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Thursday: Boomers & Beyond

Retired wildlife forensics expert reflects on 35-year career

BILLINGS, Mont. — For 35 years, Dee Dee Hawk was solving unusual mysteries, like whether a captured grizzly bear was guilty of attacking a human. Sometimes using only scraps of evidence, she helped put bad guys behind bars and unraveled wildlife-related whodunits when there were no ...

Black, Hispanic families hit hardest by dementia

It can begin with the occasional missed bill payment. An inability to remember names. Telling the same story repeatedly. There may be personality changes or mood swings. Confusion. Over time, it’s as if the person who once was slowly disappears. Dementia. As the population ages, a growing ...

COVID-defying nun toasts 117th birthday with wine and prayer

PARIS — Question: How does one cram enough candles onto a birthday cake for one of the world’s oldest survivors of COVID-19? Answer: With 117 candles, you can’t. A French nun who is believed to be the world’s second-oldest person celebrated her 117th birthday in style on Thursday, ...

AP-NORC poll: A third of US adults skeptical of COVID shots

NEW YORK — About 1 in 3 Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll that some experts say is discouraging news if the U.S. hopes to achieve herd immunity and vanquish the outbreak. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for ...

After 40 years at NASA, retiree writes his memoir

MELBOURNE, Fla. — When engineer Roland Norris set out to write down the stories of his career spanning 40 years at NASA, he had one regret. “I wish I’d kept a journal or made notes. Instead I wrote it all from memory,” Norris told FLORIDA TODAY. He discovered quickly that he needed ...

Tips to prevent wandering as temperatures continue to drop

MARQUETTE — Persons living with Alzheimer’s and dementia are prone to wandering, which often puts them at risk. As temperatures continue to drop across Michigan this winter, those risks increase exponentially. Six in 10 people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia will wander, according ...

A dream come true: Woman completes college degree at 80

EDEN, Utah — Mary Spencer was 19 years old when she dropped out of college. Now, over 61 years later, the 80-year-old has earned her bachelor’s degree. In a virtual Brigham Young University-Idaho commencement held earlier this month, Spencer was awarded a Bachelor of Science in marriage ...

Tribes try to shield elders and their knowledge from virus

As Monica Harvey watched, crowds flocked to a Sam’s Club in northern Arizona where she works, picking shelves clean of toilet paper and canned goods. Native American seniors couldn’t move fast enough, and Harvey saw their faces fall when they reached empty shelves. The Navajo woman wanted ...

Zoom leads to love connection 62 years after high school

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — In 1958, two graduates of tiny Danville High School, west of Indianapolis, walked out into the world and into the ephemeral mists of time, space and circumstance. It was 62 years before Don and Peggy, seniors in the Danville Class of ‘58, saw each other again. But ...

Winter Solstice event to shine a light on Alzheimer’s, dementia

Special to the Journal MARQUETTE — As COVID-19 continues to spike in Michigan leaving residents more isolated and distressed, the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter is hosting a special luminary lighting on the longest night of the year — the winter solstice — to honor all those ...

After 110K virus deaths, nursing homes face vaccine fears

After 110,000 deaths ravaged the nation’s nursing homes and pushed them to the front of the vaccine line, they now face a vexing problem: Skeptical residents and workers balking at getting the shots. Being first has come with persistent fears that the places hit hardest in the pandemic — ...

75-year-old woman takes shot in COVID-19 fight

ST. SIMONS, Ga. — If big bad COVID-19 is ever to be knocked down, it just might take a plucky grandmother from St. Simons Island to do it. But Diane Durand is no hero, she says. Just a determined woman who stood up and took a shot in the arm for the rest of us. That shot contained a ...

Alzheimer’s Association offers free virtual support groups

MARQUETTE — As COVID-19 continues to spike in Michigan leaving more residents feeling isolated, the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter announces its free December virtual support groups, education programs and social engagement programs for Marquette-area residents impacted by ...

More time, income let Michigan retirees influence elections

MARQUETTE — Retirees have more time and money to be politically active than younger voters, experts say. A study of campaign finance filings of five of Michigan’s largest counties found that retirees made about 10% of the 3,225 contributions to candidates for county treasurer, sheriff and ...

A world of angels

MARQUETTE — With November being National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Marquette County’s U.P. Home Health & Hospice is working to spread awareness through a series of angel displays in the community, as well as virtual and socially distant events. The theme of the week this year ...

Special ed teacher still there for students at age 80

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Special education teacher Shelley O'Dowd was working in the staff lounge at Pennfield High School on Oct. 23 when she was called upstairs to assist with something. It was a ruse. When O'Dowd returned, she was welcomed by 80 balloons, 80 donut holes and a birthday ...