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Downtown Streets Become Two-way on Monday

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Conversion of four downtown Dubuque streets from one-way to two-way will take effect on Monday, Aug. 25. In preparation of this switch, the City of Dubuque is asking motorists to practice caution this week while one lane of all affected streets will be blocked off for new pavement markings and to acclimate motorists to driving in the right lane.

The one-way to two-way conversion of Ninth Street (between Locust Street and Kerper Boulevard), 11th Street (between Central Avenue and Kerper Boulevard), Pine Street (between Ninth and 11th streets), and 10th Street (between Locust Street and Central Avenue) began in April and will take effect before daylight on Monday, Aug. 25.

The two-way conversion of these streets includes new traffic signals, pavement striping, sidewalk access ramps, and signage.

Please note that Central Avenue, White Street, Bluff Street, and Locust Street will remain one-way streets.

Message signs have been deployed at several downtown locations to warn motorists of the scheduled change. For more information, contact the City of Dubuque Engineering Department at 563-589-4270 or engineer@cityofdubuque.org.


School bus safety tips to impart to youngsters

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Each day thousands upon thousands of children board school buses to take them to and from school. Parents and caregivers entrust their children's well-being to the care of school bus drivers and aides. Although parents may worry about school bus accidents, such accidents are few and far between.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and protecting against injury. Buses are arguably the safest mode of transportation for getting kids to and from school. By keeping millions of cars off the roads surrounding schools, school buses contribute to less crowded roadways, which are less conducive to accidents.

Danger zone
Though parents may feel buses are most likely to be in accidents while in transit, experts advise that children are more likely to get hurt during pickups and drop-offs when they're in the "danger zone" of the bus. The danger zone is a 10-foot radius around the outside of the bus. Bus drivers and other motorists find kids in the danger zone are more difficult to see, and children can get struck by either the bus or oncoming cars that fail to stop when the bus is picking kids up or dropping them off.

Knowing the safety rules
While a large part of protecting children is on the shoulders of the school bus driver, it is also vital for passengers to learn the basics of school bus safety. Kindergarteners or children who are riding the bus for the first time should be taught the rules of school bus safety.

Some schools offer a school bus tour prior to the new school year. This lets youngsters acclimate themselves with the look and feel of the school bus. This introduction also may include information about bus safety, but parents can also educate their children (and themselves) about using caution in and around the bus by following these guidelines.

• Get to the bus stop 5 to 10 minutes prior to the assigned pickup time. Rushing last-minute can lead to injury, especially if you're chasing down the bus.

• Remain on the sidewalk or grass at the bus stop. Do not step off the curb into the street until the bus has arrived and is completely stopped.

• When boarding the bus, go directly to a seat and sit down. Buckle up if there are seatbelts on the bus.

• Remain seated while the bus is in motion.

• Keep voices low so as not to distract the driver.

• Keep your head and hands inside of the bus, and never hang out of the window.

• Do not throw things on the bus or play rough with friends or classmates.

• Keep the aisle clear at all times.

• Be careful when getting off the bus. Hold on while going down the stairs.

• Only get off at your designated stop unless you have permission to get off elsewhere.

• When exiting the bus, walk at least 10 steps past the front of the bus and cross in front where the driver can see you. Do not cross behind the bus.

• Wait for the driver to give you a signal that it is safe to cross. Be sure to check that all cars on the road have come to a complete stop.

• Get to the sidewalk or off the street as quickly as possible.

• If you've forgotten something on the bus, do not run back and attempt to retrieve it. The driver might not see you and start the bus. Rather, call the bus company and see if you can pick it up at another time.

• Do not get into the cars of strangers waiting around bus stops, even if they offer to take you home.

Parents can arrange to meet with bus drivers so that they will recognize their faces. Adults also can encourage schools to host bus safety courses to further ensure their youngsters are safe.


Backpack safety can prevent serious injuries

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Trips and falls on the playground may account for the majority of injuries that send school children to the nurse's office. But backpacks cause their fair share of injuries as well.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries per year. Children routinely carry more than the recommended weight in school backpacks and, compounding the problem, also carry their bags incorrectly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical agencies recommend that a child's backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of the child's body weight. However, this figure should be adjusted based on a child's fitness level and strength. That means that the average seven-year-old second grader who weighs between 55 and 60 pounds should be carrying no more than 11 to 12 pounds in his or her backpack. A backpack that is too heavy may cause:

• red marks on the shoulders or back from the straps

• tingling or numbness in the arms and back

• changes in posture when wearing the backpack

• pain anywhere in the back

To compound these problems, which also may include nerve damage resulting from pressure on nerves in the shoulders, children should lighten their loads and carry backpacks correctly. The following tips are some additional ways youngsters can prevent backpack-related injuries.

• Carry only necessary items. Children should only carry what is required for that particular school day in their backpacks. If teachers routinely have students carry home many heavy books, parents can consult with the teachers to see if there are other options.

• Distribute weight evenly. Items in the backpack should be spread out to distribute the weight across the entire back. Heavier items should be at the bottom of the pack.

• Use both straps. Using only one strap shifts the backpack weight to one side, causing the back and shoulders to strain. Many orthopedists have reported treating children with back or shoulder pain as the result of carrying backpacks incorrectly.

• Choose the correct backpack size. The size of the backpack should match the scale of the child and should rest evenly in the middle of the child's back.

• Lift safely. Children should lift their backpacks by bending their knees and lifting to protect their backs.

There are some safety features parents can look for when purchasing backpacks. A padded back reduces pressure on the muscles and can be more comfortable, while compression straps make the backpack more sturdy. Additionally, reflective material on the backpack can make the child more visible to motorists.


Establish a low-maintenance aquarium

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Fish are often the pet of choice when people desire a pet that requires minimal care. While home aquariums may not require substantial maintenance, they cannot go entirely ignored, either. When ignored, aquariums can quickly transform from a visually stunning habitat into a murky, algae-infested mess. But as important as aquarium maintenance is, some additional factors can also influence the beauty of a home aquarium.

• Bigger may be better. Larger tanks may be better than compact tanks, especially for new owners. That's because larger tanks are generally more stable in terms of water balance. People mistakenly overcrowd their tanks with fish, and a small tank can easily be overrun by bacteria and fish waste. Upgrading to a larger tank (think 30 gallons) means fish will have the room they need and the water will not have to be changed as frequently to keep it clean.

• Find a shady spot. It's tempting to put a fish tank where it can be seen by everyone. But if this spot gets a lot of sunlight or even ambient light from overhead fixtures, it may fall victim to excessive algae growth. Algae, like most plants, needs light and a food source to thrive. The fish will provide the food material, but owners can control the light to limit algae blooms. Once algae is present in large amounts, it can easily overrun the tank. Invest in a few algae-eater fish, such as plecos and some catfish.

• Don't overstock the aquarium. It can be tempting to buy more and more fish for a home aquarium. But putting too many fish in a tank can throw the water balance off considerably and lead to a high amount of waste in the water. Fish that are an inch in size need roughly one gallon of water each. Fewer fish are easy to care for and won't cloud up the water quickly.

• Invest in a good filter. A variety of aquarium filters are available, and they can range from inexpensive to more costly. Be sure the filter you choose is large enough to accommodate the volume of water in the tank. It's better to have a filter that's too large for the tank than one that is too small. Look for a filter that will turn over all of the water in the tank at least four times per hour. Ample filtering means the water will remain crystal clear.

• Plan for weekly partial water changes. Siphon 10 to 20 percent of the water each week for optimal health. Try to vacuum around the gravel to remove trapped food particles and waste. Committing to this small bit of maintenance can go a long way toward creating a healthy tank that will not require more maintenance.

• Avoid goldfish as a first fish. Goldfish are particularly dirty fish. They are often purchased because they tend to be inexpensive, but goldfish metabolize food quickly and produce a lot of waste. They can also grow quite large, requiring an upgrade to a larger tank much more quickly than some other fish. Guppies and platies make good starter fish. They're tolerant of harsh aquarium conditions and quite hardy.

All pets require a certain measure of care and maintenance. Although maintaining a fish tank may not require the daily effort of caring for cats or dogs, a tank still must be maintained to provide an ideal living environment for fish.


Age equivalents for cats and dogs

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Cat and dog owners know that the responsibility of caring for their favorite felines and preferred pooches changes as those animals age. But owners may not know just what constitutes an "aging" pet.

Many might go by the popular notion that one dog year is equal to seven human years. But that figure is not quite accurate and is rarely associated with cats, leaving many cat owners to wonder about the age equivalents for their furry companions.

The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that determining the age equivalent of pets is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years." In fact, making such determinations is especially difficult with dogs, whose age equivalents depend on the size of the dog. But the AVMA does calculate pet age in human terms, and the following are the equivalents on which they tend to rely.

Cat years / Human years
     7              45
    10              58
    15              75
    20              98

Dogs (small-medium)
Dog years / Human years
     7               44-47
    10              56-60
    15              76-83
    20             96-105

Dogs (large-very large)
Dog years / Human years
    7                50-56
   10               66-78
   15               93-115
   20                 120


Safety tips for surviving the dog days of summer

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The end of summer can be a bittersweet time of year. To some, summer is the most enjoyable time of year, marked by shorter hours at the office and family vacations. For kids, summer is a time when homework is set aside in favor of rest and relaxation.

As enjoyable as summer can be, there are many people who, come the end of August, are glad to see summer nearing its end. Such people may enjoy cold weather or may simply find their tolerance for high temperatures and humid afternoons is starting to wear thin.

Regardless of one's personal opinion about the dog days of summer, the often unforgiving climate synonymous with late summer is a considerable safety risk for people of all ages. Temperatures approaching or exceeding the triple digits coupled with intense humidity can be dangerous, and it's important that men, women and kids emphasize safety as summer winds down.

• Check seating before sitting down. You don't have to spend time outdoors to get burned when summer temperatures soar. Something as simple as sitting down on a surface exposed to the sun can cause burns. Before sitting down in a car, on a bench or other surfaces exposed to the heat, check the seats by touching them with your hand. Brief contact with your hand is not likely to result in a burn, and you should be able to gauge whether a seat is safe to sit on or too hot. Parents should always check their children's car seats before placing youngsters in the car. If seats are too hot, cover them with a towel before sitting down.

• Lock car doors at all times. Kids might be more amenable to summer heat than their parents are, but that doesn't meaning playing outside isn't a potential threat to youngsters' health. In addition to more standard precautions like applying sunscreen to youngsters before they go outdoors and ensuring they drink enough water, make sure the doors to all vehicles on your property are locked. Whether they're seeking a respite from the hot summer sun or simply playing with friends, kids might climb into cars when mom and dad aren't looking, and that can put youngsters in precarious positions, especially if the vehicle's windows are rolled up. Cars can quickly turn into ovens during the late summer swoon, and kids can easily succumb to the heat if they climb into an unattended vehicle on a hot day. Be sure to lock your car doors so kids are not tempted to climb in on hot summer days.

• Limit strenuous activities. Adults may find late summer is the ideal time to get outdoors and go for a run or enjoy a little sun-soaked exercise. Some may want to get a little sun or simply enjoy the sensation of sweating off a few pounds as they jog around the neighborhood. But strenuous outdoor activities should be kept to a minimum once the dog days of summer arrive. Heat stroke and dehydration are very real possibilities when adults and kids overextend themselves on hot days, so keep physical activity to a minimum on especially hot days or schedule activities for those times in the day when the temperature is more amenable to activity.

• Stay hydrated. Late-summer heat can take a toll on the body, which needs water to stay cool. On days when the summer heat is especially hot, be sure to drink plenty of water even if you don't feel thirsty. The body's cooling system can fail in extreme heat or when conditions outside are especially humid, leaving men, women and children susceptible to dehydration. One way to gauge if you are drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine. If your urine is clear like water, then you're likely drinking enough water. When urine is a darker color like the color of apple juice, then you likely need to drink more water. Dizziness, an elevated heart rate and nausea are each symptoms of dehydration, particularly on hot days.

The end of summer means cooler weather is just around the corner. But end-of-summer heat can be very dangerous, and men, women and children should take precautions so summer's last heat wave does not take a potentially dangerous toll on them.


Steines recommended for Dubuque Fire Chief

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Jule Transit Sees 30,000 Ride Increase Over Last Year

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The Jule's crosstown Express service, west-end Shopping Circluator routes, Nightrider evening service, and new service along Jackson Street to Terrace Heights have led to significant increases in ridership for Fiscal Year 2014.

These new services, in addition to partnerships with Clarke University, Loras College and University of Dubuque, led to an increase of 29,932 rides or a seven percent increase from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

This year's increases build on previous years' success; transit ridership in Dubuque has increased from 373,376 to 478,370, over 100,000 rides or 28 percent in the past five years. Fifty thousand of these rides came between FY2011 and FY2012, during the first round of the Smarter Travel pilot study, and over 30,000 rides came between FY2013 and FY2014, after data was used to restructure The Jule's routes. These route changes resulted in shortened ride times, increased coverage, and extended hours; many trip times were reduced by more than half.

The restructured routes took effect in January 2014 and have had a tremendous impact on the number of rides and access to more locations in the city of Dubuque. Candace Eudaley, director of transit operations for The Jule, said that beginning in January, the month to previous year comparisons have been staggering.

"We used to see ourselves exceeding the monthly ridership of the previous year by around 1,000 rides, but as of January, with the new route changes, we've seen monthly increases of 3,000 (January) to almost 7,000 (May) rides in a single month," said Eudaley. "With the increases we've seen in just a short time, we're looking forward to seeing what our ridership looks like with a full year of the new routes."


Ride The Jule to School – Students Ride Free

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Dubuque Community School District and Holy Family Catholic Schools students can ride The Jule to and from school and other activities and events free of charge. All K-12 students ride for free, but high school students must show their school ID to board.

The Jule provides public transportation to students to and from school on regularly scheduled routes that are open to the general public with buses stopping at regular bus stops along those routes. Buses operate Monday-Friday beginning service at 6:05 a.m. and Saturday with service starting at 8:05 a.m.

Most schools have a bus stop within three to five blocks of their main entrance. Schools are listed with their closest bus stop location and bus route on www.juletransit.org.

Students must abide by the Jule's Passenger Code of Conduct or risk suspension from services. All Jule buses are outfitted with multiple interior and exterior security cameras for driver and passenger safety.

For complete route details and additional information, please visit www.juletransit.org, call 563-589-4196, or stop by The Jule Office.


Dubuque - A Jewel on the Mississippi River

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Gallery C announces Dubuque - A Jewel on the Mississippi River, an exhibition of works by photographer Hunt Harris with Opening Reception Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, 6-9 p.m.

World renowned photographer Hunt Harris has been called "a poet with a camera, offering a highly personal yet stylized view of the world." Gallery C is pleased to exhibit his newest prose, the infrared photographs of his Dubuque - A Jewel on the Mississippi River series.

Photography has been a deep interest of Hunt Harris since he purchased a Brownie camera in grade school. In high school he set up a darkroom in his basement and photographed for the school newspaper. After graduation, interests turned to family and career, so photography fell by the wayside. Decades later, with the advent of digital cameras, Hunt's interest in photography was rekindled.

Most of Hunt's pictures are taken on travels abroad; however, most recently he has been focused on Dubuque's architectural highlights with a camera converted to see the near infrared portion of the light spectrum. This is made up of light waves too long for the visible eye to see but short enough that most digital sensors can capture them. The infrared black and white process turns foliage white, blue skies and water dark and makes architecture stand out from the summer landscape. It gives a different look to otherwise familiar places, one that Hunt hopes the viewers of this exhibit will enjoy.

Hunt and his wife live in Moline, IL, and are the parents of two children and four granddaughters. Recently retired, during his career Hunt ran several companies including Star Forms and Isabel Bloom. He is an active volunteer, having chaired the boards of many non-profit organizations in the Quad Cities. As a philanthropist he is president of two private foundations funding programs primarily in the Quad Cities area.

Those interested in seeing more of Hunt Harris's work are encouraged to visit his websites:
www.TheArtfulLens.com - for mainly international photos
www.World-Scenes.com - for his blog and recent photo galleries including scenes of Dubuque

All are invited and welcome to attend this exhibition, and to participate in the expanding art scene in the Millwork District. There is no charge and refreshments will be served.

Gallery C, Carolyn M, is located in the Schmid Innovation Center at 900 Jackson Street in Dubuque, IA. Main entrance doors are on Jackson Street near 10th Ave. Be a part of the gallery's evolving exhibitions that create dialog, engage the community, and enrich the experience of the arts in Dubuque.



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The best bowlers in the Midwest section of the United States will convene at Diamond Jo Casino's Cherry Lanes Sept. 13-14 for the Professional Bowlers Association Budweiser Midwest Open presented by Dexter Shoes.

Among the players expected to participate are PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., who also is the most successful PBA Regional bowler in history; 2011 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion Tom Hess of Urbandale; USBC Hall of Famers Jeff Richgels of Madison, Wis., and Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis.; PBA Tour regulars Jesse Buss of Belvidere, Ill., and Brian Valenta of Lockport, Ill., along with several of the Midwest's rising stars.

The Budweiser Midwest Open will be the second event in a new PBA Women's Regional tournament series that will result in a berth in the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas in late October for the top points qualifier in the three-event series.

"We're excited to bring the top bowlers in the Midwest to Cherry Lanes," said Bob Hochrein, Cherry Lanes Director of Bowling. "As a bowler and bowling fan, it's a great pleasure to be able to bring these top players to our community."

The Budweiser Midwest Open will begin with a pro-am squad at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, where amateur men, women, senior and youth bowlers are invited to bowl with PBA partners.

Tournament qualifying is set for 9 a.m. Sunday. All players will bowl seven games with the top 16 at the end of qualifying (based upon a minimum field of 64 entries) returning at 1 p.m. for the single-elimination match play finals. The Round of 16 will feature a best-of-five-game format with eight winners advancing. The Round of 8 will be a best-of-three-game round with four winners advancing to the one-game semifinal round. The two semifinal round winners will bowl for the tournament title.

Scratch-level amateur bowlers are invited to participate in the event along with PBA members. The entry fee for non-professionals is $225. For more information, visit pba.com and look for details under Schedules/Regional Tour/Midwest Region tabs.

Admission to the tournament is free. Youth, senior and adult pro-am entry forms are available at the host center. For additional information call (563) 690-4829.


Cherry Lanes inside Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14

Saturday, September 13
5 p.m. - Official Practice Session

7 p.m. - Pro-Am

Sunday, September 14
9 a.m. - All players, seven-game qualifying round
Top 16 players after seven games advance to single-elimination match play

1 p.m. - Round of 16, best of five games (losers eliminated, winners advance to Round of 8)

3 p.m. (est.) - Round of 8, best of three games (losers eliminated, winners advance to Semifinal Round)

4 p.m. (est.) - Semifinal Round, one game (losers eliminated, winners advance to Championship Match)

4:30 p.m. (est.) - Championship Match, one game


Little Free Libraries Established at Dubuque Fire Stations

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The Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the AmeriCorps VISTA program recently established five permanent "Little Free Libraries" (LFLs) at five of Dubuque's six fire stations to promote literacy and increase access to books.

A Little Free Library, in its most basic form, is a small box that houses free books for anyone to take and exchange at any time. Returns and/or exchanges are not mandatory, but encouraged. Dubuque's Little Free Libraries are open to everyone regardless of income level, age, or residence. Non-residents are welcome to participate.

"The libraries provide a ‘take a book, return a book' gathering place where people can share their favorite literature or stories," said Stacy Seyer, AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Learning Coordinator, who coordinated the effort as part of her AmeriCorps VISTA project. "People are encouraged to make the book selections as unique as those living in the area."

All time and supplies for the construction of the book houses were donated by area professionals, including Tricon Construction, Mike Brimeyer, John Gregorich, Mike Cherry, Dubuque Window and Door Co., and Guardian Industries. Installation was completed by Tim Lattner, Bob Lanka, and two Urban Youth Corps participants from the City's Parks Division. An AmeriCorps VISTA book drive held in January 2014 yielded 1,500 donated books that were used to stock the libraries. The Dubuque Fire Department maintains the libraries with support of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library.

"The fire department is happy to be involved in this project," said Rick Steines, assistant fire chief for the Dubuque Fire Department. "We welcome our neighbors to stop by the LFL locations and get to know their local firefighters while choosing a book."

Dubuque's Little Free Libraries can be found at the following fire station locations:

2180 JFK Rd. (Fire Station 2)
3155 Central Ave. (Fire Station 3)
1697 University Ave. (Fire Station 4)
689 S. Grandview Ave. (Fire Station 5)
1500 Rhomberg Ave. (Fire Station 6)

Other Free Little Libraries locations in Dubuque include:

Mercy Hospital, 890 W. Third St.
Lincoln Elementary, 419 Winona St.
University of Dubuque, corner of North Algona St. and West Third St.
Eisenhower Elementary, 2984 Castle Woods Lane
Bryant Elementary, 220 Hill St.

Additional locations are expected to be added in the future.

The worldwide movement of Little Free Libraries (LFLs) began in Wisconsin in 2009. As a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher with a love of reading, Todd Bol, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse and filled it with books free for the taking. By January 2014, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world was conservatively estimated to be nearly 15,000, with thousands more being built.

A "Dubuque Little Free Libraries" Facebook page has been created and general information about Little Free Libraries is available at http://littlefreelibrary.org.


Tour de Dubuque Ride for a Cause to benefit Hospice

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Custom Riders, Inc., invites all motorcycles, bicycles and classic cars to join them August 23, 2014, for the 16th
Annual Tour de Dubuque to benefit Hospice of Dubuque.

The ride consists of a 106-mile round route with stops in
Gratiot, New Diggings, and Elizabeth and ending at Summer's Last Blast in downtown Dubuque. Bicycles will travel 20 miles (one way) from Sandy Hook to New Diggings where they will meet up with the motorcycles and cars. Registration begins at 10:30 am at Sandy Hook Tavern, 3836 Sandy Hook Road, Hazel Green, WI. All groups will depart at 12:30 pm.

To join the ride invite family, friends and local businesses to sponsor your motorcycle, classic car or bicycle ride. Registration forms are available for riders to collect pledge money prior to the event. There is a $10 registration fee for each driver and passenger who has not collected $50 in pledges. All proceeds will benefit Hospice of Dubuque.

Route information and pledge sheets are available at the Hospice of Dubuque office, 1670 JFK Road, or at www.hospiceofdubuque.org. For more information, call 563.582.1220.


UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital Welcomes Dr. James L. Ecker

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Dr. James L. Ecker, M.D. has joined Dr. Koneru at the Wendt Regional Cancer Center. Dr. Ecker is a board certified radiation oncologist.

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Ecker to Dr. Koneru's practice at the Wendt Regional Cancer Center. Dr. Ecker will provide innovative, patient-centered care to Wendt Center patients," explained Mike Kelly, director of the Wendt Regional Cancer Center.

Dr. Ecker most recently worked at CurePoint Cancer Treatment in Waycross, Georgia. He received his medical training from Michigan State University and completed his residency at University of Minnesota. He is the former Chairman of Cancer Committee and Hubert Humphrey Cancer Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Organic claims not always accurate

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In an effort to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, consumers have embraced organic foods in record numbers. They stand behind the idea that organic products are not only better for them, but also better for the planet. But the claims that organic food is safer, healthier and more eco-friendly may be more hype than fact. Some organic foods are not all that they seem to be, and when you dig for the dirt on "organic," you might be surprised at what you find.

The variety of organic products available at specialty food stores and more traditional supermarkets has increased considerably. Food purists and environmentalists support this growing trend. Certified organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Organically produced meats are from animals that do not take antibiotics or growth hormones to produce heartier cuts. The USDA National Organic Program sees to it that organic foods meet these stringent requirements and also that any companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to the supermarket or restaurant are certified as well.

However, consumers who embrace organic products might not be getting what they think they are. The term "organic" conjures up images of local produce stands and farmers diligently caring for their crops. However, as organic foods have grown in popularity and the organic food industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry, the methods of bringing these foods to a store near you have changed. While consumers may believe that organic broccoli was trucked in from a farm down the road, it actually may have traveled thousands of miles – negating many environmental benefits in the process.

Many smaller organic businesses have felt the pressure to keep up with mainstream foods and have joined the ranks of commercial food production. In fact, some smaller companies have actually been bought out by large food giants. Organic Cow, a Vermont milk producer, now operates under the auspices of Horizon, a company based in Colorado. Cascadian Farm, which produces organic frozen dinners among other items, is a subsidiary of General Mills. Many mainstream food companies have their own organic alter egos, which would no doubt surprise consumers who support the organic food movement.

Even true organic foods shipped from small farms over short distances may not be able to meet the hype of the organic moniker. Plant physiologist and biologist Alex Avery's 2007 book titled The Truth About Organic Foods talks about origins of organic food and dispels some of the myths that prevail. Avery notes that organic foods are not pesticide-free because all vegetables contain about five percent of their weight in natural pesticides, some of which may be just as potent as manmade varieties. Avery also notes that more than 95 percent of conventional meat and dairy products in the United States are totally free of antibiotics and 99.5 percent of it is free of synthetic hormones. Only one sample in 400 violates the antibiotic limits set by the FDA. Avery also states that there are no nutritional differences between organic and conventionally produced foods, which debunks the myth that organic foods are more nutritionally sound.

Organic foods also may contribute to a higher carbon footprint. Instead of using chemical fertilizers to feed produce, the use of animal manure may mean clearing out land for grazing and creating its own problems in off-gassing and water contamination that has been associated with raising livestock. Furthermore, the U.K. Department of Environment and Rural Affairs states, "A shift towards a local food system, and away from a supermarket-based food system with its central distribution depots, lean supply chains and big, full trucks, might actually increase the number of food-vehicle miles being traveled locally, because things would move around in a larger number of smaller, less efficiently packed vehicles."

Champions of organic foods are sure to stand by the claims that organic foods are better. Many organic foods are nutritionally sound and rely on more natural growing methods. Yet consumers should keep an open mind about both organic foods and their commercially produced counterparts.


Apple lemonade perfect for summer

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Lemonade is often associated with refreshment and hot summer days. When the mercury on the thermometer has reached record heights, few beverages are as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade.

This summer figures to have its share of hot afternoons. But while the higher temperatures might be typical this time of year, your choice for refreshment can be anything but – even if you insist on sticking with lemonade.

The following recipe for "Apple Lemonade" from Elsa Petersen-Schepelern's Cool Smoothies: Juices and Cocktails (Ryland, Peters & Small) offers a unique take on a summer favorite.

Apple Lemonade
Serves 4

2 to 3 cooking apples, unpeeled, chopped into small pieces
Sugar, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Sparkling water (to serve)

Put the apples into a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer until soft. Strain, pressing the pulp through the strainer with a spoon. Add sugar to taste, stir until dissolved, then let cool.

To serve, pack a pitcher with ice, half-fill the glass with the apple juice, add the lemon juice, and top with sparkling water.


Restless legs syndrome affects many

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Millions of people are afflicted with restless legs syndrome, an uncomfortable neurological condition that may lead them to repeatedly move their limbs to find relief. In spite of its name, restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is not limited to the lower extremities, as some of the sensations associated with the condition are felt in the arms as well.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health, says as much as 10 percent of the United States population may have RLS. Several studies show that approximately 2 to 3 percent of adults are affected by moderate to severe RLS, which occurs in both men and women, though incidence of the condition is twice as high among women. Although people of any age can be diagnosed with RLS, it is more often diagnosed in middle-aged men and women and seniors.

The most common symptom of RLS is an irresistible urge to move because of uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, sensations deep within the body. The sensations often defy description but can range from pain or aching to creeping, crawling, or prickling feelings. Symptoms may occur at any time but are most evident when the body is at rest, whether sitting down for long periods of time or when going to sleep. Symptoms may increase in severity throughout the night.

Those with RLS frequently experience periodic limb movements characterized by jerking and twitching, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep deprivation may carry over into daytime hours and make daily life difficult. Many with RLS also have concentration problems, impaired memory or struggle to perform daily tasks due to exhaustion.

RLS symptoms may vary and change from day to day. Symptoms may subside early in the morning, but they often reappear and worsen at night.

Considerable evidence points to a dysfunction in the brain's basal ganglia circuits that rely on the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps regulate muscle movements, as a contributor to RLS. Individuals with Parkinson's disease often have RLS as well.

RLS may be a genetic condition, as it seems to run in families. Pregnancy, chronic diseases and medications can also aggravate symptoms of RLS.

RLS is diagnosed by looking at certain qualifying criteria. Physicians will document symptoms and note when they occur. Treatment may involve a mixture of medications as well as therapies for relieving symptoms. Medications for RLS may lose their efficacy over time, and doctors may have to work with patients to develop a treatment plan that works.


Alternatives to pesticides

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Pests can be a nuisance. Whether they're scampering about the yard while you try to entertain guests or invading your home's interior when the weather outside pushes them indoors, pests are almost always unwelcome guests.

Many homeowners address pest problems with pesticides. But the Environmental Protection Agency notes that there are other ways for homeowners to control pest problems around their homes. Though sometimes pesticides prove the only way to effectively eradicate pest problems, the following are some more eco-friendly alternatives homeowners can try before opting for pesticides.

• Cut off food sources. One of the primary reasons pests infiltrate a home is to get food. Homeowners who don't create opportunities for pests to eat might be able to prevent infestations without the need for pesticides. When storing items in a pantry, make sure all boxes and bags are tightly sealed. Many pests can easily access food sources stored in cardboard boxes, so homeowners with roach or ant infestations might want to consider storing cereal, sugar and flour in sealable plastic containers that such pests cannot penetrate.

• Keep a tidy house. Pests do not only access food sources stored in the pantry. A dirty house is also very inviting to pests, who can feast on crumbs left behind on floors and tables. Don't leave crumbs lying around on tables or countertops, as such scraps might not seem like a meal to you but will serve as a great source of food for hungry pests. Sweep and mop kitchen floors to remove any traces of food that might have fallen on the ground while you were cooking, and be sure to vacuum around the table where you and your family eat dinner.

• Don't be sunk by your sink. A dirty sink is another attraction pests can't resist. If your sink does not come equipped with a garbage disposal, install a food trap on the drain so food is not washing down the drain, where it can stick to the side of the pipe and attract pests. Dirty dishes should be cleaned immediately as well. If allowed to sit in the sink for hours or overnight, dirty dishes will attract hungry pests, so clean the dishes and then give your sink a quick cleaning once the dishes have been washed.

• Stay dry. Water is very attractive to pests and roaches in particular. A very small amount of water is all some roaches need to feel satisfied, so all surfaces and sinks should be kept dry. Drain water from the sink, as a sink full of water is attractive to roaches because they know how to swim and can use water as a food source. Leaky plumbing should also be addressed, as leaky faucets, hoses and pipes may create a pest-friendly environment that's difficult to eradicate once it's established.

• Address leaks around the house. A pest infestation also may be a byproduct of leaks around the house. Cracks or openings along the baseboards or behind the sink can create a point of entry for hungry pests, so seal any such cracks or openings as soon as possible. Pests also may enter a home through holes in window screens or march right in through the front door if there is any space between the bottom of the door and the floor. These repairs are both simple and effective at preventing pests from entering a home.

• Clear out clutter. Cluttered areas make great hiding places for pests. Stacks of old newspapers or magazines can obscure pests, and homeowners might have a full infestation without even knowing it. Removing such clutter eliminates potential hiding places for pests.

Though some pest problems may require the use of pesticides, homeowners who want to attempt a more eco-friendly approach to eradicating pests can do so in a number of ways.


Best exercises for female weight loss and toning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Camp for stroke survivors & family accepting registrations

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Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp brings fun, respite and renewal to stroke survivors, their families and caregivers

Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the United States. Emergency treatment within three hours is critical and can be life-saving. However, stroke survivors experience a wide range of lasting symptoms from slight to permanently debilitating. These effects can impact life physically, emotionally and socially for survivors and their families.

Retreat & Refresh Stroke CampTM is a weekend getaway offered just for stroke survivors, their caregivers and family. Stroke Camp will be held Sept. 5-7, 2014 at Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa. It's sponsored by UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Quad Cities.

About 40 stroke survivors and caregivers will be spending the weekend together participating in activities including: games, educational sessions, stroke resources, pampering, hiking/walking, discussion groups, swimming, rock wall climbing and more. Volunteers from each UnityPoint Health hospital will be on hand to support campers and help with activities.

The weekend's main goal is for participants to enjoy activities that include the areas of socialization, support, education and relaxation. Past attendees have said their lives, friendships and how they perceive themselves were transformed after attending the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp. Here they begin to build bonds with other stroke survivors, enjoy activities they feared were lost to them, and participate in an experience both heart-warming and life-affirming. The survivors, their caregivers and family stay in hotel accommodations but still enjoy outdoor experiences and many aspects of camping out of their normal range of activities.

The families and caregivers have respite from the constant pressure of caring for another person. They are pampered and able to share stories and experience the insight of other caregivers who truly understand what their lives are like.

Cost for the campers is kept low through the generous support of sponsor UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Quad Cities. You can find out more information about Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp or register for this year's event at www.strokecamp.org, or call 866-688-5450 toll-free.

Retreat & Refresh Stoke Camp Executive Director Marylee Nunley and her husband John started the camp in 2004, three years after John's stroke in 2001. "After John's stroke, I felt like we were so isolated, and more than anything else, we needed the healing that socialization and ongoing support from other stroke survivors could bring," said Nunley. "Since there was nothing available like that, we created it." Through the encouragement of Larry Schaer, associate director, Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp became a non-profit in 2007 and created a national network of camps. As of the start of 2014, RRSC has completed 85 camps. This year Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp anticipates providing 20 camps in 11 states.


Who wants BACON?

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Maple Bacon Donuts, Heart Attack Hotel, Breakfast Bacon Martini, Bacon Infused Apple Wine, Cheddar Bacon Popcorn and a Pig Slide are just a few of the dishes/beverages that will be served at this year's Dubuque Area Baconfest, a fundraiser for Area Residential Care. The event will take place on Oct. 2, 2014 at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

It is an evening where guests walk around tasting creative bacon dishes from local restaurants, grocery stores, BBQ pits and caterers. The hottest chefs from the finest area restaurants prepare and serve samples starring bacon. Tri-State mixologists and brewers quench thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews.

Guests will enjoy all the flavors of bacon while helping a great cause. All proceeds from the event will go to Area Residential Care to support its mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities. Can't go wrong with that! Helping people with disabilities while eating bacon!

Tickets go on sale Saturday, August 9, at 9 a.m. at dbqbacon.org. A limited number of tickets are available and are $25 for general admission and $40 for V.I.P. A V.I.P. ticket allows attendees to enter the venue early and get a taste of all the food before everyone else.

Other activities at this year's event will include music entertainment by the Nutsy Turtle Band, DJ Steve Hemmer, an Oink Off Contest, the Hormel Bacon Eating Contest and the crowning of the 2014 Dubuque Area Baconfest King or Queen. The Dubuque Area Baconfest Planning Committee and Area Residential Care are currently accepting applications for the first ever King or Queen of Dubuque Area Baconfest. Fill out your application online at dbqbacon.org and submit an image of yourself (no selfies) by August 1, 2014 to be considered for royalty.

Sponsors for this year's event include: 

Whole Hog Sponsor: Hormel Foods, Inc

Boss Hog Sponsors: Dubuque Bank & Trust, Mystique Casino, 97.7 Country WGLR, Super Hits 106, Xtreme 107.1

Hog Wild Sponsors: Hartig Drug and more coming in each day!

Area Residential Care is a non-profit organization that has provided services for people with intellectual disabilities since 1968. The organization has grown over the past 46 years to serve an average of 250 people with disabilities annually, providing residential, vocational, and day services in Dubuque, Dyersville and Manchester communities. For additional information, contact Shelby Wartick at (563) 556-7560, ext, 743 or go to www.arearesidentialcare.org.


Freckles are a common skin condition

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Whether it's a light smattering of spots over the bridge of a person's nose or tiny spots covering his or her arms and legs, freckles are a reality for thousands of people. Despite their prevalence, many people are unsure just why freckles form or who is most likely to have them on their bodies.

Freckles are spots on the skin that are produced from concentrations of melanin, which is the pigment in the skin that gives it its color. Freckles generally show up on people who have fair skin. Melanin is derived from the amino acid tyrosine, which helps with protein production in the body. Melanin is usually a black-brown shade and is produced as a defense against the harmful UV rays of the sun.

In the body, the melanocortin 1 receptor on the MC1R gene helps produce melanin that tans the body. Variants of the MC1R gene will lead to freckles. Melanin is produced in two types: pheomelanin and eumelanin. Individuals who primarily produce pheomelanin tend to have freckles. Freckles also are largely genetic, and some identical twins may have similar freckle patterns.

There are two basic forms of freckles. These include simple freckles and sunburn freckles. Both are made more prominent by exposure to the sun. Simple freckles are usually small, tan and round. Sunburn freckles are larger, darker and more irregular in shape. You'll find them usually on the upper back and shoulders. Lentigines is the medical term for darker sunburn freckles that do not tend to fade in the winter.

Freckles, although most common on the face, can occur anywhere on the body that is repeatedly exposed to sun. While freckles are not harmful and rarely lead to skin cancer, people who who have freckles are at a higher risk for other skin conditions, which in turn may increase their risk of skin cancer. That's because a person with the pheomelanin type of melanin has a lower concentration of photoprotective melanin that guards against the harmful effects of UV radiation. People with freckles tend to burn more easily and need to rely on sunscreen and covering their skin to prevent damage.

When freckles are present, they may fade when the skin gets less exposure to the sun. But some freckles will remain. Those who are embarrassed by freckles can be diligent about covering up in the sun. There are various topical creams that can bleach freckles and lighten them over time. There also are dermatological laser treatments to lighten or eliminate freckles.

Freckles are a skin condition primarly for those of light skin who are exposed to sunlight. They are largely hereditary and rarely harmful. Those who have concerns about the appearance of freckles can visit a dermatologist to discuss their options.


The science behind fireflies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Protect vehicles in hot conditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Park in the shade whenever possible.

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

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

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


Beginner's guide to reptiles as pets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Is it possible to prevent cataracts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Keep skin healthy by knowing sunscreen facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Carrier's cool invention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How to control ant infestations at home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Illness has impact on job performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Swallowing water can be fatal hours after leaving the pool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Outdoor restaurant dining tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dog days of summer

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People frequently refer to the month of August as "the dog days of summer."

The dog days of summer get their name from the star Sirius, commonly known as the "Dog Star." In ancient times, when artificial lights did not obscure the stars, people looked to the sky as a source of inspiration and answers to questions they otherwise could not explain. Groupings of stars known as "constellations" were used to tell stories, and these stories were part of ancient folklore.

One constellation prominent during the summer months is Canis Major, which includes a bright star named "Sirius." Ancient peoples surmised that this star's brightness warmed the Earth, not unlike the sun. In addition, Sirius rises and sets in conjunction with the sun in the summer.

It was believed that Sirius added even more heat to the sun, creating the humid and especially hot days of summer. This time on the calendar was thusly named the dog days of summer.

Thanks to scientific study and a better understanding of astronomy and weather, it is known that the dog days of summer do not owe their extreme warmth to Sirius. Rather, the heat is a direct result of the Earth's tilt on its axis during this time of the year.


Dubuque’s Irish Hooley Entertainment Line-up Set

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Head Start Openings Still Available

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

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

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

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

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


CityChannel Dubuque to Air ‘From the Archives’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Safety tips for outdoor meals and entertainment

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

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

Outdoor gas barbecues

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

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

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

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

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

Decorative lighting

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

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

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

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

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


Mississippi Moon Bar Announces Iconic American Band!

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

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

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

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

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

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