Each week, Thomas Mulgrew, a neurologist at St. Peter’s Hospital, sees approximately two new acute stroke cases. From his practice alone, more than 100 families in Lewis and Clark County are affected by stroke each year.
Since cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) is the No. 1 cause of death, and stroke is the leading cause of long-term adult disability, the impact on stroke victims and their families can be life-changing. Only about 10 percent of stroke survivors recover almost completely, according to the National Stroke Association.
“People may know that stroke is a brain attack that can cause death, but they don’t realize it is also a foremost reason for people to be placed in a nursing home,” said Dr. Mulgrew.
Preventing lasting disability from stroke can depend on receiving immediate treatment.
“It is critical to initiate medical treatment right away if someone has signs of a stroke,” said Dr. Mulgrew. “The sooner a person gets to the hospital, the better the patient does.” Calling 9-1-1 immediately can help ensure fast treatment.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:12
By SHARIE PYKE
For The Outpost
American Express and other national money lenders have come up with a new way to get you to whip out the plastic: Green Saturday. After hitting the box stores on Black Friday, shop at small businesses, they urge.
Bah, humbug! The only thing small about locally owned retail stores is their square footage. Buy from your neighbors and you’ll receive super-sized service and personal attention, along with a plethora of gifts picked especially with Billings shoppers in mind.
So skip the Black Friday feeding frenzy at the big box stores that now threatens to take over Turkey Day itself. The following sample of local retailers selling everything from chocolates to saddles will help you get started.
Last Updated on Saturday, 24 November 2012 13:22
The way headlines broke around a recent Stanford study comparing organic and conventionally grown foods, you’d think organic had been left for dead.
The New York Times, for example, announced that “Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce.” Maybe the doubt was inferred from the meta-study’s lukewarm synopsis: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Now wait a minute. It’s true that ideologues can attribute positive benefits to whatever they want, but organic food has never been seriously touted as more nutritious or vitamin-rich than conventional food. Nor is it the cure for HIV, or the preferred food of unicorns.
Organic has always been defined by what it isn’t, and its first rule of organic food is that it’s free of things like “pesticide residues” and “antibiotic-resistant bacteria.” The study confirms what organic supporters have long purported to be the case: organic food is less adulterated by things you don’t want in your food.
The organic watchdog group Cornucupia Institute called the Stanford study “biased” in a Sept. 12 press release, which also raised questions about the study’s funding. Several of the authors are fellows and affiliates of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, which has received funding from big-ag companies including Cargill.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 10:23
November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Month. COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the United States (behind heart disease and cancer) and kills more than 120,000 American each year. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, lung diseases characterized by an obstruction to airflow that interferes with normal breathing.
More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million are likely to have the disease and not know it.
In recent years, more women than men have died from COPD. The death rate among women has nearly tripled from 1980 to 2005.
In Montana it is estimated that 47,115 people have COPD. The number of people with COPD is increasing and diagnosis can help treatment and management of the disease. Signs and symptoms of COPD include:
• Constant coughing, sometimes called “smoker’s cough.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 10:21
The difference between hunting and shooting animals Hunting animals can mean a lot of things, from freezer filling to sport killing. As a meat hunter, I’m looking for a year’s worth of protein, with or without antlers. Hunting season is a beautiful, invigorating part of my annual routine that gets my ass up and outside early and often. While I don’t hunt for the thrill of killing, the post-kill posing or for big racks, as a hunter I’m lumped together with everyone else who shoots guns at animals.
I don’t mind being associated with the interior decorators and stuffed-animal collectors, assuming the trophy hunters in question actually eat their meat. But I’m less into being grouped with those who shoot “varmints,” or supposed pest animals, for fun, and other practitioners of sport killing. Perhaps “animal shooting” would be more descriptive than hunting of what they do.
But semantics can’t change the fact that I shop at the same gear stores as the sport killers, and we share space at the range and in the field as well. We respect each others’ safety by following safe shooting etiquette. I’ll even listen politely at the gas station if some proud killer has a story to tell. A friend who took me on my first elk hunting trip is a varmint hunter. We had a great time together, but remained worlds apart with regard to how we really feel about shooting animals.
A seldom-discussed divide exists in the hunting community between those who hunt because they enjoy shooting at living targets, and those who hunt despite the killing part. There are also those who hunt as part of their overarching obsession with guns-after all, shooting at real, living things is what guns were designed for. In my experience, however, very little time spent hunting is spent actually killing. You can hunt hard for days or even weeks and come up empty, and I’m OK with that. It’s part of the process. And even when you are successful, the kill itself is about as fast as a speeding bullet.
Trophy hunters can at least decorate their homes with skulls, fur and bones, and bask in their glory. But with sport killers, generally, as soon as one animal is down it’s onto the next, like a gambler sitting at a slot machine.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:38
BOZEMAN – Montana State University ecologists who have returned to Antarctica for another season had to adapt to dramatic changes in the sea ice last year.
Now they have published a paper that says the Weddell seals they monitor had to deal with some dramatic changes in ice in recent years, too. In fact, the seals handled the adverse conditions well and suffered less than the Emperor penguins in that region.
The paper was published Sept. 26 in the international journal, “Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.”
Lead author was Thierry Chambert, a doctoral student supervised by co-authors Bob Garrott and Jay Rotella in the MSU ecology department. Rotella and Garrott have just received a National Science Foundation grant for $867,272 that will extend their long-term study by five more years.
Last year, the researchers encountered unusually thin ice that was three feet thick instead of the usual 12 to 16 feet, Garrott said. Large cracks and active breaks threatened snowmobile travel. As a result, the faculty members and students moved their base camp to a safer spot and set up emergency camps around their study area. When they couldn’t cross the ice on snowmobiles, they flew by helicopter.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:32
“If we succeed in passing I-166, we can send a clear message across the United States and hopefully move it forward,” said James Ellis when talking about the proposed Prohibition on Corporate Contributions and Expenditures in Montana Elections Act.
Ellis, a Montana State University Billings student, was part of a panel discussion that included C.B. Pearson from the Stand with Montanans group that wrote Initiative 166, MSU Billings assistant professor of public administration Paul Pope, and Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings. The event was hosted by MSU Billings at the College of Education.
More than 32,000 signatures were collected to put I-166 on this year’s 2012 ballot. The initiative states in Section 3: “(a) that the people of Montana regard money as property, not speech; (b) that the people of Montana regard the rights under the United States Constitution as rights of human beings, not rights of corporations.”
Since 1912, Montana had laws to limit corporate money and to lessen their influence on elections. Montana law, however, contrasted with the 2010 Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case, which essentially decided it was unconstitutional for Congress to limit corporate or union expenditures for elections because that would limit free speech.
In October 2010, the Montana Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in a Montana case, the American Tradition Partnership Inc. vs. Attorney General of Montana, to continue a ban on corporations from spending on political campaigns. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled in favor of ATP on June 25 of this year.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:05
There are a few deadlines and details to keep in mind as Election Day approaches in Montana. Tuesday was the last day for regular voter registration. Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund executive director Theresa Keaveny says there are other opportunities, though, including on Election Day.
Her organization is encouraging people to register to vote and be sure to cast ballots at a polling place, or by mail.
She says there are a lot of decisions beyond presidential: county commissioners, state legislative positions, some state offices and governor.
“So much is at stake,” she said. “Decision-makers will define policies related to education, clean water, renewable energy and taxation.”
Polling location changes have been made since some people last cast a ballot in 2010. Keaveny says be sure to check before heading to a voting booth, since several counties consolidated locations.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 11:08
Say goodbye to bolo ties.
Whoever replaces Gov. Brian Schweitzer after November’s election will be making an executive neckwear change. But that may be one of the few areas in which the candidates agree.
The race featuring piles of out-of-state money pits Attorney General Steve Bullock, the Democrat, against former Congressman Rick Hill, the Republican. Throw in Libertarian candidate Ron Vandevender and independent Bill Coate and you’ve got the cast of Montana Governor 2012.
The major-party rivals say they offer voters a clear choice.
“This election represents a crossroads,” Bullock said in an interview. “The congressman is looking backwards, and I think there’s great things ahead of us.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:01
As Montana yards fills with campaign signs, as canvassers crisscross neighborhoods in support of gubernatorial candidates, and as TV ads take turns blasting U.S. Senate candidates, the names Kim Gillan and Steve Daines rarely appear on the political radar.
The two candidates for the state’s sole U.S. House seat remain largely unknown to voters as Election Day draws near. According to Montana State University political scientist David Parker, only about 20 to 30 percent of voters can identify Democrat Gillan and her Republican rival Daines.
Gillan, who trails Daines in money, has had to rely on traditional methods to get her name out.
“I’ve traveled 1,000 miles in the last two and half days, meeting with different groups,” Gillan said.
Despite the challenges of running a grassroots campaign, she said it has advantages in a state like Montana where “people like to meet you, they like to shake your hand and they really aren’t going to be 100 percent trustful with someone they know from television.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:44