Medical cannabis program to add autism, sleep apnea as qualifying conditions

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced Nov. 30 the decision to add autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as new qualifying conditions for the state's medical cannabis program. "Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence," Ehlinger said in a news release. "However, there is increasing evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with severe autism and obstructive sleep apnea." Minnesota Department of Health used a petitioning process to solicit public input on potential qualifying conditions. The process included public comments, a citizens' review panel and a set of research summaries for each condition prepared by MDH staff.

Petitioners put forward 10 conditions for consideration this year: anxiety disorders, autism, cortico-basal degeneration, dementia, endogenous cannabinoid deficiency syndrome, liver disease, nausea, obstructive sleep apnea, Parkinson's disease and peripheral neuropathy. There were also petitions to add cannabis delivery methods including infused edibles and vaporizing or smoking cannabis flowers. These requests were not approved.

Small-group training classes offered in New Richmond

The New Richmond Area Centre, 425 E. Fifth St., is offering group training classes this season for groups of three to 10 participants. The lineup includes:

• Holiday Meltdown Small Group Training. Trainer Kristi Pupak will lead the 50-minute class with cardiovascular and strength training exercises. The class meets 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec. 5-Jan. 11. Price is $77 for Centre members and $99 for nonmembers.

• Barre Fusion Small Group Training. Barre, one of the hottest fitness trends, uses ballet techniques, resistance training and cardio blasts to improve posture, muscle tone, strength and balance. The class led by Melissa Platson is 7 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec. 5-Jan. 11. Price is $77 for Centre members and $99 for nonmembers.

• Advanced Yoga Asana Small Group Training. The class will focus on learning advanced yoga poses such as headstand, forearm balance, crow pose and firefly with certified trainer Melissa Platson. The class is not suitable for beginners or those with neck, back or shoulder injuries. It meets 4:15 to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 2-Feb. 8. Price is $48 for Centre members and $72 for nonmembers.

• Centre Weightlosers Small Group Training. Kristi Pupak will provide 45 minute workouts and nutritional guidance for weight loss. Initial weigh in, body composition and other measurements will be taken. All fitness levels welcome. The class meets 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 9-Feb. 15. Price is $84 for Centre members and $108 for nonmembers.

Information about training classes is available at

Ellsworth to host immunization clinics

Pierce County Health Department will hold immunization clinics 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, and 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, at the Pierce County Office Building, 412 W. Kinne St., Ellsworth. The clinic is for children through 18 years of age who are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, American Indian or Alaska Native, or have insurance without vaccine coverage. Some adult vaccinations also are available for a fee. For more information or to make an appointment, call 715-273-6755.

Lifeguards, swim instructors needed at Hudson YMCA

YMCA in Hudson will hold an aquatics hiring event 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11. Trained staff will assess lifeguard and swim instructor candidates and conduct interviews. Candidates will be signed up for a free lifeguard course if needed.

Register by emailing Alison Clark at For questions, call 612-330-3066.