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Winter Day Camp

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The Dubuque County Conservation Board is sponsoring a Winter Day Camp Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 22 and 23 from 10 am to noon at Swiss Valley Nature Center.
Children ages 7-12 are welcome to attend the Winter Day Camp.  We will hike, bird watch, build snow forts, learn about native people, build bird feeders and enjoy upcycle crafts. There will be hot chocolate, snowshoes, and other supplies provided; remember to dress for the weather, we will be going outside each day of the camp!

The participants must pre-register by calling 563.556.6745.


Four Downtown Intersections Feature Crosshatch Pavement Markings

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A new traffic control pavement marking was incorporated into the redesign of two downtown Dubuque streets last summer. Dubuque motorists are reminded to note the change and stop where directed by the signage at the four intersections featuring diagonal crosshatch markings.

The purpose of the markings is to force traffic to stop at a red traffic signal at a distance before the intersection, which allows truck traffic adequate space to safely make turns on to that street from the right of the intersection.

White "Do Not Block" diagonal crosshatch markings were added to two intersections on Ninth Street and two intersections on Eleventh Street as part of last summer's one-way to two-way conversion of those streets. The intersections are for westbound traffic at the intersections of Ninth Street and White Street, Ninth Street and Central Avenue, Eleventh Street and White Street, and Eleventh Street and Central Avenue. Each intersection features signage stating "Stop Here on Red."

Motorists who do not stop their vehicle where directed and instead stop in the crosshatch area are subject to enforcement by the Dubuque Police Department.



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Center Grove United Methodist Church of Dubuque announces the Feed Dubuque Program with the arrival of a semi load of potatoes to be distributed free to those in need. The potatoes are provided by the Society of St. Andrew of Big Island, Virginia, a second gleaning organization which gathers produce throughout the United States to feed the hungry.

The effort in Dubuque is headed by the congregation at Center Grove who will finance the shipping charges and organization of distribution. Assisting in this effort are Mr. Perry Mason of Radio Dubuque, Inc., who developed the logistics, and Father Jim Miller (Padre Jamie) and the congregation of Church of the Nativity who will provide the location for the delivery and volunteer along with others to distribute the potatoes to individuals and organizations that will be called upon to take quantities of potatoes to their locations to insure even distribution throughout the city.

Further information regarding locations will be forthcoming.

This delivery will take place at Church of the Nativity, 1225 Alta Vista St., Dubuque, IA and will be ready for pickup at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.

For further information contact Pastor SueAnn of Center Grove at 563 583-3084 between 1 and 4 P.M. Monday through Friday.


Food safety measures that can prevent illness

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Diet and exercise are synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. When coupled with routine exercise, a healthy diet is even more effective at sustaining long-term health.

But just because the foods you eat might be healthy, that doesn't always mean they're safe. Food that is contaminated can lead to illness and possibly even death. For instance, even a small bite of food that's contaminated with the botulism toxin can cost a person his or life or lead to paralysis.

While a mistake with regards to food safety can prove costly, there are ways to prevent those mistakes. The following are some food safety measures men, women and children can take to ensure their food is safe for consumption, courtesy of the United States Department of Health & Human Services.

• Always wash your hands before preparing or eating food. Germs on your hands can contaminate food. If you're preparing a meal, always wash your hands before the preparation begins and wash them again in between handling multiple foods. For example, if you are handling raw meat, clean your hands before you touch other foods you will be preparing, such as potatoes or vegetables. Wash hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.

• Do not thaw food on the counter. Thawing food on the counter can be quite dangerous, as harmful germs multiply very rapidly at room temperature. Instead of thawing food on the counter, place food in the refrigerator, defrost it in the microwave or submerge food in a pot of cold water.

• Do not let food cool before placing it in the refrigerator. Perishable foods that are not immediately refrigerated invite illness-causing bacteria, which can grow in as little as two hours or as little as one hour if the temperature is above 90 F. Instead of leaving perishable items on the counter, refrigerate them within two hours if not immediately.

• Do not taste food to check if it is spoiled. The bacteria that causes food poisoning has no taste, so tasting food to determine if it has spoiled won't do you any good, but it can cause serious illness if the bacteria is present. If you aren't sure about a certain food, simply throw it away. To learn about safe storage times for the refrigerator and freezer, visit www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html.

• Wash any plates or cutting boards that held raw meat. Raw meat as well as poultry and seafood have germs that can spread, especially if you use the same plates or cutting boards for raw meat as you do cooked meat. Thoroughly scrub any dishes that held raw meat before using them for anything else.

• Do not wash meat or poultry. Some recipes, especially those for Thanksgiving turkey, advise home chefs to wash meat or poultry before cooking. However, doing so can spread bacteria to the sink, countertops and other kitchen surfaces. Despite what a recipe suggests, never wash meat, poultry or eggs.

• Do not eat foods with uncooked eggs. Eggs should always be cooked thoroughly, as they may contain harmful bacteria, including salmonella. Foods that contain uncooked eggs, such as raw cookie dough, while a tasty treat for many people, are potentially very dangerous, exposing you to harmful bacteria that could result in serious illness.

• Marinate foods in the refrigerator. Marinating foods is very popular, especially during the barbecuing season. However, marinating foods at room temperature, when harmful germs in meat and bacteria can multiply rapidly, should be avoided at all costs. When marinating meat, poultry or seafood, always do so in the refrigerator.

• Do not use leftover marinade on cooked foods. When marinating, there is typically a significant amount of marinade left over. However tempting it may be to add a little extra flavor by reusing that marinade once the food has been cooked, doing so is very dangerous, as the germs from the raw meat, poultry or seafood can spread to the cooked food. If you simply must make use of the leftover marinade, only do so after boiling it.

More information about food safety is available at www.foodsafety.gov.


Benefit from nutritious turkey even after Thanksgiving

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If turkey is not normally on your lunch or dinner menu, come the holiday season it's bound to show up in abundance. As soon as the weather cools and the crispness of late autumn is in the air, thoughts turn to more hearty meals, and of course, the fall pièce de résistance: Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey takes center stage on many Thanksgiving dinner tables, even though history suggests it likely wasn't served at the first Thanksgiving. Despite this historical discrepancy, turkey and all the trimmings continue to be traditional fare for big holiday dinners.

Much more than just delicious and filling, turkey boasts many nutritional benefits, making it a worthwhile addition to your diet regardless of the season.

• Protein: Turkey is often overshadowed by other meats in refrigerated display cases, but it remains an excellent source of protein in a low-fat package. A typical 3.4- to four-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast (about the size of a deck of cards) contains around 30 grams of protein, providing about 65 percent of the average person's recommended daily allotment of protein. Protein helps the body feel full and serves many essential functions in the body. Proteins regulate the entry of nutrients through cell walls, help the body grow and help it to generate antibodies that fight against illness.

• Low-fat: A serving of turkey is only 161 calories and contains just four grams of fat, which is low in saturated fat.

• B-vitamin benefits: Turkey is an excellent source of B vitamins, including B3, B6 and B12. Having enough B3, also known as niacin, is important for overall health, and higher levels of niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lower a person's risk for cardiovascular disease. B6 is also called pyridoxine. It's involved in the process of making certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and norepinephrine, which transmit signals in the brain. Important for neurological health, B12 helps decrease levels of homocysteine, which can contribute to cognitive decline.

• Immune system effects: People may not know turkey contains selenium, which is key to healthy thyroid function. It also helps boost the immune system by playing a role in the body's antioxidant defense system. Selenium may help eliminate free radicals in the body that would otherwise contribute to cancer risk.

• Relaxation: Many people are aware of turkey's ability to induce feelings of relaxation, particularly when eaten in abundance at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which plays a role in triggering production of serotonin. Serotonin can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.

Turkey is lean, full of essential nutrients and low in saturated fat, making it a worthy addition to your diet no matter what time of year it happens to be.


Jule Transit Posts Record Month – over 50,000 rides in October

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The Jule's route restructuring in January 2014, including crosstown Express service, new service areas, and extended service hours, has led to continuing ridership growth for Dubuque's transit system. October marked a record month for transit ridership in Dubuque at 51,542 rides, a 16.5 percent increase from rides provided in October 2013.

This year's increases are building on previous years' success. Transit ridership in Dubuque has increased from 373,376 to 478,370 (over 100,000 rides or 28 percent) in the past five years. As with previous years, the number of riders paying fares and purchasing passes has remained a consistent proportion of the ridership. Growth in ridership for those purchasing The Jule's unlimited ride monthly pass has grown by over 200 percent since the route overhaul last January and the new offering of an unlimited ride pass for elderly and disabled (Medicare) passengers with the fare increase in July.

To explain the transition from daily ride fares to passes, Transit Director Candace Eudaley noted, "We've seen a shift from people paying cash each time they ride to purchasing a month-long pass. We're hearing from passengers who started out riding occasionally and are now making the commitment to ride daily or even use transit as their main commuting mode. For passengers who plan to ride the bus every day, the monthly unlimited ride pass is definitely the most cost-effective option."

For full-fare passengers, the monthly unlimited ride pass is $45 and for half-fare eligible riders (those over 65 years old or carrying a Medicare card), the cost of the unlimited monthly pass is $22.50.

"We see this inlflux in monthly pass riders as a signal that the route changes made in January are making transit a more feasible option for commuters, students and anyone looking to reduce their environmental impact or save money on gas, maintenance and parking."

The Jule continues to provide free service to all Dubuque K-12 students to and from school as well as to library, sports, music, and other activities and the number of student rides is also increasing. Jule staff have been coordinating with District music teachers to bring students from different schools together for orchestra practice using The Jule.

The January route changes resulted in shortened ride times, more service areas, and extended hours; with many trip times under 30 minutes and new 15-minute service from the west end to downtown on the Express bus.


Time to talk turkey

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Few foods receive the fanfare of turkey come the holiday season. The National Turkey Federation says Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving and another 22 million on Christmas. An additional 19 million enjoy turkey as part of their Easter celebrations. 

Though turkey is enjoyed throughout the year, it is most popular during the holiday season. Some celebrants may want to know more about this beloved bird before sinking their teeth into their next holiday meal. The following turkey tidbits may surprise you.

• Turkeys are large game birds that are closely related to chickens, pheasants and quail.

• The turkey's scientific name is "meleagris gallopavo," which is the wild turkey from which the domesticated turkey many people eat descends. There is another species of turkey known as the ocellated turkey, which is native to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.

• By the early 1900s, the wild turkey neared extinction. Restoration projects have increased the number of turkeys from approximately 30,000 birds back then to nearly seven million now.

• Despite their size, turkeys can fly in the wild. They often perch in trees to sleep to protect themselves from predators. Some domesticated turkeys may not fly because they have been bred to be overly large to produce more breast meat.

• The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds.

• A male turkey is called a "tom" or a "gobbler," while female turkeys are referred to as "hens." Only the male will make the familiar gobbling sound, which is used to attract mates.

• A hen is smaller than a gobbler and does not have the distinctive beard of modified feathers that gobblers have on their breasts. Males also have sharp spurs on their legs for fighting.

• Male and female turkeys also can be differentiated by their droppings. Male droppings are spiral-shaped, while females' look like the letter J.

• Both genders of turkey have snoods (the dangling appendage on the face) as well as red wattles under their chins.

• A hen can lay about 10 to 12 eggs over a period of two weeks. The eggs will incubate for 28 days before hatching. Baby turkeys are called "poults."

• Turkeys and peacocks may look similar, but they are not closely related.

• Turkeys have excellent vision due to their eyes being located on the sides of their head. This gives the birds periscopic vision.

• The gizzard is a part of the turkey's stomach that contains tiny stones that the bird has swallowed. The stones facilitate the digestion process.

• Benjamin Franklin did not support the bald eagle as the nation's symbol, feeling the turkey would be a better choice. In a letter to his daughter, he wrote, "He [bald eagle] is a rank coward; the little king-bird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours ..."

• Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity. Rumor has it the costume worn by the "Sesame Street" character "Big Bird" is made of turkey feathers.

• The turkey shares its name with a country. But why? A turkey bears some resemblance to the guinea fowl. Though it is native to eastern Africa, the guinea fowl was imported to Europe through the Ottoman Empire and came to be called the "turkey-cock" or "turkey-hen." When settlers in the New World began to send similar-looking fowl back to Europe, they were mistakenly called "turkeys."

• Despite an abundance of turkeys being eaten between November and January, June is National Turkey Month.


Applicants Needed for Dubuque Zoning Advisory Commission

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The City of Dubuque is seeking applicants to fill a vacant position on its Zoning Advisory Commission. The selected applicant, when appointed by the City Council, will serve through July 1, 2015, at which time the term expires and reapplication is necessary.

The Zoning Advisory Commission is a seven-member volunteer commission that makes recommendations to the City Council on applications for rezoning, subdivision plat approval and text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. In reviewing applications, the Zoning Advisory Commission takes input from applicants, neighboring property owners, citizens, and City staff and reviews potential impact on neighborhood, community, environment, and City utilities and transportation systems. A Zoning Advisory Commission chairperson presents the commission's recommendations to the City Council with the assistance of Planning Services staff.

Members of the Zoning Advisory Commission are appointed by the City Council to three-year terms. The commission meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Historic Federal Building.

Applications can be printed or submitted online at www.cityofdubuque.org/boards or through the City Clerk's Office. Applicants must be a resident of the City of Dubuque. The Zoning Advisory Commission is subject to the State of Iowa Gender Balance Law; however, both male and female applicants are encouraged to apply. Qualified female applicants will be considered first, but if no eligible females apply, a male candidate may be selected.

For more information about boards and commissions, contact the City Clerk's Office at 563-589-4120 or ctyclerk@cityofdubuque.org.


Special deer hunt is a success

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The white-tailed deer rut was in full swing with a large buck aggressively pursuing a doe when the clash of antlers off in the distance caught his attention. He momentarily stopped, looked around, and continued to pursue the doe. Then, a grunt bellowed from the nearby woods that signaled a rival buck had intruded into his territory and must be challenged. That fateful decision resulted in 22 bucks now being Thanksgiving dinner for the hunters that pursued them.

Freezing temperatures and snow chilled the spirits but not the enthusiasm of sportsmen with disabilities that participated in the special deer hunt held November 15/16 at the Lost Mound Unit of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge in Savanna, IL. Field surveys showed the deer population was high and the rutting season was at its peak.

Quadriplegics, paraplegics, amputees, and other physically challenged hunters harvested 50 deer that included 28 does and 22 bucks. The largest buck, a 12 pointer with field dressed weight of 189 pounds, was taken by Dave Buchner from Spring Church, Pennsylvania (see picture). Deadeye Dave has also harvested the largest buck in past years over the eight year span of the Lost Mound hunt.

This special deer hunt has gained national attention with a record 96 hunters participating. It provides a boost to the local economy with one-third of hunters being non-residents and many residents traveling from across the state. Hunters from 12 states participated: Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Florida, Minnesota and Illinois.

Lost Mound Site Manager Alan Anderson stated, "Success is attributed to the high quality hunting experience and to partnerships. The Southern Illinois based 'Seasons of Hope' non-profit organization has provided many disabled hunters the opportunity to participate at Lost Mound."

Hunters were required to use non-lead ammunition for this special hunt. The regulation went into effect this year after research found that bald eagles were being exposed to lead ammunition fragments in gut piles that were discarded in the field by hunters. Hundreds of bald eagles congregate at Lost Mound and are routinely observed circling the hunt area searching for their next meal. Many hunters commented on the killing power of the popular copper ammunition that was used by most.

Site Manager Anderson was excited about the continued success of this program and stated, "It is a unique hunting experience by a special group of sportsmen. Their daily challenges of life were overshadowed by the enthusiasm and determination for deer hunting. They provided both inspiration and encouragement to the staff and volunteers that administered the hunt."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge was established in 1924 and contains 244,000 acres that extends along 261 miles of the Upper Mississippi River.


6 steps for holiday shopping safety

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The holiday season is a joyous and busy time of year. Decking the halls, catching up with old friends, and holiday shopping make this time of year especially hectic.

Though the season is generally jolly, there are those people who take advantage of the hectic nature of the holiday season, preying on busy holiday shoppers who may be understandably distracted as the season progresses. As a result, shoppers and holiday revelers should heed the following precautions to ensure this holiday season is as safe as it is festive.

1) Exercise caution at ATMs. Thousands of dollars change hands at stores and banks this time of year. Potential thieves know that ATMs make good places to target victims withdrawing funds for purchases. Shoppers should choose ATMs that are well lit and withdraw money only when banks are open. If that's not possible, avoid using ATMs in remote locations or dark alcoves. Keep your eyes fixed on your surroundings and be aware of the people in your vicinity. Promptly pocket your money and do not openly display your cash.

2) Keep purchases out of view. When shopping, keep your purchases hidden from prospective thieves. Make frequent trips to your car when shopping, and store merchandise in the trunk of your car or in a cargo area with a cover drawn. Once items have been brought home, keep them well out of sight, stored in closets or away from windows.

3) Only park in well-lit lots. Finding a parking space at a busy mall can be difficult, but be picky when choosing spots. Try to park in a well-lit area in a busy location and be aware of the surrounding vehicles. If you feel uncomfortable going back to your car, ask a security guard to escort you.

4) Shop in groups. Go to the store with a group of friends. There is safety in numbers, and having more eyes to look out is to your advantage. Thieves are less likely to approach a group of people than a solitary person.

5) Carry minimal items. Always keep your hands free to ward off any people in the event of an attack. Bags and packages weighing you down make you an easy target.

6) Leave extra credit cards at home. Carry only what you need on a shopping excursion. Do not carry your entire wallet or extra credit cards. This only puts you at greater risk of identity theft or fraud should you lose your wallet. 


Winter weather a trigger for cold sores

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Although cold weather is not entirely to blame for the colds and flu symptoms that seem to be more common from November through March, cold sores do seem to be linked to the temperatures outdoors.

Cold sore season
An increase in cold sores is possible because the winter season tends to reactivate the HSV-1 virus responsible for the sores, according to Abreva. Exposure to cold temperatures as well as drastic temperature shifts, like moving from the cold outdoors into a warm house, can be traumatic enough to trigger a cold sore outbreak.

Several different factors contribute to why cold sores are more likely to surface in the winter than during other times of the year. Harsh, winter winds can dry out the lips and make them more hospitable to the virus that causes cold sores. Dry, warm air in heated homes can encourage the virus to spread and break out more often. In addition, less vitamin D in the body and an immune system weakened by winter can increase a person's risk of developing a cold sore.

Other notable cold sore triggers can be elevated in the winter. Planning for holiday celebrations can elevate stress, which is a trigger for HSV-1 outbreaks. The longer a person is feeling stressed, the more likely he or she will develop a cold sore.

Illnesses, such as colds, flu and bacterial infections, that seem to pop up when the weather is cold also can trigger cold sores. When the body is busy fighting one invader, it is more vulnerable from attacks by other bacteria and viruses.

Inflammation in the body, like that which accompanies chronic arthritis, may overproduce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can suppress the immune system and trigger a cold sore attack. Those with arthritis and other inflammation issues may find winter weather exacerbates their symptoms.

Some people may counteract dark days of winter by visiting tanning salons and exposing themselves to artificial UV rays. This can irritate tissues around the mouth and also lead to a cold sore outbreak.

What are cold sores?
Cold sores are not merely pimples that spring up in and around the mouth. They're actually a type of herpes known as the herpes simplex virus-1, or HSV-1. This is a mild form of herpes that is a cousin to the more dangerous HSV-2. According to the National Institutes of Health, HSV-1 infects more than half of the United States population by the time they reach their 20s. The Mayo Clinic Says about 90 percent of adults worldwide - even those who have never experienced symptoms of an infection - test positive for the virus that causes cold sores.

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are fluid-filled lesions that occur on and around the lips. Cold sores are contagious and can be spread through close personal contact.

There is no cure for HSV-1 infections, and blisters may appear sporadically. Cold sores are most contagious when they have fluid present, but infection also can occur when blisters are not visible. Once the herpes virus is contracted, it remains in the body forever.

Preventing cold sores
A key way to prevent a cold sore outbreak is to avoid people who experience cold sores. Don't share utensils or food and avoid physical contact with the areas where a sore is present.

If you have had cold sores before, look for ways to lower your stress levels, work to maintain a strong immune system, avoid harsh winter weather by wrapping your face in a scarf and keeping your lips moisturized to reduce your risk of another outbreak.

In addition to prescription medication treatment for cold sores, supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E and
l-lysine may help.


Gallery C announces new exhibition of works

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Gallery C will feature an exhibit by artists Amy Fuller and Nicolas Roche, with sculptures by guest artist Gary Carstens beginning with an Opening Reception Friday, Nov. 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Gallery C, which is located in the Schmid Innovation Center at 900 Jackson Street in Dubuque. Main entrance doors are on Jackson St. near 10th Ave.

A view of the forest through the misty fog. . . swirling colors of a bustling street market. . . the winds wafting over the countryside. . . surroundings to be interpreted through the experiences of the day. Surroundings, an exhibition by artists Amy Fuller and Nicolas Roche, brings paintings and mixed media pieces to Gallery C for you to experience, interpret, ponder and enjoy.

The exhibit will continue through January 11, 2015


United Way Presents Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

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United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-State invites the public to attend Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Kick-Off Event Monday, Nov. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. at NICC Downtown Center, located at 700 Main St. in Dubuque.

The event will feature a coloring contest, local celebrity readers, and Free Goodie Bags to the first 250 attendees.

What Is It?
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a 60 volume set of books beginning with the children's classic The Little Engine That Could(TM). Each month a new, carefully selected book will be mailed in your child's name directly to your home. Best of all it is a FREE GIFT! There is no cost or obligation to your family.

Who Is Eligible?
Preschool children ages birth to 5 who are residents of Dubuque County.

What Are My Responsibilities?
1) Be a legal resident of Dubuque County.

2) Submit an official registration form, completely filled out by parent or guardian. (Form must be approved and on file with United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States.)

3) Notify United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States any time your address changes. Books are mailed to the address listed on the official registration form. If the child's address changes, you must contact the folks at the address on the card in order to continue receiving books.

4) Read with your child.

When Will I Receive Books?
Eight to ten weeks after your registration form has been received, books will begin arriving at your home and will continue until your child turns 5 or you move out of Dubuque County.

Find out more by visiting dbqunitedway.org or www.imaginationlibrary.com.


Moody's Affirms Dubuque Bond Rating

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Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the City of Dubuque's Aa2 rating. According to Moody's, "Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk."

Moody's Investors Service is an international provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. Moody's uses gradations of creditworthiness indicated by rating symbols, with each symbol representing a group in which the credit characteristics are broadly the same. There are nine symbols used to designate least credit risk to that denoting greatest credit risk: Aaa, Aa, A, Baa, Ba, B, Caa, Ca, and C. Moody's also appends numerical modifiers (1, 2, and 3) to each generic rating classification.

The rating was announced in advance of the City issuing $26.4 million in General Obligation (GO) debt. Proceeds will fund various city improvements, including water and sanitary sewer expansions, road improvements, acquisition of software and equipment, and urban renewal projects.

Moody's affirmed the Aa2 rating on the City's outstanding debt but the rating outlook has been revised to negative. In announcing the affirmation of Dubuque's Aa2 rating, Moody's noted that the City's general fund balance/reserve declines. The general fund reserve is a contingency fund and a percentage of operating expenses held in reserve for unforeseen, one-time expenses that may arise. Dubuque's general fund reserve declined from 22 percent of general fund revenues in fiscal year (FY) 2013 to 14.8 percent in FY 2014. This decline in the general fund reserve is due to planned capital expenditures of $4.1 million in FY 2014. The expenditures included a variety of projects, such as: public safety enhancements (equipment/vehicle replacement, computer software, facility improvements); parks maintenance and improvements (pavilions, parking lots, trails, green spaces); public facility improvements and maintenance (Five Flags audio/visual equipment, City-wide computer replacements); street/infrastructure improvements (curb/catch basins, sidewalk program, street lights, traffic signals, security cameras, property acquisitions); riverfront maintenance (harbor dredging and maintenance); franchise fee litigation; and housing and community development programs (maintenance of vacant/abandoned properties, homeownership grants).

Moody's prefers Aa2-rated organizations to have a general fund reserve greater than 20 percent. The City of Dubuque's fund reserves policies require a 10 percent general fund reserve and states the City may continue to add to the minimum balance when additional funds are available until 20 percent is reached.

Moody's report summary stated, "The Aa2 rating reflects the city's sizable tax base and role as a regional economic center in northeastern Iowa (Aaa stable); a trend of strong employment growth which is projected to continue; recent declines in fund balance and cash reserves which are expected to stabilize at healthy levels going forward; high debt burden with additional borrowing planned; and moderate exposure to unfunded pension liabilities."

The summary ratings rationale continued, "The negative outlook reflects the projected sizable declines in the available General Fund balance for fiscal 2014 compared to prior projections as well as a $1 million budget gap that is currently projected for fiscal 2015. Such declines in available fund balance would bring the city's reserve levels below the average for similarly rated entities. The negative outlook also incorporates our expectation that the city's fixed costs are expected to grow as sizable additional borrowing is expected in 2015."

The vast majority of Moody's public finance rating changes in recent years have been downgrades, accounting for 79 percent in 2013 and 82 percent in 2012. Seven other Iowa cities have been downgraded so far in 2014, including Ames, Bettendorf, Davenport, Des Moines, Jefferson, Sioux City, and Waverly.

Previously, Moody's adjusted Dubuque's general obligation bond rating one level in April 2014, from the second-highest rating available (Aa1) to the third-highest (Aa2). This change followed Moody's implementation of a new rating methodology. At that time, Dubuque was one of 256 U.S. local governments placed under review by Moody's as a result of the change in its rating methodology. The new methodology increased the weight in overall assessment on debt and pensions to 20 percent from 10 percent, decreases the weight on economic factors to 30 percent from 40 percent, and introduced a scorecard for U.S. local governments to enhance the transparency of key rating considerations.

Moody's has upgraded the City of Dubuque's general obligation bond rating twice since 2002. The last time, in April 2010, it was upgraded from Aa2 to Aa1 as a result of Moody's moving its municipal ratings scale to its global ratings scale. In September 2012, Moody's again reviewed Dubuque's rating and confirmed the Aa1 rating. The Moody's 2012 analysis said assignment of the Aa1 rating reflected the City's role as a regional service and retail provider in northeastern Iowa and neighboring states; satisfactory reserves despite recent cash funding of capital projects; and an above-average debt burden supported by alternate non-levy revenue sources.

The City of Dubuque uses debt strategically for major projects with long-term community benefits. The City does not use debt for operating expenses and, in fact, is required by state code to have a balanced operating budget every year. In recent years, the City has taken on debt incrementally to fund major infrastructure projects for storm water management, wastewater treatment, parking improvements, water distribution, and economic development. The City believes that the debt incurred in the past was all for critical undertakings that could not be delayed. Recent debt issuances took advantage of historically low interest rates. Additionally, the completed projects support the City's mission to deliver excellent municipal services that support urban living, a sustainable city plan for the community's future, and facilitate access to critical human services, resulting in financially sound government and citizens getting services and value for their tax dollar.


American Red Cross Calling for Nominations for Everyday Heroes of the Tri-States

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The Red Cross is seeking nominations in 11 categories for those who have made a difference.

The American Red Cross of the Tri-States, along with corporate sponsors Dupaco Community Credit Union, KWWL and Radio Dubuque stations (KAT-FM, KDTH, 97.3 The Rock and The River) are calling for nominations for the annual Everyday Heroes of the Tri-States celebration.

An Everyday Hero is someone who has made a difference in any of the following categories:

• Fire & Rescue 

• Workplace Safety

• Law Enforcement 

• Military

• Health Care 

• Animal Rescue

• Professional Responder

• Volunteer Community Impact

• Adult Good Samaritan (age 18+) 

• Youth Good Samaritan (under 18)

• Education

An act of heroism does not need to involve the direct saving of a life. In order to be eligible for the award nomination, the hero must live, work, or go to school in the area served by the Red Cross of the Tri-States: Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque, Howard and Winneshiek Counties in Iowa and the City of East Dubuque in Illinois.

An independent selection committee will select the award winners. The nomination deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

The Everyday Heroes of the Tri-States breakfast will be held Tuesday, March 17, at 7:00 a.m. at the Best Western Plus Hotel & Conference Center (3100 Dodge Street, Dubuque.) For more information on Everyday Heroes of the Tri-States, please contact the Red Cross at (563) 564-4564.

The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and home fires­ can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.


How to show your appreciation to members of the military

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Civilians who join the military find their lives change forever upon entering the service. The armed forces shape a person, teaching discipline, humility, bravery, and many other life lessons. Joining the military often means making substantial personal sacrifices, as servicemen and women are typically called away from their families and the comforts of home.

Many grateful men and women want to show their appreciation to those who risk their lives to defend their country, but they may not always know how. The following are a number of ways you can show your appreciation to members of the military.

• Thank a service member. If you see a person in uniform, thank them for their service to the country. Use the person's title if you can identify rank, or simply use the respectful terms of "sir" or "madam." Though a simple gesture, a verbal token of gratitude can go a long way toward brightening a soldier's day.

• Volunteer with a veteran's association. Volunteering is another way to show veterans and active service members how much you appreciate the sacrifices they have made. Volunteer at a veteran's hospital or help to organize an event that's commemorating the efforts of local veterans and active service members.

• Propose an event to honor local service members. Petition a town council for a special parade to honor your community's military personnel, including veterans and active duty members. 

• Raise funds. Fundraisers are another way to show military members how much you appreciate their service. Collect money for a military-based scholarship, asking a local high school or university to establish the scholarship in the name of a local veteran or active duty service 

• Provide a forum in which a serviceman or servicewoman can share his or her story. Soldiers can offer unique insight on issues that affect civilians, and the community can benefit from servicemen and women who share their stories. When hosting a community event, ask a soldier to be a keynote speaker.

• Send gifts to active military. Make care packages or write cards and thank you notes to stationed troops. Organizations like the USO, Military-Missions.org or AnySoldier.com can ensure your packages make their way into the hands of soldiers.

• Help an active duty service member's family. Spouses of active duty military personnel often must handle all of the chores that come with managing a household on their own. To show how much you appreciate a service member's efforts, offer to lend a hand around his or her house. This can make life easier on a service man or woman's spouse, and your companionship may provide a world of good. You can even go the extra mile by organizing a military spouse appreciation night at a nearby church or recreation hall. Offer free babysitting and provide refreshments and entertainment.

• Publicly display your patriotism. Active duty service members and veterans joined the military to defend our way of life, and you can show pride for your country and appreciation for their efforts by hanging a flag outside of your home.

• Pick up the tab. Surprise a person in uniform by paying for his or her meal at a restaurant. It's a simple gesture, but it shows how much you appreciate that service member's sacrifice.

Gestures that show military personnel how much you appreciate them need not be lavish. Any and all expressions of gratitude can make a world of difference.


Did You Know?

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The origins of Veterans Day can be traced to the ending of World War I nearly a century ago. Known at the time as "The Great War," World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in France.

But the fighting had actually ended seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allies and Germany went into effect on November 11, 1918. The following November United States President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 "Armistice Day" in honor of the cessation of the hostilities, and the day became a federal holiday in 1938.

That act was amended in 1954 after veterans service organizations, in recognition of the efforts of soldiers who fought in World War II, asked that the day be renamed "Veterans Day" so it honored all soldiers and not just those who fought in World War I.



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The Grand Opera House will present the play Miracle on 34th Street, adapted by Mountain Community Theater. Performances are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, November 21-23 and November 28-30. Friday/Saturday shows are at 7:30 PM; Sunday shows are at 2 PM.

Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy's and unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy's vocational counselor who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Especially at stake is one little girl's belief in Santa. 

The play is directed by Ryan Decker and features a talented local cast with costumes by Michelle Blanchard, properties by Lynda Mackie, and sets and lighting by Tracey Richardson.

Tickets are $20 for adults in advance or $22 day of show, and $12 to those under 21. Tickets can be purchased through the box office at 135 W. 8th Street, Dubuque, by calling 563-588-1305, or online at www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting patrons an hour before each performance, Free popcorn will be offered in exchange for donations of new, unwrapped toys to the Grand Opera House's Toys for Tots bin.

Performances and free parking are sponsored by McCoy Group, Mel's Carpet Outlet, Cottingham & Butler and Fuerste Eye Clinic. For more information, go to
www.thegrandoperahouse.com or call the box office, 563-588-1305.


Key moments in NASCAR history

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One of the most popular sports in the United States, NASCAR has a rich history steeped in tradition. The following are some of the more important moments in the history of stock car racing's governing body.

• December 1947: By late 1947, stock car racing was growing in popularity, and tracks were struggling to handle the crowds and cars. Recognizing this and other issues, including less than trustworthy promoters who would often leave events before paying drivers, facing his sport, Bill France, Sr. organized a meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla. France, Sr. gathered owners, drivers and even mechanics at the Streamline Hotel, setting the foundation for NASCAR. Within months, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing would form.

• February 1948: Behind the wheel of his Ford Modified, Red Byron wins the first sanctioned NASCAR race on a beach course in Daytona.

• September 1950: Darlington International Raceway becomes the first asphalt super speedway to host a NASCAR event. Driving a 1950 Plymouth owned by France, Sr., Johnny Mantz won the 500-mile event.

• July 1952: The first NASCAR competition to take place outside of the United States is held on a dirt track in Stamford Park, Ontario, Canada. The 200-mile event was won by Buddy Shuman and marked the only victory of Shuman's career.

• February 1959: The first Dayton 500 is held at what is now the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The event, which remains the sport's most prestigious race, coincided with the opening of the speedway. Lee Petty won the race, which featured a prize of just more than $19,000. By 2013, when Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500, the winner's purse had ballooned to more than $1.5 million.

• December 1963: Wendell Scott wins a NASCAR race at Jacksonville Speedway, becoming the first African-American in NASCAR history to win a premier division race.

• November 1979: Richard Petty, the son of inaugural Daytona 500 winner Lee Petty, wins his seventh series championship, a record at the time. Dale Earnhardt would later tie Petty, and both men still hold the record today.

• February 1998: Racing in his twentieth Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt wins his first one, snapping a 59-race winless streak in the process.

• 2003: Brian France, the grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr., takes over as American CEO and Chairman of NASCAR, taking over the position from his father.

• 2004: The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is announced. This announcement gave the sport a postseason similar to a playoff. Since 2008, this has been referred to as the "Chase for the Sprint Cup," a name changed made necessary by the merger of NEXTEL and Sprint.

• November 2009: Jimmie Johnson becomes the first driver to win four consecutive championships. Johnson would add to his legend the following season by winning his fifth consecutive championship and then again in 2013 by winning his sixth overall championship, leaving him one shy of the all-time record of seven championships held by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.



Women's heart attack symptoms can differ from men's

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Symptoms of a heart attack can include radiating pain down the arm and tightness in the chest. While these may be universally recognized symptoms of heart attacks for men, new studies have shown such symptoms are not necessarily what women can expect if they're having a heart attack.

Research indicates women may experience symptoms quite different from men when it comes to heart attacks. Dismissing the symptoms of a heart attack can delay life-saving actions. It is critical for women to recognize warning signs. Even when signs are subtle, the results can be deadly.

The American Heart Association notes that a heart attack occurs when blood flow that brings oxygen-rich blood to the heart is slowed down or cut off. Arteries that supply blood flow to the heart may gradually become blocked by cholesterol, fat and plaque. The National Institutes of Health indicate women often experience new or unusual physical symptoms as early as a month before experiencing a heart attack.

Women's symptoms may not be as predictable as men's, but there are still some signs to consider:

• sweating

• pressure in the chest and back that may feel like a rope being tightened around the body

• nausea

• pain in the back, neck, jaw or stomach

• shortness of breath without having exerted yourself

• lightheadedness

• chest pain may be present, but fewer than 30 percent of women actually experience any pain in their chest

• unusual fatigue

• indigestion

• sleep disturbances

If a woman experiences any of the above symptoms and suspects a heart attack, it is better to be safe than sorry. First, call 9-1-1 and make sure to follow the operator's instructions. Chew and swallow an aspirin (325 mg) if you have one available. Aspirin will prevent platelets in the blood from clotting and further blocking up an affected artery. This prevents any other heart muscle cells from dying from a clot obstruction.

If you suspect you are having a heart attack, do not drive yourself to the hospital. Wait for paramedics or have someone else drive if you have no other choice. Lie down and try to remain as calm as possible until emergency responders arrive. Be somewhere safe in case you lose consciousness and have the door unlocked so that EMTs can get inside your home should you lose consciousness.

One of the best ways to remain healthy with regard to heart attack is to take certain preventative measures to reduce your risk of heart attack. Quitting smoking, walking 30 minutes per day and choosing foods that are lower in fat and dietary cholesterol can help prevent heart attacks.


RTA Receives DRA Grant

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The RTA received a DRA Grant in May of 2014 to purchase maintenance software for its fleet of buses, which was recently installed in early October. This grant will assist the RTA to perform preventative maintenance and be proactive in assessing potential problems for its fleet of 30 buses. The RTA fleet is growing older and funds were previously used for bigger maintenance issues that if identified earlier, could have been alleviated sooner. The RTA is looking forward to using this new software option and is grateful to the DRA for the grant award.

The RTA provides accessible, safe, convenient, and efficient transportation for all citizens in the cities, communities and rural areas of Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson Counties to enhance their quality of life. RTA vehicles are equipped to accommodate all people, including children, the elderly and people with disabilities. The RTA manages a fleet of 30 light duty buses, accessible minivans and standard vans. RTA provides 180,000 annual passenger trips serving over 2,500 individuals in the three-county region.


Reflections in the Park offers family friendly, entertaining escape

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The hustle and bustle are beginning again - Christmastime, of course, has arrived.

And when the holiday season becomes frantic, the lights in Louis Murphy Park will offer a family friendly, entertaining escape.

It's the 20th anniversary of Reflections in the Park, a Hillcrest lights festival that opens to the public from 5:00 to 10 p.m.  Nov. 27 through Jan. 3, 2015.

Reflections in the Park features more than 60 displays, including a wide array of objects, from a Concrete Mixer pouring out wrapped packages to the very popular 200' Tunnel of Lights to distinctively animated displays - all with LED lighting.

Upwards to 50,000 visitors view the massive Reflections in the Park event each year.

And one of those visitors is Santa Claus, who each year makes several visits to the park. Santa has indicated he will be at the park every Monday in December before Christmas - that means four trips this year. He will be there from 5 to 8 p.m. to personally greet visitors and offer candy canes to all youngsters – and even the family pet gets a special treat!

While the full name of the event is Reflections in the Park, "A Hillcrest Lights Festival", it is a "truly community event," according to event coordinator Sondra Bennett of Hillcrest.

Approximately 500 community volunteers put in over 3,500 hours making Reflections in the Park happen, from selling display to handling the promotions, while at the park, doing everything from set-up, to volunteering while the show is up and running, to taking down the displays when the show wraps up.

"We are so privileged to be in a city that allows us to use a city park for this show," Bennett said.  Show sponsors cover the cost of the event, and dollars raised support the 30-plus programs of Hillcrest Family Services. Located at 2005 Asbury Road in Dubuque, Hillcrest is a nonprofit human services agency that serves over 26,000 individuals across State of Iowa and beyond.

Tickets for Reflections in the Park are priced at $10 per vehicle at the gate. Discounted $8 tickets are available at all Dubuque Bank and Trust banking centers in Dubuque and East Dubuque and all Hillcrest Family Services locations throughout the event. Tickets also make a wonderful gift and come with gift card and envelope.

Additional details about Reflections can be obtained by calling Hillcrest at 563-583-7357 or toll free at 877-437-6333, or by sending an email to Sondra Bennett at sondra.bennett@hillcrest-fs.org.


Dubuque named one of world’s Smart21 Communities

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The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) has named Dubuque as one of the world's Smart21 Communities of 2015. Dubuque is one of just five U.S. communities named to the list. This select group of communities will now be in contention for the prestigious designation of Intelligent Community of the Year in June 2015.

"We have started the search for Toronto's successor. More importantly, our analysts have selected 21 communities that have shown progress in their attempt to make the leap to Intelligent Community status. The Revolutionary Community theme for 2015 is perfect for this group," said Louis Zacharillo, ICF co-founder. "Not all of them are cities, towns or regions that people immediately think of as ‘tech cities.' Tech is not all there is to a great community. Some are aspirational but all have launched programs that are innovative, and will do something that most cities, towns and regions have been attempting since the broadband economy emerged: launch a successful and full-scale full revolt against brain drain and the creation of industries that will produce jobs."

ICF noted that last month the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the International Labour Organization detailed a growing job crisis. A report to G20 employment ministers stated that there is a sizeable job gap coupled with deterioration in the quality of jobs. Six hundred million jobs will be required in the next 15 years just to cope with an expanding population. One hundred million people are already unemployed.

The Smart21 Communities of 2015 is comprised of five communities from the United States, four communities from Australia, four communities from Taiwan, three communities from Canada, and one community each from Brazil, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya and New Zealand. Perhaps surprisingly, no European or Chinese community appears on this year's list. Thirteen communities reappeared on the list, with the ICF's first Kazakhstani city making the Smart21.

NOTE: The Intelligent Community Forum produced a video about the Smart21 for 2015. It can be viewed here - www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZo6o5TOch8

Intelligent Community Forum Smart21 Communities for 2015 (Community Country Population listed):

Arlington County, Va. U.S. 210,280
Astana Kazakhstan 832,000
Aurora, Ill. U.S. 203,008
Changhua County Taiwan 1,300,000
Columbus, Ohio U.S. 822,553
Dubuque, Iowa U.S. 58,253
Edmonton, Alberta Canada 877,926
Ipswich, Queensland Australia 185,000
Mitchell, S.D. U.S. 15,254
Nairobi County Kenya 3,380,000
New Taipei City Taiwan 3,959,855
Prospect, South Australia Australia 296,862
Rio de Janeiro Brazil 6,453,682
Sherbrooke, Quebec Canada 169,200
Shiojiri City Japan 67,824
Sunshine Coast Australia 278,202
Surrey, British Columbia Canada 502,000
Taitung County Taiwan 226,252
Taoyuan County Taiwan 2,050,600
Whanganui New Zealand 43,100
Whittlesea, Victoria Australia 186,368

The announcement of the Smart21 list was made on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the kickoff dinner for the third annual Intelligent Community Symposium at the Walsh University Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community in North Canton, Ohio. The symposium attracts international experts in the fields of education, technology, and business to discuss successful strategies for building prosperous and sustainable communities. The event featured Google's Education Evangelist Jaimie Casap and Tim Jones, Toronto's legendary social entrepreneur and CEO of Artscape. Jones coined the phrase "placemaking" and helped foster a global practice in the field.

The symposium also marked the launch of the Institute's Leadership Academy, a course designed to educate students, community leaders and ICF movement "champions" on the Intelligent Community Indicators.

Evaluation of Intelligent Community Forum Awards Program nominations is based on the five Intelligent Community Indicators, which provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness and point to its success in the broadband economy. In addition, the awards are guided by this year's theme, The Revolutionary Community, which focuses on the study of urban and regional planning and how it is impacting the way people live, work and create in their cities and towns. ICF released a white paper discussing the theme, which can be downloaded here.

The Smart21 Communities of 2015 will next provide more detailed data through an extensive questionnaire, which is evaluated by an independent research firm. The seven highest-scoring cities or regions will then be named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year, on January 22 in Taichung City, Taiwan, the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. In June of 2015, at an event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year, one community will be chosen to succeed Toronto as the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year.

About Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org), headquartered in New York, is a global movement of 134 cities, towns and regions. As an international think tank and foundation, ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and towns build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts global events, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The forum has two Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, with more institutes planned. Global leaders, thinkers, and media observers follow and participate in the ongoing global dialogue initiated by the Intelligent Community Forum.

In 2012, ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was "aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs." The forum's foundation has an association made up of over 125 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide, which is represented by mayors and key civic leaders.

For more information, go to www.icf-foundation.org. For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum's recent publications and programs, visit www.intelligentcommunity.org



The 411 on ghosts

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While many people are content to limit their hunt for ghosts to Halloween, plenty of others devote their time to the study of the paranormal.

Parapsychology is the study of paranormal activity and beings, which may be intertwined with spectrology, or the study of ghosts and phantoms. Those who spend time studying ghosts and phenomena that defies explanation do so to get closer to the truth and better understand strange occurrences.

Differences between apparitions and ghosts
"Apparition" and "ghost" are often used interchangeably, but such usage is incorrect. The term "apparition" is used for any kind of visual, paranormal manifestation, while a "ghost" is just one type of apparition. Other apparitions may be inanimate objects, animals, lights, or orbs. Ghosts are defined as spiritual entities, which usually are human. Typically ghosts are conscious of themselves and their surroundings.

People have various explanations as to why ghosts continue to stick around long after their bodies have expired. Some may be comforting living relatives, while others may be seeking revenge. Ghosts may not understand they are actually dead and, as a result, may frequent the places they found most comforting while they were living. Some ghosts are confused and just don't know what is going on.

Seeing a ghost
Some people are simply more in tune with the paranormal world than others. Those with an open mind may have a better chance of crossing paths with a ghost and recognizing the encounter. Many ghost-hunting organizations and scientists capture electronic voice phenomena, or EVP, on tape as an indication that ghosts may be present.

Those interested in learning more about ghosts or those who hope to seek ghosts can explore the International Ghost Hunters Society, the Ghost Investigators Society or GEIST web for more information on EVP and ghost sightings.

Another way to potentially encounter a ghost is to visit an area where many people died suddenly, such as a former battlefield. According to Studies of the Paranormal, a person is more likely to encounter a ghost in a home or another building than at a cemetery.

According to experts, many ghosts are not around to harm others. However, poltergeists, which are another type of spirit or disembodied energy, can be destructive. Some believe they create loud noises, throw objects and even start fires.

Ghosts may be the subject matter of Halloween scary stories and movies, but plenty of people are convinced they are real and move among the living seen and unseen. Various organizations exist to study ghosts and other paranormal activity.


Cold weather riding tips for bikers

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The arrival of cooler temperatures means motorcycle enthusiasts should have a plan in place for their vehicles. Although fall sees many riders pack their bikes into the garage to wait out the winter, many others see no reason to quit the great outdoors just because colder weather is on the way.

No matter which path riders take and when they take it, preparation is essential when riding motorcycles. Here are a few pointers for riders to consider once the leaves have started to change color.

Layer up
Layering clothing is a key component of riding a motorcycle in colder temperatures. Many people are not very active on the back of a bike, so they will not generate enough heat on their own. Layering clothing will take the bite out of frosty winds and any precipitation that happens to be falling.

Layer clothing so that you will feel comfortable, maybe even a bit warm when you are just standing around outdoors. A first layer of thermal or fleece is a good idea. Then layer other materials as needed for comfort. Just do not wear so many layers that your mobility is compromised. If layers are not keeping you warm enough, invest in heated clothing.

The outermost layer you wear should be weather- and wind-resistant. Wind chill can quickly sap your energy and cut your ride considerably. Leather clothing will fit the bill in most cases, but a rain suit or some other waterproof material also may be necessary at times.

Leaves can be a significant hazard to riders in the fall. Damp leaves can make a slippery mess of roads, particularly on turns and curves.

Avoid all piles of leaves, as you do not know what may be hiding beneath them. Consider wet leaves as dangerous as black ice, as soggy leaves can be just as slippery.

Salt and sand
Road maintenance crews will use sand and salt to keep roads clear when snow and ice forms. Avoid riding on salty roads because the salt can corrode chrome and paint. If you choose to do any winter riding, apply a coat of wax to all parts of the motorcycle before going for a ride. This will help protect it and enable any salt to be easily wiped off after riding.

Standing water
If it rains or snows lightly after an extended period of dryness, oils in the road can come to the surface, making roads quite slick. In addition, stay on the lookout for puddles and other standing water. While motorcycle tires are good for displacing water, they still can hydroplane. Stay focused when riding on wet surfaces.

Foraging animals
One potential hazard riders may not consider is wildlife. Harvested crops reduce easy food sources, and animals may be on the move looking for food. Deer can be pushed out of fields by hunters. A collision with a deer can damage a car, never mind a motorcycle. Always use caution in rural areas, particularly at dawn and dusk.

If you choose to store your bike when the weather starts to get cold, remember to put a fuel stabilizer in the tank, fill the tank with gas and hook the battery up to a battery tender. This will ensure the bike is ready to hit the road when the temperatures warm up.


Winterize to safeguard your home from harsh weather

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Autumn is a beautiful time of year marked by welcoming cooler temperatures and the natural beauty of leaves changing colors. Autumn also has a tendency to fly by, as if the powerful weather of winter simply cannot wait to make its presence felt.

With such a seemingly short time between the end of summer and the dawn of winter, homeowners know they don't have too many weekends in between to prepare their homes for the potentially harsh months ahead. But such preparation, often referred to as "winterizing," can make a home more comfortable when the mercury dips below freezing, while saving homeowners substantial amounts of money along the way.

• Clean the gutters. Leaves falling in fall can be a beautiful sight to behold, but many of those leaves are likely finding their way into your gutters, where they can lodge and cause a host of problems down the road. If the leaves and additional debris, such as twigs and dirt, that pile up in your gutters are not cleared out before the first winter storm, the results can be costly and even catastrophic.

Winter rain and snowfall need a place to go upon hitting your roof, and gutters facilitate the travel of such precipitation from your roof into street-level drainage systems. If gutters are backed up with leaves and other debris, then ice dams may form, forcing water to seep in through the roof. That damage can be costly and can even cause the roof to collapse inward in areas with heavy snowfall. Clean gutters throughout the fall, especially if your property has many trees, and be sure to check gutters one last time before the arrival of winter.

• Tend to your attic. Homeowners who have attics in their homes might want to add some extra insulation up there, especially those who recall feeling cold inside their homes last winter, which is often a telltale sign of improper insulation in a home. A good rule of thumb when determining if your attic needs more insulation is to look for the ceiling joists. If you can see the joists, then you need more insulation.

• Address leaky windows and doors. Sometimes attic insulation is not the culprit when it comes to a cold home. Oftentimes, leaky windows and doors are the real bad guys in a drafty home. Fall is a great time to inspect for leaky windows and doors, as the wind outside can serve as your partner. When the wind outside is blowing, take a tour of your home's windows and doorways, standing next to them to determine if there are any holes or leaks that are letting outdoor air inside. If you notice any leaks beneath exterior doors, install some door sweeps to keep outdoor air where it belongs. Leaks around windows can be snuffed out with caulk or weather stripping.

• Test the furnace. Homeowners typically do not devote much thought to their furnaces in spring, summer and fall. But with winter on the horizon, fall is the time to test the furnace to make sure it's ready for the months ahead. Expect a somewhat foul yet brief odor to appear when starting the furnace. That odor should dissipate shortly, but if it does not go away, then your furnace is likely in need of repair. But even if the smell does not stick around, you might want to have the furnace cleaned by a professional anyway. Such cleanings ensure the furnace works efficiently throughout the winter.

• Clean the garage. You might not mind parking in the driveway during the warmer months of the year, but why subject your vehicles to harsh winter weather if you don't have to? Clean the garage in the fall so you have an indoor parking spot throughout the winter season. Protecting your car from the elements can add years to its life and also saves you the trouble of digging your car out of the snow.

Fall is a time of year for homeowners to spend a weekend or two preparing their homes for the often harsh weather that awaits when winter arrives.


Properly maintained headlights vastly improve driver safety

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The importance of maintaining a vehicle cannot be understated. In addition to protecting their financial investments, drivers who properly maintain their vehicles are also protecting themselves and their passengers.

Many elements of vehicle maintenance become second nature to drivers once they have a few months of driving under their belts. Oil changes, routine checkups and periodic vehicle inspections can keep cars running smoothly and safely on the road. But few drivers remember to maintain their headlights, a potentially dangerous oversight that can compromise the safety of drivers and their fellow motorists.

Old or poorly maintained headlights can be hazardous for a variety of reasons. When coupled with inclement weather, outdated or dirty headlights can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians and other vehicles. In addition, drivers who struggle to see at night may find their visibility further compromised by older headlights that don't provide the light they need to navigate their vehicles safely once the sun has gone down.

Because headlights can have such a dramatic impact on driver safety, it's important that motorists take the following steps to maintain their headlamps.

• Recognize when bulbs start to dim. As headlight bulbs age, their light output is reduced by the effects of humidity, electrical resistance, filament fatigue, and general usage. The result is dim bulbs that make it difficult for motorists young and old to see when driving at twilight and at night, when a driver's visual acuity is naturally reduced by 70 percent. Drivers should pay attention to how their headlights are performing, replacing any bulbs that are no longer providing adequate light.

• Don't just replace but upgrade your headlight bulbs. Bulbs that have started to dim need to be replaced, but auto enthusiasts or maintenance-savvy drivers know they can upgrade their bulbs when replacing them. Industry experts recommend replacing headlamp bulbs every two years, and replacing them in pairs to make sure the vehicle's lighting is equally balanced. But rather than sticking with the bulbs provided by the car maker, look for a bulb that makes it easier to see at night and during hazardous conditions. The Philips Upgrade Headlights put more light on the road, helping to make up for poor weather, dimly lit roads, aging headlights, and even the loss of night vision many drivers experience as they age. Capable of providing up to 100 percent more light than the standard halogen bulbs found on the majority of vehicles today, Upgrade Headlights create a better beam pattern that is dramatically longer than the standard bulbs, vastly improving driver vision and safety.

• Buy the bulbs that match your driving habits. Some drivers spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel while others use their cars or trucks only to run errands or make short trips. When replacing bulbs that have dimmed, be sure to choose a bulb that fits your driving habits. Philips makes a headlight bulb for every type of driver, be it the daily commuter, the soccer mom or those drivers who only rarely take to the highway. Philips even makes a special headlamp for motorcycles that creates a unique orange reflection that helps distinguish the motorcycle from other vehicles on the road.

Numerous studies have shown that roughly one-third of auto accidents occur at night, when driver visibility is most compromised. So in addition to maintaining their headlights, drivers should take the following steps to improve their visibility.

• Keep wiper blades fresh. Wiper blades should be changed every three months, as they can become brittle over time and, depending on their frequency of use, can wear out, especially on older vehicles with pitting on the windshield. When inspecting the wiper blades, remember to inspect your windshield washer as well, making sure that the washers are operating effectively and that the washer fluid basin has been refilled.

• Avoid hanging items that compromise visibility. Many drivers like to hang trinkets, fuzzy dice or personal photos from their vehicles' rearview mirrors. Avoid hanging such items, which can prove distracting and restrict your view of the road.

• Clean the interior glass and mirrors. Dirty interior glass and mirrors make it difficult for drivers to see fellow motorists, so make removing any film buildup on such surfaces part of your routine vehicle maintenance.

More information is available at www.philips.com/automotive.


Dubuque Leaf Disposal Options

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Because autumn has officially arrived and the leaves have begun to fall, the City of Dubuque is reminding residents of their options for leaf and yard debris disposal.

As part of the City's April-November collection service, leaves and other yard waste may be placed in paper yard waste bags that display a single-use yard waste sticker, a rigid solid waste container with either a single-use yard waste sticker looped on the handle or a City 2014 annual yard waste decal, or, in City yard debris tipper carts. Brush and limbs can be bundled with a City of Dubuque brush tie or twine and an attached single-use yard waste sticker.

Bags and containers may not exceed 35 gallons in capacity or 40 pounds in weight. Plastic bags containing yard waste will not be collected.

Paper yard waste bags, single-use yard waste stickers, and brush ties are available in most grocery, hardware, and discount stores throughout the city. Single-use yard waste stickers are available at area retailers on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each.

Seasonal, regular-route yard waste collection ends Saturday, Nov. 29. From December through March, Thursday collections of yard waste and food scraps may be scheduled by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request through the City's website, www.cityofdubuque.org.

Mulch mowing and backyard composting are also economical and beneficial leaf management options. Leaf burning and raking or blowing your leaves into the street are prohibited and subject to fines.

Leaf rake-out collections by appointment are offered through Wednesday, Nov. 26. These collections must be scheduled in advance by calling (563) 589-4250. Appointments must be made before raking into a gutter area. Acceptable items in the leaf rake-out include loose leaves, pine needles, and pine cones. Grass, brush, plants, and rocks are not accepted.

Leaf piles should be placed in the street at the curb no sooner than the day before the scheduled appointment. Crews cannot enter private property or alleys to collect a leaf rake-out. Vehicles must not be parked on the street within 10 feet of the leaf pile. Utilities such as fire hydrants, utility boxes, or storm sewer catch basins should not be covered. A $20 minimum charge is added to a caller's utility bill for a 40 bag equivalent rake-out pickup.

For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at (563) 589-4250 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/publicworks.


City Awarded Fifth REAP Grant for Bike/Hike Trail

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On Oct. 9, 2014, the Iowa Natural Resources Commission approved the City of Dubuque's $200,000 grant application for Phase 5 of the Iowa 32 (Northwest Arterial) Bike/Hike Trail.

Dubuque's application ranked second out of 13 large cities applying for Fiscal Year 2015 funds from the Resource Enhancement and Protection program, or REAP.

Phase 5 of the project will connect the Iowa 32 (Northwest Arterial) Bike/Hike Trail to the Bergfeld Recreation Area, located on Chavenelle Road. The estimated total cost for Phase 5 is $200,000. Construction is planned for 2015-2016.

The trail will begin at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Iowa 32 and will extend southerly along the west side of Iowa 32 right-of-way to the intersection of Chavenelle Road and Iowa 32. The trail then will extend westerly along Chavenelle Road as bike lanes (sharrows) through the Dubuque Industrial Center to the Bergfeld Recreation Area. The trail then will connect with the existing trails in the recreation area through ADA-accessible ramps to the historic Dubuque & Dunlieth Bridge, thus completing the recreation area's trail network with access to the historic bridge.

REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect Iowa's natural and cultural resources. Fifteen percent of REAP funds are set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas and encourage outdoor recreation and resource management. In its 25 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting 14,535 projects. REAP has funded these projects with $264 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 $2.1 million from 11 REAP grants invested in building off-road trails throughout the community and expanding the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Area at the Mines of Spain.

To view a project map and list of REAP grants visit www.cityofdubuque.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4574


Key to cooking with pumpkins

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Autumn is ripe with vibrant colors and scenery. One of the more vivid sights this time of year are the bright, orange pumpkins that adorn walkways and front porches of homes and businesses. Not only are pumpkins ideal for decorating, but they're also great to eat.

Some people who plan to carve jack-o-lanterns mistakenly believe the same type of pumpkin can be used in their favorite recipes. But what carving pumpkins have in visual flair, they usually lack in flavor and substance. Instead, would-be pumpkin cookers should look to other varieties if they plan to serve pumpkin on the menu.

Pumpkins are available from September through December, but they peak in October. Many smaller pumpkins are better and sweeter for cooking. Mini pumpkins, sugar, cheese, and pie pumpkins are varieties commonly used in recipes. The big jack-o-lantern pumpkins have stringy, watery flesh and will provide little to no pulp for cooking.

Select a pumpkin as you would any other type of squash. Look for a firm pumpkin with no bruises or soft spots. The pumpkin also should have a deep orange color. Store pumpkins in a cool, dark area until ready for use to prolong freshness. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool water before cutting to remove any dirt and bacteria on the surface of the pumpkin so it won't be transferred to the pulp of the pumpkin.

Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and any stringy material. Rinse and save the seeds for planting or roasting. Put the pumpkin pieces in the microwave to cook or you can steam or bake them until the pulp is soft and the pumpkin falls off of the skin. Cool the pumpkins, then puree the pulp until it's smooth. You may want to strain the pureed pumpkin with a cheese cloth to remove any excess water before using in a pie recipe. Baked breads may benefit from the extra moisture.

Pumpkins are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They're also low in fat and calories. Pumpkin puree can replace the oil in some baking recipes, much as you would use applesauce.


Make the most of road trips to enjoy fall foliage

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Jaunts to view fall foliage are popular excursions come autumn. The vivid color on display in forests and parks is simply too much for many motorists to resist.

Though nature's beauty is often on display regardless of geography, some locales tend to boast more beauteous backdrops and picturesque landscapes than others. The key is to visit during peak viewing times.

Leaves begin to change earlier in the northernmost latitudes. For example, much of Canada and portions of the northern United States begin to witness changes in foliage in late September, whereas regions farther south must wait until October to see those changes. Mid-October is when peak times are most prevalent for the greatest portion of the United States. Travelers in North Dakota and Wyoming can view fall foliage at this time. Autumn coloring persists until late October and early November in certain areas, including the southeastern and central regions of the United States.

When planning a road trip to see fall foliage, pay attention to local weather and foliage reports. Remember, road trips are quite popular this time of year, and municipal parks may be quite crowded on the weekends. If you can spare time off during the week, it may work to your advantage to cruise around when traffic is less congested. Bring along maps or a GPS system so that you can travel to multiple areas.

Autumn leaves can be enjoyed from a car, but they are equally enjoyable when experienced on a hiking trip. Pack a bagged lunch and picnic in a quiet spot, and you're bound to spot squirrels and other wildlife gathering up food reserves in preparation for the winter weather.

While the foliage is impressive enough on its own, the science behind this awesome display of color is something to behold as well. During the spring and summer, leaves produce most of the food necessary for the tree's growth. Cells inside of the leaves contain chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight, turning it into sugars and starch that the tree uses for food. In addition to green chlorophyll, other pigments specific to the types of trees are present. These pigments are generally masked by the large amount of chlorophyll present during warm weather.

When autumn arrives, changes in the duration of sunlight result in the gradual decrease of chlorophyll and the breakdown of residual chlorophyll in the leaves as the trees prepare to stop food production for the cold hibernation. Other chemical changes take place as the leaves prepare for winter, and these mix with chlorophyll residue to produce various shades of colors. Weather, light and water supply will influence the shades of colors as well. Rainy weather makes them more vivid.

While the colors are appearing, a special layer of cells develops, and this layer gradually severs the tissues of the leaf from the branches before the leaves fall to the ground.

The best days to see leaves are those days that are cool and dry. Leaves that fall on roadways and are dampened by rain can be very slippery, so it is important to exercise caution while driving.


Memorialize a Loved One at the 20th Annual Reflections in the Park

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Work on the 20th annual Reflections in the Park is well underway with volunteers making adjustments to the lights and selling displays.

After seeing 10,812 cars and 43,678 visitors at the 2013 Reflections in the Park, Hillcrest Family Services is poised to continue setting records at its annual Louis Murphy Park lights display. As we celebrate the 20th year for Reflections in the Park, visitors will see many new displays, as well as the option to participate in the featured 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 at the end of the lane which is lined with starlit street lights that will represent your loved ones. Those being remembered in Memory Lane will have their name printed in the 2014 Reflections in the Park booklet.

Reflections in the Park, a Hillcrest Family Services charitable event, 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 26,000 people served by Hillcrest Family Services.

For more information about Memory Lane, please contact Sondra Bennett at sondra.bennett@hillcrest-fs.org or call 563-583-7357 ext. 245.


Deer Hunting Season Opens

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Iowa's deer hunting seasons begin Oct. 1 when the archery deer hunting season opens. Archery deer hunting is permitted at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area again during the 2014-2015 deer hunting seasons. Iowa's bow season is Oct. 1 through Dec. 5, and then opens again Dec. 22 through Jan. 10, 2015. Hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Hunting at the Mines of Spain is open in certain zones. Areas that you cannot hunt include:

1) The E.B. Lyons Interpretive Area down to Granger Creek;

2) The new land adjacent to the E.B. Lyons Center;

3) The Julien Dubuque Monument Area bordered by the railroad tracks, park road and Catfish Creek;

4) Area at the south entrance between the two upper parking lots and towards the river;

5) an area west of HWY 151 and along Marjo Hills Road.

Maps are available at the park office or at www.minesofspain.org under maps.

While deer hunting is in progress all other users are allowed in the park. Hikers, hunters, skiers, birders, and other outdoor users will be out in the park for a variety of reasons. All visitors in the park should respect the use of others. The park is here for everyone to use, but consider the following safety suggestions.

• Those not hunting should consider alternate locations if hunters are visible.

• Those hunting should consider alternate hunting areas if hikers, etc. are known to be in the area.

• Non-hunters should wear orange apparel that is visible at 360 degrees.

• Leave a note on your vehicle that you are hunting or hiking/skiing/other.

• All dogs are required to be on leash at all times, but have pets wear orange during hunting seasons.

• Hunters, consider not using trails. Select another way to the hunting spot

• Non-hunters, consider staying on trails and not venturing off trail.

• Leave the park as you found it or better - LEAVE NO TRACE.

• Call park office or 911 if you witness illegal activity.

• Remember, you are not the only person in the park. BE ALERT.

For more information on hunting and seasons in Iowa go to www.iowadnr.gov. For maps or other information about hunting in the Mines of Spain Recreation Area call the park office at 563-556-0620.


Injury prevention tips for school-aged athletes

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The new school year is an exciting time for school-aged youngsters. Though many kids may not look forward to homework or getting up early, a new school year is often exciting for young athletes who long to get back on the playing fields and compete with their teammates.

As valuable and exciting as participating in team sports can be, it can just as easily prove dangerous for athletes who aren't prepared for the rigors of physical activity.

A summer spent lounging poolside might be just what kids need after a long school year, but that relaxation can put youngsters in jeopardy of suffering an injury when they return to team sports in the fall. Many a young athlete has pulled a hamstring or suffered a shin splint when returning to athletic competition after a long layoff. But such injuries are largely preventable, and the following tips can help school-aged athletes ensure their return to competition is as painless as it is pleasurable.

• Condition your muscles in the weeks heading up to tryouts or the start of the sports season. Athletes must start conditioning their muscles early. Discuss with your parents, coaches and physicians which muscles you will be working when playing a particular sport. Adults should help you develop a conditioning program that gets the right muscle groups ready for the rigors of your sport. A properly conditioned athlete has a much lesser risk of injury than one who is not. Your offseason conditioning program should begin slowly and gradually grow more challenging as you draw closer to the sports season.

• Stretch, stretch, stretch. Always stretch your muscles before any strenuous activities, whether it's an offseason conditioning program or an in-season competition. Stretching significantly reduces your risk of injury and can improve your performance on the field.

• Get geared up. The right gear is essential for young athletes looking to avoid injury. Though summer might seem tailor-made for flip-flops, such footwear should never be worn when exercising and preparing for the coming sports season. Athletic shoes specific to your sport are made to provide the support you will need as you train and compete. The same goes for the clothing you should wear when getting ready for the season. Wear the appropriate athletic attire to reduce your risk of injury.

• Weight train in the presence of your coaches or parents. Many athletes begin weight training for the first time when they are in high school. Weight training can be beneficial to young athletes, but such athletes should never lift weights unsupervised. Parents, trainers and coaches can explain the equipment to young athletes while ensuring they don't overdo it in the weight room. Lifting too much weight or having bad form when weightlifting can cause serious injury that can sideline youngsters for the coming season, if not longer. So young athletes should always weight train in the presence of an adult and always work with a spotter to help them should they struggle to finish a repetition.

• Don't try to match your fellow athletes. The human body develops differently for everyone. Young athletes must recognize that there's a chance their classmates and teammates may be developing more quickly than they are. These classmates may be more capable of performing certain physical activities. For example, a teammate might be able to lift more weight than you. Do not try to match your fellow athletes if your body is uncomfortable performing a certain exercise. If you must endure substantial pain to perform a given exercise, then your body is likely telling you it simply isn't ready for that exercise. Don't force the body to do something just to keep up with your teammates.

• Take a break. Even if you rested for most of summer, you still will need to rest when you begin getting ready for the upcoming athletic season. Take at least one day off per week to allow your body to recover and recharge. Your body needs that recovery time to reduce its risk of injury.

School-aged athletes often look forward to a new school year as a chance to get back on the playing fields. But such athletes should emphasize safe training as the season draws closer.


CityChannel Dubuque to Air ‘From the Archives’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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