Area Tidbits

Riverview Center receives $2,863 grant

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Riverview Center receives $2,863 grant from Variety - the Children's Charity to fund a Therapeutic Lending Library for Sexually Abused Children

Riverview Center has received a $2,863 grant from Variety - the Children's Charity to create a lending library to benefit children who are survivors of sexual abuse in Northeast Iowa. These books, CDs, DVDs, and affirmation cards, now available in our five Iowa locations, provide the meditation, relaxation, and body mindfulness techniques used in therapy sessions that can now be continued in the home to enhance the healing process.

For the past twenty-five years, Riverview Center has proudly provided the healing and justice survivors of sexual violence deserve, free of charge. We are a nonprofit agency committed to providing free, compassionate, client-centered care for individuals affected by sexual violence in 14 counties in Iowa, including Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Jones, Linn and Winneshiek Counties; and for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence in Carroll and Jo Daviess Counties in Illinois. Regardless of means, our clients receive high-quality, professional services, including 24-hour crisis hotlines; legal, medical, and general advocacy; one-on-one counseling and support groups; professional trainings; and violence prevention initiatives.

Through Variety - the Children's Charity's generosity, children are able to heal and move forward after this traumatic crime: A 5-year-old male survivor of sexual assault perpetrated by his grandfather was struggling with anger issues and respecting rules and boundaries, combined with frequent meltdowns. Through Riverview Center's new lending library, the child used the book Miles Got Mad to identify and define his anger through a visual representation inspired by the main character's "anger monster." Our staff then worked within this context to create a tailored therapy program using fun activities including drawing his own "anger monster." This practice was then continued at home so he could further develop healthy coping methods and learn to regulate his emotions, like the character in the book. Through the lending library, we are able to expand the environment of healing to the home where the child was also able to share his experiences with his mother and siblings.

Variety - the Children's Charity is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and special needs children throughout Iowa. Grant funding is provided to programs and initiatives that directly impact the well-being of children. For more information on Variety grants and programs please visit

Riverview Center 24-Hour Iowa Sexual Assault Hotline: 888-557-0310


Imagine Dubuque Social and Cultural Vibrancy Workshop

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Dubuque residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in the "Imagine Dubuque Social and Cultural Vibrancy Workshop" on Wednesday, April 19, from 6 - 8 p.m. at The Smokestack, 62 E. 7th St. The Social and Cultural Vibrancy Workshop is the third in a series of interactive public workshops focused on gathering and refining input as part of the City of Dubuque's Comprehensive Planning process, entitled "Imagine Dubuque."

Imagine Dubuque is the next step in creating a more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and equitable legacy for Dubuque. The Comprehensive Plan serves as a guide for the community's physical, social and economic development. It is a key tool to developing policy, informing the city budget, and community initiatives. Imagine Dubuque is designed to further the momentum to create a more viable, livable, and equitable community.

Paramount to this effort is community input. At the Social and Cultural Vibrancy Workshop, the community will take part in collaborative feedback activities and interactive idea building. Taking inspiration from the venue, the workshop will be a pop-up "Idea Gallery" with art-infused topic zones, where participants will be free to tour at their pace and write, illustrate, and collaborate on ideas for the future of the city. The workshop topics will focus on our community's diversity, safety, health, green buildings, healthy local foods, community knowledge and empowerment, and arts and entertainment. Light refreshments will be provided.

To learn about the Imagine Dubuque campaign, share ideas, and receive project updates, residents are encouraged to visit and follow the project website at or download the free project app by searching "Imagine Dubuque" in their app store!

RSVPs are not required, but appreciated. Residents are encouraged to RSVP today at


City Launches Central Avenue Corridor Initiative Kick-off event set for Saturday, April 8

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The City of Dubuque has launched a new initiative to engage residents and stakeholders to plan for the revitalization of Dubuque's Central Avenue Corridor (CAC), from 14th Street to 22nd Street.

The CAC connects Dubuque's central downtown and Historic Millwork District to the city's North End and features a wide variety of historic buildings offering commercial and retail opportunities on the ground floor and residential spaces on upper floors. The goal of this initiative is the economic revitalization of the CAC through community engagement, educational outreach, and CAC community-informed storefront and streetscape design.

"The scheduled completion of the Southwest Arterial in 2019 and subsequent removal of the majority of truck traffic from the corridor, combined with the improved resilience of the neighborhood thanks to the Bee Branch Creek Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, will create a prime environment for a renaissance," said City of Dubuque Economic Development Director Maurice Jones. He said the purpose of this initiative is to engage stakeholders in the process to prepare for and guide this renaissance. Stakeholders include business owners, employees, patrons, residents, landlords, social service agencies, community leaders, the City of Dubuque, and partner agencies.

To assist with the initiative, the City of Dubuque has entered into a collaborative relationship with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO). Specifically, ISUEO will assist with outreach and community engagement efforts, asset mapping of buildings and businesses in the corridor, and identification of additional partnership opportunities.

A kick-off event for the public to share stories about the CAC is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1800 Central Ave. on Saturday, April 8. The event will be a creative and cultural celebration of Central Avenue and will be hosted by Iowa State University students involved with the project. Students from a variety of disciplines, including studio art, graphic design, interior design, landscape architecture, industrial design, architecture, community and regional planning, and anthropology, have learned effective ways to work with communities, facilitate meaningful community discussions, and use art and design with culture to plan the event to celebrate the stories and experiences of the CAC community.

Jule buses provide service to the area every 30 minutes on the Pink and Green routes. Free bus passes for transportation on the day of the event are available by visiting the Intermodal Transportation Center at 950 Elm St. or by printing the passes available at Passes are available for both the fixed-route and minibus services. For route information, please visit or call 563-589-4196. To schedule a minibus ride, please call 563-690-6464.

Those unable to attend the event can share stories at or

For more information on this initiative, visit or contact the City of Dubuque Economic Development Department at 563.589.4393 or


Avoid aches and pains when gardening

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People who have not spent much time in a garden may not consider this rewarding hobby much of a threat to their health. But as veteran gardeners can attest, gardening can contribute to nagging aches and pains that can force even the most ardent green-thumbers indoors.

Gardening is a physical activity that, despite its peaceful nature, can be demanding on the body. Thankfully, there are several ways that gardening enthusiasts can prevent the aches and pains that can sometimes pop up after long days in the garden.

• Use ergonomic gardening tools. Ergonomic gardening tools are designed to prevent the types of aches, pains and injuries that can cut gardeners' seasons short. Gardening injuries can affect any area of the body, but injuries or aches and pains affecting the back, wrists and hands are among the most common physical problems gardeners endure. Look for ergonomic tools that reduce the strain on these areas of the body. Even arthritis sufferers who love to garden may find that ergonomic tools make it possible for them to spend more time in their gardens without increasing their risk for injury.

• Alternate tasks. Repetitive-strain injuries can affect gardeners who spend long periods of time performing the same activity in their gardens. By alternating tasks during gardening sessions, gardeners can reduce their risk of suffering repetitive strain injuries. Alternate tasks not just on muscle groups worked, but also level of difficulty. Remember to include some simple jobs even on busy gardening days so the body gets a break.

• Take frequent breaks. Frequent breaks can help combat the stiffness and muscle aches that may not appear until gardeners finish their gardening sessions. Breaks help to alleviate muscles or joints that can become overtaxed when gardening for long, uninterrupted periods of time. When leaning down or working on your hands and knees, stand up to take breaks every 20 minutes or the moment aches and pains start to make their presence felt.

• Maintain good posture. Back injuries have a tendency to linger, which can keep gardeners indoors and out of their gardens. When gardening, maintain good posture to prevent back injuries. Gardening back braces can protect the back by providing support and making it easier for gardeners to maintain their posture. Tool pouches attached to gardening stools or chairs also can be less taxing on the back than gardening belts tied around the waist.

Gardening might not be a contact sport, but it can cause pain if gardeners do not take steps to prevent the onset of muscle aches and strains when spending time in their gardens.


Common myths about frozen foods

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Frozen foods are staples in many households. Freezing foods can ensure there's always something to eat at home, and freezing leftovers can help prevent waste created when such foods spoil before they can be eaten.

Wasted food is a pressing issue across North America. A 2014 report from Value Chain Management International Inc. indicated that $31 billion worth of food is wasted every year in Canada, and roughly 47 percent of wasted food comes from private homes. Americans throw away approximately $165 billion worth of food each year, which translates to as much as $2,200 per household, according to a recent study from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Freezing foods can cut back on that waste and make people feel better about their eating habits at home, especially when they push past the myths and get to the facts about frozen foods.

MYTH: Frozen food is less nutritious.

FACT: Frozen foods can be even more nutritious than some fresh items available at the grocery store. That's because out-of-season produce is sometimes picked before it has ripened and then stored while shipped long distances. Nutritional content may be depleted even before the food reaches the dinner table. Frozen foods are picked at the height of ripeness and then flash frozen. Such foods will only lose some of their nutritional value during storage.

MYTH: Frozen foods are more expensive.

FACT: Very often frozen foods can be less expensive than fresh foods. That's especially true when purchasing whole foods rather than prepackaged convenience foods, such as whole meals.

MYTH: Frozen foods contain preservatives or are highly processed.

FACT: There are plenty of healthy choices in the grocery store freezer that are not highly processed. Look at the ingredient list to confirm what is in a product before buying it. The freezing process often removes the need to rely on preservatives, and freezing keeps food from developing bacteria or other microbes that make people sick. These microbes cannot grow on foods stored at temperatures less than 0 F.

MYTH: All foods can be frozen.

FACT: Many foods freeze under the right conditions, but there are some that should never be frozen. In certain foods, the structure may break down or taste can be affected. Delicate vegetables like lettuce will disintegrate when thawed. Creams can curdle or separate when thawed. Foods should not be frozen in cans or eggs in eggshells. Avoid freezing foods with a high water content, as they will end up a soggy mess as they defrost.

MYTH: Frozen foods last forever.

FACT: Many foods can stay fresh for months, but they can begin to lose quality and taste if they are left frozen for too long. Prepared leftovers can be stored for two to three months on average. Raw meat may last anywhere from four to 12 months. Label frozen foods to remember the "use by" date.

Freezing food and relying on healthy frozen alternatives at the supermarket can be reliable and cost-effective. It also helps cut down on food waste from spoilage.


Adopting a dog or cat later in life

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Companion animals bring great joy to their owners. The unconditional love cats and dogs provide appeals to people of all ages. While many people associate pets with kids who can't wait to welcome the first cat or dog into their homes, pets can benefit aging men and women as well. 

It's not uncommon for seniors to feel lonely or depressed when they retire, their children move away or they lose a spouse or close friend or friends. The American Humane Society states that studies show pets help seniors overcome loneliness and depression by providing affection, company and entertainment. Pets also provide much-needed mental stimulation, and many pet owners find their pets help them become more physically active as well.

Seniors who adopt pets may also feel a sense of purpose when helping animals who may not have anywhere to live. This is particularly true of older companion animals, which many young families are understandably hesitant to adopt. Mature pets might be an ideal fit for seniors. When seniors are looking to adopt a pet, there are various reasons why older pets or particular animals might be the perfect fit for them.

• Adult pets may already be house trained, saving seniors the trouble and effort of training them.

• Seniors may find cats fit their lifestyles more than dogs, as cats are less active and do not need to be walked or played with as much as dogs. Cats also are small and easily maneuverable, meaning even seniors who have arthritis or other physical limitations can easily care for cats. Many cats are also content to spend long periods of time sleeping on their owners' laps.

• Small dogs that can be active within the house might be a good idea as well, especially for seniors with mobility issues. They're also easily transported to and from vet appointments.

It's important that seniors carefully weigh the benefits of adopting a pet against any limitations they may have. Having a backup plan for care is advantageous as well. Seniors should not adopt a pet if they anticipate frequent travel or medical care that requires they be away from home for long periods of time.


Grow gray hair out gracefully

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For some people, gray hair comes with age. Both men and women have spent much time, money and energy covering their gray heads of hair with various hair dyes. But now there's a growing trend among people with gray hair to embrace the gray.

Gray hair – especially hair close to the temples – tends to be coarser and more resistant to absorbing hair color than other hair. It can be difficult to cover the gray hairs, and then once it is dyed, gray hair may end up showing through prematurely. As a result, many men and women have discovered it is more cost-effective to embrace their gray hair.

Just like any other hair change, whether growing out a short hairstyle or growing out bangs, it can take time to adjust to a head full of gray hair.

• Prepare mentally for gray hair. Hair does not generally turn gray overnight. Therefore, people must expect to live with the gradual change and insecurities that arise as hair starts to turn gray. This requires a certain measure of strength and perseverance. Some may even desire to give up on the process altogether by coloring their hair or, for men, shaving their heads. But sticking it out allows adults to maintain their natural hair, and many men and women even like their hair once it turns gray.

• Work with a stylist. Hair colorists and stylists can make the transition to gray hair a bit easier. With careful placement of highlights, stylists can blur the lines of the graying hair from the other colors. A good stylist also may be able to suggest a cut that will draw attention away from graying roots.

• Consider a major haircut. Sometimes the process can be sped along with a dramatic hair cut that removes much of the dead ends and hair that has not yet turned gray.

• Stop using color-care shampoos. Certain shampoos are designed to lock color in place. Those who want to go gray can use regular shampoos or clarifying shampoos that strip old hair dye from the hair shaft. Switch over to a toning shampoo that leaves a bit of pigment to counteract brassiness in gray hair.

• Consider a makeup swap, too. Transition makeup color to give the face a warmer, rosier glow. Avoid dark eye shadows, which can wash out a complexion.

With a few simple techniques, men and women can naturally transition to gray hair.


How to address frequent feelings of coldness

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As people age, many report feeling chilly even when the temperature outside is warm. Studies have shown that older people are more likely to have slightly colder body temperatures than their younger counterparts. Feeling cold can be the result of the natural aging process, or it may be symptomatic of a medical condition. Understanding the reasons behind chilliness can help people take proper action.

Aging adults can feel cold for various reasons. As people age, their metabolisms slow down, leading to decreased energy. During times of low energy output, one can feel cold. The American Geriatric Society Foundation for Health suggests that individuals with slower metabolisms may not produce enough heat from their own bodies to stay warm.

Circulation issues also may be a concern. As people age, the walls of their blood vessels may lose their elasticity, negatively affecting circulation as a result. Vasoreceptors also may no longer be as quick to direct blood vessels in order to constrict to keep body temperature up.

Inadequate fat storage may also be a contributor. Older people generally have less subcutaneous fat stores and muscle mass, both of which can insulate their bodies from cold weather. As a result, they may have trouble regulating body temperature. Exercise and healthy eating may help remedy this situation.

Certain medical conditions or medications may be to blame, too. SUNY Upstate Medical University offers that some drugs, like beta blockers, can decrease heart rate, which can reduce circulation to the extremities. High cholesterol levels can impair blood flow. Hypothyroidism, or an underperforming thyroid, also can affect a person's ability to regulate body temperature.

It's imperative that people speak with their doctors to rule out any medical conditions or medication issues that may be contributing to their feelings of being cold.

The following are some additional steps aging men and women can take to stay warm.

• Make sure you are at a healthy weight for your gender and age. 

• Get the cardiovascular system pumping by exercising more.

• Layer clothing until you feel comfortable so that you are not adjusting the thermostat as frequently.

• Wear a vest to keep your chest warm to prevent heat being drawn from the extremities. Often the body will sacrifice heat in the hands and feet to keep its core warm.

• Invest in wool socks and blankets, as wool will help wick away moisture from the body.

Feeling cold is usually nothing out of the ordinary when a person gets older. Fortunately, there are ways that older men and women can stay warm.


Create and hide unbreakable Easter eggs

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Easter is one of the most important days of the year for Christians. Easter Sunday is filled with symbolism and tradition, some of which harken back to early Christianity, while others trace their origins to paganism. 

The Easter Bunny and Easter eggs are two Easter traditions with less extensive histories. The Easter Bunny, according to sources including, first arrived in America in the 1700s via German settlers who brought with them their tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase." Children would make nests where the rabbit could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread from Pennsylvania, where many German immigrants settled, to other areas around the country.

Eggs are symbolic of new life and rebirth in many cultures. To Christians, eggs represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Another theory suggests that Christians were once forbidden to eat during the Lenten season preceding Easter. Therefore, Christians would paint and decorate eggs for Easter to mark the joyous celebration and cessation of penance and fasting.

Even though these traditions have endured, Easter eggs themselves might not be so strong. This year, Easter celebrants may want to experiment with different materials that are more forgiving and more enduring than standard eggs.

Wooden eggs
Families may find that wooden eggs are much more forgiving than standard eggs. Wooden eggs don't have to be boiled, and they don't need time to harden, and they're quite maneuverable for young fingers.

Decorators can explore different ways to color wooden eggs. Acrylic paints are readily available and safe for users of any age. Wood stains or wood markers also can be used to give the eggs a natural finish. Others may want to rip small pieces of decorative paper to create a decoupage effect on their wooden eggs.

Sew soft eggs
Those who are handy with a needle and thread can explore patterns for making soft, stuffed eggs. Cozy fleece or other fabrics can be sewn together to make the general egg shape. Then the egg is filled with polyester filling, feathers or another soft material. Ribbons, buttons, trims, and other decorative touches can personalize the eggs and add a touch of whimsy. Check out for their ideas on handmade Easter eggs.

Modeling clay
Children who love to get their hands dirty may enjoy making Easter eggs out of modeling materials. Colors can be blended together to create a marbleized effect. Depending on the clay medium, the eggs may air-harden or may need to be heated at a low temperature in the oven to fully cure.

Easter eggs are a fun tradition that adds to the festivity of spring. While traditional eggs can be used, many different, more long-lasting materials can be used as well.


Post-winter garden prep

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Lawns and gardens can bear the brunt of winter weather and are often in need of tender loving care by the time spring arrives.

Preparing a garden for spring and summer involves assessing any damage that harsh weather might have caused. As temperatures climb, gardeners can heed the following post-winter garden preparation tips in an effort to ensure some successful gardening in the months ahead.

• Assess the damage. Even if winter was mild, gardens might still have suffered some damage. Inspect garden beds and any fencing or barriers designed to keep wildlife from getting into the garden. Before planting anew, fix any damage that Mother Nature or local wildlife might have caused over the past several months.

• Clear debris. Garden beds and surrounding landscapes that survived winter without being damaged might still be littered with debris. Remove fallen leaves, branches and even litter that blew about on windy winter days before planting season. Make sure to discard any debris effectively so it does not find its way back into the garden.

• Turn the greenhouse into a clean house. Spring cleaning is not just for the interior of a home. Cleaning a greenhouse in advance of spring can help gardeners evict any overwintering pests that can threaten plant life once spring gardening season arrives. A thorough cleaning, which should include cleaning the inside of greenhouse glass and washing flower pots and plant trays, also can prevent plant diseases from surviving into spring.

• Check for pests. Speak with a local gardening professional to determine if there are any local pests to look out for and how to recognize and remove these pets from gardens. Pests may hibernate in the soil over the winter, and such unwelcome visitors can make it difficult for gardens to thrive come spring and summer.

• Assess plant location. If plants, flowers or gardens have struggled in recent years or never grew especially vibrant, then gardeners may want to assess the location of their plant life before spring gardening season begins. Some plants may not be getting enough sunlight in certain locations on a property, while others might be overexposed to the sun during spring and summer. Moving plants that are not thriving prior to the start of spring gardening season may be just what gardens need to flourish in the coming weeks.

Spring gardening season is right around the corner, so now is an ideal time to prepare gardens for the warmer seasons ahead.


Weekly Yard Waste Collections Resume April 3

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The City of Dubuque will resume its regular weekly curbside collection of yard waste and food scraps on Monday, April 3, 2017.

Beginning on April 3, yard waste and food scraps will be collected on customers' regular curbside collection days. Materials must be placed in paper yard waste bags that display single-use yard waste stickers, 35-gallon rigid solid waste containers with either single-use yard waste stickers looped on the handles or the City's 2017 annual yard waste decal displayed, or in subscribed City wheeled carts. Brush and limbs may also be bundled with City of Dubuque brush ties that have a single-use sticker attached.

Single-use yard waste stickers are sold at City Hall and many local grocery and hardware stores and cost $1.30 each and are sold on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each. The 2017 annual yard waste decals cost $35 each and are only available from the City's Utility Billing Service Center by walk-up, mail-in coupon, or by phone at 563-589-4144.

For food scrap collection, City collection customers may either subscribe to use food scrap collection carts (13, 48, or 64 gallons) for a fee or place food scraps in with grass clippings, leaves, and other yard debris in their current yard waste cans, carts, and bags.

Yard waste and food scraps should not be placed in plastic bags and must be kept separate from other trash. Collections must be set out by 6 a.m. and not weigh over 40 pounds per container or bundle.

Residents who would like to have materials collected before April 3 are reminded they can utilize the City's winter yard waste collection service. These collections are made every Thursday through March 30 and require an appointment, which can be made through a service request on the City's website at or by calling (563) 589-4250.

The City offers a free tool, "REThink Waste Dubuque," to make it easier for City curbside collection customers to remember to set out trash, recycling, and organics and to stay informed on collection schedule changes and what can and cannot be recycled. To access the REThink Waste Dubuque tool, visit Links to download the app are provided on the page and available on the iTunes App Store and Android Play Store.

For additional information, call the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at 563-589-4250.


Friends of DCCB Pancake Breakfast

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Join the Friends of Dubuque County Conservation for their Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Sunday, April 2, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am at Swiss Valley Nature Center.

Sample some of the home-made maple syrup produced at Swiss Valley Nature Center and see the process of how it's made. There will also be a small silent auction and all money raised will go back to the Friends group.

We will be serving pancakes, sausage, applesauce, milk or juice and, of course, maple syrup! Cost is $6 for adults (ages 11+) and $4 for kids (ages 4-10). Members of Friends of DCCB eat for free!

Tickets are available at Swiss Valley Nature Center. Call 556-6745 with any questions.


Taste of the World – Celebrating Dubuuqe's Diversity

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The Multicultural Family Center (MFC) will host the 7th Taste of the World event on Saturday, April 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Five Flags Arena, 405 Main St. in Dubuque.

Taste of the World celebrates Dubuque's diversity and multicultural community with cultural displays, performances, and food samples from around the world. This is an authentic cultural experience for the entire family to enjoy, combining delectable treats with song, dance, and information about many cultures. Attendees can expect to visit displays and sample food from up to 20 countries including Africa/Kenya, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Tajikistan, United Kingdom and USA.

Taste of the World is an opportunity to display and enjoy America's immigrant past and Dubuque's rich, multicultural present. Nearly 1,000 community members have celebrated Dubuque's diversity at previous Taste of the World event.

"Many community members have expressed the need to become a more unified city. This event is a great opportunity for Dubuque to display its support and willingness to learn of other cultures. Let's continue striving as a city to be a role model for other communities to build unity out of diversity," said Dr. Farris Muhammad, Director of the MFC.

Admission is free. A suggested donation at the door of $5 per person or $15 per family is appreciated but not required. Admission includes a beverage, food samples, entertainment, and children's activities. All donations support MFC educational and cultural programing.

"It's exciting to see how Taste of the World has grown over the past six years, from a few hundred people to over 1,000. I think it's because Taste gives Dubuquers the opportunity to, in one place and in fun ways, experience the diverse cultures that make up our community. Come for the great food and stay for the music and dance!" said John Stewart, MFC Board President.

The Multicultural Family Center's mission is to empower all families and community members of Dubuque to reach their potential and build unity out of diversity. For more information on this event or the Multicultural Family Center visit them at 1157 Central Ave., online at Facebook or their website, or call 563-582-3681.



Housing Department Offering Home Ownership Workshop in April

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The City of Dubuque Housing and Community Development Department will host a "Home Ownership Made Easy" (HOME) workshop in April to provide information on City programs, credit and basic banking/insurance, and energy savings for those who rent or own a home.

The workshop is comprised of four classes that span four consecutive Monday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The first workshop begins Monday, April 3.

Workshop courses will be held in Suite 312 on the third floor of the Historic Federal Building, 350 W. Sixth St. Cost is $25 per household for four classes, or free for those already participating in the City's Housing Choice Voucher Program. The HOME workshop is required for those who wish to qualify for City homebuyer incentives.

The four-week workshop classes are broken down as follows:

• Week One: City Programs and Useful Tips, presented by City staff

• Week Two: The Keys to Your Home-Spending Plans and Credit, presented by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Dubuque County

• Week Three: Basic Banking/Insurance, presented by lender/insurance agent

• Week Four: The Energy Wise Take a Closer Look, presented by City staff/GreenIowa Americorp

Pre-registration is required to attend. To register, please call 563-589-4239.

For more information, visit


Arts and Culture Operating Support Grant Applications Due April 10

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The City of Dubuque and the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission is now accepting competitive applications from all interested parties for operating support grants for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 grant cycle, which runs July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.

Since 2005, the City of Dubuque has awarded over $2.9 million to area arts and culture organizations and other non-profits for programs that reach thousands of Dubuque adults and children each year. In addition, these funds have leveraged other community support, in both cash and in-kind contributions, for arts and culture events and programs.

The operating support fund is designed to assist 501(C)(3) arts and culture organizations located in the city of Dubuque that primarily serve Dubuque residents with year-round arts and culture events, programs, and services and can demonstrate a record of programmatic and administrative stability. Information on how to apply, guidelines, tips, and applications are available at

Due to significant changes to the grant materials and requirements, all grant applicants are required to attend or send a representative to one of three workshops specific to the operating support grant. Workshops will be held at noon on Friday, March 10, and 5 p.m. on Monday, March 20, at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11th St.; and at noon on Monday, March 27, at the Multicultural Family Center, 1157 Central Ave.

Applications must be submitted through an online form at The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 10, 2017.

All grants are scored by a review panel, reviewed by the arts and cultural affairs advisory commission, and approved by the City Council.

For additional information, please contact City of Dubuque Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Debra Alleyne at or 563-690-6059 or visit


City Council Adopts Budget for FY2018

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The Dubuque City Council held a final public hearing on Tuesday, March 7, on the operating and capital budgets for the City's 2018 fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. Following public input and discussion of the amended budget recommendation at the hearing, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt.

The City's total budget for FY2018 is $169,824,039, an 8.28 percent reduction from FY2017. The operating budget ($129,366,969) is 0.06 percent from FY2017 while the capital budget ($40,268,319) represents a 27.48 percent reduction from FY2017.

The adopted property tax rate for the City portion of property taxes is $10.89 per thousand dollars assessed value, a 2.47 percent reduction from FY2017. In terms of the impact on property owners in each of the four property classes, the $10.89 rate represents no change for residential properties, a 2.47 percent reduction for commercial properties (or $83.02 less for the average commercial property), 2.47 percent reduction for industrial properties (or $124.43 less for the average industrial property), and a 6.71 percent reduction for multi-residential properties (or $144.91 less for the average multi-residential property).

When compared to the FY2017 rates of Iowa's 11 largest cities, Dubuque's FY2018 property tax rate of $10.89 is the second lowest. The average of those 11 cities ($15.31) is 41 percent higher than Dubuque and the highest (Council Bluffs, $17.75) is 63 percent higher.

The adopted budget includes new measures to expedite the City's debt-reduction plan. Previously, the City was scheduled to continue reducing debt and be at 79 percent of its statutory debt limit in FY2018 and continue that trend and reach 66 percent in FY2025. Instead, under the new budget, the City will be at 64 percent of its statutory debt limit in FY2018 and be down to just 24 percent in FY2027.

The FY2018 budget includes the following fee adjustments for City services, effective July 1, 2017: a three percent increase to the sanitary sewer fee, a 2.3 percent increase to the solid waste collection fee, a 6.75 percent increase to the stormwater fee, and a three percent increase to the water fee.

The new budget also includes some staffing changes with the net result of the City's staffing level being reduced by 2.87 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in FY2018 to a total of 703.92 FTE.

The March 7 public hearing was the end of the annual budget process that began with community engagement activities in spring 2016 and concluded with a series of six public meetings in February 2017 to accept public input and review City department/division budget details.

Complete details on the budget are available at For more information, contact Budget Director Jennifer Larson at 563-589-4110 or



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Walkers from Dubuque to move toward a world free of MS April 22, 2017

As part of a nationwide effort to end multiple sclerosis for good, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter will hold Walk MS: Dubuque, Saturday, April 22. Participants from Dubuque will join the nearly 2,500 walkers expected to come out and help raise more than $320,000 in the Upper Midwest in 2017.

Walk MS: Dubuque is one of 33 walk events throughout Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin banding together to raise funds for programs and services for the more than 17,000 people who live with the disease in the Upper Midwest chapter and advance vital research.

Nationally, thousands of people will gather for Walk MS with the mission to end multiple sclerosis. Accomplishing this goal will take all of us, which is why Walk MS matters so much to so many, as they team up with friends, loved ones and co-workers to change the world for everyone affected by the disease. Together, we become a powerful force. Every step taken and every dollar raised is a step closer to ending MS forever.

Participants in Walk MS: Dubuque will participate in the walk that begins and ends at the Mystique Ice Arena. The route will run along the scenic Mississippi River and there will be options for multiple distances. Registration will begin at 8:30 the morning of April 22nd with the walk beginning at 9:15. Register and begin fundraising right away at or call 800-582-5296.


The Society mobilizes people and resources so that everyone affected by multiple sclerosis can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.

To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. Last year alone, through our comprehensive nationwide network, the Society devoted $122.2 million to help more than one million individuals connect to the people, information and resources they need. To move closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $54 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world.

Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at or 1-800-344-4867.


Liberty Tax Offers Free Tax Prep in Exchange for Helping Local Food Bank

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Liberty Tax Service is teaming up with St. Stephen's Food Bank to fight hunger in the Tri-State area. During the month of March, Liberty Tax will provide free tax preparation for new customers who bring a minimum of 5 non-perishable items for St. Stephen's Food Bank when they come to the Liberty Tax office, located at 3305 Asbury Rd. in Dubuque, for professional tax preparation with an accuracy guarantee.

"The food bank does a great job of helping local people in difficult times," said the owner of Liberty Tax Service in Dubuque. "It's a great organization to support, and we want to do everything we can to help them help our neighbors. St. Stephen's Food Bank works year-round to meet the needs of people who struggle with hunger in our community. All donations help ... provide nutritious food for those in need."

Liberty Tax does take appointments; however, they are not necessary. Call 563-556-6061 or visit


City of Asbury Trivia Night

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City of Asbury Trivia Night, a fundraiser for Asbury's Music in the Park Festival, will be held Friday, March 31, 2017, at 7:00 pm at The Meadows Golf Course.

Entry fees are $18/person in advance or $20 at the door. Up to 10 people are allowed on a team.

Mulligans, games, prizes, and 50/50 Raffle add to the fun. A Cash Bar is available for drinks, and snacks will be provided by Fidelity Bank & Trust, sponsor of the event. Teams are also welcome to bring additional snacks for their tables.

Mail entry fee/team roster to:
City of Asbury Trivia Nite
5290 Grand Meadow Dr., Ste. 1
Asbury, IA 52002

Call Peggy at Asbury City Hall at 556-7106 for more information.


Surprising places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick's Day is a global celebration. People may first associate St. Patrick's Day parades and parties with the Emerald Isle and various North American cities, such as New York, Boston and Chicago, that boast high concentrations of Irish immigrants, but there are some surprising and far-flung places across the globe geared up for festivities come March 17.

Few may think of a tiny Caribbean island when envisioning St. Patrick's Day celebrations. However, Montserrat, known as part of the island chain called the British West Indies, is the only country in the world apart from Ireland in which St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Montserrat celebrates on March 17. But these celebrations are conducted in memory of an unsuccessful slave revolt against Europeans who colonized the island in the 17th century. Now, St. Patrick's Day is commemorated by a week-long festival of independence.

Premiering in 1992, the Tokyo St. Patrick's Day parade is the largest of several parades that take place throughout Japan. The Tokyo parade began as a way to introduce Ireland and Irish culture to Japan. Today, it features a mix of traditional Japanese dress interspersed with Irish costumes.

Chicago is not the only city to dye a river green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. According to Asia One, the Singapore River also is dyed a bright hue of green. Singapore also hosts a parade in honor of St. Patrick.

Each year, New Zealand's largest city is the first city in the world to celebrate St. Patrick's Day because the clock strikes midnight there on March 17 before any other locale in the world. Even though Auckland is the furthest away from Ireland, its festivities are still impressive. The St. Patrick's Festival Auckland includes the lighting of the 1,076-foot Sky Tower in the green, white and orange synonymous with the Irish Tricolour flag.

Want to find an authentic Irish village? Travel no further than Dubai. For many years, Irish pubs around Dubai have been emblazoned in green lights as celebrants enjoy St. Patrick's Day with stout and song. Time Out Dubai says that, for the past decade, Boomtown Rats front man Bob Geldof has played a St. Patrick's Day gig in Dubai's Irish Village.

Each year, the Norwegian Irish Society hosts Norway's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade on Jernbanetorget, a large public square in Oslo. The parade kicks off an all-inclusive celebration of Irish culture in Scandinavia.

Ireland, the United States and Canada are known for their St. Patrick's Day celebrations. But this beloved holiday is celebrated at many additional locations around the world.


Interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day

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While St. Patrick's Day is renowned for celebrating Ireland, one need not be Irish to enjoy the festivities on March 17th. In fact, St. Patrick himself was not Irish, having been born in an area of Great Britain then referred to as Roman Britain because it was still governed by the Roman Empire. St. Patrick's birthplace is not the only interesting fact surrounding St. Patrick's Day that might surprise even the most devoted of Patty's Day revelers.

• Arguably the most famous St. Patrick's Day parade in the world, the New York City parade is more than 250 years old. The Big Apple's first St. Patrick's Day parade took place on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the British military marched through the city.

• While New York and Boston host the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the United States, more than 100 parades are held in honor of St. Patrick throughout the country each year. For those who love a good parade but don't have much time on their hands, the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, is home to the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade. The parade takes place on the city's Bridge Street, which measures just 98 feet in length.

• In spite of its proximity to New York City, the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, began hosting its own St. Patrick's Day parade in 1986.

• The United States is not the only place to enjoy a spirited celebration of St. Patrick. Montreal, Canada, whose city flag includes a shamrock, has held an annual St. Patrick's Day parade since 1824. Elsewhere in Canada, Toronto hosts an annual St. Patrick's Day parade that typically attracts more than 100,000 spectators.

• Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in nearly every state in the United States. The lone exceptions are New Mexico and Hawaii. Irish leads the way in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

• While corned beef has become synonymous with St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the United States, the corned beef eaten in the United States is not the corned beef familiar to people in Ireland. That's because the corned beef eaten in the U.S. is largely from kosher Jewish butchers, whose corned beef is made from brisket, a tougher cut of meat taken from the front of the animal, whereas the corned beef produced in Ireland comes from the hindquarter.

• Another food associated with St. Patrick's Day, Irish soda bread gets its unique name from its ingredients. When baking this beloved bread, bakers use baking soda instead of yeast as a leavening agent.


Sights, sounds and symbols of St. Patrick’s Day

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Many people consider St. Patrick's Day their favorite holiday. St. Patrick's Day celebrations tend to be short on formality, long on fun and synonymous with various sights, sounds and symbols that make the holiday so special.

In ancient Ireland, the shamrock symbolized rebirth, particularly the rebirth of warmer weather. But the shamrock also has more specific ties to St. Patrick, and remains one of the most recognizable symbols associated with his feast day. Historians believe that, on his return to Ireland (a native of Great Britain, St. Patrick was first taken to Ireland after being kidnapped by pirates, later returning as a Christian missionary after his release), St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the natives about the Holy Trinity. In fact, an image of St. Patrick holding a shamrock first appeared on coins in 1675. The shamrock's status as a symbol would continue to evolve when it became a figure of Irish patriotism during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. In 2003, the shamrock was registered as an international trademark by the Irish government.

Irish Seisiún
St. Patrick's Day celebrants who are not of Irish descent and/or those who have never visited Ireland may not know it, but the live music they may hear when entering a pub on St. Patrick's Day is an integral part of the fabric of Irish culture. An Irish Seisiún typically finds a group of musicians gathered in a pub to play traditional Irish music, oftentimes while seated at a table among their audience. While many pubs reserve stage areas for their musicians on St. Patrick's Day, the spirit of seisiún is still present, as musicians often interact with the audience.

The Tricolour
Many establishments display the familiar Irish tricolour flag on St. Patrick's Day, and paradegoers may even wave miniature versions of this significant symbol in support of those marching. This instantly recognizable flag has a rich history. Equal parts green, white and orange, the flag was designed to foster peace in the country that had experienced considerable turmoil due to the divide between the country's Protestant and Catholic residents. The green in the flag represents the Irish Catholics, while the orange represents the Irish Protestants. The white is a symbol of hope for peace between the two factions. Though Ireland established the tricolour as its national flag in 1921, it first appeared much earlier when Irish national Thomas Francis Meagher unfurled it in 1848.

The color green is everywhere come St. Patrick's Day, but celebrants may be surprised to learn that blue is the color that was once most affiliated with St. Patrick himself. Numerous paintings depict St. Patrick wearing blue vestments. But green is the color now most instantly associated with Ireland, which is widely referred to as the "Emerald Isle." Ireland's lush countryside and rolling green hills attract millions of visitors each year. The color green can be found just about everywhere on St. Patrick's Day, even if Patrick himself was partial to blue.


Inspiration found in Irish names

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Awaiting the arrival of a new baby can be exhilarating and suspenseful. Some parents choose to keep the gender of their baby a mystery until the day their youngster arrives. Others relish knowing if they are having a boy or girl.

One of the ways parents-to-be spend their time leading up to the birth of their child is to give careful consideration to the unborn child's name. A child's name will follow him or her throughout life, and the decision regarding what to name a child is one most parents do not take lightly. Although some couples might have family names in mind, many new arrivals are given special names their parents adore.

A number of parents-to-be opt to give their children names that coordinate with their heritage. However, some names cross heritage boundaries and are embraced by people of all backgrounds. This is quite common for Irish names and Irish derivatives. Many of the most popular names in the United States have Irish roots, including the following names, courtesy of

Alana: The feminine form of the name Alan, meaning "handsome."

Aislinn: An Irish name meaning "dream" or "vision." Anglicization of the name transforms it to Ashlyn.

Brianna: A feminine form of Brian, which is an Anglicization of the Irish name Brion, meaning "noble."

Caitlin/Kaitlyn: Alternative spellings of the Irish Caitlín, which is an Irish version of Catherine.

Claire/Clare: Typically thought to be a French name meaning "clear," Clare is also a county in Ireland.

Fiona: An Irish name pronounced as "Feena," meaning "vine."

Kelly: A form of the Irish surname "Ó Ceallaigh," which means "brave warrior."

Shannon: An area and river in Island that some translate to mean "little wise one."

Aidan: The Anglicization of Aodhán, which translates to "little fire."

Connor/Conor: A popular name and modern form of the Irish Conchobhar, meaning "dog lover."

Declan: A form of the name Deaglán, which is the name of an Irish saint.

Donovan: A Celtic name meaning "strong fighter."

Griffin: It can be an Anglicization of the Irish name Críofán or of the Irish surname Ó Gríobhtha, meaning "descendant of the griffin-like."

Liam: The shortened form of Uilliam, the Irish form of William.

Ryan: A version of the Irish surname Ó Rían, meaning "descendent of the little king."

Sean: This is an Irish form of the name John, which means "gift from God."

Irish names have become increasingly popular in recent years. They're coveted by people of Irish descent as well as people of different backgrounds who simply like the way the names sound.



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

Social Security has been a cornerstone of financial security for over 80 years. As you might already know, a lifetime of measured discipline can ensure a comfortable retirement. Social Security can help you plan, save, and see plenty of green in your golden years. 

Social Security is part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you're among the 96 percent of workers in the United States covered under Social Security, it is helpful to know what benefits you are entitled to. Social Security bases your benefit payment on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn't work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you worked steadily. How do you know what your retirement benefits might be so you can plan? Create a safe and secure my Social Security account to view estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. Visit and create your account today.

Social Security benefits help secure your today and tomorrow, but many people will need more retirement income. Saving for retirement is key. You might also have a pension or 401k. Combining as many savings resources will mean more income once you retire.

Your personal My Social Security account continues to benefit you once you file for benefits and beyond. Use your account to check the status of your application and, once you are receiving benefits, use your account to manage them. For example, you can start or change your direct deposit, change your address and phone number, get proof of benefits, and much more – online and at your convenience. Learn about all the great advantages of having your own My Social Security account at

Social Security puts you in control. Visit regularly to access the ever-evolving tools and information we provide.



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

At first, seeing taxes taken out of your paycheck can be a little disappointing. However, you can take pride in knowing you're making an important impact each week when you contribute to Social Security. Understanding how important your contribution is takes some of the sting away because your taxes are helping millions of Americans – and protecting you and your family for life – as well as wounded warriors, the chronically ill, and disabled.

By law, employers must withhold Social Security taxes from a worker's paycheck. While usually referred to as "Social Security taxes" on an employee's pay statement, sometimes the deduction is labeled as "FICA" which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, a reference to the original Social Security Act. In some cases, you will see "OASDI" which stands for Old Age Survivors Disability Insurance. 

The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection – for retirement in old age or in the event of disability. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well.

Because you may be a long way from retirement, you might have a tough time seeing the value of benefit payments that could be many decades in the future. But keep in mind that the Social Security taxes you're paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits now in the event the unexpected happens. Studies show that of today's 20-year-olds, about one in four will become disabled, and about one in eight will die, before reaching retirement.

Be warned: if an employer offers to pay you "under the table," you should refuse. It's against the law. They may try to sell it as a benefit to you since you get a few extra dollars in your pay. But you're really only allowing the employer to cheat you out of your Social Security credits.

If you'd like to learn a little more about Social Security and exactly what you're building up for yourself by paying Social Security taxes, take a look at our online booklet, How You Earn Credits, at

If you have a friend who lost a parent when they were a child, they probably got Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. You can learn more at

Do you prefer videos to reading? Check our webinar, "Social Security 101: What's in it for me?" The webinar explains what you need to know about Social Security. You can find it at as well as on YouTube at

You can also learn more at




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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

March is Women's History Month – a time to focus not just on the past, but on the challenges women continue to face. Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women, and in the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation's history. Knowing this, you can be the author of your own rich and independent history, with a little preparation.

Social Security has served a vital role in the lives of women for over 80 years. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. With the national average life expectancy for women in the United States rising, many women will have decades to enjoy retirement. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a female born today can expect to live more than 80 years. As a result, experts generally agree that if women want to ensure that their retirement years are comfortable, they need to plan early and wisely.

You can start with a visit to Social Security's Retirement Estimator. It gives you a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits. Plug in different retirement ages and projected earnings to get an idea of how such things might change your future benefit amounts. You can use this valuable tool at

You should also visit Social Security's financial planning website at It provides detailed information about how marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service, and other life or career events can affect your Social Security.

Your benefits are based on your earnings, so you should create your personal My Social Security account to verify that your earnings were reported correctly. Your account also can provide estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

If you want more information about how Social Security supports women through life's journey, Social Security has a booklet that you may find useful. It's called Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know. You can find it online at



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

Enjoying a comfortable retirement is everyone's dream. For over 80 years, Social Security has been helping people realize those dreams, assisting people through life's journey with a variety of benefits. It's up to you as to when you can start retirement benefits. You could start them a little earlier or wait until your "full retirement age." There are benefits to either decision, pun intended.

Full retirement age refers to the age when a person can receive their Social Security benefits without any reduction, even if they are still working part or full time. In other words, you don't actually need to stop working to get your full benefits.

For people who attain age 62 in 2017 (i.e., those born between January 2, 1955 and January 1, 1956), full retirement age is 66 and two months. Full retirement age was age 65 for many years. However, due to a law passed by Congress in 1983, it has been gradually increasing, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959.

You can learn more about the full retirement age and find out how to look up your own at

You can start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or any time after that. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be, although it stops increasing at age 70. Your monthly benefits will be reduced permanently if you start them any time before your full retirement age. For example, if you start receiving benefits in 2017 at age 62, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced permanently by about 26 percent. 

On the other hand, if you wait to start receiving your benefits until after your full retirement age, then your monthly benefit will be higher. The amount of this increase is two-thirds of one percent for each month – or eight percent for each year – that you delay receiving them until you reach age 70. The choices you make may affect any benefit your spouse or children can receive on your record, too. If you receive benefits early, it may reduce their potential benefit, as well as yours.

You need to be as informed as possible when making any decision about receiving Social Security benefits. Read the publication When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits at

If you decide to receive benefits before you reach full retirement age, you should also understand how continuing to work can affect your benefits. Social Security may withhold or reduce your benefits if your annual earnings exceed a certain amount. However, for every month benefits are withheld, it increases your future benefits. That's because at your full retirement age Social Security will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for the months in which benefits were reduced or withheld due to your excess earnings. In effect, it's as if you hadn't filed for those months. You can learn more at

Social Security's mission is to secure your today and tomorrow. Helping you make the right retirement decisions is vital. You can learn more by visiting our Retirement Planner at


The Grand Opera House Presents Heartland Ballet’s Production of Cinderella

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Dubuque City Youth Ballet's pre-professional company, Heartland Ballet, brings the popular fairytale to life. The glorious music of Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella is notable for its jubilant music, and the ballet is filled with lush scenery, a romantic story and comic stepsisters. The enduring rags-to-princess story offers the promise of "happily ever after" with a dose of humor mixed with the majesty of classical ballet. Considered to be one of the top ten ballets of all time, Heartland Ballet's exquisite production is sure to enchant audiences of all ages.

This Heartland Ballet production of Cinderella is choreographed by Megan MacLeod, Artist-in-Residence, and principal instructor at the Academy of Ballet, home of the Dubuque City Youth Ballet organization. Artistic Director is Marina O'Rourke. Featured dancers include Caroline Woodward as Cinderella, Cathleen Breslin as Bluebird, Julia Chavez as Fairy Godmother, Elizabeth Kelsey and Carly Heying as the Stepsisters and Craig Allen as the Prince.

The Heartland Ballet is a division of the Dubuque City Youth Ballet. Consisting of advanced dancers, primarily of high school age, this company performs annually in the spring. Ballets are from the DCYB repertoire. The Heartland Ballet also serves as a touring group, and for special commissions.

Cinderella tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for those under 18 and can be purchased in person at our Box Office located at 135 W. 8th Street in Dubuque, or by calling (563) 588-1305. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from Noon until 4:00pm. Tickets can also be purchased on our website at

Dates and Times: Ticket Prices:
Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ 7:30pm All seats reserved.
Sunday, April 2, 2017 @ 2:00pm 
Saturday, April 8, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Sunday, April 9, 2017 @ 2:00pm


Sainci Named Millennial Impact Fellow

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City of Dubuque Resource Management Coordinator and Supervisor Anderson Sainci has been named a Millennial Impact Fellow by New Profit, a national nonprofit venture philanthropy fund.

Sainci was one of 12 candidates selected for this distinction as a young social change agent and was invited to attend New Profit's 13th annual Gathering of Leaders conference March 1-2 in Atlanta. He was a panelist in the conference's session entitled "High-Performing Communities and the Real Deal: Entrepreneurs, Innovators and American Renewal."

New Profit cites Sainci as a community connector, bringing the stories and experiences he hears from his community, to the local government that serves it. "Local government and grassroots organizations allow me to know what's going on, and to be that bridge," said Sainci.

As a resource management coordinator and supervisor in the City of Dubuque Public Works Department, Sainci manages the City's curbside collection of trash, recycling, and yard debris and food scraps. The position includes a focus on sustainability as it pertains to the environment, economics, and social culture within Dubuque. He works with various community partners to facilitate equity and inclusion within the community.

He is also involved with Dubuque's My Brother's Keeper initiative, which focuses on creating systems that work for boys of color. "I believe that we can fix the education system to allow kids, at a young age, to know what they want to be when they grow up, and push them to do something society says they aren't supposed to do," said Sainci.

Additionally, Sainci is part of the Dubuque Black Men's Coalition, a network that supports the challenges the city is facing as it grows more diverse. "We want to ensure that we have a support system, and are able to give back to the community," he explained. The coalition hosts various programs to ensure this mission is reached. Their current program, the Manhood Project, is one of many initiatives that is focused on empowering young men of color.

Sainci has served as resource management coordinator and supervisor in the City of Dubuque Public Works Department since August 2015. He was elected to the Iowa Recycling Association Board of Directors in October 2016. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and a master of arts degree in communication, both from the University of Dubuque. Sainci's prior experience includes serving as an intern for the City of Dubuque in various capacities, including work in the information services, economic development, and public works departments. He also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Sustainable Dubuque initiative. Sainci serves on the boards of directors for the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, Dubuque Dream Center, St. Mark Youth Enrichment, Every Child Every Promise, and Radius Church.

For more information on New Profit, visit


The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for Shrek the Musical

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The Grand Opera House will present Shrek the Musical June 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24 2017 at 7:30 PM and June 18 and 25, 2017 at 2:00 PM.

Let your freak-flag fly with this wonderfully zany musical for the whole family. Full of all-new songs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, SHREK: THE MUSICAL is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun!
Director is Jeff Tebbe, Music Director is David Resnick, and Choreographer is Christen Tebbe.

Auditions will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, April 1, 2017 and 6:00 PM Sunday, April 2, 2017. A separate call for children auditioning for Young Shrek, Young Fiona
and Teen Fiona will be held at 3:00 PM Saturday, April 1, 2017. Auditions will be held at the Grand's Rehearsal space in the Arcade Building, 880 Locust St., Suites 222 and 228. Please enter though the alley entrance located between Locust and Main. When you enter go up just past the first hallway and take the stairs on the left to the second floor. The rooms are right at the top of the stairs.

Video recorded auditions will be accepted BEFORE the scheduled audition dates and times - contact the Grand for more details!

Actors, Singers and Dancers Needed - Adults and teens, ages 14 on up (parts for one girl and one boy ages 10-11 who are very strong singers). Actors, singers, and movers.

??Actors wishing to audition but are unavailable to arrive at the start of the audition time should call the Grand Opera House business office at 563-588-4356 to give an approximate arrival time. Rehearsals will begin Monday, April 24th..

Those auditioning should be prepared to list all conflict or potential conflicts between Monday, April 24th and Sunday, June 25th. Availability for evening dress rehearsals June 12-15 and all performances is mandatory. Rehearsals will typically run from 7-9 pm Monday through Thursday with possible Saturday morning rehearsals.

Actors should prepare 32 bars of a musical theatre selection in the style of the show that best shows their vocal range. Please bring sheet music, an accompanist will be provided. Actors will be asked to read non character specific scenes from the script. All auditioning should be prepared to participate in a dance/movement audition. Perusal copies of the script sides are available at the Grand Opera House business office 135 West 8th Street, Dubuque, between 9:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday and can be obtained by contacting Executive and Artistic Director, Frank McClain at



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

Social Security is constantly evolving to make your life easier. If you are currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and are reapplying for benefits, or are assisting someone with their application, a trip to the Social Security office is probably not necessary even if verification of Social Security benefits is needed.

Because of a data exchange established between Social Security and HUD, most people do not need to contact Social Security for a benefit verification letter. HUD administrators processing a Recertification Application for Housing Assistance can use their Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System to verify Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Public housing agencies, private owners, and management agents administering HUD rental assistance programs may get registration information about EIV by logging onto the following websites: or

If you are a new applicant for housing assistance, you can provide your HUD administrator with your Social Security award letter, Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) notice, SSA-1099, or other SSA benefit document you should have received at the beginning of the calendar year or when you began receiving benefits, whichever is later.

We created these data exchange agreements to help you get the support you need at the first point of contact, even if that's not with Social Security. If you do need to provide proof of Social Security benefits yourself, we have another way to save you a trip to Social Security. You can get an instant benefit verification letter with a personal My Social Security account at


Exploring the classic/historical car hobby

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Car enthusiasts appeared as soon as the automobile was introduced to the general public in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through the years, certain vehicles have proven more desireable to customers than others based on their looks and other attributes.

Auto hobbyists devote substantial time and effort to purchasing, restoring and displaying classic cars. While the hobby of restoring classic cars is not necessarily for everyone, its popularity suggests it's an activity that's here to stay.

According to an article in The Economist, in the wake of the recent recession, investors were increasingly pulling their money out of stocks and converting assets into tangible items, such as classic cars. As late as 2013, collector cars were outperforming other tangible investments like art, wine, stamps, and coins by large margins. 

Those ready to dip their toes in the classic car waters should understand a few key factors that can affect how much they enjoy this potentially rewarding hobby.

• Environmental regulations. Some collectors face challenges when attempting to restore classic vehicles because the cars do not meet today's stringent clean air initiatives that govern automobiles. With the increasing number of new, clean cars on the road, vehicles that fail to meet modern emissions standards may pose a costly problem to classic car collectors.

• Introduction of alternative fuels. As governments increasingly emphasize the importance of clean fuel options, classic car owners may find it challenging to find more traditional fuels or face the added expense of adapting their vehicles to run on alternative fuels.

• Lack of mechanical expertise. Workers in the automotive trade are trained to manufacture and repair new vehicles. As a result, classic car owners without much mechanical ability of their own may find it difficult to find mechanics with the skills necessary to repair and restore classic cars.

• Historic requirements should be heeded. Each state has its own requirements governing classic cars. To qualify for historic vehicle registration, vehicles may need to be 25 years or older, owned solely as a collector's item and used exclusively for exhibition and educational purposes. When driven for personal use, such vehicles may not be allowed to exceed 1,000 miles per year. 

Classic cars continue to attract hobbyists from all over the globe. Restoring classic cars can be a rewarding pastime, but one that involves dedication and an investment of both time and money.


Tire maintenance a key component of spring check-up

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When warm weather arrives, many people enjoy a collective sigh of relief. Just as people welcome the end of the cold, snow and ice, cars and trucks also can benefit from more moderate temperatures. 

Salt, grime and pot holes can take a toll on tires over the course of a typical winter. Drivers will not get far this spring and summer without tires in good repair, which is why tire maintenance should be part of any seasonal repair checklist.

Inflation levels
Now is the time to use a tire pressure gauge to see if tires are at the ideal inflation levels. Many tires indicate the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) on their sidewalls. Cold temperatures may cause tires to deflate a little. Esurance states that winter weather can cause tire pressure reduction at about one PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops. Driving on improperly inflated tires can be dangerous, potentially affecting handling and braking distances.

Check tires when they are cold for the most accurate reading. Properly inflated tires also will improve fuel economy, so drivers may even save a little money by inflating their tires.

Tire rotation/realignment
Examine the tires for tread wear. Any uneven or abnormal tread wear could indicate that the tires need to be rotated and the wheels realigned at the very least. Take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic to get their opinion on how to remedy the situation. Mechanics may recommend rotating tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or about every six months for the average driver.

Wheel realignment may be necessary after a season of driving over potholes and other irregularities in the road. Misaligned wheels can cause handling problems, like the car "pulling" to one side.

Tire replacement
Drivers may discover extreme tread wear, bulges or even cracks in the sidewall during a tire inspection. These signs indicate that it's time to replace the tires. Failing to replace old, worn down tires can increase the risk of automobile accidents.

Thorough cleaning
Once tires are inspected and possibly serviced or replaced, treat the car or truck to a washing and thorough detailing. This will help tires shine and get the vehicle road-ready for spring trips.


Historical events throughout the month of March

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March may be most synonymous with the start of spring and St. Patrick's Day, but there's much more to the third month of the calendar year. The following are notable events that occurred between March 1 and March 31 throughout history.

• March 1: The Articles of Confederation are established in 1791. Nine years later, Congress would authorize the first United States Census on this date.

• March 2: Fans are treated to a sci-fi masterpiece when images of a giant gorilla first appear in the film "King Kong," which premiered in New York in 1933.

• March 3: Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell is born in Edinburgh, Scotland. In March of 1876, he electronically transmitted sounds.

• March 4: In 1681, King Charles II of England grants a large parcel of land in the New World to William Penn to settle an outstanding debt. That area would later become Pennsylvania.

• March 5: The Boston Massacre occurs in 1770.

• March 6: Fort Alamo falls to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna in 1836.

• March 7: The Beatles release the album "Past Masters, Volumes 1 & 2" in 1988.

• March 8: The New York Stock Exchange is founded in 1817.

• March 9: In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant is commissioned as a lieutenant general and becomes commander of the Union armies.

• March 10: Daniel Boone begins his expedition of Kentucky in 1775.

• March 11: The Lend-Lease program begins in 1941, enabling Britain to receive American supplies.

• March 12: The island of Bermuda is colonized by the British in 1609.

• March 13: Sir William Herschel discovers Uranus in 1781.

• March 14: Albert Einstein is born in Germany in 1879.

• March 15: Julius Caesar is assassinated, fulfilling the prediction of "Beware the Ides of March."

• March 16: Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlett Letter" is published in 1850.

• March 17: Golda Meir becomes the prime minister of Israel in 1969.

• March 18: In 1974, the five-month Arab oil embargo against the United States is lifted.

• March 19: In 1965, teenage diver E. Lee Spence discovers the wreck of the Confederate cruiser the S.S. Georgiana, which is valued at more than $50 million.

• March 20: In 1852, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is first published.

• March 21: Johann Sebastian Bach is born in Germany in 1685.

• March 22: In 1765 the Stamp Act was approved.

• March 23: Patrick Henry utters "Give me liberty, or give me death" in 1775.

• March 24: In 1988, the Exxon Valdez spills 11 million gallons of oil.

• March 25: RCA first produces color TVs in 1954.

• March 26: Playwright Tennessee Williams is born in 1911.

• March 27: Juan Ponce de Leon sees Florida in 1513.

• March 28: In 1979, a nuclear power plant on Three Mile Island overheats.

• March 29: Future U.S. president John Tyler is born in 1790.

• March 30: Vincent Van Gogh is born in Holland in 1853.

• March 31: "Oklahoma!" opens on Broadway in 1943. 


Go green with your fitness routine

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Many people aspire to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, and regular exercise is an essential component of such a lifestyle. 

One of the hidden benefits to regular exercise is that it presents numerous opportunities to benefit the planet. Going green with a fitness routine can create a healthier planet, which can only benefit fitness enthusiasts and their families in the long run. Creating a fitness routine that benefits people and the planet is simple and can even make workouts more rewarding.

• Walk, run or ride to the gym. Many people get the bulk, if not the entirety, of their exercise at a gym. For those who live outside of major cities, that likely involves driving to and from a gym before and after workouts. Instead of driving, consider walking, running or biking to the gym. Each option provides great cardiovascular exercise that can reduce or replace the time people spend on treadmills or elliptical machines. And cutting back on driving reduces fuel consumption and auto emissions, greatly benefitting the planet.

• Exercise in the great outdoors. Fitness enthusiasts can reduce their energy consumption by exercising outdoors whenever possible. Replace running in place on a treadmill with running through a park or on a beach outside. Men and women who work out in their homes can take the free weights outdoors to the backyard on nice days, allowing Mother Nature instead of the electric company to supply the lighting.

• Join gyms that offer eco-friendly exercise equipment. More and more gyms are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints, and eco-friendly fitness enthusiasts can look for such facilities before purchasing or renewing their gym memberships. Some efforts gym owners make to reduce the carbon footprint of their facilities include using only eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products; installing low-flow toilets, faucets and shower heads in facility restrooms and bathing areas; and installing user-powered cardiovascular machinery that consume considerably less energy than traditional machines. Inquire about a facility's carbon footprint before purchasing a membership.

• Purchase eco-friendly accessories. Another way to make a fitness routine more environmentally friendly is to purchase workout accessories that do not have large carbon footprints. Instead of single-use plastic water bottles, purchase a reusable water bottle made of recycled materials. In addition, opt for workout gear made of organic or recycled materials. Such items can be found online or at sporting goods stores or retailers that cater to outdoors enthusiasts.

Fitness enthusiasts can take various steps to make their workout routines more eco-friendly, benefitting themselves and the planet along the way.


Summer Camps

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The Friends of Dubuque County Conservation Board and staff are offering summer camps during June, July and Augusut to give youth an active and adventurous summer. These summer camps offer an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover different hobbies, and create memories.

There are summer camp opportunities available for ages 3 up to 17 years old. Camp formats include day camps, week-long camps, and overnight offsite camps.

A new camp opportunity this year is the Adventure Camp. Youth will experience an action-packed week of rock climbing, geocaching, kayaking, zip lining, and more!

Another new camp is the Driftless Adventurers. On this camp youth will backpack in the Yellow River State Forest. This camp is unique because youth from Clinton, Jackson, and Dubuque counties will be attending.

Other camp topics include: Art in Nature, Wet & Wild, Dino Camp, Superheroes & Fairies, Out of This World, and Wilderness Games.

Registration for summer camps is now open. Registrations can be processed online at or in person at the Swiss Valley Nature Center.

For more information contact Kaytlan Moeller at Swiss Valley Nature Center at 563.556.6745 or


Dubuque Museum of Art Presents Shiny, Sticky, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses

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Dubuque Only Second City to Host Traveling Exhibition including More Than 50 Artworks by Celebrated Pop Artists

Visitors to the Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) are in for a multi-sensory experience this spring, with more than 50 rarely seen works of Pop Art – all relating to the senses, including sight, smell, taste and touch – going on view this month.

Coming from Wichita, Kansas, where the exhibition was organized by the Wichita Art Museum, Shiny, Sticky, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses, Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation opens at DuMA on Saturday, February 18 and continues through May 14, 2017. A Members' Preview reception will be held on Friday, February 17 from 5-8 p.m.

Inspired by advertising, movies, television, and comic strips of the late 1950s and 1960s, the modern art movement commonly referred to as "Pop Art" embraced the visual language of popular culture, including its graphic imagery and bold colors, and left a lasting mark on American art and culture.

This exhibition includes 53 paintings, prints and sculptures – several spanning more than 7 feet – by such notable Pop artists as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, James Rosenquist, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Claes Oldenburg.

The exhibition will be on view in the Falb Family Gallery and on the Amuse Bouche Balcony Gallery, both located on the museum's second floor.

The exhibition and related educational and outreach programs were made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, based in Portland, Oregon, and the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation in Dubuque. Additional support was provided by the Runde Auto Group in Dubuque and East Dubuque, Illinois. Media support has been provided by NPR station WVIK in the Quad Cities.

"We are excited to bring this remarkable collection of art to Dubuque and to share Pop Art with our community for the first time in our history", said DuMA Executive Director David Schmitz. "Pop Art is as relevant today as it was in the 1960s and 70s, when the power of television, media and advertising to shape our culture first became apparent. Pop Art and Pop artists drew our attention to that reality."

Numerous public programs and events will accompany the exhibitions. All events are held free of charge and at the Dubuque Museum of Art unless otherwise noted.

Members' Preview
: Friday, February 17, 5-8 pm
Free admission includes complementary appetizers for museum members. Guests $10.

Gallery Talk
Sunday, February 19, 1:30 p.m.

Art Talk: Alan Garfield
Sunday, March 5, 1:30 p.m.
University of Dubuque Professor Alan Garfield will share his personal insights into the Pop Art movement and the lives of some of its leading artists.

Through the Arts Trek program, offered annually in conjunction with Dubuque Community and Holy Family Schools, every second-grade student in Dubuque will receive a tour of the exhibition between February and April. Adult and group tours of the exhibition may also be arranged by contacting DuMA Education Director Margaret Buhr at (563) 557-1851.

Additional programs will be announced throughout the month. Details on all exhibitions and upcoming programs may be accessed at Images of artworks in the exhibition are available upon request.

Also opening February 18 in the Kris Mozena McNamer Gallery, located on the museum's first floor, is an exhibition of works of Dubuque artist John Anderson-Bricker. Fire and Ice: Paintings of the Mississippi River by John Anderson Bricker represents the artist's first solo exhibition in a museum and follows his participation in many juried and group exhibitions. Anderson-Bricker's colorful and expressive paintings are inspired by more than two decades of observation of the Mississippi River over the summer and winter seasons. Fire and Ice: Paintings of the Mississippi River by John Anderson Bricker will be on view through May 14, 2017.

About the Dubuque Museum of Art
The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA), founded in 1874 and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is Iowa's oldest cultural institution. Named a national affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2016, DuMA's mission is to excite, engage and serve diverse communities within the Tri-State area through our collections, exhibitions and educational programs. We connect generations of people to their cultural heritage and exceptional art. DuMA is located across from Washington Park at 7th and Locust Streets in historic downtown Dubuque.

Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., Saturday & Sunday 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. Daily Admission: $6 Adults, $5 Seniors, $3 College/University Students, free for kids every day, and free to all on Thursdays thanks to Prudential Financial. Website:



Moments in Nature Photo Contest

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Dubuque County Conservation, Julien's Journal, and Everything Photography is happy to announce the opening of the 2017 "Moments in Nature" Photo Contest.

This contest is to encourage community members to get outside and capture all the beauty Dubuque County has to offer. Entry categories include: wildlife, plants, people in nature, and landscapes. We are offering two different divisions for each category to encourage participation no matter your age or skill level: amateur and youth. Photos must be taken in Dubuque County.

Winners will be showcased in a "Moments in Nature" exhibit at Swiss Valley Nature Center and in an issue of Julien's Journal. Winners will also receive additional prizes!

Entries MUST be in by Monday, April 3rd. All rules and entry forms can be found at or can picked up at Swiss Valley Nature Center.


America’s River Corporation Announces 2017 America’s River Festival Lineup

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America's River Corporation is excited to announce the 2017 entertainment for America's River Festival presented by American Trust & Savings Bank, held in the Port of Dubuque June 8-10, 2017.

Kicking off the festival will be Thank You Thursday (June 8, 2017) sponsored by Runde Auto Group. This night will be FREE for all attendees and will feature country favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ("Fishin' in the Dark," "Mr. Bojangles," & "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"). The band was originally set to perform at the 2016 event but inclement weather delayed and prevented their performance.

"We were as disappointed as attendees that Nitty Gritty Dirt Band didn't have a chance to perform in 2016 due to weather conditions," stated Keith Rahe, Event Coordinator for America's River Festival. "However, we are so thrilled that they will be able to perform in 2017 and that Runde Auto Group is supporting this night so that we are able to provide the entertainment for no cost for our attendees."

Special guest and up and coming country artist Brandon Lay will also perform Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Friday night (June 9, 2017) features Old Dominion ("Break Up With Him," "Snapback" & "Song For Another Time") with special up and coming guests Tucker Beathard ("Rock On") and William Michael Morgan ("I Met A Girl").

Also on tap for the 2017 festival is the Tappening, A Beer Event. This event draws over 700 attendees to take in an afternoon of craft beer and music. This year's event will take place from noon to 4pm at the America's River Festival event site on June 10, 2017.

Saturday night features classic rock favorites. Headlining the evening will be Styx ("Come Sail Away," "Renegade," "Blue Collar Man," & "Lorelei") with special guests Guess Who ("American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight," & "Share the Land") and Little River Band ("Cool Change," "Reminiscing," & "Lonesome Loser").

Regional Stage entertainment throughout the festival will include Ryan McGrath Band, Zero 2 Sixty, and Main Street Jazz Band.

America's River Festival is held at the McGraw Hill Parking Lot at 501 Bell Street in Dubuque, Iowa. Tickets go on sale February 1, 2017. Please check for more information.