Area Tidbits

Team Registration Open for ARK Advocates’ Roll N Shoot

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ARK Advocates is hosting its 2nd annual Roll N Shoot wheelchair basketball fundraising event on Saturday, October 13th at Courtside Sports Bar & Grill. All proceeds from this event will stay local to support individuals with disabilities in our community with respite, financial assistance, adaptive sports and lending library equipment.

There is still time for teams to register for the event at

Teams will be able to "roll" in someone else's shoes during the 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball tournament that will take place on two courts. This is designed for able-bodied team members to gain perspective of persons with disabilities.

Team registration is $300, with a limit of 10 teams of 3-10 players each. Also, local adaptive sports athletes will be featured during the day.

The public is welcome to join. There will be food and drink specials at Courtside, face painting, silent auction, prizes, and a free throw contest.
ARK Advocates stands for Advocacy, Respect, and Knowledge. We are a not-for-profit organization which creates a greater awareness in the Dubuque area for what types of services the ARK can provide for persons with disabilities. ARK Advocates is a group of concerned adults
and parents advocating with and for the needs of persons with disabilities.


Memorialize a Loved One at the 2018 Reflections in the Park

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Work on the 2018 Reflections in the Park is well underway with volunteers making adjustments to the lights and selling displays. After seeing over 13,900 cars and an estimated 48,600 visitors at the 2017 Reflections in the Park, Hillcrest Family Services is poised to continue setting records at its annual Louis Murphy Park lights display. In 2018, visitors will see many new displays, many holiday favorites including our one-of-a-kind "Memory Lane".

"Memory Lane" is an opportunity for you to remember your loved one(s) in a special way during the Christmas Holidays at Reflections in the Park. It will feature an arch with "Memory Lane" in lights over the beginning and lined with star-lit street lights that will represent your loved one's presence. Those being remembered in "Memory Lane" will have their name printed in the 2018 Reflections in the Park booklet and on a banner next to the display. It's a great way to memorialize your loved one during the holiday season and help Hillcrest help others.

Reflections in the Park, presented by Dubuque Bank and Trust, is a Hillcrest Family Services charitable event. It is planned, marketed, set up, operated, and deconstructed entirely by volunteers providing over 3,500 hours of their time. Volunteers and sponsors help make Reflections in the Park a significant form of funding for the 30+ programs and over 45,000 people served by Hillcrest Family Services.

For more information about "Memory Lane", please contact Darlene Bolsinger at or call 563.845.0378.

Submissions due by October 15, 2018.


Planning for Healthy Trees Starts Now

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By Barb Grabner-Kerns, Trees Forever Program Manager

Fall is an excellent time to plant trees, so now is the time to start planning. Here are a few suggestions to get that tree off to a good start.

Select the Right Site and Species - Consider the site and why you are planting the tree. You may want energy savings - shade trees on the southeast or southwest corners of your house for cooling or windbreaks on the northwest and north side of the house to help with winter heating bills. Perhaps you are thinking of trees that benefit pollinators and wildlife or from which you can harvest fruit. Or you want a tree that beautifies your yard and increases the value of your property.

When selecting a site and species, remember:

• Consider the mature size of the tree- is there space? Are you far enough away from overhead and underground utilities? Far enough away from fences, sidewalks and buildings? Always remember to call the appropriate utility locater service before digging.

• Consider the soil type and moisture content and if the tree needs sun, partial sun or shade.

Planting diverse kinds of trees is so important. For example, most cities have an overabundance of maples, so while they are beautiful trees, it is better to plant a diversity of species. If we learned anything from the devastation of the Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch elm disease, it's that we need to plant many different kinds of tree species so that when a disease or pest invades, we do not lose all our trees.

It is also important to select species that are resistant to storm damage. While no tree can survive a direct hit from devastating storms, some species are a little more resistant to wind, flooding and ice. For suggestions on species that may do better, see Trees Forever's Homeowner Guide series at:

Avoid invasive tree or shrub species especially if you live near woods! Invasive species can be vigorous growers that escape to the woodlands and crowd out young native trees. Some species to avoid are ornamental callery pears (Bradford and other cultivars), Norway maples, burning bush and Japanese barberry. Trees native to the area where you are planting are always better.

Proper Planting and Early Tree Care
When selecting a tree at a nursery, look for:

• Good form with a strong leader (central vertical trunk)

• Evenly spread branches

• Avoid trees with circling roots, a buried root flare or dead branches. You can ask the staff to remove the tree from the pot so you can inspect the roots.

Other Tips:

• Don't plant too deep! Dig the hole at least twice as wide as the diameter of the root ball and so the root flare is at or above the level of the surrounding ground.

• Cut any circling or pot bound roots and gently tease the roots outward, away from the ball.

• Do not add amendments to the backfill soil. That will only encourage the roots to circle around the ball.

• Water the tree when it is planted and if it does not rain an inch every week thereafter, water slowly and do not overwater. Water until the ground freezes and for the first several years of its life- especially if it is hot and dry.

• Mulch 2-4 inches thick and keep the mulch several inches from the trunk to prevent trunk decay.

For more details on tree planting and care see:


City Seeks Input on Curbside Collection Operations

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The City of Dubuque will kick-off a new project to evaluate its curbside collection of trash, recycling, organics and large item collection with an event at the Dubuque Farmers Market on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The City is collaborating with Foth, a science and engineering consulting firm, to review the City's curbside collection operations and start planning a path towards Zero Waste. The study will review current curbside collection operations and evaluate potential options for automating the collection for trash (i.e. increase efficiency and safety of collections), seek community input to develop a path towards Zero Waste, and evaluate financial models for funding.

To launch the public engagement portion of the project, the City of Dubuque Public Works Department will host a "touch a truck" display from 7 a.m. to noon at this Saturday's Farmers Market. Residents are invited to stop by the display to share their thoughts on the curbside collection program and bring their family to see, touch, and safely explore one of Dubuque's curbside collection vehicles. They will have the opportunity to sit at the steering wheel, check out the controls, and meet some of the people who operate the vehicles each day to collect trash, recycling, organics (yard debris and food scraps) and large item collection throughout Dubuque.

Residents will also have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the curbside collection program and the path towards Zero Waste objective through an online survey that will be promoted through the City's Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor accounts (@CityOfDubuque) and by visiting

For more information, please contact the City of Dubuque Resource Management Coordinator and Supervisor at 563-589-4249 or


"Just to Live is Holy" Opens at Dubuque Museum of Art September 22

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Exhibition of Women Religious Artists Includes Works by Internationally-Known Pop Artist, Sister Corita Kent

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA)'s fall exhibition will touch on a unique aspect of our region's artistic and cultural heritage.

Opening September 22 in the Falb Family Gallery, Just to Live Is Holy: Women Religious and a Tradition of Art, Faith, and Justice highlights the work of more than a dozen artists affiliated with a religious order, each of whom has made a unique contribution to our understanding of the relationship between art and faith.

The exhibition was first conceived of more than three years ago and organized by the DuMA, with the assistance of a community advisory committee representing area congregations.

A highlight of the exhibit will be the inclusion of works by internationally-known artist Sister Corita Kent (American, 1918-1986). Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa a century ago, Kent taught at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles for more than two decades, where the artist developed a signature style, blending bold color, popular imagery, and verse to form a language at once personal and universal.

Recent traveling exhibits of Kent's work have visited museums across the country, including the Harvard Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; the Andy Warhol Museum, and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Kent has also been the subject of numerous features in leading media outlets, including The Guardian, National Public Radio, and the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

Works by more than a dozen noted local and regional women religious artists are included in the exhibition. Participating artists include: Louise Kames; Sr. Helen Kerrigan, BVM; Sr. Margaret Mear, BVM; Sr. Blanche Marie Gallagher, BVM; Sr. James Ann Walsh, BVM; Sr. Carmelle Zserdin, BVM; Sr. Barbara Cerny, BVM; Sr. Catharine Wall, OP; Sr. Joeann Daley, OP; Sr. Chiara Pauloni, OP; Sr. Barbara Cevenka, OP; Sr. Kay Cota, PBVM; Sr. Carrie Link, PBVM; Sr. Marie Barth, PBVM; and Meinrad Craighead.

Lenders to the exhibition include the Corita Art Center in Los Angeles; Iowa Women's Archive, University of Iowa Libraries; Sioux City Art Center; St. Mary's University; Sinsinawa Mound - Dominican Sisters; Mt. Carmel - Sisters of Charity, BVM; Louise Kames; and Bob Neumann.

A fully-illustrated catalogue is being published in conjunction with the exhibition and will include essays by Dr. Paulette Skiba, BVM, professor of religious studies at Clarke University; Louise Kames, chair of the Art Department at Clarke University; Sister Rhonda Miska; and John August Swanson, a Los Angeles-based artist and former student of Corita Kent.

Related programs and exhibitions will take place at Clarke University and the Sinsinawa Mound Center, including the exhibition "In Her Spirit", on view now through September 30 at the Quigley Gallery on the Clarke University campus.

A number of related public programs are planned in conjunction with the exhibition, including:

Exhibition Preview Event
Friday, September 21
5-8 pm
$10 admission; Museum members free

Community Day & Smithsonian Day Live
Saturday, September 22
10 am - 4 pm
FREE admission

• Complimentary refreshments and tours throughout the day

• Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Women Making History

• Celebration of community art projects, including Little Luxuries mural project and Marshallese sculpture

• "Women of Dubuque" Portrait Project with Ellen Dettmer

Mount Carmel Art Tour with Kate Hendel
Sunday, October 7
2-4 pm
Members FREE; $10 guests

Famous Dead Artist: Corita Kent
Saturday, December 2
1:30 pm

Just to Live is Holy continues through January 6, 2019.

DuMA is located across from Washington Park in historic downtown Dubuque at 7th and Locust Streets. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., Saturday & Sunday 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. The museum is closed on Mondays. Daily admission rates are: $6 Adults, $5 Seniors, and $3 College/University Students. The museum is free on Thursdays, and those 18 and younger receive free admission every day, thanks to Prudential Financial. Website:

About the Dubuque Museum of Art: The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA), founded in 1874 and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 2004, is Iowa's oldest cultural institution. Named a national affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2016, DuMA's mission is to excite, engage and serve diverse communities within the Tri-State area through our collections, exhibitions and educational programs. We connect generations of people to their cultural heritage and exceptional art.


Make the most of your home improvement dollars

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Home improvement projects provide homeowners with a chance to put their own stamp on their homes. In addition, many such projects make homes safer and, in some instances, more eco-friendly.

The opportunity to make a home more comfortable, safer and/or more eco-friendly entices many homeowners to open their wallets. In fact, the Home Improvement Research Institute estimates that the home improvement products market will grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.

Homeowners might experience some sticker shock when researching home improvement projects or receiving estimates from contractors. But there are ways for budget-conscious homeowners to transform their homes and still make the most of their home improvement dollars.

• Do your homework. Each year, Remodeling magazine publishes its "Cost vs. Value Report," a comprehensive study of 21 popular remodeling projects in 149 United States markets. The report notes the value each project retains at resale in 100 markets across the country. Homeowners who want to get the strongest return on investment can access the "Cost vs. Value Report" ( to see which home improvement projects are best suited for them.

• Do some of the labor yourself. Homeowners willing to swing a hammer also can stretch their home improvement dollars. For example, the home improvement resource This Old House® notes that homeowners willing to do their own demolition before the contractors arrive can save substantial amounts of money. A professional contractor may charge $1,000 to demo a 200-square-foot deck, but This Old House estimates that homeowners who demo their own decks may spend only $450 (for the dumpster rental and parking permit).

• Hire a consultant. The DIY movement is incredibly popular, no doubt thanks to television channels such as HGTV and the DIY Network. Homeowners with DIY experience may be able to complete projects on their own with little consultation from professional contractors. Some contractors may not offer consulting services, however. The consultation route, which typically requires paying licensed contractors hourly fees to offer guidance, should only be considered by homeowners with legitimate DIY skills, for whom this option can be a great way to save money.

• Schedule renovations during homeowner-friendly times of year. Summer and fall tend to be contractors' busy seasons, and homeowners will likely pay more for projects during this time of year. If possible, delay starting projects until right after the new year, when contractors aren't so busy and might be more flexible with pricing.

Budget-conscious homeowners can employ various strategies to make the most of their home improvement dollars without sacrificing quality.


The nation celebrates Hispanic heritage

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Each year between September 15 to October 15 people observe and celebrate the unique histories, contributions and cultural influences of Hispanics. 

Hispanic people are those who hail or whose ancestors hail from South America, Central America, Mexico, Spain, and areas of the Caribbean. Throughout early autumn, Hispanic culture and history is celebrated. The dates of Hispanic Heritage Month is significant because it includes the anniversaries of independence for various Latin American countries. September 15 marks when Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua achieved independence.

The first official Hispanic heritage commemoration was observed in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. It was expanded in 1988 under then-president Ronald Regan to encompass a full month. Enacted into law on August 17, 1988, National Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated ever since.

The term "Hispanic" refers to people who can trace their lineage to Spanish-speaking nations. Hispanic also includes Latinos, who originate from Latin American countries. Nearly all Latinos also can be classified as Hispanic, with the exception of Brazilians because they speak Portuguese. People from Spain would be considered Hispanic, but not Latino. Other Latin American countries that are French-speaking, like Haiti, also cannot be classified as Hispanic.

According to Hispanic Research Inc., the Hispanic demographic in the United States includes people from more than 20 countries. For marketing and research purposes, as well as classification, these nations and territories are primarily listed as Hispanic.
• Argentina
• Bolivia
• Chile
• Colombia
• Costa Rica
• Cuba
• Dominican Republic
• Ecuador
• El Salvador
• Guatemala
• Honduras
• Mexico
• Nicaragua
• Panama
• Paraguay
• Peru
• Puerto Rico
• Spain
• Uruguay
• Venezuela

When mid-September arrives, the Americas and their Latin American neighbors pay homage to the very influential and ever-growing Hispanic population. It is a time of food, festivals and fanfare.


Strategies parents can use to motivate students

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Students may need some time to adjust at the beginning of a new school year. Summer vacations typically lack the structure of the school year, and it might be unfair to expect kids to seamlessly slip back into their more regimented lives as students.

While some early school year sluggishness might be normal, that should wear off pretty quickly. If not, and students appear to be struggling to get motivated for their schoolwork, parents can try various strategies that should help reignite youngsters' passions for learning.

• Make your home more school-friendly. Summer is a relaxing time of year when parents have a tendency to relax rules around the house. But come the school year, parents must make sure their homes are as conducive to studying as possible. Resist the urge to turn the television on each night so students are not distracted from their studies. Keep the home quiet so students are motivated to focus on their studies.

• Encourage participation in extracurricular activities. Various studies have examined the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance. A 2002 study published in the journal Sociology of Education found that participation in extracurricular activities is associated with improved grade point average, increased college attendance and reduced absenteeism. The link between participation in extracurricular activities and improved academic performance is still in need of study, but such participation may help children acclimate to the structure of the school year more quickly than they might if they do not participate in such activities.

• Encourage curious youngsters. Kids are curious, and fostering that curiosity can be a great way for parents to get their kids excited about learning. Whether it's during the school year and part of their curriculum or on summer break, encourage kids to engage in subjects that interest them. As kids learn more about the topics and subjects that interest them, they may develop a passion for learning that they can then take with them to the classroom.

• Express an interest in the subjects children are studying. Another way to motivate students at the dawn of a new school year is to express an interest in the subjects they're studying. Ask questions about their studies and encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions. Engaging students about the subjects they're studying can motivate them to explore those subjects more deeply than they otherwise might.

Motivating kids to be excited about their schoolwork at the dawn of a new school year can sometimes be difficult. But parents can employ various strategies that can help their children readjust to life in the classroom and motivate them to perform to the best of their abilities.


The various benefits of farm-to-table

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Few things are more satisfying than biting into a fresh tomato right from the garden or seasoning a meal with herbs picked from a windowsill greenhouse. Restaurants recognize the value of such experiences, and more and more are relying on locally sourced products in their kitchens.

The farm-to-table movement is not new, but it has gained momentum as consumers become increasingly enamored with the flavor and environmental impact of locally sourced foods. The National Restaurant Association found that farm-to-table food was one of its top 10 trends for 2015. Furthermore, the group says that one in five consumers are willing to pay more for local food, and 41 percent admit that locally sourced ingredients influence their decisions when choosing where to dine.

Newcomers to the farm-to-table dining experience may not understand all the fuss surrounding this popular trend. The following are some of the key benefits of farm-to-table.

• Peak freshness and ripeness: Local produce ripens on the plant and can be harvested at the last possible minute before it turns up on a plate. This helps ensure that it contains the highest amount of nutrients and flavor, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Food that has to travel further is often picked well before it is ready, ripening on the way to stores or other vendors.

• Better for the environment: Food that needn't travel far before reaching diners' plates saves roughly 500 gallons of diesel fuel to haul produce a distance of 1,500 miles. This conserves fossil fuels and prevents harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere.

• Supports neighboring farms: Supporting farm-to-table restaurants and other eateries keeps business local in two different ways. It not only benefits local restaurants, but it also directly supports neighboring farms, fisheries and other suppliers.

• Accessibility to seasonal choices: Farm-to-table eating provides a wide variety of in-season foods. This can translate into tastier foods because they are grown and harvested during their optimal growing season.

• Reduces factory farming: According to, the informational resource powered by, farm-to-table and local farming can reduce reliance on large, profit-driven corporations that may focus on maximum production over animal health and welfare. Local farms may be more inclined to treat their animals well and institute sustainable practices.

• Learn about the community: A person might live in an area and never know that a local vineyard is in the vicinity or that a producer of straight-from-the-hive honey is nearby. Exploring farm-to-table resources can open people's eyes to local businesses doing great work in and around their communities.

Farm-to-table is a popular movement that people are embracing for various reasons.


American Legion POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony

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The American Legion Post #6 is pleased to present its Annual Dubuque & TriStates POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony on Friday September 21st commencing at 6:00 p.m. outside the Post #6 Clubhouse located at 1306 Delhi Street (corner of University Avenue), Dubuque, Iowa.

The ceremony will be held at the outdoor flagpole, with a cake cutting inside the clubhouse right after the ceremony. For inclement weather, the ceremony will take place inside the clubhouse.

The POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony will begin with a welcome by Post #6 Historian and Past Commander Gary Kircher. He will be assisted by Past Commanders Bill Kubler, Dick Bridges, & Jack Galle.

The Guest Speakers will include Elaine Papendick, POW/MIA coordinator; Dan Hefel, a former Vietnam POW; and Bill Winders, author of the book "Finally Home," the story of Dan Hefel's Vietnam tour and time as a Vietnam Prisoner of War.


Contact any of the following for more information:

Post #6 Historian Gary Kircher
(563) 580-5163,

Post #6 Commander Bob Felderman
(563) 213-0398, or



American Red Cross Seeks Nominations of Iowa Heroes to Honor at Hy-Vee Heroes Game

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Nominations can be made online now through Sept. 30

Do you know someone who has performed an extraordinary act of courage or dedicated countless hours to a special cause? The American Red Cross and Hy-Vee are looking for those unheralded and selfless citizens who have gone above and beyond in their everyday lives.
A hero from both Iowa and Nebraska will be honored during halftime at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City when the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers play in the Hy-Vee Heroes Game on Friday, Nov. 23. Nominations for heroes are being accepted now through Sept. 30 on the Red Cross Serving Greater Iowa's website.

"The Hy-Vee Heroes Game is a great opportunity for all of us to recognize citizens who take action to help others, offering their assistance in difficult and often dangerous situations," said Brad Waller, assistant vice president of community relations for Hy-Vee.

"The American Red Cross thanks Hy-Vee for joining in this effort to honor everyday citizens who engage in heroic acts," said Leslie Schaffer, the Iowa regional executive for the American Red Cross. "We are proud to be a part of recognizing these amazing individuals who offer help to others in crisis."

People who are nominated to be a hero must be at least 18 years of age and live, work or go to school in Iowa; however, their act of heroism or good deed need not have occurred in the state. Recipients will receive tickets to the game and on-field recognition. They also will have their name and hometown inscribed on the Hy-Vee Heroes Game trophy.

Nominations can be made at:

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Hy-Vee, Inc.:
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 245 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $10 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy- Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America's Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company's more than 80,000 employees provide "A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle" to customers every day. For additional information, visit


Student cyber security precautions

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Thanks to advancements in technology, students and educators are increasingly turning to tablets and computers when working on daily assignments and classroom activities. Students rely on the internet for research and keeping in touch with teachers and other students, and work is even assigned and completed via digital platforms.

Despite the upside of technology, cyber crime is a potential pitfall of all that time spent online. The internet provides instant access, and that can put students at risk.
According to Verizon's 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, the education sector ranked sixth in the United States for the total number of reported "security incidents." Schools are data-rich, meaning they give hackers access to information like identification numbers, birthdates, email addresses, financial data, medical records, and more.

Students must understand cyber security risks when working and sharing data online. The following are some tips students can follow.

• Protect passwords. Students are urged to keep their passwords to themselves. This prevents others from using accounts maliciously or even in seemingly harmless ways that can put you in trouble, such as searching for inappropriate content in school. Choose complicated passwords that can't be easily guessed, and opt for two-step authentication whenever offered.

• Use secured WiFi networks. Free or open WiFi connections are not encrypted, meaning they can be accessed by anyone. Many cyber criminals gain access to information through these channels. Schools should have encrypted systems in place.

• Limit what you share on the internet. Students are urged to be aware of what they share online. According to DataManagement, a computing service, information posted to social media is permanent, and deleted items aren't necessarily gone. Exercise caution on social media. Don't post unless it is something you would be comfortable sharing in public.

• Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing usually occurs through fraudulent email messages that mimic the look of reputable solicitations. Scammers rely on these tactics to tempt people to click on links or download attachments that can put malware on a device and steal personal data. Exercise caution with all links and downloads.

• Schedule routine backups. Data can be lost if a device crashes, so routinely back up personal devices and home computers. Backups can be stored on external hard drives or with cloud services.

• Exercise caution when filesharing. UC Santa Cruz's information technology services says viruses and malware can be transmitted by filesharing software, and files offered by others may not be what they say they are. Only use school-approved filesharing options.

Cyber security is something students should prioritize this school year. The right security measures can protect students, their classmates and their schools.


Riverview Center Awarded Grants

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Riverview Center is honored to serve survivors of sexual assault and their significant others through free and confidential services. Regardless of means, our clients receive high-quality, professional support, including a 24-hour crisis hotline; legal, medical, and general advocacy; one-on-one therapy, counseling, and support groups; professional trainings; and violence prevention initiatives.

THERAPY SERVICES FUNDED BY UNITED WAY: To serve survivors of sexual assault and their significant others in Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, and Winneshiek (services in some zip codes in Fayette and all of Winneshiek County are available due to additional funders), Therapist Nikki Brevig provides free and confidential therapy services for survivors of sexual assault and their significant others. Nikki is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, completed her 700 hour practicum at Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health, and graduated with an MA in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in December 2017. To schedule an appointment, please call 563-380-3332 or the 24-hour hotline: 888-557-0310. These services are made possible by funding from the United Way of the Dubuque Area Tri-States, United Way of Winneshiek County, Oelwein Area United Way, Cedar Valley United Way, Clayton County Board of Supervisors, Fayette County Board of Supervisors and Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION FUNDED BY UNITED WAY: To prevent sexual violence before it starts, Preventionist Kristen Field partners with agencies in Dubuque, Jones, Delaware and Clayton Counties to provide professional trainings, to create and strengthen systems to prevent sexual violence, and provide information through community events, including collaborations with schools, colleges, disability services providers, human services, first responders, social clubs, and others. The Preventionist completed an assessment of 175 community stakeholders with a sphere of influence of 17,277 youth to identify local needs. To schedule programming, please call 563-557-0310. These services are made possible by funding from the United Way of the Dubuque Area Tri-States, the McDonough Foundation and Sexual Violence Prevention funds through the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

For the past twenty six years, Riverview Center has proudly provided the healing and justice survivors of sexual violence deserve, free of charge. We are a nonprofit agency committed to providing free, confidential, compassionate, client-centered care for individuals affected by sexual violence in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Jones, Linn and Winneshiek Counties in Iowa; and for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence in Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties in Illinois. Riverview Center is creating a community free of violence by empowering individuals, fostering empathy, and developing social skills that emphasize respect, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution.



The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for A Christmas Carol

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The Grand Opera House will present A Christmas Carol, directed by Frank McClain and based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Performances are on November 23, 24 & 30 and December 1 at 7:30pm and November 25 and December 2 at 2:00pm.

Auditions will be held:
1:00-3:00 PM Saturday, September 29th
6:00-8:00 PM Sunday, September 30th

Call backs are scheduled for:
1:00 PM Saturday, October 6th

Actors wishing to audition but unavailable to arrive at the start of the audition time should call the Grand Opera House business office at 563-588-4356 to make appropriate arrangements.

Auditions will be held at the Grand's Rehearsal space in the Arcade Building, 880 Locust St., Suites 222 and 228. Please enter though the alley entrance located between Locust and Main. When you enter go up just past the first hallway and take the stairs on the left to the second floor. The rooms are right at the top of the stairs.

Rehearsals will begin Monday, October 15th. Those auditioning should be prepared to list all conflict or potential conflicts between October 15th and November 17th. Availability for evening dress rehearsals November 18th - 21st and all performances is mandatory. There will not be rehearsal on November 22nd (Thanksgiving). Rehearsals may possibly run anytime from 6-10 pm Monday through Friday and various times on the weekend depending on necessity. NOTE: Rehearsal dates and times are NOT set in stone and will be determined by the availability of the cast!

Actors will be asked to read from the show and sing, a capella, a traditional Christmas Carol of their choosing. Audition sides will be available from the Grand Opera House Business Office in advance or on the day of the audition and can be picked up between 9:00am-4:00pm Monday-Friday or emailed upon request by contacting Frank McClain at For additional information please contact Frank McClain.
Roles (seeking actors of all ages):
Ebenezer Scrooge - The miserly owner of a London counting-house
Bob Cratchit - Scrooge's clerk, a kind, mild, and very poor man with a large family.
Jacob Marley - Scrooge's equally greedy partner, a ghost condemned to wander the world bound in heavy chains.
The Ghost of Christmas Past - The first spirit to visit Scrooge, takes Scrooge on a tour of Christmases in his past.
The Ghost of Christmas Present - The second spirit to visit Scrooge, with an oversized and jovial countenance.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come - The third a silent phantom clad in a hooded black robe.
Fred - Scrooge's nephew, a genial man who loves Christmas.
Mr. Fezziwig - The jovial merchant with whom the young Scrooge apprenticed.
Mrs. Fezziwig - Jovial like her husband and warm hearted.
Belle - A beautiful woman who Scrooge loved deeply when he was a young man.
Mrs. Cratchit - Bob's wife, a kind and loving woman.
Peter Cratchit - Bob's oldest son
Martha Cratchit - Bob's oldest daughter, who works in a milliner's shop.
Tiny Tim - Bob Cratchit's young son, crippled from birth.
Fan - Scrooge's sister as a girl in his vision of Christmases past.
Scrooge as a boy
Scrooge as a young man
Charitable Men or Women - Two people who visit Scrooge at the beginning of the tale seeking charitable contributions.
?There are many speaking roles within the ensemble such as street vendors, well to do ?passers-by, party guests, shop girls and boys, children etc. ?The production will feature the singing of traditional Christmas Carols.

• A Note On Casting: Specific ages or age ranges for individual characters have intentionally been omitted. For this production it is more important that the actor be able to convey the essence of the character and his or her general age. Also adults and children of any age or gender may audition for the "Ghosts".


Leaf peeping planning guide

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Millions of people each year look forward to the magnificent colors on display in autumn. Fall offers irreplaceable views, whether you're atop a mountain ridge or thick in the folds of a forest. In addition, the crackle of leaves underfoot and the earthy smell of the soil tempts the senses even more.

Some advance planning can help make fall foliage trips that much more enjoyable and awe-inspiring.

Peak viewing times
Areas of the northern-most latitude will start to show color earlier than more southern areas. Generally speaking, the leaf-viewing season begins in late September and runs through early November for much of North America. Peak times for viewing depend on areas of travel and time of year. For large swaths of Canada and the United States, plan trips for late-September to mid-October. The Weather Channel offers maps and charts at for the peak times for many areas of the U.S.

Pick your destination
Anywhere with deciduous trees provides the opportunity to witness blazing autumn color. During leaf-peeping season, travelers can go coast to coast and see awesome vistas. Some regions are particularly known for their leaf displays. New York's Catskill and Adirondack regions are prime spots for visitors in the autumn. Those who live further north will find that leaves in Vermont are such an attraction that routes are published indicating where to enjoy the best views. Further south, Central and Eastern Virginia peak in late October. And don't forget the shores of the Great Lakes, which are awash in reds, oranges and yellows by mid-September. The travel resource Frommer's offers more leaf-peeping locales to visit.

Pack the right gear
While most people are not without a smartphone that can capture amazing high-resolution imagery, serious leaf photographers may want to take out their prized camera equipment for leaf-peeping excursions. Also bring along a map or a GPS-enabled device so you can explore back roads and areas off the beaten path more readily.

There are plenty of apps that can help with foliage-finding adventures, so a phone is a handy tool. When packing, also bring along hiking boots, comfortable layered clothing and any equipment you'd normally take for an afternoon in the great outdoors.

Another idea is to hit the ATM machine prior to the visit. Many smaller towns and their local shops may not take credit cards, so it's best to have cash on hand for food and souvenirs.

Extend the day
Make leaf-peeping part of a larger series of events for the day. Scope out vineyards where you can sample local wines or plan trips around orchards, where you can come home with beautiful photos as well as fresh-picked apples and pumpkins. You may find a county fair or street festival while exploring.


How to prevent sports injuries in young athletes

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Sports are a great tool to teach young people various lessons. Sports can instill a sense of teamwork and responsibility in youngsters while promoting a physically active lifestyle that can benefit kids into adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 30 million children participate in youth sports in the United States each year. Unfortunately, many of those young athletes suffer injuries while participating in sports. Injuries might be seen as an almost inevitable byproduct of participating in sports, but the CDC notes that more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable. Parents and children can work together to prevent injuries.

• Speak with your young athlete about pain. Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends parents discuss pain with their young athletes, encouraging them to speak up and seek help if they feel pain or if any part of their bodies does not feel right after playing sports.

• Emphasize safety during practice. It's easy to overlook sports practices when considering sports-related injuries, but Safe Kids USA notes that 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice. In spite of that, Safe Kids reports that one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions during practice that they would during a game. Parents and coaches can emphasize to children that sports safety should be a priority during both practice and games.

• Get a sports physical. Preseason physicals are typically required for scholastic athletes, but that might not be so for recreational athletes. Even if leagues don't require sports physicals, Johns Hopkins advises parents to schedule such exams anyway. Such examinations can determine if kids are fit to play and may uncover injuries or conditions that may make kids vulnerable to injury.

• Encourage adequate rest. Johns Hopkins notes that the most common injuries among young athletes are overuse injuries that involve soft tissue. These injuries affect bone, muscle, ligaments, and/or tendons. Overuse injuries can lead to stress fractures characterized by a lack of swelling and feelings of pain and tenderness during movement. Encourage rest between practices, games and events, and make sure to schedule an offseason for young athletes so their bodies have time to recuperate before the next season.

Young athletes' injuries are often preventable, especially when parents and children work together and communicate about any aches or pains kids might be feeling.


Simplify paving stone installation

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Paving stones can add beauty to walkways, driveways and backyard patios, providing that eye-catching finishing touch to a property while enhancing its curb appeal.

Even though the installation of pavers can be a labor-intensive process, with the right tools and tips, this can be a do-it-yourself project for homeowners with renovation experience. Consider these tricks and how-to tips courtesy of The Home Depot, DIY Network and Unilock.

Get your supplies
To begin a paver project, homeowners will need to stock up on some supplies they may not already have at home. Marking paint, mason line, wooden stakes, leveling sand, paver base, and more will be required. A manual tamper can be used. However, for larger areas, it can be worth the cost to rent a plate compactor.

Measure the area
The number of bags of sand, paver base and paving stones needed for the project depends on the size of the area. For example, according to the Home Depot, for 60 square feet, homeowners will need about 30 12 x 12-inch paver stones, 40 bags of paver base and 12 bags of paver leveling sand.

Spray or mark the area where the paving stones will be laid. Measure carefully so you can order exactly how many stones you will need. Have the materials delivered to reduce heavy lifting and trips to the store. Be sure to have all utility lines marked prior to excavation to avoid damage.

Prepare the base carefully
One of the most important aspects of paver installation involves preparing the base. If you cut corners in this process, the finished results can be sloppy, weeds can grow through and/or stones may loosen.

It's essential to grade the area away from the house. That means that the highest point of the patio or walkway should be closest to the house and then the incline gradually flattens out as it moves away from the home. This allows proper water runoff. Mark the height on the stakes and adjust the mason line. Remember to slope the area away from your home with a drop-off of about one inch for every 8 feet.

The base of many DIY applications should be between four and six inches deep. Work incrementally, raking and tamping until the base is firm. Lightly wetting the material can help it solidify.

Sand helps inhibit weed growth and anchor the pavers together. Plastic lining will not be practical.

Use edge restraints and a string line to keep the design straight. Do not hammer the pavers together. Paver sand will need to be swept over and settled between the stones to help set them in place.

It helps to read tutorials and watch videos on paving stone installation prior to beginning the project. With practice, the installation will go more smoothly.


How to build your home bar

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Many people enjoy opening their homes to friends or family. In fact, according to the National Eating Trends survey and custom research by the NPD group, in 2016 the average person ate 38 meals at other people's homes. 

Knowing how to cook, set the mood and entertain is increasingly important for many homeowners. Installing and outfitting a home bar can provide guests with the features of a night out, only without the crowds or bar tabs that come at the end of the night. A home bar is a place where hosts and their guests can gather and enjoy great conversation. Such a spot also can serve as a neighborhood hangout - a smart choice for those who want to indulge safely and not have to drive home afterward.

Creating a home bar need not be a difficult project. By investing in basic equipment, stocking up on preferred liquors and gaining some mixology expertise, hosts can impress and entertain their guests.

Establish a bar setup
Home bars can range from rolling carts to built-in wet bars to a single tray of items. Space in a home will dictate the kind of bar homeowners can have. Rolling bar carts are popular and versatile, and they can be kept stationary or rolled in and out of a room as needed. If a bar cart is open, organization is key, as you don't want it to look unkempt.

A full-blown wet bar will require more construction, including plumbing and electricity if you need outlets for plugging in appliances. Wet bars are ideal in dens, renovated garages and finished basements.

Stock up on equipment
A new home bar requires barware and glassware. Various drinks are best served in requisite glassware and prepared with the right equipment. A home bar will benefit from a muddler, jigger, cocktail shaker, strainer, ice cube trays, and bar spoon. Glassware can include short glasses, tall glasses and wine glasses with stems. Martini glasses provide a chic look and are practical for those who prefer cosmopolitans and martinis.

Fill it with spirits
No bar is complete without alcohol and mixers. Homeowners can buy the types of spirits they love and complete their bars with the basics for mixing. When stocking a bar, keep in mind that everything does not have to be top-shelf. Vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whiskey are some of the more popular spirits. Simple syrup, fresh fruit, club soda, cola, and bitters are examples of versatile mixers.

Entertaining guru Martha Stewart says to have enough supplies on hand for guests. Expect each person to have three drinks (requiring three glasses), use a pound of ice, and three cocktail napkins per two-hour party. Don't forget to also have nonalcoholic items on hand for those who don't imbibe.


Calm the chaos on busy school mornings

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Mornings can test the patience and stamina of busy families as adults and children hurry to get out the door on time. Starting off the morning already stressed can lead to feeling tense throughout the rest of the day. 

There is no magic formula to make mornings less hectic, but the following are some ways families can streamline their morning routines.

• Make use of the night before. Morning madness may come about due to lack of preparation the previous night. The more that can be done the night before, the less there will be to do on weekday mornings. Encourage children to lay out clothes for the next day and take a shower or bath that evening. Make lunches the night before a school day, and gather all supplies from homework stations, restocking backpacks and gym bags so everything is ready to go come the morning.

• Get to bed earlier. Sleep experts say that if you need to rely on an alarm clock to get up in the morning, you may not be getting enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says school-aged children should get between nine and 11 hours of sleep a night. Teenagers require between eight and 10 hours of sleep per night, while adults need between seven and nine hours. A good night's rest can reduce morning crankiness and get everyone moving more efficiently.

• Incentivize timeliness for kids. Children who are reluctant to head to school may need extra motivation to get out the door. Offer small rewards to kids when they get ready on their own or finish breakfast in a certain amount of time. Rewards can include a treat like choosing a favorite show to watch after school or a special outing on the weekend.

• Follow a schedule. Make mornings the same each day so everyone knows what to expect. Uniformity can streamline tasks and ensure everyone knows what's expected of them.

• Stay organized. Racing around trying to find keys or jackets can be very stressful. Make it a point to return items to their proper places so that everyone knows where to look for the items they need.

School mornings can be challenging, but with some ingenuity and forethought, the stress can be tamed.


Shopping for a well-dressed dog

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Dog lovers go to great lengths to ensure their pets have everything to keep them healthy, safe and comfortable. Many dog owners extend their love even further to ensure their furry friends put fashionable paws forward. 

The American Pet Products Association says that total pet industry expenditures reached more than $60 billion in 2015, and the spending continues to grow. In fact, pet spending is remarkably resistant to economic downturns, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While food, grooming, vet care, and more are included in the list of necessary items people buy for their dogs, clothing - a nonessential item - has grown in popularity.

The National Retail Federation states around 27.7 million Americans dress their furry friends in costumes for Halloween and other holidays. But buying clothes for everyday occasions also has become the norm for many pet parents, as dog apparel does everything from making pooches look fashionable to protecting them from inclement weather.

When shopping and dressing dogs, dog owners can consider these tips.

• Be certain of measurements. Measure a dog from neck to tail, as this is how many manufacturers size their apparel. Going by the measurement is more accurate than estimating whether a dog is small, medium or large on breed charts.

• Avoid overbuying for a puppy. Like children, puppies grow quickly. Those who stocked up on outfits while the dog was very young may find dogs quickly outgrow their wardrobes. Stick to a few items at a time until the dog has stopped growing.

• Select machine-washable pieces. Dogs get dirty and their clothes likely will as well. Look for items that can be put into the washing machine and withstand frequent laundering.

• Skip the zippers. Zippers can catch on fur or skin, making dogs reluctant to wear clothes. Look for buttons, snaps or other closures instead of zippers.

• Choose comfortable fabrics. Breathable cotton can keep dogs comfortable, but it may not be the best insulator or moisture-wicking fabric. Select clothing based on desired use, and choose high-quality materials for comfort and durability.

• Avoid obstructions. Select well-fitting pieces that are neither too tight nor too loose. This way dogs can move around unencumbered and will not trip and fall.

• Keep disposition in mind. Some dogs tolerate clothing well, while others may bite and pull at garments. Do not force dogs to wear something if they're resistant.

Pet clothing can be stylish, make a statement or protect dogs from the elements. Keep comfort, budget and sizing in mind when shopping.


Mobile phones and their place in the classroom

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Mobile phones are ubiquitous. Most people would admit that they'd rather leave home without their wallets than without their phones. According to statistics provider Smart Insights, 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone, while more than 50 percent of mobile phone users admit to reaching for their phones first thing when they wake up.

Since more than 90 percent of today's teenagers own a phone, schools are forced to find ways to include mobile phones in the classroom without having them overshadow lessons or distract students.

A 2013 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study of 777 students at six American universities found that the average respondent used a digital device for nonclass purposes 10.93 times during a typical school day. Students' activities included texting, social networking and emailing. Many respondents cited boredom and staying connected to the outside world as motivating factors.

Until recently, many schools implemented strict policies regarding mobile phones in school. Some forbade students from carrying them on campus or mandated that students left them in lockers. Many schools are now realizing the ways students can harness the technology of mobile phones in creative and innovative methods. Plus, as smartphone capabilities continue to evolve, educators are increasingly recognizing the potential of educational apps and how they can be used in the classroom.

Using mobile phones in the classroom for educational purposes also may cut down on how much the phones are used for nonschool purposes, such as texting or checking social media. According to data published in the journal Computers & Education, 80 percent of students admit that mobile phones can hinder their ability to pay attention in school when phones are not being used in conjunction with their lessons.

Schools vary in their rules regarding mobile phone usage in the classroom. Some schools let teachers decide, while others have more liberal policies. The following are some ideas for broaching the subject.

• Research educational apps. A number of apps and websites are educational. Whether students are connecting via a phone, laptop or tablet, these applications can encourage class participation. Some apps can report students' progress to teachers in real time. Remind101 is an app that can text reminders for assignments and tests to students.

• Teachers can monitor diligently. The image of teachers standing in the front of the classroom lecturing is becoming more and more obsolete. It's easier to guide students to stay on task while on mobile phones when the teacher roams the classroom to keep an eye on phone activity. It's more difficult for students to engage in negative behaviors when their phones are out in the open.

• Cut down on tech expenses. Not every school can afford to give each student a laptop or have 20 to 30 tablets in the classroom. When students embrace BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), teachers can maximize resources.

Mobile phones are not going anywhere soon, and schools are trying to find ways to make them more useful and less distracting in the classroom.


When moles are worrisome

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Skin cancer is one of the most pervasive types of cancer, and just about everyone is at risk of getting it. The American Cancer Society says that, over the past 30 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. 

Melanoma, while not the most common form of skin cancer, is the deadliest form of the disease. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, if melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. One way to detect melanoma early is to be aware of moles and new growths on the skin.

Brown spots, growths and moles on the body are often harmless, but they may be indicative of skin cancer. Experts say that anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma than others. Knowing one's skin and being aware of any changes is key to detecting skin cancer much more promptly.

Understanding the ABCDE's of detecting melanoma and the "Ugly Duckling" sign are important strategies for detecting skin cancer. Here's what a person should know.

Ugly Duckling sign
This concept was introduced in 1998 and relates to the observation that nevi, or moles, on the body tend to look like one another - much like all the ducklings in a flock will resemble one another. However, a mole that is unlike the other, or an "ugly duckling," may indicate the presence of melanoma. Nevi may present in different patterns, which are deemed "normal" to a particular person. An outlier, or a mole that doesn't fit the pattern, could raise a red flag. The outlier may be darker than surrounding moles or it may be smaller.

The Ugly Duckling sign is often used with another diagnostic tool called ABCDE. This is an acronym for the detection steps: Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving.

• Asymmetry: If an imaginary line is drawn through the middle of the mole and the two halves of the mole do not match up, this could be a warning sign. Normal spots tend to be symmetrical.

• Border: The borders of early melanoma tend to be jagged or notched, while regular moles have even borders.

• Color: A mole with multiple colors might be melanoma.

• Diameter: Melanomas tend to be larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser. Large spots should be investigated.

• Evolving: If a mole starts to change all of a sudden by growing or changing color, or even if it simply feels different, see a doctor.

"When in doubt, check it out" can be applied to detecting skin cancer. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when considering that early detection can save lives in the event of melanoma.


Women at greater risk for urinary incontinence than men

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Urinary incontinence is a common situation for women and men, and one that should not cause embarrassment. While urinary incontinence, often referred to as "UI," can affect anyone, the risk of developing the condition is higher among women than men. Understanding UI can help women better cope with this often embarrassing condition.

UI affects many
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases defines UI as a loss of bladder control resulting in the accidental loss of urine. Three sets of muscles work in concert to keep urine in the bladder. The internal sphincter, the external sphincter and pelvic floor muscles support, contract and relax to help empty the bladder at the right times. This process is compromised in people with UI.

UI can occur in various forms. Stress incontinence is when a small amount of urine escapes while coughing or jogging. Urgency incontinence is the feeling of having to go but not being able to make it to the bathroom in time. Many women experience both types of UI.

According to the National Association for Incontinence, urinary incontinence affects 200 million people worldwide. One in four women over the age of 18 have experienced involuntary urine leakage. Of the 25 million adult Americans suffering from UI, about 80 percent are women.

Causes of UI
UI may be caused by a weakening of the pelvic muscles and urethra, or the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. If damaged or weakened, these parts of the body may not be strong enough to contract sufficiently to hold urine when stress is placed on them.

The Mayo Clinic offers that age, childbirth, pregnancy, menopause, injury, or prior surgery have all been linked UI. Neurological disorders, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease and a spinal injury, also may cause UI.

Treating UI
A number of treatments can alleviate UI. Kegel exercises that strengthen pelvic floor muscles may help. When done right, these exercises make participants feel as though they are trying to stop the flow of urine or attempting not to pass gas.

Some women are able to corral their UI by visiting the restroom at set times each day, and then prolonging trips incrementally.

Losing weight also may help alleviate symptoms of UI if excess weight is putting pressure on the bladder.

Devices, such as pessaries or special tampon-type inserts, can push up against the wall of the vagina and urethra to help reduce stress leakage.

Surgery and medications may be necessary if other methods do not help.

Women can speak with their doctors if UI becomes problematic. More information is available at


Gearing up for hunting season

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Big game and migratory bird hunting is a billion-dollar industry that attracts millions of enthusiasts across North America. According to Statistics Brain, 12.5 million people over the age of 16 hunt annually, and 220 million days are spent hunting each year. 

Nature-based tourism and resident and nonresident hunting is also big business in Canada. According to the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, these industries generate $120 million and employ roughly 2,000 guide outfitters in this province alone.

Hunters provide a necessary service besides keeping game animal numbers within reason. They are the eyes and ears on the ground, and help inform wildlife management decisions. Hunting also generates benefits from hunter-supported organizations like conservation groups, habitat enhancement services and restoration outfits.

Hunters require certain gear to ensure safe and productive trips. Here are some must-have items for any hunter's packing list.

Hunting knife
No hunting expedition is complete without a quality knife, which is an invaluable tool. Knives come in different sizes. Many hunters carry a fixed blade knife to field dress a kill and for self-defense against larger animals. Every day carry knives, or EDCs, also are another sound investment. EDCs may be paired with other gadgets to form a handy multitool, which is vital in many different applications.

Trail markers/light strips
Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts can mark their way to a hunting spot or tree stand and see the path in the dark thanks to illuminated light strips. This helps avoid getting lost at dusk and dawn.

Hunting apparel
Hunting apparel includes coats, pants, waders, boots, hats, gloves, and much more. Depending on the game to be hunted, attire will be patterned in camouflage to blend into surroundings or blaze orange to set hunters apart and make them more visible to fellow outdoorsmen. Deer cannot distinguish color, so bright orange is commonly worn during deer season. Sales associates from popular outdoor equipment retailers can advise about appropriate attire. Considerations to habitat and weather should be made.

Storage pack
Hunters require a lightweight, accessible pack that provides easy-to-reach storage. A variety of options are available, and there are even models that have a tree stand work shelf, rifle and bow mount, as well as a removable small items organizer.

Swiveling bi- or tripod
A small tripod can help hunters stay on moving game and remain steady for the shot. Pivoting or swiveling action keeps a hunter's movement smooth and on target.

Every hunter can benefit from a good set of binoculars. High-quality binoculars will feature glare- and fog-resistant lenses.

Tree stand
A tree stand platform gives hunters the advantage of an elevated position, which offers better vantage points and keeps them out of the scent line of prey. Tree stands should be coupled with safety harnesses.

Investing in quality hunting equipment can make for a higher success rate and greater comfort while engaging in this popular hobby.


Natural ways to fight fall allergies

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As the days become shorter and the weather cools down, a new crop of allergy symptoms can arise, turning the autumn season into one marked by sneezing, scratchy throats and itchy eyes. Medications can alleviate such symptoms, but allergy sufferers may want to investigate some natural ways to beat allergies.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, ragweed is one of the more common triggers of autumnal allergies. Ragweed contributes to "hay fever," which is a term to describe allergic rhinitis that occurs as a symptom of ragweed pollen in the air. Ragweed releases pollen in mid-August, and it can continue to be problematic until a deep freeze arrives.

Other sources of fall allergies include leaf mold and pollen that is present on fallen leaves. This gets circulated when people begin to rake or blow fallen leaves. Classroom pets and chalk dust in schools (although chalkboards are largely a thing of the past) are other autumn allergens.

The good news is that many natural remedies work just as effectively as over-the-counter medications in regard to combatting ragweed and pollen problems. Here's how to beat the fall allergy blues.

• Stay away from pollen. Stay away from pollen and prevent it from being tracked indoors. Remove shoes when walking through the door. Take off clothes worn outside and launder them promptly, showering to wash pollen off of the body. Use an air conditioner or keep windows closed when the pollen count is high.

• Increase omega-3 fatty acids. It is well documented that fatty acids are good for brain health and cardiovascular well-being. But these acids also may help with allergies. A German study linked foods high in omega-3 fatty acids with the ability to fight inflammation, which is a hallmark of allergy suffering. Foods that are high in fatty acids include walnuts, flax, eggs, and cold-water fatty fish.

• Rinse off pollen. Use a mild cleanser to rinse the eyelids and eyelashes of pollen, as this is where it tends to congregate after being outdoors. Use saline spray to clear nasal passages of excess pollen as well.

• Take natural supplements. A study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy found participants who used tablets of the herb butterbar showed significant allergy relief after only one week. Select herbs from reputable manufacturers who certify them.

• Use eucalyptus oil. This oil is great to have in the house to help clear up sinuses and provide nasal congestion relief. Mix a small amount with coconut oil and rub onto the chest. There also is some evidence that adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to cleansing products can help kill dust mites around the house.

• Wear a mask. When doing housework or yard work, wear a mask to reduce the inhalation of specific allergens.

Avoid seasonal allergies by exploring natural ways to find prevention or relief of symptoms.



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Entries are now being accepted into the 2018 Capture the Heart of America photo contest.

From day-to-day life on the family farm to the ever-changing industry, agriculture has proven to be one of America's most compelling stories. Through the contest, photographers from across the country can share their own piece of this important story as they see it through their camera lens.

"Being able to capture the beauty of agriculture in a photograph is an amazing talent," said Silos & Smokestacks Executive Director Cara Miller. "Every year we see this wonderful talent in the entries for our photo contest."

Contest categories include:

• Iowa Farmscapes: From rustic farms to rolling hills of patchwork fields, the rural countryside holds a beauty uniquely Iowan. This category captures this beauty through artistic depictions of farm and field scenes scattered throughout rural Iowa.

• Life on the Iowa Farm: Farm Life is characterized by hard work combined with a connection to the land. This category shares the story of the Iowan farmer who helps feed the world, along with day-to-day life on the farm.

• Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites: From dairy farms and museums to vineyards and tractor assembly tours, more than 100 Designated Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area Partner Sites are sharing their own part of America's agricultural story in a 37-county region of Northeast Iowa. This category lets visitors share their experience at Heritage Area Partner Sites.

• Celebrations of Iowa Agriculture: Steeped in culture, festivals and fairs have long been held to celebrate Iowan agriculture and the fruits of the harvest. From a state fair to a hometown rhubarb fest, this category commemorates the agricultural experience at countless events throughout the country.

• Modern Agriculture in Iowa: Iowa's agricultural industry has helped to shape agriculture worldwide and continues to be a leader in new and innovative farming methods. From the engineering and technology used to create more efficient machines to the biology that increases the productivity of plants and research to conserve and protect our natural resources. Show us Iowans being leaders in the industry with pictures of today's equipment, field monitors, drones and conservation practices in operation.

• Agriculture in America: From sea to shining sea, amber waves of grain to fields of cotton. Agriculture is a major industry in America. Ranging from hobby farms and small-scale producers to large commercial farms covering thousands of acres of cropland or rangeland. This category celebrates the diverse industry of agriculture in America.

Photos submitted in the contest must be agriculturally related and help to preserve this important piece of America's story. The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers from all over the United States. Photos must be submitted by the individual who took the photograph. Contest sponsors, judges and SSNHA staff/members or their immediate family are not eligible to enter. Employees and volunteers of designated SSNHA Partner Sites are eligible to submit entries.

Contest entries are due by September 28, 2018. Visit for online entry form and complete contest rules/guidelines.

Awards presented:

• Best of Show - $500

• First Place - $100 (each category)

• Second Place - $50 (each category)

• Third Place - $25 (each category)

• People's Choice - $50

• Visitor Guide Photo Feature Award - $250

For additional information about the photo contest, please email or call (319)234-4567.

Through a network of sites, programs and events, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area tells the story of farm life and agribusiness - past and present. Visitors can learn about and experience agriculture at a variety of museums, historic sites, and farms. One of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation, Silos & Smokestacks is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The heritage area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa.


City Council Completes Annual Goal-Setting Sessions

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The Dubuque City Council completed its annual goal-setting sessions on Wednesday, Aug. 15. Over the course of three evening sessions, City Council members reaffirmed the 15-year vision statement and mission statement and identified eight five-year goals for the city. They also identified top and high priorities for a 2018-2020 policy agenda as well as a management agenda for projects and initiatives planned for 2018-2020.

The 2035 Dubuque Vision Statement
Dubuque 2035 is a sustainable and resilient city and an inclusive and equitable community. Dubuque 2035 has preserved our Masterpiece on the Mississippi, has a strong diverse economy and expanding connectivity. Our residents experience healthy living and active lifestyles; have choices of quality, livable neighborhoods; have an abundance of fun things to do; and are engaged in the community.

Mission Statement
Dubuque city government is progressive and financially sound with residents receiving value for their tax dollars and achieving goals through partnerships. Dubuque city government's mission is to deliver excellent municipal services that support urban living; contribute to an equitable, sustainable city; plan for the community's future; and facilitate access to critical human services.

City of Dubuque Goals 2024

• Robust Local Economy: Diverse Businesses and Jobs with Economic Prosperity

• Vibrant Community: Healthy and Safe

• Livable Neighborhoods and Housing: Great Place to Live

• Financially Responsible, High-Performance City Organization: Sustainable, Equitable, and Effective Service Delivery

• Sustainable Environment: Preserving and Enhancing Natural Resources

• Partnership for a Better Dubuque: Building Our Community that is Viable, Livable, and Equitable

• Diverse Arts, Culture, Parks, and Recreation Experiences and Activities

• Connected Community: Equitable Transportation, Technology Infrastructure, and Mobility

Policy Agenda
Policy agenda items are issues that need direction or a policy decision by the City Council, or need a major funding decision by the City Council, or issues that need City Council leadership in the community or with other governmental bodies. The policy agenda is divided into top priorities and high priorities.

2018 - 2020 Top Priorities (in alphabetical order):

• Affordable Childcare Study and Funding

• Five Flags Center: Direction and Funding

• Inclusive Dubuque Support

• Major Streets Improvement: Plan, Direction, and Funding

• Poverty Reduction: Action Plan

• River Cruise Docking Facilities: Direction

• Winter Farmers Market: Location and Funding Support

2018 - 2020 High Priorities (in alphabetical order):

• Bee Branch Floodwall Gates Funding

• Central Avenue Corridor: Economic Revitalization

• Crime Prevention Program: Maintenance

• Debt-Reduction Plan: Continuation

• Mental/Brain Health Strategy and Action Plan

• New Financial Software: Funding

• Pet-Friendly Community: Policy Direction and Actions

• Street Maintenance Program: Funding Level

Management Agenda
Management agenda items are issues for which the City Council has set the overall direction and provided initial funding, may require further City Council action or funding, or are major management projects that may take multiple years to implement. The management agenda is divided into top priorities and high priorities.

2018 - 2020 Management Agenda Top Priorities (in alphabetical order):

• Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

• CHANGE Program: Implementation

• Crescent Community Health Center Expansion

• Dubuque's True North Housing Initiative

• Multicultural Family Center Expansion

• Riverfront Master Plan (US Army Corps of Engineers)

• Transit Vehicles Replacement

• Veterans Pond Development and Direction

2018 - 2020 Management Agenda High Priorities (in alphabetical order):

• City Performance Measurements/Open Data/Data Governance

• Citywide Departmental Work Order System

• Comiskey Park Renovation

• Community Security/Surveillance System Expansion

• Housing Needs Assessment Report

• Resident Satisfaction Survey

• Residential Housing Upgrade/Bee Branch HUD Flood Protection

• Water & Resource Recovery Center: Nutrient Trading


Beckon twilight with a tasty summer cocktail

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Perhaps nothing is more relaxing on a warm summer night than sipping a cocktail as the sun sets. Some cocktails, such as the following recipe for "Blueberry Crush" from Susan Elia MacNeal's "Infused: 100+ Recipes for Infused Liqueurs and Cocktails" (Chronicle Books), even evoke the twilight hours of summertime with their unique look.

Blueberry Crush
Serves 1

4 or 5 ice cubes
2 blackberries
2 blueberries
2 raspberries
3 ounces Blueberry Vodka (see below)
Dash of lime juice
1 cup cracked ice
1⁄2 cup sparkling water or club soda (optional)

Place the ice cubes in a chilled old-fashioned glass. Place the berries in a small bowl and crush with a fork. Add to a shaker with the vodka, lime juice and cracked ice. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds, then strain over the ice cubes. For a lighter version of the drink, add the sparkling water.

Blueberry Vodka

1 750-ml. bottle of vodka
1 quart fresh blueberries
1⁄4 to 1 cup Sugar Syrup (optional; see below)

Decant the vodka into a clean 2-quart glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Soak the original bottle to remove the label. Let dry.

If using frozen berries, allow them to thaw. Place the fresh or thawed frozen berries in a bowl, crush with a fork and add to the vodka. Allow the vodka to infuse away from direct sunlight and intense heat for 3 months. Shake the container a few times each week.

When you're satisfied with the intensity of flavor, strain the liqueur through a metal sieve into a bowl. Discard the berries. Add the sugar syrup to taste, if desired. 

Using a funnel, pour the liqueur into the original bottle (or another container). Label with the name of liqueur and the date. Age for 1 month away from light and heat.

Sugar Syrup

1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar

Put the water in a small saucepan. Add the sugar. Bring the water to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature. Select a clean container that will hold at least 1-1⁄2 cups. Using a funnel, pour the sugar syrup into the container, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.


Student physical examination tips

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School time requires having all of the necessary supplies, clothing and gear ready for the year. In addition, preparing for a new school year often involves providing updated physical health information to the school administration. 

The requirements for health screenings and reporting may vary between school districts. Some physical examinations need to be conducted annually, while others may only need updating at certain intervals, such as when kids transition from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school. Updated physical forms also may be required at the start of a sports season.

Health screenings are intended to detect problems that may interfere with learning. Physical exams may indicate issues that can hamper progress or shed light on undiagnosed problems that may require further assessment and necessitate customized learning plans to help students succeed. Physical exams are also a way to ensure students' immunizations are up to date.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, physical exams typically are completed by students' primary care providers. Some school districts offer free or low-cost health assessments through school providers as well.

Students who will be traveling for school may be required to meet the health requirements of their destination country. For example, medical students admitted to a Canadian university may be required to get a medical exam, according to the Government of Canada.

Visiting the doctor, nurse practitioner or a school-provided medical professional may not make school-aged children too happy. To make the process go smoothly, consider these suggestions.

• Work with physicians who have access to electronic health records. EHRs are secure technology that provides easy access to vaccination records, health history, appointment reminders, and even prescription information. Some providers even make it possible for patients to directly access their health information through a secure login, helping save time.

• Make appointments during school hours. After-school appointments are peak times for pediatric offices and medical clinics. Sign students out of school early to visit the doctor for medical exams. The staff likely will be less harried, and you can spend more time asking questions and completing forms. Schools may not count the absence if a doctor's note is provided.

• Don't forget the forms. Bring the right paperwork so that the staff can fill out what is necessary for the school, camp or sports league.

• Know your insurance guidelines. Physical exams may be part of routine well visits. Insurance companies institute their own policies regarding how frequently physicals can be conducted (usually annually). Be sure to schedule the appointment accordingly.

Physical examinations are on many parents' back-to-school to-do lists. Certain strategies can make physicals easier for adults and children alike.


How to ease kids’ transition to a new school

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Being the new kid in school can be a tall order for youngsters. Children who change schools may face a host of challenges that studies suggest can affect both their social and academic development.

In a 2010 study that followed students who entered kindergarten in 1998 through 2007, the Government Accountability Office found that 13 percent of students changed schools four or more times by the end of eighth grade. Such mobility can adversely affect students, as a study of 13,000 students in the city of Chicago found that children who had changed schools four or more times by the sixth grade were roughly a year behind their classmates.

In addition to the toll transferring schools can take on their academic performance, students also may experience difficulty assimilating into their new schools. Though there's no formula to make such transitions easier, parents can try various strategies to help their kids successfully adjust to new schools.

• Speak with children about the transition., a not-for-profit organization devoted to providing free child development information to parents and health professionals, recommends parents speak with their children about transitioning to a new school. Encourage children to share what excites and worries them about the transition. The way parents discuss transitions can go a long way toward shaping how kids view the change.

• Stay true to your routine. Pathways also recommends parents of students who are transitioning to a new school do their best to replicate first day of school routines from years past. Some familiar traditions might help calm kids' concerns about their first day in a new school.

• Assimilate into a new community before the school year begins. The education resource notes that the most common causes of students changing schools are residential moves related to parents' jobs or financial instability. Parents on the lookout for a new job or those who may need to relocate for financial reasons may want to delay moving until the current school year has ended. Moving between school years gives families time to acclimate to their new communities. That means kids will get time to make new friends. Some familiar faces on the first day at a new school can go a long way toward alleviating the fears children may have.

• Volunteer at your child's new school. Parental involvement at school can have a profound impact on children. The National Education Association notes that children whose parents are involved at school are more likely to perform academically than students whose parents are uninvolved. In addition, such students are more likely to have good attendance and exhibit stronger social skills than children whose parents do not involve themselves in their children's school. It stands to reason that students transferring to a new school may benefit from parental involvement even more than other students, as seeing their parents approach a new school with excitement and energy may inspire children to follow suit.

Transitioning to a new school is not easy for many students. But parents can help smooth that transition in various ways.


Community Partnership Makes a Difference

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Working closely with the Dubuque Community School District, AmeriCorps Partners in Learning is making an impact on K-3rd grade students. During the 2017-2018 school year, 97 percent or 462 students, who completed the AmeriCorps tutoring program improved in their reading assessment by 10 points or more from fall 2017 to spring 2018 FAST assessments.

During the school year, Dubuque Community School District staff trained 38 AmeriCorps members in effective reading interventions and strategies. Using these interventions, these members collaborated closely with elementary school classroom teachers and instructional coaches to provide one-on-one or small-group tutoring sessions to struggling readers.

"This is the fourth school year that AmeriCorps has partnered with the Dubuque Community School District to help students improve their reading proficiency," said AmeriCorps Program Director Heather Satterly. "We have seen a steady increase in students finding success since 2014-2015, where we saw 67 percent of students improving, followed by 89 percent of students improving in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017."

In addition to tutoring students, AmeriCorps members also play a significant mentoring role in each child's life. AmeriCorps members are caring, safe adults who give students individual attention and notices students' successes. These positive, encouraging relationships are fundamental for students.

Interested in making our community better? Join today! We're now recruiting for the 2018-2019 school year. Members must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma. Members earn a living allowance and an education award. Members who are 55 or older when they begin their service may transfer their education award to a child, grandchild, or foster child.

For more information or to learn about joining AmeriCorps, please contact Heather Satterly, AmeriCorps Program Director, at 563.584.8644 or Online applications can be found at


BRYAN ANTHONY’S CELEBRATING SINATRA with the Hunter Fuerste Orchestra is coming to the Grand Opera House

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The Dubuque Arts Council kicks off its 50th anniversary celebration with famed big band vocalist Bryan Anthony's Celebrating Sinatra - His Life in Music at The Grand Opera House in Dubuque on New Year's Eve, December 31 from 8pm-10pm. Bryan will perform in concert with the Hunter Fuerste Orchestra.

Tickets are $35 and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased at the Grand Opera House box office,, or charged at 563-588-1305.

Bryan Anthony and Hunter Fuerste bring the legacy of the one and only Frank Sinatra alive with this immensely satisfying and sweetly nostalgic performance. Bryan is a veteran vocalist of ensembles like the Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Nelson Riddle Orchestras, with Hunter Fuerste having played with Guy Lombardo-Mr. New Year's Eve, himself-while watching the ball drop in Times Square. This collective homage to Old Blue Eyes takes contemporary audiences back to the Swing Era in style.
After launching his career as a vocalist with extensive touring across the globe with various big band orchestras, Bryan was featured in the off-Broadway production of Our Sinatra, a celebration of the legendary Frank Sinatra. Bryan's fondness and respect for the Great Gentlemen of Song has led to this development of extensive repertoire that provides stunning homages without resorting to impressions.

The Celebrating Sinatra concert is the first of several special events planned to celebrate the Dubuque Arts Council's 50th Anniversary in 2019. The Dubuque Arts Council's "Educating and Entertaining" mission is to provide diverse, multi-disciplinary, artistic and educational opportunities to expand cultural horizons and improve the quality of life. In addition to the Artist-in-Residence program, which brings live performance residences to the tri-state area schools, every summer the Dubuque Arts Council, along with the support of corporate sponsors, presents "Music in the Gardens," a series of seven free summer concerts held at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.


3 Memorial Day weekend travel tips

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Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In 2017, the automotive group AAA estimated that 40 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more on Memorial Day weekend. Those estimates also projected that 34.6 million vehicles would be used to make those trips.

Often referred to as "the unofficial beginning of summer," Memorial Day and the weekend that precedes it has become synonymous with beach trips and backyard barbecues. Travelers who want to avoid traffic jams and ensure their weekends get off on the right foot can benefit from employing these three travel-savvy strategies.

1. Start the weekend early.
In its "State of American Vacation 2017" survey, Project: Time Off found that 662 million vacation days were unused in 2016. People traveling for Memorial Day who typically leave some vacation days on the table can start their weekends early this year. Many offices close early the Friday before Memorial Day, and workers who aren't so lucky may just leave work early, meaning Friday afternoon traffic figures to be heavy. By leaving Thursday afternoon or evening, travelers can avoid the Friday rush to the beach.

2. Take public transportation.
Travelers who can't take an extra day off or leave work early the Friday before Memorial Day may want to consider taking public transportation to their beach destinations instead of driving themselves. In 2016, the U.S.-based data firm Inrix noted that a traffic-free Friday jaunt from New York City to Long Island's East end would take 90 minutes, while the same trip would take three hours and 40 minutes on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Travelers who can't leave early can save themselves from the stress of holiday traffic jams by letting someone else do the navigating.

3. Be patient and depart on Saturday morning.
Travelers who can be patient may find that waiting to depart for their destinations until Saturday can save them from dealing with much of the stress of traveling on Memorial Day weekend. The benefits of being patient may depend on where travelers live, as the Inrix study noted that Friday was the busiest day to leave Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend, while San Diego residents tended to deal with the most traffic on Saturday. An added benefit of waiting until Saturday is the likelihood that such travelers will not return home until Tuesday, avoiding traffic on Monday, which tends to be the busiest return travel day of the weekend.

Memorial Day weekend travel tends to be hectic. But savvy travelers with some flexibility can take steps to make their trips less stressful.


City Awarded Grant for Eagle Point Park Restoration

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has awarded the City of Dubuque a grant of $200,000 from Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP).

The grant money will be used for Phase 2 Implementation of the Environmental Restoration Management Plan at Eagle Point Park, a 164-acre community park that opened in 1909 on Dubuque's northeast side. Eagle Point Park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the Leisure Services Department's Park Division. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

This project is part of an ongoing environmental restoration effort for Eagle Point Park that contributes to Dubuque's mission of creating a sustainable future. It involves implementation of the Eagle Point Park Environmental Restoration Management Plan that was completed under a REAP grant awarded in 2015. Adopted by the City Council in 2017, the Management Plan addresses the park's recreational and natural spaces that suffer the effects of severe erosion, invasive vegetation, and degraded natural habitats on the rolling, rugged terrain. Some implementation of that plan will commence using funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund as well as funds from the previous REAP grant. All of this environmental work must be done within the context of the park's rich cultural history.

Implementation will improve sustainability by restoring and enhancing native plant communities and soil quality to provide new nature-based recreation opportunities for visitors, create habitat for wildlife, and foster sustainability. Phase 2 will enhance 33 acres of existing forest/woodland areas, representing 20 percent of the 164-acre regional park.

REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect the Iowa's natural and cultural resources. Fifteen percent of REAP is set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage outdoor recreation and resource management.

In its 28 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting over 15,000 projects. REAP has funded these projects with $300 million in state investments, leveraging two to three times the amount in private, local, and federal dollars. Collectively, these projects have improved the quality of life for all Iowans with better soil and water quality; added outdoor recreation opportunities; sustained economic development; enhanced knowledge and understanding of our ecological and environmental assets, and preservation of our cultural and historic treasures.

REAP has benefited the City of Dubuque greatly since 1997, with over $2.7 million from 14 REAP grants invested in building off-road trails throughout the community and expanding the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Area at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. A complete list of these 14 City REAP Grant Awards for park and recreation projects is available at