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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Consumers advised to avoid ingestion of bentonite clay products due to risk of lead exposure

The Minnesota Departments of Health (MDH) and Agriculture (MDA) are alerting consumers to avoid ingesting products containing bentonite clay due to the possibility that the products may contain high levels of heavy metals, including lead. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued consumer warnings for two separate bentonite clay products after laboratory analysis of the products found elevated lead levels. Although bentonite clay products containing lead have been found in several Minnesota stores, there have been no confirmed reports of illness or injury associated with bentonite clay products in Minnesota.

The two brands for which the FDA issued alerts were Bentonite Me Baby and Best Bentonite, however, health and agriculture officials say it is likely there are other similar bentonite clay products on the market that contain lead that have not been identified by FDA.

Bentonite clay is commonly marketed as a cosmetic product used externally. However, some bentonite clay products also include instructions for ingestion as a kind of holistic medicinal treatment. Pure bentonite clay is usually sold as a fine powder, varying in color from off-white to green-gray or gray-brown. Blended or multi-ingredient products may list either bentonite clay, sodium bentonite, or calcium bentonite on the ingredient label. Products containing bentonite clay may be sold at retail beauty supply outlets and cosmetic counters. Pure bentonite clay is also sold in bulk form.

Exposure to lead can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and immune system. In children, exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with cognitive impairment, reduced IQ, behavioral difficulties, and other problems.

Consumers with health concerns following the use or ingestion of bentonite clay should contact a doctor, other health care provider, or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

Weekend closure of southbound Highway 100 begins May 20

Motorists traveling southbound on Highway 100 between Golden Valley/Minnetonka and Edina, will encounter a weekend road closure and detour beginning May 20, as crews repair the road and the road shoulders. 

At 10 p.m. Friday, May 20, southbound Highway 100 between Interstate 394 and Highway 62 will close. The highway and associated ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, May 23. 

During the weekend closure, motorists will be detoured to I-394, Highway 169 and Highway 62 or to I-394, I-35W and Highway 62. Weekend travelers should allow for extra drive time throughout the weekend. 

The $16.7 million pavement preservation project began in 2015 and will be complete in Aug 2016. Construction includes repairing the pavement on the road and ramps and on nine bridges along the highway. Construction crews will also remove the existing median guardrails and install concrete median barriers. The construction will provide a smoother, safer road surface, and improve and extend the life of the pavement.

For more information, or to sign up for e-mail project updates, visit the project website atmndot.gov/metro/projects/hwy100slp/
 
For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Outdoor Music Concert Set for Little Log House Village

Saints Music Festival is ready to take place on May 20th, with a full-line up of musical talent.

Presented by Vermillion Bank, the fundraiser concert event is again being hosted by the five rural Catholic parishes in Myersville (St. Joseph's), New Trier (St. Mary's), Hampton (St Mathias), Vermillion (St. John the Baptist), and Cannon Falls (St. Pius V). 

Gates at the Little Log House showgrounds open at 6:00p.m. Proceeds from the fundraiser event will benefit the various Catholic ministries in each rural community, including youth faith formation and programming, homebound ministries, adult catechesis, retreats, and Catholic education.

The group's inaugural event in 2014 drew a crowd of 2,000 people and organizers are confident the upcoming event will be much larger the second time around.

"With the aid of social media, the fan base for this event has grown well into the thousands. We are already seeing early ticket sales from far parts of the west metro, as well as a lot of local ticket sales", said promotions volunteer Julie Strommen. 

"This year we've also added round-trip transportation partners in Hastings and metro suburbs to offer concert goers a safe ride home and to help them really round-out the evening with fun restaurant and bar options. Our exclusive, pre- and post-party transportation partner in Hastings is The Busted Nut downtown, for Woodbury we have the Green Mill and in South St. Paul we are working with Bugg's Place."

In addition to regular gate entrance tickets, separate 'gate admission plus round-trip transportation' tickets are being sold for the event online at www.brownpapertickets.com

A limited 4,000 tickets are available.  The returning rock and roll headlining band, Hairball, played at another Catholic fundraiser event in the west metro in late September 2015 to a sold-out crowd of 5,000. 

According to another volunteer, Jim Peine, "This is a fun band with huge stage presence. Don't expect a standard concert. You'll be amazed at their show that includes costume changes, lights, smoke, large screen monitors, and pyrotechnics."

Warm-up band, TC Cats, will get the party started by playing classic rock and roll from the '50s and '60 shortly after the gates open. Other major sponsors include Beskau Transport, Econofoods, and Schlomka's Portable Restrooms & Mobile Pressure Washing.  Business and family sponsorship packages include various 'perks,' including concert tickets, VIP parking passes, and drink and food tickets. Sponsorships are available by contacting allsaintsmusicfestival@gmail.com.