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Smoke Testing of Sanitary Sewer Planned for End of July

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As part of the City of Dubuque's Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) Reduction Program, the City of Dubuque Engineering Department will be conducting sanitary sewer smoke testing in selected areas July 30-31.

Engineering and public works departments continue to inspect the sanitary sewer system for signs of excessive wear and tear, as well as for structural defects and stormwater pipeline cross connections.

Smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system will be conducted on the Clarke University campus on July 30 and may affect residences in the areas of Clarke Drive and West Locust Street. On July 31, smoke testing will be conducted at Senior High School and may affect residences in the areas of Clarke Drive, West Locust Street, Rosedale Street, and North Grandview Avenue.

Inspection crews will lift manhole lids and use equipment to observe and record smoke testing. Smoke testing consists of introducing non-toxic smoke into sanitary sewer pipe sections under moderate pressure. The crews will document where the smoke is emitted and prioritize needed repairs. Since the smoke will be placed into the sewer system that is connected to homes, residents are encouraged to pour tap water into their floor drains and sinks. This small amount of water creates a seal that keeps the smoke out of the homes. Residents do not need to be present during smoke testing.

Dry traps, drains without traps, and other plumbing defects will allow the smoke to enter the dwelling connected to the sewer line that is being tested. The smoke is non-toxic, leaves no residue, and creates no fire hazard. If a resident is present and smoke enters the house or building, please report all locations to the work crews (563-513-8966) and open a window to allow the smoke to dissipate. It may also be desirable to contact a plumber if the smoke enters the house in a manner other than a dry drain trap.

The goal of the I&I Reduction Program is to reduce the amount of rainwater and groundwater that enters the sanitary sewer system during wet weather. Allowing these clean water connections causes sanitary sewer back-ups into basements, overflows into creeks and wetlands, and increased operating costs to process the water at the City's Water & Resource Recovery Center. Removing this clean water will reduce collection and treatment costs, allow the sanitary sewer system to work more effectively, allow the City to optimize the performance of the existing pipe system and treatment, and minimize sanitary sewer backups into basements.

For more information on the I&I Reduction Program and sanitary sewer smoke testing, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/iandi or call the I&I information line at 563-690-6113.


City Awards $35,000 in Arts and Culture Special Projects Grants

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The Dubuque City Council recently awarded a cumulative $35,000 in funding to seven Dubuque arts and culture organizations.

This grant program was designed to "encourage the development of new or expanded arts and cultural programs in the Dubuque community."

This is the eleventh round of competitive grants for this program. Six years ago, the City Council approved the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission's recommendation to limit funding to no more than two consecutive years per organization and that applications had to score at least 75 points out of 100 to be considered for funding. The commission established a minimum point threshold to ensure that only high quality projects are recommended for funding.

The following organizations have been awarded FY 2015 Special Projects Grants. The Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission recommended that the top five ranked applicants be funded at their full grant request and to partially fund the two projects tied for sixth place at 70.65%.

• Dubuque Museum of Art, Iowa Public Art Network Conference $4,100

• Bell Tower Productions, Free Summer Musical Program $5,000

• Dubuque County Historical Society, "Engaging Enactors!" $8,438

• Downtown Dubuque Christian Outreach, "Ghost People Seeing all the people in our community" $2,800

• The Children of Abraham, "Laughing Together" $3,500

• The Downtown Dubuque Cultural Corridor, "A Year of Creative Place making" Campaign Video $5,157 (Funded at 70.65%)

• St. Mary Church Corporation, Creativity Program Development $6,005 (Funded at 70.65%)

Requests for funding were reviewed by members of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission who then forwarded their recommendations for funding to the City Council for consideration.

For additional information, contact Megan Starr, Economic Development Coordinator, at 563-589-4393 or mstarr@cityofdubuque.org.


Auditions set for A Streetcar Named Desire

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Auditions for A Streetcar Named Desire will be held Monday August 4, Tuesday, August 5, and Wednesday, August 6, from 7 to 9pm on stage at The Grand Opera House in Dubuque.

This classic drama calls for a racially diverse cast of 6 women and 5 men, ranging in age from 20 to 70. Production dates for this Tennessee Williams drama are Sept. 26-27 & Oct. 3-4 at 7:30 pm and Sept. 28 at 2:00 pm.

Set in the steamy French Quarter of late 1940's New Orleans, Blanche DuBois, an emotionally fragile fading Southern belle, arrives to stay with her younger sister, Stella, and Stella's crude and brutish husband, Stanley Kowalski. Blanche meets Stanley's friend Mitch, a gentle, kind man who lives with his ailing mother and is attracted to Blanche. It seems there are possibilities for them until a catastrophic confrontation between Blanche and Stanley destroys her fragile sanity and her last chance at happiness.

Other characters from the neighborhood include Steve and Eunice Hubbell, who live upstairs from the Kowalskis, an African-American woman who is a friend of Eunice and Stella, and Pablo Gonzales, a poker player friend. There are also cameo roles for a newsboy who stops by to collect for the newspaper, a Mexican woman who is a vendor of Mexican funeral decorations, a compassionate doctor, and a no-nonsense nurse from the sanitarium.

This journey of delicate indiscretions, lost dreams and brutish actions will be directed by Carole Sullivan, with Jan Lavacek as scenic designer. For more information, call the Grand Opera House at 563-588-4356.


Dubuque County Campgrounds open

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The Dubuque County Conservation Board has announced that Finley's Landing, Mud Lake Park, and Massey Marina are now all open for camping.

Flood water has receded enough to allow almost all sites to be open. Conditions at a few tent sites at Massey Marina are still soggy, but 45 of the 51 campsites are dry and ready for use.

Boat ramps at all parks are also open and in good shape.

Call 563.556.6745 with any questions.


Safety tips for fairs and carnivals

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Carnivals, county fairs and street festivals can make for fun family outings. The nice weather just beckons people outdoors, and weekend after weekend resourceful carnival goers can probably find a fair nearby. But revelers need to make sure their experiences are as safe as they are fun.

The Outdoor Amusement Business Association estimates 500 million guests visit carnivals, fairs and festivals each year. More than half of them participate in mobile amusement rides, among other recreational pursuits. Such pursuits can not only be fun, but they also can be dangerous, especially for young children. As a result, parents taking their kids along to enjoy this wholesome fun should consider the following precautions.

• Be prepared. Research the fair or carnival and know what to expect when you arrive. How big is it? What are the types of attractions and what vendors will be included? What is the parking situation? Are strollers allowed? Knowing what to expect can make the occasion a little less stressful. If your child is old enough to understand, explain what the fair entails and how it can be crowded and noisy.

• Dress for the weather. It is important to wear sturdy, comfortable footwear. Many carnivals are set up in fields or empty parking lots. There will be a lot of walking, and you want to be sure you are comfortable. Check the weather before going and dress for the temperature. Wear hats to shield faces from the sun and lather on plenty of sunblock for protection. Avoid wearing any dangling clothes and jewelry. Tie back long hair to reduce your risk of accidents on rides.

• Identify security guards or a security kiosk upon entering. Let children know where safety personnel are stationed. Establish a meet-up point that is very conspicuous should anyone get separated from the group. This central location will be checked first and should be easily identifiable for young children. Instruct the child to stay there until you find him or her.

• Put your mobile phone number in your child's pocket. Put your name or "Mom/Dad" on a sheet of paper with a contact number and put it in your son or daughter's pocket. Should he or she get lost, the child can approach a security guard and give that person your phone number.

• Take a current photo of the kids. Use your smartphone or camera to snap a picture of your children when you arrive at the event. This way you will have a method of helping others identify them should they get lost.

• Observe the rides in advance. Watch rides before you get in line to try them out. Figure out if it is appropriate for a child and acclimate anyone who is nervous. Carnival rides often have a "you must be this tall to ride" sign at their entrance gates.

• Look for inspection stickers. Carnival rides often have to be inspected for safety. If the ride doesn't have a current inspection sticker, don't ride it.

• Stay hydrated. Dehydration is common when spending hours outdoors in warm weather. It can make a person dizzy and feeling sick to their stomach. If you feel thirsty, you already are dehydrated.

• Eat light. If you will be riding a lot of rides, it's better to eat light meals beforehand. Heavy, greasy foods in your stomach coupled with motion sickness can lead to trouble. Wait until after you have gotten your fill of the rides before indulging in funnel cake.

• Stick together. It can be tempting to separate when you get to the carnival, as older children may not be interested in the same rides as their younger siblings. But separating increases the risk of someone getting lost.

• Seek shelter in a storm. Thunderstorms can roll in unexpectedly. Remember, lightning will seek the easiest method to reaching the ground. Tall rides could be strike points. Get out of the weather and move indoors or to a car if possible.

Carnivals and fairs are staples of the warm-weather season across the country. These enjoyable outings are even more fun when families play it safe.


Best exercises for female weight loss and toning

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Diet and exercise go hand in hand, but diets are often associated with women while exercise regimens tend to be geared toward men. But exercise is just as important for women as it is for men, which is why women must find the right balance between diet and exercise to achieve their weight-loss goals.

Feel the burn of strength training
Cardiovascular exercise is important, but women need more iron in their weight-loss regimens, specifically the type of iron found on the weight bench. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, roughly 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. Skipping strength-training exercises eliminates one of the fastest ways to see measurable weight loss. Two sessions per week of strength-training exercises can reduce overall body fat by around 3 percent in as little as 10 weeks. Such exercises can trim inches off of your hips and waist, even if you aren't cutting calories from your diet.

Muscle also helps burn calories even when you're not working out. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long workout that included strength training burned an extra 100 calories in the 24 hours following a workout than they would in the 24 hours after a workout that did not include strength training. This post-workout calorie burn is commonly referred to as "afterburn," and it increases exponentially when women lift more weight for less repetitions instead of lifting lighter weight for more repetitions.

Choose the right strength-training workouts
It may be easy to find a problem area on your body and target that area with certain exercises (think crunches for belly fat). But this is not the best course of action. It's better to work an array of muscles in an exercise session rather than focusing on one particular area. The following exercises can help women build lean muscle and stimulate the afterburn of a good workout.

• Pushups: Pushups are the bane to many a woman's existence. However, pushups and stationary pushups, called "plank" exercises, fire up core muscles in the back and stomach. They also promote shoulder and arm strength, eliminating the need for bicep curls and other arm exercises. If pushups are difficult for you, start out on your knees and work up to doing pushups on your toes. As you build strength, you will find it easier to do pushups and notice your arms have added muscle and tone.

• Lunges and squats: Lunges and squats target some of the largest muscles in your body, which are found in the legs and backside gluteus muscles. Lunges will also work the adductors and abductors of your inner and outer thighs. Not only do these exercises promote strength training in major muscle groups, they require balance provided by engaging core muscles in the abdomen. Your heart rate will increase when these larger muscles are being used at the same time, which means you're getting a cardiovascular workout at the same time as you strength train.

• Rowing: Instead of spending 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym, use a rowing machine. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits that rowing provides, you will be working the muscles of the arms, back, shoulders, legs, and abdomen while you row. Rowing machines work more of the body than more traditional cardiovascular machines.
By including strength-training exercises in a workout and choosing activities that work the maximum number of muscle groups at the same time, women will see a more profound weight loss in a shorter period of time.


Abstract Painting Workshop Announced

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Studio Works and Gallery C are teaming up with Creative Expressions, a not-for-profit program with the specific goal of helping adults with special needs find a vehicle for communicating their thoughts, feelings, joys and frustrations through artistic means, to host a workshop focused on abstract painting. The workshop will be held July 29 from 5 to 7pm. The public is welcome to observe or register a special needs student.

Many special needs students look for literal expressions – a flower must look like a flower, a tree must look like a tree. Focusing on abstract imagery will help the students to look at things about their world differently and experience success in new ways.

Upon completion of the workshop, the work will be exhibited in Gallery C, a subsidiary of Studio Works. Gallery C is a professional, contemporary gallery. These paintings, as well as pieces from earlier workshops, will be exhibited and a reception is scheduled for August 1 from 6 to 9pm, to honor the student artists. The public is welcome to attend. Additionally, the directors of the Creative Expressions group will conduct open discussions to build public awareness of the challenges faced by the students and their families.

Creative Expression Workshops provide opportunities for individuals facing challenges to discover new ways to express themselves through the arts that include visual arts, poetry, music, painting, etc., helping students find their creative voices, gain self-confidence through social inclusion, and increase awareness of their individuality.


The science behind fireflies

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Few things seem more whimsical and magical on a warm night than watching fireflies blink on and off and wondering where one will turn up next. At any given moment, there may be dozens of fireflies lighting up the night sky, providing the perfect opportunity for kids and adults to go outside and collect a few insects for a closer look.

The Smithsonian Institute says there are more than 2,000 species of fireflies, also called lightning bugs, around the world. Only some species produce adults that glow.

Fireflies are a type of beetle that use their illuminated bottoms to attract females. Often the males will fly around while the females wait in bushes and trees for their mates to arrive. Each species of the insect has its own language of flashing light. Some fireflies produce a green light, while others lean toward yellow or orange.

Two chemicals, called luciferase and luciferin, are present in a firefly's tail, and these chemicals account for the insects' bioluminescence. Luciferase is an enzyme that triggers light emission. Luciferin is heat-resistant, and it glows under certain conditions. Chemicals inside the firefly's body convert energy to initiate the glow in its tail. One hundred percent of the firefly's energy is emitted as light, making it a very efficient light producer. Because there is no heat generated from this light, it is known as cold light.

Although the glowing mechanism known to fireflies is largely exhibited by the adults flying through a summer sky, the larvae and eggs of some species also emit light. They use the light to deter predators and inform them that they do not taste good.

While fireflies are often seen in a pleasing light and as harmless bugs, they may not be so harmless within their social circles. Some fireflies are carnivorous. Larvae eat snails and worms. Some fireflies feed on other fireflies and will mimic the flashing pattern of a certain species to lure in a meal. But scientists have not observed fireflies eating other species of bugs and are not even sure if fireflies eat much at all.

Catching fireflies
Many people have fond childhood memories of running through their yards catching fireflies. Fireflies are present on every continent except Antarctica, so there is a good chance you can find fireflies in your own yard, though they tend to congregate in long grasses and marshy areas around ponds, lakes and streams and, as a result, may be more populous in these areas.

In order to catch fireflies successfully, turn off the exterior lights of your home and have a container ready. Punch holes in the lid of a jar to allow air to penetrate and put in a damp piece of paper towel to make sure the fireflies will not dry out.

Use care when catching the fireflies, which are fragile. Working with a net is often better than bare hands, particularly for children who may not be so gentle.

Only keep the fireflies for a day or two before letting them go. Otherwise you're bound to find a jar of deceased fireflies. According to the Firefly Organization, firefly numbers are dwindling, largely due to light pollution and overdevelopment. Human lights interrupt flashing light patterns. Therefore, any fireflies that are captured should be promptly returned to the wild.


Protect vehicles in hot conditions

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Dramatic fluctuations in temperature can wreak havoc on automobiles. While cars and trucks are designed to be reliable under various conditions, sometimes the weather can get the best of even the most reliable vehicle. 

Many people associate car troubles with cold weather. However, cars are susceptible to breakdowns when it is hot outside. Extreme heat adds to an already high temperature under the hood, requiring ventilation and cooling systems to work that much harder. Batteries, alternators, starters, fan motors, and cooling systems are particularly vulnerable to high heat. It's easy for a car to overheat and break down. Proper maintenance and some hot weather guidelines can keep drivers safe and on the road when temperatures soar, whether drivers are going on a quick ride or an extended road trip.

• Be sure the radiator is working properly and is filled with fluid at all times. This helps prevent overheating, which can strand a vehicle on the side of the road.

• Hot temperatures cause items to expand, such as the air molecules inside of the tires. Make sure the tires are properly inflated so blowouts do not occur.

• Keep up-to-date with oil changes and other routine maintenance. Vehicles that are well maintained are less likely to be susceptible to heat strain.

• Proper air flow is essential to cool an engine and keep a vehicle air conditioning system operating efficiently. If the cooling system has not recently been serviced, have it done NOW.

• Replace an old battery, and top off a functioning battery with distilled water when necessary, particularly if evaporation has occurred.

• Clean the vehicle so that it will better reflect the sun's rays, cutting down on radiant heat.

• When the vehicle is parked, use a car cover or a reflective shade in the windshield to protect the interior from sun damage and excessive heat.

• Tinted windows can help block out more of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Make sure that tint is legal and applied properly if it is done after-market.

• Plan road trips for early in the morning or late at night to cut down on the amount of time spent driving during the peak heat and sunshine.

• Passengers should wear appropriate clothing and apply sunscreen. Car windows do not block UV light, and passengers may be susceptible to sunburn even when they're in the car.

• Park in the shade whenever possible.

• Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for short moments.

• If the temperature gauge inside of the car reads hot, pull over, open the hood and turn the heat on inside the car to expel some of the pent-up heat.

• Keep plenty of water on hand in the event of a breakdown to prevent dehydration until help arrives.


Beginner's guide to reptiles as pets

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Dogs and cats may be the most popular pets, but reptiles have their share of admirers as well. Reptiles can make great pets, and they may be ideal for children or novice pet owners.

Unlike cats or dogs, many reptiles need a very specific environment to thrive. That includes some sort of UV light, a warming stone and particularly hot conditions. Reptiles and amphibians are cold-blooded animals, meaning their body temperatures fluctuate based on the conditions of their environment. They will require an external heating source to stay comfortable.

Certain reptiles may be better for beginners than others. Here is a look at some popular reptilian pets and what is necessary to care for them.

• Bearded dragon: This animal hails from Australia and may grow up to two feet in length, most of which is in the tail. These lizards will need an appropriate housing structure, which should be a 55-gallon tank for the average-sized single male dragon. They require special light bulbs to absorb vitamins. Dragons are omnivorous, so you will have to provide both plant and animal food sources. Even though they come from arid conditions, spray the tank with water each day to provide them with a water source, as they will not drink from a bowl. Dragons are hardy and can endure even if some mistakes in care are made early on.

• Green anole: Also known as the American chameleon, green anoles are another popular starter pet. Anoles are inexpensive, which makes them a great choice for first-time reptile owners. Anoles can be easy to care for if you meet the right requirements. They need a high-humidity environment and daily misting. These reptiles also like to climb, so you will need to prepare the cage accordingly with a tight-fitting lid and a structure they can scale. While a male and female and even two females can be kept together, never put two males together, as they will fight and likely kill each other.

• Gecko: The leopard gecko can be a great lizard for beginners. Thanks to its small size and modest needs, a gecko does not need a large tank to live in. Geckos are also tolerant to handling and can grow accustomed to frequent touching. Keep in mind that geckos are nocturnal, which means they are most active in the evening. Invest in a special reptile light designed for viewing in the dark so that you do not interfere with the animal's sleep-wake cycle. Also, try not to stress or frighten the leopard gecko. It has the ability to drop its tail if feeling threatened, which can put unnecessary stress on the animal.

• Newt: Newts are almost exclusively aquatic or require high-humidity levels. You will need a tank with an area of sloped land for eating and sleeping. Another area should be filled with water for immersion. Newts are generally a pet that should be observed rather than handled, as they have sensitive membranes or toxic skin. Colorful newts can be enjoyable to watch and require little care besides water changes and feeding.

Reptiles can make interesting and relatively maintenance-free pets. People looking for ideal starter pets may want to skip the furry in favor of the scaly.


Redesign of cityofdubuque.org Unveiled

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The City of Dubuque has launched a redesigned version of its website, www.cityofdubuque.org. The new site features a new graphic design and layout throughout the site as well as a revised navigation structure to enhance the communication between residents and their local government and increase community engagement.

The most obvious change visitors will notice is the visual portrayal of the community through larger background images and rotating photographs on the index page. A series of community photos serve as the background image and change each time visitors access the site or refresh the index page. A central "slideshow" allows a variety of images to be featured and modified as seasons change and new images of the community and City services/programs become available.

The City website now allows visitors to easily share pages/content with their contacts through a "Share" portal to a variety of social media options. It also features direct links to the City's presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube through a "Connect with Us" link on the index page.

An "Alerts" page now allows visitors to register to receive emergency and non-emergency notifications through the CodeRED notification system, receive street construction/detour notifications, and create a Smart 911 safety profile to enable faster and more informed responses to emergency situations.

The website continues to offer the "Notify Me" module, where visitors can subscribe to receive email and text notifications of City news and events. Additionally, the website serves as a central point of contact for residents and stakeholders who choose to interact with their city government online through the "Contact Us," "Report a Concern," and "Make a Payment" tools.

"The website was due for a new look, so we took advantage of this opportunity to modify the navigation as well, based on the most frequently visited pages and modules on the site," said Public Information Officer Randy Gehl. "There is a tremendous amount of information available on the site and it's a challenge to create a ‘short cut' to some of it, but we believe the redesign will help visitors quickly find what they're looking for." He said visitors are encouraged to provide feedback on the new design and suggestions on navigation by using the "Contact Us" tool to send a message to the public information office.

The redesign represents the first major design and navigation update to the site since the previous version was launched in November 2008, when the City first contracted with CivicPlus, a government website provider.


Modern Landscapes: Paintings by Grant William Thye

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Experience a modern view of Midwest landscapes in the latest exhibition at Dubuque Museum of Art featuring eleven paintings by Grant William Thye. Thye is a Chicago-based artist who also manages the family farm that he grew up on in Iowa. As a farmer and an artist, Thye has a unique relationship to the landscape. Thye paints what he knows best and in a style that brings a contemporary feel to a traditional subject.

The exhibition wll run from July 25 to Oct. 19, 2014, and is sponsored by Cottingham & Butler

A member preview for the exhibition will be held Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 5 to 7 P.M.

The Dubuque Museum of Art, located at 701 Locust Street, is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. Daily admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, free for kids every day, and free to all on Thursdays thanks to Prudential Financial.

Phone (563) 557-1851 or visit www.dbqart.com.


Is it possible to prevent cataracts?

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Millions of people are affected by cataracts, which Prevent Blindness America says is the most common cause of vision loss for individuals over the age of 40. In the United States, there are more cases of cataracts than glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration combined. 

The prevalence of cataracts makes some wonder if they can be prevented. According to The Mayo Clinic, studies have yet to determine a way to prevent cataracts or even slow their progression. However, eye doctors and other experts say that certain strategies can help keep the eyes and the body healthy, which may keep cataracts at bay.

Regular eye examinations
Visiting the eye doctor on an annual basis, or as recommended by an optician or ophthalmologist, can help detect cataracts and eye problems early on. This helps prevent vision loss and enables patients to take proactive steps to treat their cataracts. Cataract surgery, which is now a common procedure and can usually be done with local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, is a common way to treat cataracts. During cataract surgery, the lens inside the eye that has become cloudy from cataract formation is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens, or IOL, to restore clear vision.

Quit smoking
Smoking affects eyesight and eye health. Research suggests that smoking increases a person's chances of developing cataracts. The lenses of the eyes are mostly made up of arranged proteins, and sometimes these proteins stick together, breaking their careful formation and affecting the transparency of the lens. Cigarette smoke can damage the proteins in the lenses, causing them to stick together more readily, increasing the chance that cataracts develop.

Protect the eyes
Always wear sunglasses with UV protection, particularly glasses that block UVB rays, when spending time outdoors. Ultraviolet light from the sun may contribute to the development of cataracts. Remember, ultraviolet rays can be present even when it is cloudy outdoors, so make it a point to don your sunglasses before stepping outside.

Manage diabetes
Although the reasons why are still not fully understood, individuals with diabetes mellitus face a greater risk of developing cataracts. That risk may be elevated by as much as 60 percent. When increased blood sugar enters the lenses of the eyes, sorbitol forms, and both this and fructose can build up in the lenses. Increased sugar causes water to be absorbed inside the lens, resulting in swelling and increased cloudiness. By treating high blood-glucose levels, those with diabetes may be able to keep cataracts from forming.

Improve the diet
A healthy diet should be a priority for everyone, including people at a greater risk for cataracts. Eating foods high in antioxidants like beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E may help prevent cataracts. That's because antioxidants help the body to fight free radicals, which can contribute to cataracts later in life.

A 2000 article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted two Harvard University studies that noted the role of lutein and zeaxanthin in the development of cataracts. The studies noted that individuals whose diets were high in lutein- and zeaxanthin-rich foods had a 19 to 22 percent lesser chance of developing age-related cataracts than those who do not incorporate these foods into their diets in high quantities. Foods that are high in lutein and zeaxanthin include green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and peppers, winter squash and eggs.

Cataracts tend to be most noticeable when vision begins to grow cloudy. However, cataracts also can cause glares and halos; a myopic shift, in which a person who was once nearsighted becomes farsighted, and vice versa; drop in color vision; lens discoloration; and poor night vision. Those experiencing these symptoms should have an eye examination to confirm or rule out cataracts.


Keep skin healthy by knowing sunscreen facts

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The best way to care for skin is to be smart about sun exposure. Too much unprotected exposure to the sun can cause a host of problems, from premature wrinkling to skin cancer. 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, millions of cases of skin cancer are reported each year, and many more may go undetected.

The best way to protect skin from the sun is to stay out of the sun. When that is not feasible, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen can guard against damage from ultraviolet radiation.

Although sunscreen is an enormous help, it is not foolproof. Sunburns and skin damage can occur even when using sunscreen, and user error accounts for much of that damage. To get the best results from any sunscreen product, consumers can educate themselves about proper application and avoid certain information inaccuracies.

Myth: The best sunscreen is the one with the highest SPF. Actually, the best sunscreen is the one you will use regularly. Make sure you like the scent and the feel of the sunscreen. Decide if you prefer a sunscreen that is grouped together with a moisturizer or a makeup foundation. Try sunscreens that are lotions or sticks to figure out which application works best for you. Once you've found a product you like, stick with it. But make sure the sunscreen has an adequate sun protection factor, or SPF.

Myth: I only need sunscreen on sunny days. The sun can prove harmful even on cloudy days. You may not be safe indoors, either, particularly if you spend a good deal of time next to an open window. Window glass will only block certain types of UV light, making sunburn possible even if you are indoors or riding in a car. It's a good habit to apply sunscreen daily regardless of if you will be out in the sun.

Myth: Spray sunscreens are as effective as the rest. Spray products may not deliver enough sunscreen to the skin because droplets are dispersed unevenly. Furthermore, the propellents used in spray sunscreens could be harmful if inhaled. Opt for sunscreens that are applied by hand and can be adequately coated over all areas of the skin.

Myth: Sunscreen does not need to be reapplied, especially if it's water-resistant. There is no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen. The Food and Drug Administration recently prohibited the use of the term "waterproof" because consumers falsely believed their sunscreen products would not wash off. Water-resistant sunscreens will be effective for a certain number of minutes before they need to be reapplied, usually between 40 to 90 minutes. If you have been sweating profusely or have been in the pool or ocean for awhile, play it safe and reapply often.

Myth: A little drop of sunscreen is all that's needed. Many people are applying far too little sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun. The average person needs about an ounce of lotion to cover his or her entire body. Think about the size of a shot glass and use that amount.

Myth: Spending more money on SPF 50 will get me superior protection. The rate of protection from SPF 30 to SPF 50 is marginal. SPF 30 (when applied correctly) can protect against 97 percent of UVB rays. That's adequate for many people. It's most important to choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays.


Carrier's cool invention

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Few things provide such sweet relief on a hot day as stepping into an air conditioned building. It is easy to forget about the steamy conditions outdoors when cold air is reigning indoors, and the world has Willis Carrier, an American inventor, to thank for air conditioning.

Without Carrier's invention, many indoor spaces would be a lot less comfortable come the summertime. Movie theaters, trains, buses, homes, and offices would be filled with fans ineffectively moving hot air around. But air conditioning revolutionized residential and commercial comfort.

Carrier was born on October 20, 1876 in Angola, N.Y. His parents were farmers, but Willis had other ideas. He studied at Cornell University and graduated in 1901 with a bachelor's degree in Engineering.

As an engineer, he began his career working for a heating company. In 1902, Carrier was tasked with decreasing the humidity at Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing & Publishing Company of Brooklyn, a printing shop where the intense heat was wreaking havoc on printing inks, causing them to run. He created a machine that would pass air through a filter, then over coils containing a coolant, and then blow the cooled air back into the space. Carrier's invention was recognized as the world's first modern air conditioning system, and the same basic design he began devising in 1902 is still used in air conditioners today.

After several years of tweaking his design and testing it in the field, Carrier was granted a United States patent in 1906 for his invention, which was called an "Apparatus for Treating Air." Carrier continued to fine tune the air conditioning system and filed a subsequent patent for dew-point depression and other humidity-related findings.

Carrier had been employed by the Buffalo Forge Company for 12 years, but in 1915 he and six other engineers pooled their resources to begin the Carrier Engineering Corporation. The business was relatively successful until the stock market crash of 1929, when the company then merged with two other companies to form the Carrier Corporation. The business was consolidated and centered in Syracuse, eventually becoming one of the largest employers in central New York.

Air conditioners were initially only used by larger businesses, but after World War II, when the United States was in the midst of an economic boom, air conditioners began to grow in popularity, eventually finding their way into private American homes.

Today the Carrier Corporation remains a world leader in residential and commercial refrigeration, competing with companies that would not have been possible without Willis Carrier's innovation.


How to control ant infestations at home

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Few things elicit the ire of homeowners more quickly than insect infestations inside a home. Though many types of insects can find their way into a home, ants tend to be especially skilled at such invasions, causing many a headache among homeowners hoping to send their uninvited houseguests packing once and for all.

Ants are attracted to food, water and shelter, making kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms ideal havens for these unwelcome critters to congregate. Such infestations can frustrate homeowners and make them uncomfortable in their own homes, but curtailing an ant infestation need not be so difficult.

• Identify the point of entry. Upon discovering an ant infestation, homeowners should conduct a thorough inspection of their homes to identify where the ants are entering the home. Ants are tiny and capable of crawling through the smallest of cracks or gaps, so every home is vulnerable to an ant infestation. Once you discover an ant inside your home, follow the ant rather than killing it, as foraging ants are typically sent from a colony located outside the home in search of moisture and food to bring back.

• Set the bait. Once you have identified the point of entry, you can then set some indoor ant bait. Employing borax, a natural mineral found in many common household products such as hand soaps and toothpastes, as their active ingredient, TERRO® Indoor Liquid Ant Baits use ants' anatomy against them to curtail infestations. Adult worker ants cannot digest solid food, which they must bring back to the colony for additional processing. Liquid ant baits exploit this physiology by making it easy for ants to transport the liquid bait back to the rest of the colony, where more ants will ultimately succumb to the bait. In addition, as the worker ant carries the bait back to the colony, it's also dropping a pheromone trail from the bait to the nest, ensuring that other ants will know where to find the bait, which they will hungrily seek out, making it easy for homeowners to eradicate the entire colony of ants.

• Expect to see more ants after setting the bait. Baiting ants requires some patience on the part of homeowners, who should expect to see more ants appear in the hours after initially laying down the baits. That's because the bait is intentionally attempting to draw ants out and attract as many of them as possible, so the more ants you see in the first couple of days after laying the bait, the more effective that bait will be at eradicating the colony. Especially large ant colonies may take up to 10 days to curtail, but smaller infestations can usually be controlled within 24 to 48 hours.

• Address the outdoors as well. Nearly all ant infestations can be traced to a colony beneath the ground outside a home. Though ants prefer to invade the interior of a home where they can find food, water and shelter, that does not mean your home's exterior is immune to such infestations, which can typically be found by searching for foraging trails that look like a line of traffic filled with ants. That line often leads directly into a home via windows, doors, exhaust vents, faucets, sliding glass doors, and along gutters and exterior walls.

TERRO® Outdoor Liquid Ant Bait Stakes provide an effective and long-term solution to control outdoor ant colonies. Just like the indoor baits, these stakes employ a specially formulated liquid ant bait solution that attracts and kills all common household ants, including Argentine ghost ants, little black, acrobat, and pavement ants, among others. The Liquid Ant Bait Stakes have a snap off bait activation system that keeps the bait fresh until ready to use, while a see-through window makes it easy for homeowners to monitor the liquid ant bait so they know when it's time to replace the stake. Simply place the stake along ant trails or any areas outside the home where ants have been observed.

• Maintain an environment inside the home that's uninviting to ants. Once baits have been set and ant colonies have been curtailed, homeowners can take steps to make their homes less inviting to ants in the future. Clean kitchens regularly, quickly cleaning up spills or crumbs, and use an exhaust fan in bathrooms and laundry rooms to cut down on the type of moisture that may prove attractive to thirsty ants.

More information about TERRO® indoor and outdoor ant bait products is available at www.terro.com.


Explore the best of the best carnival and fair foods

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Summer is a time of year when empty parking lots or fields get transformed into magical places of wonder. When the carnival or fair comes to town, once barren spaces are filled with blinking lights and the hum of mechanical rides that treat thrill seekers to a whirling dervish of excitement. Cheers, jeers and game attendants can be heard, and the savory aroma of fried delights wafts in the breeze.

County fairs and traveling carnivals are hallmarks of summer. Comprised of vendors, games of chance, amusement rides, and more, these events attract scores of spectators.

Historians believe the 1893 Chicago World's Fair served as a catalyst for the creation of traveling carnivals. After the World's Fair closed, traveling carnival companies began to tour the United States and abroad. The idea of mobile carnivals may have also been made trendy by the popularity of amusement areas like Coney Island and Atlantic City.

Although the rides and attractions certainly entice their share of carnival and fair visitors, for many the unique culinary offerings available at fairs and carnivals are a big attraction as well. At fairs, many people indulge in foods that are best enjoyed sparingly, such as fried foods, sticky sweets and meats on a stick. The following are some of the more popular fair foods.

Cotton candy
Cotton candy is a treat many people only eat at carnivals or fairs. A form of spun sugar mixed with air to produce a large volume of sticky sweet "cotton," cotton candy was invented by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton in 1897. It was subsequently introduced to the public at the 1904 World's Fair as "Fairy Floss." Automatic cotton candy machines help make cotton candy available to market at carnivals and fairs around the world. Eat it quickly because cotton candy melts and gets messy under the hot sun.

Corn dogs
Foods served on sticks, including corn dogs, are a staple of fairs because of their portability. Corn dogs are formed by dipping a hot dog into a cornmeal batter and frying it. Many credit Carl and Neil Fletcher with the first "corny dog," served at the State Fair of Texas in 1942. Those who enjoy hot dogs and the crunch of an outer coating flock to concession stands for these salty delights.

Funnel cakes
What would a carnival be without some variation of fried dough? From Spanish churros to Italian zeppoles to regular doughnuts, there is something to be said about sweetened, chewy dough fried to form a crunchy outer shell. When dusted with powdered sugar, the confection is complete. Funnel cakes are a type of fried dough regularly sold at fairs across North America. Although the history of funnel cakes is debatable, popular opinion states they were made popular by German immigrants in Pennsylvania. Funnel cakes were once formed by pouring batter through a funnel into a hot pan of oil. Now it is usually done by pouring batter from a pitcher or through an automatic machine.

Kettle corn
Although popcorn is a popular fair food, so is its sweetened cousin, kettle corn. Kettle corn was first introduced in the early 1700s by European immigrant farmers. Corn was popped in large cast-iron pots filled with lard rendered from farm hogs. The corn popped quite quickly in the kettles and sweeteners like sugar or honey were added to the popped corn. Modern kettle corn is made in much the same way, using corn, oil, sugar, and salt. Use of sugar produces a sweet crust on the popping corn. Constant stirring is required, or the sugar will burn in the kettle.

County fairs, carnivals, street fairs and feasts are popular attractions when the weather warms up. They're heralded not only for their rides and games of chance but also for their indulgent foods.


Advertising Association Student Scholarship Winner Announced

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The American Advertising Federation (AAF) of Dubuque is pleased to announce this year's student scholarship winner:
Faith Britt, a Graphic Design major at Clarke University.

This student scholarship was open to tri-state-area college
students who had declared majors in marketing, advertising, public relations, communications, graphic design, or a related field, who excel in their area of study. A $500 check will be issued to Clarke University to apply towards her education expenses.


W&RRC Manager Receives Hatfield Award for Outstanding Performance

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Dubuque Water & Resource Recovery Center (W&RRC) Manager Jonathan Brown is the 2014 recipient of the William D. Hatfield Award for outstanding performance and professionalism in the treatment and maintenance of a wastewater plant. Brown accepted the award at a June member association meeting of the Iowa Water Environment Association (IAWEA).

The William D. Hatfield Award is presented annually to an active member of the Water Environment Federation, a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated member associations representing water quality professionals around the world.

Brown has been with the W&RRC, formerly known as the Water Pollution Control Plant, since 1979 and is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the American Water Works Association, and president of the Iowa Water Environment Association. As manager of the W&RRC, he is responsible for the operations of the plant, laboratory operations, and the City of Dubuque's Industrial Pretreatment Program. Prior to his appointment as manager, Brown served as laboratory technician, operator, laboratory manager, and assistant manager.

The William D. Hatfield Award was established in honor of Dr. William D. Hatfield, Superintendent of the Decatur, Ill., Sanitary District, who was President of the Central States Sewage Works Association in 1944-1945 and served as President of the Water Environment Federation in 1958-1959.


City Awards $210,000 in Arts and Culture Operating Support

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The Dubuque City Council recently awarded a cumulative $210,000 in funding to 16 Dubuque arts and culture organizations.

This program provides operating support funding to high-quality, established 501 (c)(3) arts and culture organizations located in the city of Dubuque that primarily serve Dubuque residents with year-round arts and culture events, programs, and services and can demonstrate a record of programmatic and administrative stability.

The Dubuque City Council approved the creation of this funding program in 2005 to play an important role in supporting the artistic and cultural development of the community. The intent of the program is to sustain and ensure long-term viability for existing arts and culture organizations in our community.

The following organizations have been awarded FY 2015 Operating Support Grants:

Dubuque County Historical Society - $40,000

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra - $37,259

Northeast Iowa School of Music - $10,061

Bell Tower Productions - $12,477

Dubuque Arboretum - $7,285

Grand Opera House - $16,394

Colts Drum & Bugle - $40,000

Dubuque Museum of Art - $18,239

Dubuque Arts Council - $3,821

Fly-By-Night-Productions - $987

Dubuque Main Street Ltd. - $5,440

Rising Star Theatre Company - $2,984

Dubuque Chorale - $1,139

Julien Dubuque International Film Festival - $4,887

Matter Creative - $6,199

Dubuque County Fine Arts - $2,828

Total - $210,000

Requests for funding were reviewed by members of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission who then forwarded their recommendations for funding to the City Council for consideration. For additional information, contact Megan Starr, Economic Development Coordinator, at 563-589-4393 or mstarr@cityofdubuque.org.


Dubuque Senior High School Class of 1969 Reunion Planned

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Dubuque Senior High School's Class of 1969 will hold its 45th Reunion on Aug. 15-16.

It starts on Friday, Aug. 15, from 5 to 7 pm in Clarke University's Atrium ($7 pp admittance).

Saturday, Aug. 16, includes a School Tour (contact Deborah Schweitzer at 563-564-1600) and a Golf Outing (contact Marsha Skinner at 563-556-1969). Dinner will be held from 6 to 11 pm in the Atrium at Clarke for $45 pp with a cash bar and music by Ralph Kluseman.

Please register at www.classcreator.com/Dubuque-Iowa-Dubuque-Senior-1969/class_index.cfm.

Before Aug. 1, you can send checks to Rick Goodin at 2170 N. 134th Ave., Goodyear, AZ 85395, phone him at (623) 764-2244 or email RCGoodin@gmail.com.



The 61st Annual Dubuque County Fair to be presented by 7G Distributing

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The Dubuque County Fair Association is pleased to announce a multi-year agreement that the Dubuque County Fair will be presented by 7G Distributing through the 2016 fair. The addition of a presenting sponsor is part of the association's comprehensive work in fundraising and branding.

"The association recognizes that to be sustainable into the future, we must be more focused on both securing
philanthropic support and more effectively branding the fair," said Jamie Blum, general manager of the association. "7G has been a partner with the fair for many years and the company is known for supporting programs that benefit the quality of life in the tri-state area. We are confident the partnership will lead to great new things at the fair in upcoming years."

"We are proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Dubuque County Fair," said Ron Kirchhoff, co-owner of 7G
Distributing, LLC. "We hope our support will help preserve this iconic event and bring joy to our community for years
to come."

As part of the presenting sponsorship, the Fair's beer garden area will be rebranded as the Bud Light Beer Garden.

The fair has also secured the generous support of many other area organizations, already doubling last year's
sponsorship totals. Other major sponsors of the fair include:

• Theisen's is a platinum sponsor of the fair and will again present "Theisen's Family Day" on Saturday, July 26. The store will also continue to sell advance ticket books and special ride bracelets for Saturday of the fair.

• Dubuque Bank and Trust will present country star Scotty McCreery with The Last Ride on Saturday, July 26.

• The Fair commercial building will now be known as the Blain's Farm and Fleet Exhibit Hall.

• The Barnyard Charge obstacle course run is presented by Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping.

• Grounds entertainment will be featured in the Hy-Vee Big Top and the Coca-Cola/Jumpin' Jane's Tent.

The Dubuque County Fair is the largest and longest-running family entertainment event in the County. This year's 61st annual event runs daily from July 22 through 27 with main-stage and grounds entertainment, one of the nation's top Midway carnival operators, the 4H barns and creative arts exhibits, fair food offerings (including the legendary lemonade) and more.

To learn more about the fair, visit www.dbqfair.com.


Illness has impact on job performance

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People who want to be more productive at work may be able to skip learning seminars or extra school courses and simply focus on personal health, including taking mental health concerns seriously.

Personal illnesses are not only bad for employees but also bad for business. A survey by CCH, a leading provider of human resources and employment law information, has found absenteeism can mean billions of lost revenue for U.S. businesses. The nation's largest employers estimate that unscheduled absenteeism costs their businesses more than $760,000 per year in direct payroll costs, and even more when lower productivity, lost revenue and the effects of poor morale are considered.

One of the primary reasons employees miss work is poor health stemming from stress and depression. About 14.8 million American adults suffer from depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Depression is the leading cause of disability among young adults in the United States. Canadian studies looking at lifetime incidences of major depression found that roughly 8 percent of adults over 18 years of age met the criteria for a diagnosis of major depression at some time in their lives.

Depression is not just passing feelings of sadness. It is a persistent feeling of worthlessness or helplessness that is often accompanied by loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Depression may cause sleep disturbances, decreased energy and an inability to concentrate.

Stress, anxiety and depression are often linked. Stress may trigger anxious episodes, which in turn can lead to depression. Anxiety and depression progress together because obsessive worrying keeps a person in an increased state of arousal that results in depression at its most severe, say mental health experts.

Many people fail to take their health concerns seriously or fear the ramifications if they admit a "weakness." Some continue to try to plow through at work, which is neither productive for the employee nor his or her employer. Lack of concentration may lead to mistakes made on the job.
It is in everyone's best interest to make good health a priority. To do so, individuals can follow these guidelines.

• Don't overlook symptoms that may be indicative of depression or anxiety. Visit a doctor and talk about how you have been feeling. According to a recent large-scale study published by the Rand Corporation, depression results in more days in bed than many other ailments (such as ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis). Staying in bed for extended periods of time could be indicative of mental illness.

• Sit down with your employer and explain what is going on. You do not want him or her to simply think you are goofing off on the job. If your employer values your work, then that employer will help you out during a period of illness. You also may be entitled to extended time off through the Family Medical Leave Act.

• Put yourself first. You cannot help others without first helping yourself.

• Consider talking with others in similar situations. There are many support groups that take place both online and in person.

• Recognize that stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It may compound blood pressure issues and tax the cardiovascular system.

• Depression and anxiety are more common than you might think. At any given time, one employee in 20 is battling depression.

• Employers can be on the lookout for signs of problems and confidentially approach employees to determine the source of poor performances on the job. Some employers offer counseling as part of employee benefits.

Employees should not take their health lightly, especially when illnesses like depression and anxiety can impair their abilities to do their jobs. Mental and physical health can have a trickle-down effect on job performance. Employees and employers can work together to come up with solutions.


Swallowing water can be fatal hours after leaving the pool

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Drowning is a danger any time of the year and wherever water is present. Instances of drowning escalate in the summer, when more people are apt to spend time in the pool or at the seaside. But drownings can occur year-round, and young children are at the greatest risk of drowning.

While many people are familiar with the risk factors that lead to drowning, many have never heard of secondary drowning, a related condition that can occur hours after leaving the water.

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death across the globe, accounting for almost 400,000 deaths annually. When a person drowns, he or she takes water into their larynx and lungs, which is known as aspiration. Lack of oxygen in the body causes bodily systems to shut down, and cardiac arrest and brain damage can result.

Secondary drowning, also known as dry drowning or delayed drowning, is a post-immersion respiratory syndrome. It occurs when water or another fluid has entered the lungs but has not caused enough initial trauma to result in fatal drowning. However, water that has gotten inside the lungs may cause damage to the inside surface of the organ, collapse alveoli and cause a hardening of the lungs that reduces the ability to exchange air. The body may also retaliate against the foreign water by drawing more fluid into the lungs. Over time, the lungs will suffocate themselves, which is why dry drowning can occur hours after exiting the water.

Children tend to be more prone to dry drowning than adults. Parents are urged to keep careful watch over children who experienced distress in the water, which may have resulted in the inhalation of fluid. Furthermore, the children who are most at risk for dry drowning are those with known breathing or lung problems, including underdeveloped lungs or asthma.

The following are potential indicators of secondary drowning. Prompt action should be taken if any of these signs are noticed after an adult or child leaves the water.

• Persistent cough: Anyone who has swallowed water will cough and sputter as the body attempts to naturally expel the water. But persistent coughing that lasts long after the water has been breathed in may be indicative of water aspiration in the lungs.

• Confusion: Difficulty understanding verbal instructions or not being able to form words or thoughts may be a symptom of dry drowning.

• Pain: Chest pain is a strong indicator of water aspiration.

• Trouble breathing: Difficulty breathing long after a person has been swimming may indicate secondary drowning.

• Lethargy: Extreme tiredness or a sudden lack of energy may be indicative of a problem.

Monitor for the symptoms of dry drowning anytime a person swallows water. Keep the person nearby and do not allow him or her to go to sleep, as some children have died from secondary drowning in their sleep.

If you notice any symptoms of dry drowning, take the person exhibiting those symptoms to the hospital, as this is not something that can be treated at home. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, a person would only have to inhale four ounces of water to drown and even less to injure his lungs enough to become a victim of secondary drowning. Emergency room physicians can remove residual water from the lungs and administer life-saving oxygen.

Although not all instances of swallowing water will result in dry drowning, it is beneficial to understand and learn to recognize secondary drowning symptoms so fast action can be taken if necessary.


Outdoor restaurant dining tips

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"Dining out" takes on an entirely new meaning in temperate climates or when summer arrives. Rather than being cooped up inside for meals, diners flock to cafes and restaurants that boast al fresco seating to enjoy a bit of scenery and fresh air with their meals.

When the sun comes out and the breezes are warm, blooming gardens and trellis-covered restaurant patios can be ideal dining spots to grab a meal. Good food combined with a hearty dose of fresh air can make everything from a cappuccino to a hamburger taste better.

Considering the best outdoor-dining spots can fill up quickly, and enjoying a meal outside takes a bit of finesse, follow these tips to make the most of any outdoor-dining experience.

• Make a reservation. Outdoor seating is not always easy to get. To ensure you will have a spot at your favorite restaurant, call ahead and reserve a table. Otherwise, you may have to wait quite a while for a table to become available or be forced to sit inside.

• Scout out restaurants beforehand. If you are hoping to try a new restaurant that boasts outdoor dining, plan a visit to see the layout of the space. Many restaurants, even those without ample outdoor space, cater to the outdoor-seating crowd, even if their outdoor dining area is limited to a handful of cafe tables placed near the curb. Unless you want to spend your meal with pedestrians walking by or inhaling car exhaust fumes, visit the restaurant ahead of time to ensure that the outdoor seating is more amenable to an enjoyable meal.

• Choose restaurants with overhead coverage. It is one thing to want to eat outdoors, and entirely another to be subjected to the wrath of Mother Nature. An outdoor seating area should be comfortable, offering the best blend of fresh air and ample protection from the elements. Umbrellas or a covered patio can provide shelter should it start to drizzle or you need relief from the summer sun.

• Don't assume an outdoor restaurant is pet-friendly. Just because there are outdoor tables does not mean you can bring your pooch along. If you will be spending the day with your dog and then want to enjoy a lunch or dinner outdoors with your pet, verify that a restaurant is pet-friendly before meal time. Do not leave a dog unattended in a hot car and waiting for you to finish a meal should you discover the restaurant is not pet-friendly.

• Expect some uninvited guests. Dining outside means bees, flies, birds, and other animals. Those who are deathly afraid of all buzzing insects may want to eat indoors instead.

• Check for a dedicated outdoor waitstaff. Unless there is a waitstaff assigned to outdoor seating, you may spend more time than you anticipated waiting for service outdoors. Waiters may not realize you are outside, and it can be easy to forget about patrons who are not seated in the heart of the restaurant. Restaurants accustomed to serving guests outdoors will have staff assigned to outdoor seating areas, particularly during busy times of the day. 


Be safe with fireworks this season

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Fireworks are synonymous with summer. They mark special occasions, festivals and warm-weather holidays like Independence Day. When handled by professionals, fireworks can be quite the spectacle. However, if lit by amateurs, fireworks can be very risky.

Though they offer awe-inspiring views, fireworks can be dangerous. According to data collected in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 7,000 people in the United States were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained from fireworks during the period of June 20 to July 20, 2008. Nearly half of all people injured were children under the age of 15. Most injuries occurred to young people under the age of 20.

The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program states that fireworks injuries often occur around the injured patients' homes, and fireworks injuries require hospitalization far more often than injuries that do not involve fireworks.

All types of fireworks have an inherent danger, even sparklers. Sparklers burn at more than 1,000 F and can ignite clothing very quickly. Those who take an active roll in the lighting and shooting of fireworks are more prone to injury. The most common injuries include burns and injuries to the eyes caused by cuts and foreign objects lodged in the eyes.

Although fireworks injuries are common, they also are largely preventable. The following are a few safety tips aimed at helping people avoid injury when enjoying fireworks displays.

• Keep your distance. It is important for all people watching fireworks to keep their distance from explosives. Even the best-made fireworks can sometimes veer off course and fly into spectators. The further the distance away the display is, the better chance for safety.

• Avoid amateurs. Professional fireworks companies know the ins and outs of fireworks and often have safety procedures in place. Fireworks may be ignited remotely by a computer or an electronic fuse device, keeping people away from ground zero. An amateur may not have the dexterity or skills to get away from the lit firework in time. When enjoying fireworks, just make sure the person putting on the show is a professional.

• Exercise caution around fireworks. Some people construct their own fireworks from spare parts or try to up the ante by adding an accelerant to achieve a bigger boom. These practices are dangerous and can lead to highly unpredictable explosions. It's never good to make your own fireworks show, but if you find yourself at a party where someone is experimenting with fireworks, exercise extreme caution.

Fireworks can be a fun spectacle when handled by professionals in a safe manner. Families can consider watching a city- or town-sponsored fireworks display instead of risking injury with at-home pyrotechnics. 


Dos and don'ts of fireworks

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As the mercury rises, the parties and festivities that have come to signify summer excite revelers far and wide. Summer has become the season of pool parties, trips to the beach, barbecues, and, of course, fireworks.

Love it or hate it, warm weather seems to beckon neighbors out of hibernation and incites a desire to set things on fire. When cooking over an open flame doesn't satisfy that desire, many take to shooting off bottle rockers and whistlers. But fireworks can still be dangerous, and not everyone is equipped or legally allowed to ignite fireworks. Therefore, to avoid potentially dangerous injuries, fines or arrests, it pays to follow these fireworks dos and don'ts.

DO find out if fireworks are legal in your area. If you have to travel over state lines or into another country to purchase fireworks, there is a good chance you are not allowed to use fireworks in your community. There are many regulations regarding the sale, transport and use of fireworks, so be sure you're not breaking any laws before buying any fireworks.

DON'T buy fireworks from just anyone. You want to ensure you are purchasing them from a reputable retailer of legal fireworks.

DO check any safety guidelines and warnings on the wrapper of the fireworks before lighting them.

DON'T light fireworks near people, trees, homes, or any combustible materials.

DO keep a fire extinguisher or water hose nearby in the event of a fire. The National Fire Prevention Association notes that the Fourth of July features more reported fires than any other day of the year.

DON'T forget that sparklers and firecrackers are no safer than other types of fireworks. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1200 F, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns and is hotter than the temperature it takes to melt glass.

DO leave fireworks to the professionals to avoid injury or fire.

DON'T light more than one firework at a time.

DO wait 15 to 20 minutes after lighting a firework to see if it has ignited. If not, dump the firework in a bucket of water and move on to a fresh firework.

DON'T let small children handle and light fireworks.

DO make every attempt not to store fireworks. If you purchase them, use them all up. However, a cool, out-of-the-way place may suffice for a day or so.

DON'T have any part of your body over the firework when lighting it. Try to use a lit stick or butane lighter to keep as far away as possible.

DO say no to alcoholic beverages when lighting fireworks. Your perception and dexterity can be compromised by alcohol.

DON'T shoot fireworks off in windy conditions. Otherwise, make sure the prevailing wind is blowing away from the audience.

DO wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.

DON'T shoot fireworks off of uneven ground. To ensure stability, always light them on a hard, flat and level surface.

DO use common sense at all times when in the presence of fireworks.

DON'T assume pets and children will enjoy the loud noises. Make accommodations for a quiet respite.

DO make sure spectators keep their distance. They should be 25 to 40 feet away from ground-based items and even further for aerial products.

Fireworks can be beautiful to watch and often signify special moments and celebrations. Safety should always be on the minds of people spending time around fireworks.


5th Annual Super Run/Walk

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Color the Way to 5K

Sertoma's 5th Annual Super Run/Walk will be held August 9, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. at Swiss Valley Nature Trails in Dubuque. The route will start at the Swiss Valley Nature Center and procede along the Scenic Trail. A 1/2 mile Kids Fun Run, for kids 12 and under, will start at 7:30 a.m.

Medals will be awarded to the top 3 places in each age group including the Fun Run. In addition, a runner's statue will be given to the top overall male and female runners.

Entry fees are $25 for adults through Aug. 1 (includes free T-shirt), or $30 after Aug. 1 (includes free T-shirt only if any are still available). Entry fee for the Kids Fun Run is $5 (T-shirt NOT included).

For more information call Nancy Adams at 563-590-0504, email nadams1069@aol.com or visit SertomaDBQ on Facebook.


How open windows benefit the environment

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Warm days full of sunshine give homeowners good reason to open windows and let fresh air into their homes. Not only can open windows boost mood and create an inviting living space, but open windows also can be good for the environment. 

• Open windows improve indoor air quality. Indoor air pollution has been described by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a primary environmental health problem. Indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than outdoor air. In addition, the American College of Allergists states that 50 percent of all illnesses are caused by polluted indoor air. Because many homes are built to be air-tight to conserve energy and money, unhealthy levels of air pollutants can build up inside homes when windows remain closed. These pollutants may include radon gas, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes from paints and solvents and leached chemicals from modern building and furnishing materials. Opening windows for extended periods of time allows fresh air to spread throughout the home. Houseplants can also filter indoor air and make it healthier to breathe.

• Open windows reduce energy consumption. A cool breeze entering a home through open windows can reduce the temperature inside of a home without having to turn on fans or air conditioners. This not only helps individuals save money, but also it reduces reliance on electricity and fossil fuels. Opening several windows on opposite sides of the home can create a cross-breeze that will keep the home cool without the help of energy-guzzling appliances. Open attic vents can release hot air trapped inside the house as well.

• Open windows reduce reliance on chemical air fresheners. Fresh air can quickly remove odors from a home. These can include old cooking smells, cigarette smoke, pet odors, or simply stale air. By opening windows, homeowners can clean the air in their homes naturally without covering it up with chemical air fresheners or other cleaners. The fresh air itself may simply smell good, or this pleasant aroma can be enhanced by blooming flowers or other natural scents from outdoors.

• Open windows cut down on use of cleaning products. A home that never gets any fresh air can quickly succumb to allergens such as dust, dander and soot, necessitating the use of vacuums and other cleaning tools and products. But open windows can greatly reduce the buildup of such allergens, and therefore reduce reliance on appliances that guzzle energy or products that release harmful chemicals into the air.

Open windows allow fresh air to flow throughout a home, improving personal health and benefitting the environment at the same time.


Stay cool without air conditioning

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Hot, steamy weather can derail the best intentions of reducing energy consumption. As temperatures soar, few can resist the temptation to crank the air conditioning unit and relax in some frosty comfort. However, relying too heavily on air conditioning can compromise the efforts of men and women hoping to reduce their carbon footprints. 

It is estimated that up to 50 percent of electricity used during the warm weather season is for air conditioning. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says energy consumption for home air conditioning accounts for more than 8 percent of all the electricity produced in the United States, costing homeowners more than $15 billion annually. This translates to roughly 195 million tons of carbon dioxide, an average of almost two tons per year, for homes with air conditioning. Air conditioning costs and energy usage vary widely depending on the type and age of a unit, the size of a home, how well air conditioners are maintained and many other factors.

Air conditioners work similarly to refrigerators. Evaporator and condenser coils either distribute cool air into the home or release hot air outdoors. When an air conditioner is running, a great deal of heat can be expelled outdoors. Air conditioners use pumps known as compressors to transfer heat between these components. Refrigerant fluid is pumped through the tubing and fins surrounding the evaporator and condenser coils. When the fluid reaches the indoor coil, it evaporates, taking heat with it and cooling the air that will be pumped inside. The pump then moves the gaseous refrigerant over to the outdoor coil where it condenses, transferring that heat to the air that will be expelled from the building. Compressors, fans and additional components of air conditioning systems require a lot of energy and power.

Reducing reliance on air conditioning can lower energy bills and benefit the environment. Before turning on your air conditioning unit this summer, consider these cooling tips.

• Keep the blinds and shades drawn. Sunlight entering a home can quickly create a hot-house environment. To prevent such a situation from materializing, draw the curtains or blinds, particularly on windows that are south- or west-facing. This will cut down on the amount of heat that enters the home.

• Use cool water. Run your hands, head and feet under cold water. This will cool down the blood in key pressure points of the body and keep you feeling cool for an hour or more.

• Switch to LED or CFL bulbs. Incandescent bulbs produce more heat than light, contributing to warmer ambient air. Light-emitting diode or compact fluorescent lights not only use less energy but also run much cooler.

• Run fans in a counter-clockwise position. Ceiling fans come equipped with a switch that enables you to change the blades' spinning direction. Counter-clockwise will draw the cooler air up from the floor and distribute it throughout the room.

• Dress sparingly. While in the comfort of home, wear minimal clothing to remain cooler. Sleep in less clothing and remove covers if you're finding it difficult to get a good night's rest.

• Change your home's color scheme. A light-colored roof and siding will help reflect the sun's rays rather than absorb them. This can make a home considerably cooler.

• Plant shade trees. Trees can stop sunlight from baking a home or backyard. Trees also absorb and sequester carbon dioxide emissions, which makes them beneficial to the environment for a variety of reasons.

• Open windows and doors at night. Open windows to allow cool nighttime air to enter. Open interior doors (including closets) to allow trapped, hot air to be released. This may help cool the home down a few degrees.

• Avoid steam and heat-producing appliances. Dishwashers, ovens and hot showers can add extra heat to an already warm home. Wait until the evening before running appliances. Stick to cool showers and cook outdoors if possible.

• Insulate your home. A home that has a well-insulated attic and walls will keep the heat out of the house during the hotter months of the year.

Air conditioning systems use a great deal of energy, but eco-conscious homeowners can explore other methods of keeping cool to help lessen their reliance on air conditioners this year.


Mel Brook’s THE PRODUCERS at the Grand Opera House

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The Grand Opera House 5th annual high school/college all-star musical production is Mel Brook' The Producers. This hysterical, tuneful romp sets the standard for modern, outrageous, in-your-face humor.

The plot is simple: a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers (all "little old ladies") out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes wrong: the show is a smash hit! The antics of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom as they maneuver their way fecklessly through finding a show (the gloriously offensive "Springtime For Hitler"), hiring a director, raising the money and finally going to prison for their misdeeds is an insanely funny adventure.

Director Joe Klinebriel returns for his fourth summer show at the Grand with Musical Direction by Kristen Eby and choreography by Megan MacLeod. Leading the talented all-star ensemble of young performers is Austin Rea as Max Bialystock with Aaron Gonner is Leo Bloom. Both also had leading roles in Oliver this summer. Ulla, their beautiful secretary, is played by Maggie Schmitt.

Executive Director Paul Hemmer says, "The Produces is the perfect blend of traditional Broadway with contemporary comedy. It's as full of gags, gadgets and gimmicks as an old vaudevillian's trunk. With a wonderful cast, great costumes, exciting choreography and a big orchestra in the pit, how can you go wrong?"

Tickets for The Producers, which can be seen July 25-27 & 31 and Aug. 1-3, are: $22 advance for adults &$25 at the door; or $12 for those under 21. Tickets are available online at www.thegrandoperahouse.com, by phone at 563-588-1305 Monday-Friday from noon to 4 pm and 1 hour before show time, or in person at the Grand box office, 135 West 8th Street, Dubuque, IA 52001.

The Grand offers FREE PARKING in the Iowa Street ramp.

The Producers is sponsored by Dupaco Community Credit Union, Cottingham & Butler, Fuerste, Carew & Juergens, LLC, Mel's Carpet Outlet, Steele Capital Management and US Bank.


Get on the road to recovery by identifying depression

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Nearly everyone feels down at one point or another. But when feelings of sadness stretch on and are accompanied by other symptoms, normal sadness might have given way to depression.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate depression affects one in 10 American adults at different levels, while Statistics Canada says around 5 percent of Canadians have reported symptoms that meet the criteria for a mood disorder, including depression.

Many sufferers of depression believe it is a personal weakness and something they should be able to control, but mood disorders are recognized mental illnesses that say nothing about a person's strength of character. Often brought on unexpectedly, mood disorders like depression cannot be traced to a single root cause. Many within the medical community believe depression is genetic, and oftentimes doctors treating patients for depression discover a history of depression among their patients' immediate family members.

Many different genes may act in combination to cause a mood disorder. In 2011, a British team isolated a gene that appears to be prevalent in families in which multiple members suffer from depression. The chromosome, 3p25-26, was found in more than 800 families with recurrent depression. External factors also can play a role in the onset of depression.

According to the CDC, certain groups are more likely to meet criteria for depression than others. These include women, people ages 45-64, African-Americans, Hispanics, and people with less than a high school education.

There are unique symptoms associated with depression. Not every person with this mood disorder will exhibit each and every symptom, but the following symptoms appearing together are often an indicator of depression:

• feelings of sadness and loss

• feelings of irritability

• loss of pleasure in usually enjoyed activities

• changes in sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or sleeping too much

• difficulty concentrating

• frequent headaches

• noticeable lack of motivation

• anxiety and panic attacks

• withdrawal from friends and family

• inability to make decisions

• recurring thoughts of suicide or self-harm

People exhibiting symptoms of depression should first reach out to their primary care physicians, who can begin a preliminary diagnosis and look for symptoms indicative of depression. A doctor also can perform blood work to rule out other conditions that may be contributing to problems with mood, such as hormonal changes or illnesses.
Some doctors may refer patients to a mental health professional who is much more qualified to treat mood disorders. A mental health professional will likely conduct an interview with the patient and pay considerable attention to the patient's medical history.

Gaining a stronger grasp of a patient's symptoms enables doctors to prescribe the most effective courses of treatment. Treatments range from medication to talk therapy to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Those who do not respond to more conventional treatments can discuss further options with their doctors. 

Patients who are prescribed an antidepressant medication should expect several weeks to pass before the medication is fully effective. Antidepressants are not universally effective, and people being treated for depression or another mood disorder should not grow discouraged if one course of treatment is ineffective. Many treatment options are available to people with mood disorders.

Those who think they may be suffering from depression should first remember that they are not alone. Millions of people have depression at points in their lives or may experience recurrences of the condition. Visiting a doctor promptly can help sufferers of mood disorders address their conditions more quickly.


Dubuque’s Irish Hooley Entertainment Line-up Set

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Dubuque's Irish Hooley, Inc. has announced the entertainment line-up for the 10th Annual Irish Hooley on Friday, August 22, and Saturday, August 23, 2014. This
year's music festival will feature a new "acoustic set" on Friday night in the Mississippi Moon Bar and the traditional outdoor music event on Saturday at the Alliant Amphitheater in the Port of Dubuque.

The 2014 music lineup includes local favorites The Lads (Saturday only) and the Donegal, Ireland sister act The Screaming Orphans along with a trio of Scottish groups: Manran (Friday only) plus Skerryvore and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The "Chillis" will bring their full brass section, dancers and a new light show to take full advantage of the outdoor stage under the stars on Saturday night.

A special treat at this year's event will be the Salute to the Armed Services featuring Dubuque's American Legion Color Guard backed by both the Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro William Intriligator. The Dubuque Symphony will provide music for the presentation of colors by the American Legion as well as offering a specially arranged "Gaelic Set" at the conclusion of the salute.

The weekend celebration will also include another first: the Hooley Hustle 5K Run & Walk scheduled for Saturday morning in the Port of Dubuque and presented by the Dubuque Jaycees in partnership with the Irish Hooley. Participants will receive admission to the music festival
along with a race T-shirt and other prizes.

More details will be available shortly at:
www.dubuquejaycees.org. For more information contact Heather Blackmore at 815-821-2571 or

The new concert on Friday night at the Mississippi Moon Bar in the Diamond Jo Casino will feature an exclusive performance by the Scottish group Manran and short sets from The Screaming Orphans, Skerryvore and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

According to Festival Director Michael Lange, "We're calling this the ‘Hooley Unplugged' and the idea is to introduce our audience to Manran and offer a more intimate showcase for several of Saturday's performers.
They will be playing music that won't be heard on Saturday as well as working together to offer a fun and different show than our larger crowd will see at the Alliant Amphitheater. The goal is for all the groups to work together to offer something really different, more like an authentic pub session."

Tickets for the Friday night showcase ($15 in advance) and a limited number of deeply discounted weekend passes ($20) will be sold while they last. These and all tickets for Saturday's show ($12 in advance and $17 at the gate) will be sold through the regular festival outlets including all Premier Bank locations, Shamrock Imports and Hospice of Dubuque. For the first time there will also be a special $5 admission fee at the gate on Saturday for any student with a valid school ID.

"We're very pleased to celebrate our 10th year of the Irish Hooley by bringing four great international touring acts to our music festival including our first visits by Scottish band Manran and Irish group The Screaming Orphans, as well as the return of Skerryvore and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. With our Scottish and Irish bands and the participation of local favorites The Lads, the McNulty School of Irish Dance, the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque's American Legion Post 6, our local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums, as well as food and merchandise vendors and our Silent Auction, we will have a fantastic weekend of music, food, dance and culture."

The Irish Hooley is a two day, family oriented event presented by the Irish Hooley, Inc. and its partners including the Diamond Jo Casino, Shamrock Imports, Stone Cliff Winery, the Dubuqueland Irish, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums, American Legion Post 6, the Hotel Julien Dubuque, Matthews Distributing, A.Y. McDonald Company, The Irish Cottage, Vinny Vanucchi's and Family Beer & Liquor and is sponsored in part by Premier Bank. It celebrates Irish and Celtic music, culture and heritage and is a fundraising event benefitting local charities and supporting Irish cultural activities throughout the year.

For a full line-up of the weekend's activities and more information, please visit www.irishhooley.org or
call Shamrock Imports at 563-583-5000.


Preschool Hour and the Outdoors

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The Mines of Spain Recreation Area will be holding free nature programs for children age 2 to 5. The program is sponsored by Iowa DNR and the Friends of the Mines of Spain.

The first program will be held June 12 at 10:30 am to 11:30 am. The program will be held by a park naturalist to discover the wonders of nature. Crafts, hikes, and other activities are used to engage the child with a fun and informative program. The theme will be The Outdoors. Activities will be provided along with a tour of the center.

Nature plays a powerful role in children's health and development. This program is provided to give children the opportunity not only to experience nature, but to simply be outdoors for a time.

Other programs for ages 2 to 5 will be held June 19 and July 3, 10, 24, 31.

After the programs or at other times during the week continue exploring the E. B. Lyons Interpretive Center or the trails that wind through the Mines of Spain Recreation Area.

For more information about this program, other programs or the Mines of Spain Recreation Area call the E. B. Lyons Interpretive Center at 563-556-.0620 or go to www.minesofspain.org.


Head Start Openings Still Available

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Head Start has openings for children who have turned 3 years of age on or before Sept. 15, 2014. 

Head Start is a free, federally funded preschool program serving chidren and families in Dubuque, Delaware and Jackson Counties. Ten percent of Head Start's funded enrollment is offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. Children attend Head Start classes four days per week at a minimum of 22 hours per week from August through May.

Qualified staff members provide comprehensive services in education, health, nutrition, and social services to all Head Start children. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities and receive nutritious meals. Services are offered to meet the individual needs of each child and their family. Head Start staff assists families as much as possible with the offering of transportation services for some of the sites.

Persons interested in more information about our Head Start Program should call their local Operation: New View Community Action Agency Outreach Office or contact Vickey Vivian at (563) 556-5130 ext. 31.

Operation: New View Community Action Agency is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. All programs and services of the agency are available to all persons who meet qualifications regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex or familial status; and in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


CityChannel Dubuque to Air ‘From the Archives’

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The City of Dubuque Cable TV Division is tapping into its media vault to unveil a new showcase on CityChannel Dubuque titled "From the Archives." This new showcase features old programs and video footage recorded by Cable TV personnel since the mid-1980s and often shows a Dubuque that looks much different than the city we know today.

"From the Archives" programs include the placing of the bell tower on City Hall in 1990, an interview with noted Iowa artist and one-time Dubuque resident Francesco Licciardi in 1989, architect Alfred Caldwell's 1991 return to Eagle Point Park to see the buildings he built there in the 1930s, music from the Iowa Sesquicentennial celebration in Eagle Point Park in 1996, and footage from the Grand Excursion in 2004.

"From the Archives" presents one program per week airing at four different times on CityChannel Dubuque: Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., Fridays at 2 a.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m. Following each airing will be a promotional announcement for the next week's program. "From the Archives" will premiere on Tuesday, June 10, at 9 a.m. with the 1988 Field of Dreams press conference at Carnegie-Stout Public Library featuring stars James Earl Jones and Kevin Costner.

For the past six years, Cable TV Coordinator Craig Nowack and Video Producer Erich Moeller have been gradually digitizing old videotapes stored in the basement of City Hall Annex. "‘From the Archives' is a fun way to look back at some of Dubuque's recent history, and a great way to see what Dubuque used to look like," said Nowack.

CityChannel Dubuque is the City's government access cable channel found on channel 8 or digital 85.2 on Mediacom's cable system in Dubuque.

The channel is also streamed live on the City's website at www.cityofdubuque.org/media.

Viewers can access the channel's program guide at www.cityofdubuque.org/cabletv.

"From the Archives" programs will eventually be available for on-demand playback on the City's website.


Recognize safety hazards during yard work

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Attention, all green thumbs – and the bodies attached to them: It's nearly time to get down and dirty in the garden. 

Whether you're transforming your backyard into an award winner or just trimming the lawn, the CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization, asks that you remember the following safety tips:

Yard Work

• Always ensure that products such as electric lawnmowers, barbecues, power tools, ladders, decorative lights, extension cords and safety apparel carry the mark of a recognized certification organization, such as CSA Group.

• Read the manufacturer's operating instructions and use products only as intended.

• Wear protective eye and footwear.

• What's that you say? Wear hearing protection when operating loud machinery, vehicles or tools.

Power Lawnmowers

• Know your mower and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

• Look for these safety features: a rear guard to protect your hands and feet from rotating blades; a "deadman" control that stops the mower when you release the handle; and an "up-stop" feature to prevent the handle from kicking up when the mower hits an obstacle.

• Clear the lawn of sticks, stones, wire, toys and other objects (including that screwdriver you lost in the grass last summer), as they could get caught in the machine or flung by the blades.

• Wear clothing that provides some protection, including long pants, a shirt with sleeves and firmly-tied shoes with non-slip soles and hard toes.

• Never cut the grass when it's damp or wet, or when there is rain or lightning. Wet conditions greatly increase the risk that you will slip, suffer electric shock or clog the mower.

• Always mow in daylight, never at twilight or in the dark. Keep your eyes on the lawn and look ahead (at least three feet) for debris.

• Shut off, unplug and engage your mower's safety devices before removing clogged grass clippings.

• Shut off the mower immediately if you hit an object. Check for damage and do not restart it unless you're sure it's safe to do so.

• As suggested by its name, always push rather than pull a push mower.

• All extension cords should be untangled, in good repair, have a three-prong plug rated for outdoor use and be of the recommended gauge for the load.

For more information on CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org.


How parents can help youngsters learn to swim

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What would summer be without days spent frolicking at the beach or afternoons spent splashing in the pool? Fun in the water makes hot days more enjoyable and bearable, and few summertime activities do not involve water play in one aspect or another. 

Although time spent in the water can be refreshing and entertaining, water does present certain hazards, particularly for those who do not know how to swim. Learning to swim, especially at a young age, is adviseable and a great way to remain safe around the water.

The World Health Organization says drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death across the globe, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths. Children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning. In general, children under five years of age have the highest drowning mortality rates in the world, though adult males in Canada and New Zealand drown at higher rates than children.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should consider swimming lessons for most children between the ages of one and four. New research has revealed that swimming instruction for children between the ages of one and four may decrease drowning risk.

However, parents should be advised that swimming lessons do not remove all risk. Children still need constant supervision when in and around water. Additionally, learning CPR can be a life-saving measure.

When enrolling children in swim lessons, parents should look for safety-certified instructors who have first aid and resuscitation training and certification. Many programs offered are sponsored by the American Red Cross or the YMCA/YWCA. Private swim clubs may have their own instructors.

Children between the ages of one and three typically do not have the motor coordination to swim effectively. These children can benefit from swim lessons that emphasize getting used to the water, safety and learning some swimming readiness skills. Instruction may involve teaching children how to move their legs and arms and strengthen muscles used for swimming. Children between the ages of four and five may be more developmentally ready for swimming. Such youngsters may move from water-safety lessons to actual swimming with or without support.

A study titled "Children's readiness for learning front crawl swimming" published in The Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport showed that whether kids "started lessons at two, three or four years of age," they learned to swim well at "approximately the same mean age of five and a half years."

In addition to swimming lessons, parents and other adults can ensure water safety by taking the following precautionary measures:

• Children should never be left unattended in the water. It takes mere inches of water for a youngster to drown.

• In the pool or another body of water, caregivers should be within touching distance of young swimmers to provide help if needed, even if the child is wearing a floatation device.

• Keep rescue equipment by the pool.

• Remove toys from the pool when it's not in use. These toys can attract children who will go in after them.

• A fence around the perimeter of the yard may be mandatory, but a fence around the pool itself is another safety barrier to consider. The fence should feature a self-latching gate.

• Even adults should be watched while swimming. It is always a safe idea to swim with a buddy, so that the other person can get help if something goes wrong. 


Jule ‘Nightrider’ Evening Service Summer Hours

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The Jule will continue its Nightrider service on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer with modified service hours.

This summer's Nightrider hours of operation will be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, May 30, through Saturday, August 16. Minibus service is also available during these hours and must be scheduled at least one day in advance.

The Nightrider route is open to the public and provides service every 30 minutes to west-end and downtown shopping, dining and entertainment venues and receives financial support from the Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program and Clarke University, Loras College and the University of Dubuque.

For more route and fare information or to view the Nightrider map and schedule, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/Nightrider or call 563-589-4196.


Safety tips for outdoor meals and entertainment

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The warm weather is finally here, so it's time to get ready for that first backyard barbecue bash.

CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization, offers these important tips for a safe, seamless summer soiree – try saying that three times quickly!

Outdoor gas barbecues

• Before firing up the grill for the first time, carefully inspect burners and burner tubes for blockages due to dirt, grease, insects or rust build-up. Clean or replace any blocked parts with certified replacement parts (or have a licensed technician do it).

• Check for cracked, brittle or leaking hoses by applying a 50/50 solution of soap and water to hoses and fittings. Turn on the main gas or propane valve while leaving burners off. Any leaks will show up as bubbles. Replace any damaged hoses or fittings.

• Propane cylinders must be inspected and re-qualified every 12 years in the United States. A date stamp on the cylinder indicates when it was last qualified. Do not use a rusty or damaged cylinder. If in doubt, replace your tank.

• Keep grills and barbecues away from combustible materials such as fences, trees, buildings, awnings and carports.

• No matter how hard it's raining, never use a barbecue in a garage.

Decorative lighting

• It's time to remove the holiday lights. These lights are designed to be temporary and can be a fire hazard if left out too long.

• When installing decorative lighting on patios or along walkways, inspect the packaging and electrical cords to make sure that it's certified and marked for use in an outdoor or wet location.

• Turn off the electricity supply before the work begins and unplug lights when possible.

• Carefully inspect lights and lamps to make sure there are no broken or cracked sockets or housings, and no bare or frayed wires.

For more information on CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org.


Bald Eagle Lead Exposure Related to Lead Ammunition

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Mississippi Moon Bar Announces Iconic American Band!

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Mississippi Moon Bar has announced that iconic American band The Beach Boys will appear there on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 for two shows!

The Beach Boys are an American Rock Band formed in 1961 whose early music gained popularity across the United States for its lyrics reflecting Southern California's youth cultures of surfing, cars and romance. The Beach Boys continue to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut over 50 years ago.

The Beach Boys are best known for their classics "Surfin'," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," "Help Me Rhonda," "California Girls," Grammy nominated "Good Vibrations" and the Golden Globe nominated "Kokomo," which became the bestselling single ever. The band appeared on countless worldwide TV shows throughout the years including The Ed Sullivan Show, Dick Clark's American Bandstand and The Tonight Show. They were also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, won a NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, and were listed at number twelve on Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."

In addition to founding Beach Boy Mike Love and Beach Boy-vet Bruce Johnston; Christian Love, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill of The Cowsills and Scott Totten round out the band.

The Beach Boys will appear at two shows at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Ticket prices range from $39 to $99 and will go on sale at 10:00am on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at DiamondJoDubuque.com; the Diamond Jo Casino's Diamond Club or by calling 563-690-4800.

Visit DiamondJoDubuque.com to view all upcoming concerts, comedy, Club 84 and other special events at Mississippi Moon Bar. Mississippi Moon Bar is age restricted. Must be 21 years or older.