporation – CentraCare Health – Paynesville, will lease the PAHCS facilities.

CCH has agreed to make substantial capital investments, including the installation of its electronic medical record system; purchase of a new MRI machine, purchase of a new ambulance, and to begin remodeling the Koronis Manor lobby and day room within six months. CentraCare Health will engage consultants to conduct a community needs assessment and master facility plan, and will determine whether it is financially feasible to renovate the hospital and clinic in Paynesville or build a new facility.


Informational meeting on Parkinson’s disease Aug. 19

Do you know any persons with Parkinson’s disease? Swallowing is not easy for persons with Parkinson’s. The St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Support Group meeting features a doctor as a guest speaker who is especially knowledgeable about Parkinson’s issues. He will discuss why swallowing is difficult and will explain ways to make swallowing easier.

Everyone is welcome at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, to the Great River Regional Library located at
1300 W. St. Germain (near Lake George) in St. Cloud. Contact person is Georgia at (320) 968-4606.

Heavy rains lead to more mosquitoes this summer

Mosquitoes are especially abundant this summer because of heavy rainfall and increased moisture in the environment.

University of Minnesota Extension entomologist Jeff Hahn explains mosquito larvae live in small pools of water. Increases in rainfall lead to more mosquito breeding grounds. Although rain cannot be controlled, there are many steps Minnesotans can take to combat mosquitoes.


Veterans rendezvous planned

Central Minnesota veterans and their families are invited to Rendezvous for an afternoon of music, fun, and connection to fellow veterans and the St. Cloud VA and its programs, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Circle Parking Lot on the campus of the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.

“In naming this event, we chose Rendezvous for some of the symbolism it conveys, but the number one thing we want to provide is an opportunity for veterans to connect with each other in a relaxing, fun and welcoming environment,” said Brett Jagodzinski, a VA employee organizing the event.

“During the fur trade era of the early nineteenth century, the ‘Rendezvous’ was an annual gathering where trappers traded their fur pelts for goods and supplies, and engaged in fellowship and camaraderie after a long, often lonely year spent trapping in the mountains,” explained Jagodzinski. “In the military, a rendezvous point is often a prearranged meeting place where troops know they can meet up with one another if they get separated during battle. This event sort of blends both of those ideas together.”

Planned activities include live music concerts, food, and family games, Jagodzinski said. A variety of Veteran-focused VA information booths will also be available during the event.

“The musical performers will be high quality, national touring shows,” Jagodzinski said.  Performers will be announced on the St. Cloud VA’s Facebook page at

The event is open to all residential Veterans, to Veterans throughout Central Minnesota, and their immediate families.

Financial and volunteer support is being provided by the Clearwater Legion Riders, Minnesota Patriot Guard, Clearwater American Legion, Weber’s Deck, and White Oak Realty.