Area Tidbits

Weed Control Spraying on Floodwall Update

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As weather permits, weed control spraying will continue in the rip-rap area along the river side of the flood control system on Monday, July 24, 2017. The areas scheduled the week of July 24th include along Volunteer Drive from the parking lot south of the lock and dam to A.Y. McDonald Park and the area south of the Alliant power plant to the end of the concrete floodwall along Terminal Street. This includes the Riverwalk area in the Port of Dubuque and the area along the floodwall from the Ice Harbor gates to the south bike path parking area. The area south of the bike path will be completed at a later date.

The work is being done in accordance to the United States Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Technical Letter (110-2-583), which requires the removal of unacceptable growth within the "Vegetation-Free Zone." The requirement applies to all vegetation except grass along the flood control system. Signs along the flood control system will identify the area being sprayed.

The project is expected to be completed by Friday, July 28, weather permitting. The City of Dubuque Public Works Department cautions people to keep their children and pets out of direct contact with the sprayed weeds for 24 hours after application.

For additional information, contact the Public Works Department at 563-589-4250.


Hillcrest To Open New Community Mental Health Center in Jones County

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Hillcrest Family Services is excited to announce the opening of a satellite Community Mental Health Center located in Jones County. Hillcrest is a non-profit organization that provides assistance through more than 30 different programs including community services ranging from mental health, homelessness prevention, youth mentoring, and adoption. We also operate community-based residential, educational, health and wellness programs.

Hillcrest was founded in 1896 and continues to impact the lives of thousands of individuals and families annually. Hillcrest Family Services has been a ministry of the United Methodist Church since 1914 and the Presbyterian Church USA since 1968. While originally based out of Dubuque County, Hillcrest "expands to help fulfill the mental health needs in other counties and communities," said Erica Borgerding, Sr. Vice President of Health Services.

Therapy and psychiatric medication management services will be offered at this office, located at 818 1st Street, Suite 100, Monticello, Iowa, inside the John McDonald Building. It is slated to be open by the end of July 2017.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call (319) 844-1119.


Dubuque Celebrates Opening of Bee Branch Creek Greenway

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration were held in Dubuque recently to mark the opening of the Bee Branch Creek Greenway, a major component of the comprehensive Bee Branch Creek Watershed Flood Mitigation Project.

The greenway project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The project design, including the creek alignment and amenities (even bench designs), was guided by input solicited from neighborhood residents and stakeholders.

The construction of the greenway included the restoration of the upper section of the Bee Branch Creek by replacing almost a half-mile of storm sewer with a creek and floodplain that resembles the one that traversed the area approximately 100 years ago. This "day-lighting" of the buried Bee Branch Creek now allows storm water from flash floods to safely move through the area without flooding adjacent properties.

The construction phase of the $60 million greenway project began in 2015, following the acquisition of over 100 properties and deconstruction or removal of structures on those properties. Construction included the removal of the old storm sewer, excavation of 200,000 cubic yards of earth (the equivalent of 20,000 dump truck loads), construction of three bridges, and installation of a multiuse, concrete trail on the northeast side for the full length of the creek. Sidewalks, walking paths, lighting, and benches also line the creek corridor. A stepped amphitheater between East 22nd Street and Lincoln Avenue provides a venue for teaching and neighborhood gatherings. The greenway also contains a play area with slides and will include a community orchard.

The Bee Branch Creek Greenway project is a major component of the overall Bee Branch Watershed Project but it is not the end of the overall project nor will the full benefits of the project be realized until all phases are completed. However, with the completion of each phase, the risk of flooding has been incrementally reduced. City officials are very pleased with how the system performed during recent storms. Each of the 80 pervious "green" alleys of the 240 planned for the project, soaked up storm water. The Carter Road and W. 32nd Street Detention Basins held back millions of gallons of storm water and the Bee Branch Creek Greenway worked as designed, providing the critical capacity to accept storm water, filling up shortly after the rainfall and then gradually draining within 24 hours. This functionality prevents the flash flooding in streets and flooded basements the area has experienced in the past. Future phases of the overall project include the construction of additional culverts under the railroad tracks as well as increasing the capacity of the storm sewers that drain into the greenway.

The restoration of the Upper Bee Branch Creek is one of the 12 phases of the overall Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, which includes detention basins, impervious surface reduction through green alleys, storm sewer improvements, flood gate replacement, the Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program, and more. To date, the City of Dubuque has received $160 million to help fund the $219 million project, including $52.1 million in state and federal grants. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $31.5 million in disaster resiliency funds to the City for the Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program and storm water infrastructure improvements including the West Locust Street and Kaufmann Avenue storm sewer projects and $9 million for the Bee Branch Creek railroad culverts.

The Bee Branch Watershed is approximately 6.5 square miles, stretching from the Mississippi River west past John F. Kennedy Road, north to the Northwest Arterial, and south to West Fifth Street. Over 50 percent of Dubuque residents either work or live in the Bee Branch Watershed. According to a 2009 FEMA study, 1,373 homes and businesses in the watershed are prone to flooding including 70 businesses. Those 70 businesses employ over 1,400 people and have more than $500 million in annual sales. Flood disasters have repeatedly impacted residents and employees of the businesses within the watershed. Between 1999 and 2011, six Presidential Disaster Declarations were issued with total damage estimates of almost $70 million.

For more information about the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, visit or call 563-690-6068.


Adult Outdoor Play Day

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Dubuque County Conservation will host Adult Outdoor Play Day, for those 16 and up, at Heritage Pond from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 28.

Join us in sessions on kayaking, paddle boarding, and yoga. Come out and play! Cost is $30 per person.

Register at:

Call 563-556-6745 with any questions.



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

Whether you're ready to retire, just joining the workforce, or somewhere in between, regularly reviewing your Social Security earnings record could make a big difference when it's time to collect your retirement benefits. 

Just think, in some situations, if an employer did not properly report just one year of your work earnings to us, your future benefit payments from Social Security could be close to $100 per month less than they should be. Over the course of a lifetime, that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits to which you are entitled. 

Social Security prevents many mistakes from ever appearing on your earnings record. On average, we process about 236 million W-2 wage reports from employers, representing more than $5 trillion in earnings. More than 98 percent of these wages are successfully posted with little problem.

But it's ultimately the responsibility of your employers - past and present - to provide accurate earnings information to Social Security so you get credit for the contributions you've made through payroll taxes. We rely on you to inform us of any errors or omissions. You're the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it's complete and correct.

So, what's the easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record? Visit to set up or sign in to your own my Social Security account; under the "My Home" tab, click on "Earnings Record" to view your online Social Security Statement and taxed Social Security earnings. Carefully review each year of listed earnings and use your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns, to confirm them. Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet.

If you notice that you need to correct your earnings record, check out our one-page fact sheet at

Sooner is definitely better when it comes to identifying and reporting problems with your earnings record. As time passes, you may no longer have past tax documents and some employers may no longer be in business or able to provide past payroll information.

If it turns out everything in your earnings record is correct, you can use the information and our online calculators at to plan for your retirement and prepare for the unexpected, such as becoming disabled or leaving behind survivors. We use your top 35 years of earnings when we calculate your benefit amounts. You can learn more about how your benefit amount is calculated at

We're with you throughout life's journey, from starting your first job to receiving your well-earned first retirement payment. Learn more about the services we provide online at


The role insulin plays in the body

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Insulin plays a key role in metabolic functions in the body. People with diabetes have an intimate knowledge of insulin, particularly if they do not produce enough naturally. However, the rest of the public may be less knowledgeable about the role of insulin and its impact on overall health.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas of the human body. Its most important function is the way it interacts with glucose (blood sugar) to allow the cells of the body to use that glucose as energy. Insulin can be viewed as a type of key that unlocks the cells and enables glucose to enter. The pancreas senses when there is a spike in glucose in the bloodstream and reacts by producing insulin.

According to the Hormone Health Network, insulin also works to ensure the liver stores excess glucose so that it is not actively in the blood. Stored glucose is called glycogen. This glycogen can be converted into fat when it is needed.

Insulin also affects other metabolic processes, such as the breakdown of protein or fat.

If insulin is not being produced in the right amounts, the result is high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes mellitus. Complications of high blood sugar include damage to the nervous system, kidneys, eyes, and the extremities.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Supplementation with insulin will be necessary to avoid drastic changes in blood glucose levels.

When a person has type 2 diabetes, cells fail to respond to insulin properly. This is referred to as insulin resistance. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. Typically with this type of diabetes, excessive body weight and not enough exercise are the culprits in insulin resistance. Eating a healthier diet and becoming more physically active can help reverse the condition.

Too little glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia) can make a person feel irritable, tired or confused. Low blood sugar can lead to loss of consciousness. That is why it is crucial that blood sugar concentrations remain relatively stable.

Without insulin, the body could not effectively make use of the energy obtained through eating and drinking. Insulin helps unlock cells so that glucose can be used to its full potential.


It pays to be ahead of the storm

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It's always a good idea to prepare your home and family for a big summer storm before it happens. Better to be safe than sorry.

Build an emergency kit

• Include a few days' worth of clothing for the entire family, non-perishable foods, drinking water, first aid kit, bathroom/hygiene and baby/pet supplies, cash, blankets, flashlight, matches or candles.

• Work gloves, duct tape and small tools are also good to keep around

Develop and practice an emergency plan with your family

• Pick a safe place to gather away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Keep a portable TV or radio on hand to monitor weather updates.

• Don't forget extra batteries.

• Make sure cell phones are charged.

• Have an alternate cooking method in case of power outages such as a charcoal or propane grill.

Prepare your home

• Reinforce windows with storm shutters.

• Keep sheets of plywood or tarps to cover broken windows or damage.

• Clean gutters to prevent clogging as this can cause water to pour down the side of the house or under the roof.

• Waterproof your home by checking for cracks and inspecting tiles and shingles and seal your vents to prevent wind or rain damage.

• Make sure vents are sealed to prevent wind and rain from entering.

• A battery operated backup sump pump is also a good idea. 

• Keep expensive or valuable items off the ground in case of flooding. 

Prepare your yard

• Trim your trees as falling branches and debris can cause a lot of damage.

• Ensure that your yard slopes away from your home as this can prevent water pooling and causing damage to the foundation.

• Secure outdoor items such as patio furniture in case of strong winds.

Courtesy of Menards®



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

You've worked hard your whole life, and receiving your Social Security benefits should be the icing on the cake at your retirement party. We're working hard to make it as quick and seamless as possible for you to apply for benefits from Social Security.
Simply visit to get started. Through our safe and secure website, you can apply for:
• Retirement benefits
• Spousal benefits
• Medicare
• Disability benefits
• Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs
• Supplemental Security Income (in some cases)

You don't have to be internet savvy to finish most of our online applications in one sitting with your computer. Or, if you prefer, we offer you the options to apply in person at your Social Security office or by telephone with one of our application representatives. Please call 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays to schedule an appointment.

You should also call us to schedule an appointment if you wish to apply for certain family benefits, including those for surviving spouses and children, divorced spouses and dependent children, and parents of beneficiaries.

After you've applied for benefits - whether online, by phone, or in person - you can securely and quickly check the status of a pending claim through your online my Social Security account. If you haven't created your account yet, you can do so today by visiting

You can also use my Social Security to view estimates of how much you would receive in retirement benefits and potential disability benefits and how much your loved ones could receive in family or survivor benefits.

We're with you throughout life's journey, from applying for your first job to receiving your first retirement payment. And we're proud to help ensure a secure future for you and your loved ones.

To learn more about our programs and online services, please visit


How to protect livestock in extreme weather

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Extreme weather is seldom fun for anyone. Although people often have the means to escape inclement weather, animals are at the mercy of their caregivers.

Protecting animals during extreme weather is not restricted to domesticated pets. Those who have livestock on their properties must recognize that these animals will need various levels of care as well. Animals such as chickens, cattle, goats, and llamas can be adversely affected by extreme weather. Individuals can heed these safety guidelines to avoid subjecting such animals to the stress, discomfort and illness that can result from exposure to extreme weather.

Suitable shelter
One of the best ways to safeguard livestock from extreme weather is to ensure they have a place to escape the elements. Animals can get sunburned and may overheat, so make sure shelters can block the sun's rays on hot days while also allowing for air to circulate through the dwelling.
It's also key that the shelter be capable of accommodating all of the animals at the same time.

Livestock shelters do not have to be complicated. They can be as elaborate as a barn or as simple as carports or tarps and shade cloth.

Fresh water
Access to fresh, clean water is also essential. Dehydration can set in, particularly for animals with thick coats or those that are young or elderly. Animals tend to expend a lot of energy to cool down or stay warm, so they will need an ample supply of water to remain hydrated and healthy.

Standing water can become a breeding ground for parasites and insect larvae. Therefore, change water frequently to make sure it is sanitary. Some farm experts advise aerating troughs to help prevent algae growth or mosquito infestations. A small amount of raw apple cider vinegar may help as well. However, always discuss water sanitation methods with a veterinarian before testing them out on farm animals.

Mold-free feed
Hot, humid temperatures can cause mold to grow on hay and other feed sources. Cows do not like to eat moldy hay and it can make horses ill. The University of Minnesota Extension says horses are particularly sensitive to dust from mold spores and can get a respiratory disease similar to asthma in humans called recurrent airway obstruction, or RAO, which is often referred to as heaves.

Hay needs to be dried out before it is fed to animals. Any feed should be stored in cool, dry conditions and inspected before being dispersed to livestock.

Hair cut
Wooly animals may benefit from a shear prior to the onset of hot weather, advises the Maryland Small Ruminant group. Do not shear too short. For instance, a one-inch fleece can dissipate heat and help the sheep keep cool.

Livestock should not be worked and handled during the heat of the day. Their productivity levels may be diminished, and the extra exertion may affect their health. Rest will help them stay happy and healthy until the extreme weather has subsided.


Make your house look nice with a fresh coat of paint

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Few home-maintenance projects are as important as exterior painting because paint and caulking form the first line of defense against rain, snow and ice. A nice paint job will also enhance the curb appeal and resale value of your home.

When to paint
You should repair and repaint as soon as you notice paint starting to crack, blister and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive and expensive job.

Paint prices
Most paint manufacturers offer a wide variety of paints ranging from good to better to best. As a general rule, budget how much you want to spend on the project and then buy the best paint you can reasonably afford because cost is an excellent indication of quality. Expensive paints contain more pigments than bargain paints so they produce a thicker, longer-lasting, more protective coating.

Read the label
There's a wealth of information printed right on the can that can help you produce a beautiful paint job. Pay particular attention to the instructions about prepping the surface and outdoor air temperature.

Prepare the surface
For the new paint to adhere to the surface, clean the house's exterior of all dirt, grime, mildew and chalky residue. A power sprayer provides the easiest method, but hand scrubbing with a stiff-bristle brush is just as effective.

Start in the shade
Whether using a paint sprayer, roller or brush, begin painting on the shady side of the house. Then, wait for the sun to move and do the other side, or just wait for an overcast day. Sun will often cause paint to dry too quickly.

Work your way down
Start painting near the top of the house and work your way down. Avoid Lap marks by always brushing from one wet surface to another. Since you'll be working high up, remember ladder safety and don't overreach too fair to the side or you might topple over.

When adding a fresh coat of paint, your house will look amazingly new and stand the test of time.

Courtesy of Menards®


Operation Kidsafe Safety Week in Dubuque area

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Operation Kidsafe Free Child Safety Events are happening all across the U.S. and Canada. An event has been scheduled for the Dubuque area at Solinger Family Dentistry, 666 Loras Blvd., on Saturday, August 5 from 10am to 3pm.

The Event is free for every family. No special information is needed, as there is no data basing. Parents take home the only record of the visit. This is not a kit or something that a parent can get later. The local sponsor will run the system using a custom digital fingerprinting unit just like the FBI and Secret Service use and make it available free and private for parents. 

Parents take home the only record of the visit (a Bio Document), which is ready to hand to law enforcement in an emergency. Safety tips to start a family safety action plan are also included.

(563) 583-0114 or


How to keep grilled foods warm

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Many people prefer the flavor of grilled foods over the flavor of foods cooked in other ways. Grilled foods certainly have distinct flavors, but that uniqueness can be compromised when some foods finish cooking before cooks are ready to serve them.

Grilled foods may lose some flavor if they're served cold or not as hot as cooks would like. But there are a handful of ways to keep grilled foods warm until they're ready to be served.

• Keep a low-heat zone on the grill. As foods finish cooking, move them to a predetermined low-heat zone on the grill where they will stay warm without overcooking. Monitor this area while cooking the foods to ensure it's warm but not hot enough to keep cooking foods once they have been moved.

• Store cooked foods in aluminum foil. Moving foods off the grill and tenting them in aluminum foil is another way to keep them warm until serving time, though this might only work if cooks need to keep foods for just a few minutes.

Create a tin foil tent and place foods inside. The tent can then be placed on a less hot area of the grill or placed into an oven that's not on. Avoid tenting foods that are meant to have crispy skins, as tenting can moisten the skin.

• Use the warming feature on the stove. Many stoves come with warming settings that keep foods warm without cooking them. While this requires cooks to go indoors, it can help keep grilled foods warm while the rest of the meal continues cooking over the open flame.

• Place foods in the slow cooker. If the stove is not an option because other components of the meal are being baked or broiled, grilled foods can be placed in ceramic slow cookers with lids. This can potentially keep foods warm for longer periods of time than aluminum foil tents without sacrificing flavor.

Keeping grilled foods warm until it's time to serve meals can be difficult. But grillmasters can employ various strategies to ensure grilled foods maintain their unique flavor without getting cold.


Coping as a family caregiver

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Individuals are born into the world requiring the care of their parents and other adult guardians to grow and thrive. These adult children, in turn, may end up providing care when their parents reach senior age or face an illness or disability.

Becoming a family caregiver frequently is a tough choice to make. It requires patience and time, and can be emotionally and physically taxing. An estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Public Policy Institute.

It's not uncommon for caregivers of any age to feel stressed and burned out by the demands of caregiving. The Mayo Clinic says people who experience caregiver stress can be vulnerable to changes in their own health. Some signs of caregiver stress include:

• Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried

• Feeling tired most of the time

• Gaining or losing a lot of weight

• Becoming easily irritated or angry

• Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy

• Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems

Some caregivers even resort to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, which can lead to further issues. To avoid the potential pitfalls of caregiver stress, individuals should always put their needs first and find ways to alleviate the added stress of caring for a loved one. These suggestions are just a start.

Don't strive for perfection
It isn't possible to maintain a patient attitude and get everything done perfectly each and every day. People are not perfect and mistakes will be made. Do not punish yourself if you lash out or simply need a break

Eat healthy
As anyone who has dealt with a hungry toddler can attest, failure to eat well and frequently can result in an emotional meltdown. Be sure to always make time for nutritious meals. This will help keep up energy stores and enable you to better cope with caregiver stress.

Pay attention to mood changes
Anxiety or depression can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Ask for help if you feel your tasks are becoming too overwhelming. Seek the help of a doctor if changes in mood, sleeping patterns, appetite, and the like become noticeable.

Take frequent breaks
Getting a break from caregiving and setting aside time for yourself can increase patience levels and the ability to bounce back from stress. Whenever possible, have a friend or another relative step in for you so you get a break. Explore resources available for professional aides to come and take some of the responsibilities off of your shoulders.

Being a caregiver can be a rewarding, but challenging role to play. Caregivers should keep their health a priority.


Big Duffer Hospice Golf Outing

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Do you have fond memories of someone who was special to you, loved the game of golf and whose life journey was made easier by Hospice of Dubuque? Gather your family or friends to attend The "Big Duffer" Hospice Golf Outing on Saturday, July 29, at Lacoma Golf Course in East Dubuque with a shot gun start at 1:00 pm.

Cost for golf is $75 per person for 18 holes and $55 for 9 holes. Entry fee includes green fees, cart rental and dinner. All skill levels are welcome. For those interested in dinner only, the cost is $25. The evening will also include a silent auction and raffle prizes.

All proceeds will benefit Hospice of Dubuque. These funds are used to continue compassionate care for the terminally ill and their families throughout the tri-state area. Anyone interested in golfing, dining or supporting this event can contact Hospice of Dubuque at 563.582.1220 or visit


UnityPoint Health® Finley Hospital and Hillcrest Family Services Partner on Behavioral Health Patient Care

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UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital® and Hillcrest Family Services are working together to address behavioral health needs for the Tri-State community. Hillcrest Family Services has hired Megan Sutton, MS.Ed, LPC, as a full-time therapist to work in each of the four UnityPoint Clinic primary care locations in Peosta, Cascade and Dubuque (family medicine and women's health).

UnityPoint Clinic is on the path to become a patient-centered medical home. A patient-centered medical home is a care model that has a team of health professionals addressing all of the unique health care needs of an individual. All care, including behavioral health, is then coordinated through a primary care provider.

"The patient-centered medical home model is really about addressing the whole person - their medical and behavioral health needs - together," explains David Brandon, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital. "This model allows for enhanced access to care and collaboration between the primary care provider, patient and other care providers."

Another benefit to the patient-centered medical home model is the strengthened patient-provider relationship. The relationship between the two is based on meeting health goals. In many cases, a primary care provider recognizes the need for behavioral health counseling. Now those visits are coordinated in the clinic with the provider, mental health counselor and patient setting goals together.

"Behavioral health counseling is a primary area of focus for Hillcrest Family Services. We have several providers at a variety of locations," says Erica Borgerding, Sr. Vice President of Health Services. "The opportunity to partner with UnityPoint Clinic makes a lot of sense in serving the behavioral health needs of our community."

This model brings care to the patient versus the patient needing to visit a variety of clinics to receive mental health and medical care. Mental health counseling can cover anything from anxiety, stress, phobias, depression, ADHD, and more.


Housing Department Offering Home Ownership Workshop in August

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The City of Dubuque Housing and Community Development Department will host a "Home Ownership Made Easy" (HOME) workshop in August to provide information on City programs, credit and basic banking/insurance, and energy savings for those who rent or own a home. The workshop is comprised of four classes that span four consecutive Monday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The first class begins Monday, Aug. 7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Community Partnership Making a Difference

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Working closely with the Dubuque Community School District (DCSD), AmeriCorps Partners in Learning is making an impact on Dubuque students in kindergarten through third grade. During the 2016-2017 school year, 89 percent or 508 students who completed the AmeriCorps tutoring program improved in their reading assessment from fall 2016 to spring 2017.

During the school year, 38 AmeriCorps members were trained by DCSD staff and collaborated closely with elementary school classroom teachers and instructional coaches to provide one-on-one or small-group tutoring sessions to struggling readers.

"After a couple years of data, it's great to see our AmeriCorps program is making a difference," said AmeriCorps Program Director Mary Bridget Corken-Deutsch. "AmeriCorps members do such a nice job of collaborating with schools' classroom teachers and instructional coaches to provide students extra support in reading."

While tutoring students, AmeriCorps members also play a significant mentoring role. They are another caring, safe adult who gives students individual attention and notices their successes. Eighty-eight percent of the kindergarten through third grade students tutored by AmeriCorps had an attendance rate of 90 percent or higher.

Community members 18 years of age or older with a high school diploma can enroll as an AmeriCorps member to tutor and mentor struggling readers in our community. Those interested in becoming an AmeriCorps academic reading tutor for the 2017-2018 school year can apply online at or contact Mary Bridget Corken-Deutsch at 563-584-8644.

This is the third school year that AmeriCorps has partnered with the Dubuque Community School District to help improve student reading proficiency. AmeriCorps Partners in Learning, which has been in Dubuque since 2000, is sponsored by the City of Dubuque.


Alzheimer’s Community Education Offered in Dubuque

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The Alzheimer's Association is offering two free educational classes for the general public on Wednesday, July 26th, at Mercy Medical Center, 1st floor Education room near the cafeteria, 250 Mercy Drive, Dubuque.

The first class, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., will cover the basics of Alzheimer's and dementia, how these diseases compare with normal aging, how they are diagnosed and treated and what to do if you see the warning signs.

The second class, 2:45 - 4:15 p.m., will cover the essential steps of caring for someone who is diagnosed with a progressive disease like Alzheimer's.

Spokesperson, and class facilitator Jerry Schroeder says, "We offer these classes routinely throughout our chapter territory to give those with concerns, particularly those newly diagnosed and their families, the information and support they need to begin the arduous journey of living with a disease which, as yet, has no medical cure. Education and being connected to a community of caring people are key to the happiness and well being of those diagnosed."

Both classes are suited for the general public, caregivers, or for anyone with an interest. Those interested may register for either or both classes.

Advanced registration is required by calling 1-800-272-3900. Or, to register online visit, browse to Caregiver Center, Community Resource Finder, Alzheimer's Association Programs and Events. For more information contact Jerry Schroeder at 563-293-8056, or at

About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support, and research. The Association's mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.


Consider the many benefits of a Fence

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If you have ever thought about installing a fence for your home or business, there are more benefits in doing so than just privacy.

• Privacy
If you want a high level of privacy, then a vinyl or wood fence might be the perfect choice. If you want a lower level of privacy and would like to see outside your property, consider installing a chain link or aluminum fence.

• Protection
Another popular reason to install a fence is protection. You may have property or possessions outside your home or business that you'd like to keep safe and secure. If you have children or pets, installing a fence around your home provides a safe haven and an extra layer of security. Installing a fence can also help prevent thieves from attempting to break into your home or business.

• Establish Boundaries
Sometimes the need to establish your property boundaries is essential. A fence may help make landscaping and gardening easier as you won't have to worry about your neighbor's bushes or garden growing into your space. There are fences that can be installed that look equally appealing on both sides so talk with your neighbor about the benefits of a fence, and maybe they will pitch in on the cost of installation.

• Noise Reduction
If you live next to a freeway or highway, a fence can help reduce the noise level. A fence made of solid materials such as wood, vinyl or concrete would make the best choice. It never hurts to ask your local city planning department if they can help cover the cost of a fence if new construction or a development suddenly impacts your property.

• Insect & Animal Problems
If you notice an abundance of biting insects, a wood fence can actually help keep insects off your property. Cedar wood contains natural oils that help repel insects and might make a great choice. Installing a fence can keep animals out of your yard, especially stray cats, dogs and wildlife.

When you determine it's time to install a fence, consider the various types of materials that would fit your budget and then get to work on it or hire someone to do the work for you.

The above info courtesy of Menards®


How to embrace digital organizational tools

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When internet usage switched from mere fad to fully functional, few people may have imagined just how profound - and mobile - it would become. While electronic use was largely stationary as recently as a few years ago, it's now second nature for users to send and receive information on the go. 

Smartphone use has increased dramatically in recent years, and these pocket-sized devices can be reliable hubs of information. The same devices that keep people in touch can help them stay more organized. Here's how to use mobile devices to stay on top of schedules and other organizational jobs.

One of the more useful smartphone organizational tools is the calendar app. Depending on the operating system or app used, calendar entries can be synchronized across phones and devices. That makes it possible to pull up your calendar while on the go or when sitting at a desktop computer. Calendar apps can be optimized using reminders, alarms and even recurring entries.

Smartphones have revolutionized shopping, but even those who still shop in more traditional ways can use their mobile devices to make the process easier. Apps like Out of Milk can keep a running tally of ingredients and items in the pantry to make it easier to maintain shopping lists.

The virtual megastore mySupermarket enables you to compare prices at major retailers and then decide where to buy certain products. The site works with each retailer to fulfill the order.

Favado will build a shopping list based on local sales and favorite brands. The app can even notify you when particular items go on sale or recommend relevant coupons.

Financial management
The same capabilities that were once exclusive to desktop computers are now available on mobile devices. Online banking, bill pay and check deposit functions have cut down on the time needed to fulfill many banking operations. Bank and credit union apps enable users to quickly check their balances or transfer money on the go. What's more, apps such as Evernote can help you organize and save receipts or other information. Retrieve these items from your camera roll or through Evernote's cloud services. Other receipt management apps serve similar functions.

Mobile scanning
Along a similar vein, mobile scanning functionality enables you to capture just about anything and turn it into a digital file. Text, multi-page documents, business cards, signatures, and more can be scanned and stored digitally, then retrieved and printed, if necessary. This can help cut down on paper clutter.

Mobile digital organization is the wave of the future. With phone in hand, smartphone users can run and organize many aspects of their lives.


What to know before going camping

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Comedian Jim Gaffigan often jokes that camping is a tradition in his wife's family, but he's what people would consider "indoorsy." Gaffigan notes that the idea of burning a couple of vacation days sleeping on the ground outside isn't his idea of fun. But the comic may be in the minority.

Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in North America. The statistics resource Statistica says the revenue of campgrounds and RV parks was estimated at $5.8 billion in 2015. More than $2.5 billion was relegated to camping equipment spending. 

Camping takes many forms. Some purists equate camping to minimalist survival - eking out an existence for a few days with nothing more than a tent, a single roll of toilet paper and a fishing pole. Others enjoy the creature comforts of home and would readily consider camping something done from their climate controlled RV. 
Camping ranges between sleeping under the open stars and glamping - a style of camping with amenities and potentially resort-style services. No matter how one defines camping, information is the key to becoming the proverbial "happy camper."

The following list is a general starting off point for planning a camping adventure.

• Not all campsites are equal. When choosing a campsite, seek an area that offers the amenities you desire. Popular places like lakeside spots or those close to trails tend to book up early. Also, consider proximity to bathrooms, showers and ingress/egress spots. People who desire solitude will pick different campsites than those who want to be near the family action.

• Choose a tent for the weather. Supplies will differ depending on the temperatures when you plan to camp. Select a tent with a sun-protection sealant to prolong its longevity. Opt for a location with partial afternoon shade to keep the campsite and tent cool. Face the tent door into the wind for a breeze (and also to keep mosquitoes from camping alongside you). Speak with a camping supply retailer about your camping needs. 

• Bring along low-salt, high-protein snacks. Low-salt, high-protein snacks will keep you fueled for day trips along the trails without making you thirsty. Dried berries and high-fiber trail mixes also can keep energy levels up.

• Invest in an insulating pad. A good insulating pad will keep you comfortable when sleeping on the ground. Such a pad also will serve as an extra moisture barrier and will help keep you warm or cool. 

• Use the moon. If this is your first time camping, schedule the night out to coincide with a full moon. There will be extra light at night to chase away any fears and make navigating a bit easier.

• Be an early bird. To see wildlife, hit the trails as early as possible. Early morning hours also are cooler for working.

Remember that camping involves getting in touch with nature. Leave the campsite how you found it, taking trash along with you.


Dubuque Continues Ban on Use of Consumer Fireworks

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Dubuque will continue to ban the use of consumer fireworks in the city. Dubuque residents can buy and possess consumer fireworks, but they cannot use those consumer fireworks in the city. The City Council decision was made at their July 5, 2017, meeting and is in response to new state legislation legalizing the sale and use of fireworks.

New Iowa legislation signed into law in May legalizes the sale and use of fireworks during limited dates throughout the year - unless a city or county chooses to otherwise restrict or prohibit usage of fireworks. Dubuque's continued prohibition follows a recommendation from Dubuque Chief of Police Mark Dalsing and Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines that the City continue its existing prohibition on the use of consumer fireworks out of concern for noise, fire, and injury. Residents may sell fireworks if they obtain the appropriate sales permits through the State of Iowa.

Consumer fireworks typically have packaging stating "Consumer Fireworks, 1.4G, UN0336." The City of Dubuque continues to allow the use of "novelty fireworks" such as party poppers, snappers, drop pops, snakes, and some sparklers. Novelty fireworks may not have more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture and must state on their packaging "not subject to D.O.T. Hazardous Materials Regulations." The City of Dubuque allows groups to use display fireworks with proper permitting from the Dubuque Fire Department. This practice will not change with the new City Code amendments.

Any violation of the city's ordinance limiting or prohibiting fireworks constitutes a simple misdemeanor with a fine no less than $250. Residents who wish to report illegal firework use should call the non-emergency dispatch number, 563-589-4415. For additional information on selling fireworks in Dubuque, please contact Dubuque Fire Marshal Mark Burkle at 563-589-4161 or email

The new state law legalized the sale of fireworks, from June 1 - July 8 and Dec. 10 - Jan. 3 in permanent structures and June 13 - July 8 in temporary structures. The state fire marshal has developed inspection standards for sellers and controls licensing, registration, and other applicable requirements for sellers. The law also specifies that sales to persons under the age of 18 are prohibited and will result in simple misdemeanor charges with a minimum fine of $250. Additionally, any person under the age of 18 caught purchasing fireworks will be charged with a simple misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $250.


Weed Control Spraying on Floodwall Scheduled

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As weather permits starting Monday, July 10, the City of Dubuque Public Works Department will spray weed control in the rip-rap area on the river side of Dubuque's flood control system (U.S. Senator John C. Culver Floodwall).

The work is being done in accordance to the United States Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Technical Letter (110-2-583) which requires the removal of unacceptable growth within the "Vegetation-Free Zone." The requirement applies to all vegetation except grass along the flood control system. Signs along the flood control system will identify the area being sprayed. The project is expected to be completed by Friday, July 28, weather permitting. The Public Works Department cautions people to keep their children and pets out of direct contact with the sprayed weeds for 24 hours after application.

The U.S. Senator John C. Culver Flood Wall is inspected twice annually; once by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City's Public Works Department and once by the City's Public Works Department only, which oversees flood wall operations. The City performs required maintenance on the flood wall every year, including repair of rip-rap sections, removal of vegetation, and repair of damage caused by rodent burrows.

For additional information, contact the Public Works Department at 563-589-4250.



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Opening Doors was recently awarded a $3,862.70 grant from the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA). This year's grant marks the 16th year of DRA funding for Maria House and Teresa Shelter totaling over $150,000 in awards.

Since Opening Doors was established in 2000, the DRA has funded a wide variety of organizational needs including a new telephone system, computer server and equipment, furniture, and much more. The 2017 award provided funding for five additional security cameras for Maria House. The surveillance system now allows Teresa Shelter staff to monitor Maria House remotely providing another layer of safety and peace of mind for the staff and residents.

"DRA funding is the cornerstone of our success and we are so grateful for their support," said Ann Lorenz, Development & Marketing Director. "Grants like this allow us to redirect vital operating funds toward program expansion that continue to empower our homeless women and their families."

Opening Doors is the nonprofit organization that operates Maria House and Teresa Shelter. Homeless women, alone or with children, come to us to help rebuild their lives. We provide goal setting and life skills training that will enable them to take care of themselves and achieve their full potential. Women are dependent when they come in...independent when they leave.

Since 2000, Maria House has provided transitional housing, where residents can stay for as long as two years. In 2006, we opened Teresa Shelter. It offers extended stay and emergency shelter services.

For more information, please contact Ann Lorenz at 563.582.7480 or email


Red Cross Disaster Workers Respond to Storms across Iowa

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The American Red Cross responded to storms across the state recently. Disaster responders in each location worked to provide care and comfort to displaced families. Disaster workers also provided drinks and food to 65 responders.

Red Cross disaster responders were recently working with the Salvation Army to provide food to affected families. A Red Cross emergency response vehicle is driving through storm-damaged neighborhoods, delivering food, water, and clean-up supplies such as bleach, mops, gloves, rakes and shovels.

As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for tornadoes by:

• Downloading the free Red Cross Tornado App to your mobile device. The Red Cross tornado app includes a high-pitched siren and warning alert that signals when a tornado warning has been issued, as well as an all-clear alert that lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. The app also includes tips on how assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of a power outage or evacuation, an "I'm Safe" button to let loved ones know you are okay, and a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters should you need to leave your home. The app has a Spanish language toggle switch and can be downloaded by visiting

• Creating and practicing a home tornado plan. Pick a "safe room" or uncluttered area without windows where family members and pets could seek shelter on the lowest floor possible. The safest place to be is an underground shelter or basement. If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative. Putting as many walls between you and the outside provides additional protection. Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds. Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.

• Assembling an emergency preparedness kit. Pack a first aid kit and a seven-day supply of essential medications, foods that don't require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents like your insurance policies, cell phone chargers, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other emergency items for the whole family.

• Heeding storm warnings. Watch for tornado danger signs, including: dark, often greenish clouds (a phenomenon caused by hail), a wall cloud (an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm), a cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud (a visible rotating extension of the cloud base), or a roaring noise. Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.

A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. When a tornado WARNING is issued, go to the safe room you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.

• Preparing for high winds. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation today by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.


Dubuque's 10th Annual Sustainability Conference Slated for Oct. 3-4

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The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Grand River Center in the Port of Dubuque on Oct. 3-4, 2017. Registration is now open on the conference website at

The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest-standing sustainability conference in the Midwest, according to City of Dubuque officials who have hosted the conference annually since 2008. Sustainable City Network, a Dubuque-based trade magazine, has co-hosted the event with the City since 2011.

The conference includes more than 30 workshops, mobile tours, and keynote presentations on the latest developments in community sustainability and resiliency initiatives.

This year's conference will include workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise, including representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Alliance on Race & Equity, the Arbor Day Foundation, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Econservation Institute, Great Plains Institute, Green Iowa AmeriCorps, the Iowa Clean Cities Coalition, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, the Nature Conservancy, and businesses such as General Electric, HDR, Shive-Hattery, and many others.

Speakers from municipal governments large and small will also present case studies on the sustainability initiatives in their respective communities, from large cities like Minneapolis, New Orleans, Nashville, Kansas City, Charlotte, and Des Moines, to Broward County, Fla., and the small and mid-sized communities of Brookings, S.D.; Columbia, Mo.; Huntington Beach, Calif.; South Euclid, Ohio; Madison, Wis.; New Lebanon, Ohio; and the Iowa communities of Cedar Rapids, Muscatine, Cedar Falls, and Dubuque. Researchers from numerous universities and nonprofits will also present their findings.

Workshop topics at this year's event include tree canopy projects and programs, watershed and stormwater management, brownfield redevelopment, solar energy, small-town sustainability, biogas conversion, equity, placemaking, livability, climate action planning, education/community partnerships, mobility planning and design, sustainability tools and frameworks, alternative fuel vehicles, green building and sustainable development, local foods, LED streetlight conversions, affordable housing initiatives, green infrastructure, sustainability metrics, training, and community engagement, among others.

Complete workshop descriptions can be found on the conference website.

The conference will feature three mobile tours, two keynote luncheons, a breakfast plenary session, a networking reception, and dozens of vendors and exhibitors. Several hotels are within walking distance of the Grand River Center. See the conference website for contact information and special room rates.

More than 500 people from across the U.S. are expected to attend the event. Attendees annually include elected officials, municipal senior management and staff, as well as private-sector business leaders, university administrators, faculty, and students.

The conference is supported by Crescent Electric Supply Co. and other corporate sponsors.


The American Red Cross Northeast Iowa Chapter Honors Volunteers and Welcomes New Board Members

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The Northeast Iowa Chapter honored seven volunteers and welcomed four new board members at this year's Annual Meeting.

The American Red Cross of Northeast Iowa celebrated its Annual Meeting on Monday, June 26 by presenting seven volunteers with awards.

The volunteer recipients include:

David Klavitter, Dubuque, IA receiving the Everett Hauber Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Award

Beverly Kueter, Dubuque, IA receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award in Volunteer Services

Lawrence Hoefer, Peosta, IA receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award in Blood Services

Happee Smith Productions, Dubuque, IA was honored with this year's Community Partnership Award.

Verna Fuller, Clinton, IA receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award in Blood Services

Linda Dutchess, Fulton, IL receiving the Marion Hackney Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year Award

Francis Tollard II, Tipton, IA receiving the Rookie Volunteer of the Year Award

The Northeast Iowa Chapter also welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors. The new members bring diverse experience to their leadership roles. The newest members of the Board of Directors include:

Gretchen Brown, President/CEO of Stonehill Franciscan Services

Mike Cyze, Director of School and Community Relations for the Dubuque Community School District

Judy Faulhaber, Owner of Big Apple Bagels

Jodi Kremer, TRIO-Student Support Services Academic Coordinator for Northeast Iowa Community College

During the past year the Northeast Iowa Chapter has installed more than 1,320 life-saving smoke alarms, trained more than 4,600 community members in CPR, First Aid, AED and water safety skills, and has collected more than 10,000 blood donations.

Become a volunteer:
People can make a difference in someone's life by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. To join us, visit today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.


Dubuque 2017 Water Quality Reports Available

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The City of Dubuque Water Department has published the annual water quality reports for the Dubuque, Vernon, and Barrington Lakes water supplies. The drinking water for all three systems met all state and federal water quality requirements and had no drinking water violations in 2016.

The complete reports are available online at Printed copies of the Dubuque water quality report are available at several locations including City Hall (50 W. 13th St.) and the Carnegie-Stout Public Library (360 W. 11th St.). Printed copies of the Vernon and Barrington Lakes water quality reports are available by request.

The City of Dubuque purchased the Barrington Lakes and Vernon water systems in 2016 and is responsible for their operation, maintenance, and management. The water supplies for these systems are currently separate from each other and from the City of Dubuque's water supply, with connection of these systems to the Dubuque water supply scheduled for later this year.

The City of Dubuque's Eagle Point Water Plant sources water from aquifers and produces an average of 7.2 million gallons of treated water per day. The plant has the capacity to produce up to 18 million gallons per day and the City's current wells have the capacity to pump up to nearly 24 million gallons per day. Dubuque's water distribution system consists of over 320 miles of water mains, over 8,000 control valves, almost 2,900 fire hydrants, and over 23,500 service connections.

"Providing safe drinking water to our community is a tremendous responsibility. We are very proud of the high quality of our water supply and our ability to deliver it to customers at an affordable cost," said City of Dubuque Water Department Manager Denise Ihrig.

When compared to the other six large cities in Iowa that soften their drinking water, Dubuque has the third-lowest rate at $28.43. That monthly rate translates to just 47 cents for 100 gallons of drinking water. The average cost for a 16.9 ounce bottle of bottled water at a convenience store is $1.59, which translates to over $1,200 for 100 gallons of bottled water.

The water department welcomes visitors for scheduled tours of the Eagle Point Water Plant. For additional information, please call 563-589-4291 or visit


The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for Young Frankenstein

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The Grand Opera House will present The Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and music and lyrics by Mel Brooks. Performances are on October 6, 7, 13 &14 @ 7:30PM and October 8 & 15 @ 2PM

Director: Jeff Tebbe - Music Director: Tim Durst - Choreographer: Mandy Brosius

1:00 - 4:00 PM Saturday, July 29, 2017
1:00 - 4:00 PM Sunday, July 30, 2017

Call backs:
TBA (if needed)
* Video recorded auditions will be accepted BEFORE the scheduled audition dates and times - contact the Grand for more details!

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

Seeking Actors, Singers and Dancers


Dr. Frederick Frankenstein vocal range: G4-Bb2
Brilliant brain surgeon, professor and grandson of mad scientist Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein.

The Monster: vocal range Bb4-Db2
The misunderstood creation of Dr. Frankenstein.

Igor: vocal range G4-Bb2
Frederick's faithful, bright-eyed, eager servant and friend with a hunchback.

Inga: vocal range A5-G3
Frederick's young assistant. Attractive and a resident of Transylvania.

Elizabeth Benning: vocal range F5-F#3
Frederick's boisterous fiancé.

Frau Blücher: vocal range C5-E3
Stern housekeeper of the Frankenstein estate and former lover of Victor Frankenstein.

Inspector Hans Kemp: vocal range F4- A2
The head of police in Transylvania. Driven by justice, with a wooden arm and leg.

The Hermit: vocal range F4-Ab2
A lonely, blind town hermit, hoping for a friend.

Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein: vocal range F4-C#2
The infamous Dr. Frankenstein and Frederick's grandfather.

Ziggy: vocal range Eb4-D3
The village idiot.

Ensemble (Both Genders)
Gravediggers, Villagers, Medical Students, Passengers, Mad Scientists

Actors wishing to audition but are unavailable to arrive at the start of the audition time should call the Grand Opera House business office at 563-588-4356 to give an approximate arrival time. Rehearsals will begin around August 14th. Those auditioning should be prepared to list all conflict or potential conflicts between August 14th and October 15th. Availability for evening dress rehearsals October 2-5 and all performances is mandatory. Rehearsals may possibly run anytime from 7-10 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am - 12 pm on Saturday mornings. NOTE: Rehearsal dates and times are NOT set in stone and will be determined by the availability of the cast!

Actors should prepare 32 bars of a musical theatre selection in the style of the show that best shows their vocal range. Please bring sheet music, an accompanist will be provided. Actors will be asked to read non character specific scenes from the script. All auditioning should be prepared to participate in a dance/movement audition. For additional information please visit the audition page on the Grand's website, or contact Executive and Artistic Director, Frank McClain at


AmeriCorps Partners in Learning Receives Federal Funding

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AmeriCorps Partners in Learning, sponsored by the City of Dubuque, will receive a $238,569 AmeriCorps grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service for fiscal year 2017-2018.

AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds to meet critical needs of communities across the country. In Dubuque, AmeriCorps Partners in Learning supports Dubuque's Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with a school year and summer program.

During the 2017-2018 school year, 38 AmeriCorps members will tutor struggling readers in kindergarten through third grade at the Dubuque Community Elementary Schools. Members are trained on specific reading interventions and work closely with the elementary schools to improve students' reading scores from the fall to spring.

During the 2018 summer, 30 AmeriCorps members will support five different summer learning programs. Summer partners include: St. Mark Youth Enrichment; Carnegie-Stout Public Library; City of Dubuque Leisure Services; the DREAM Center, and the Dubuque Community School District. AmeriCorps members also support community-wide events like Make a Difference Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Music in the Park, and many more.

Interested in supporting our community? AmeriCorps Partners in Learning is now recruiting for the 2017-2018 school year. Members must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma. Members earn a living allowance and an education award. Members who are 55 or older when they begin their service may transfer their education award to a child, grandchild, or foster child.

For more information on joining AmeriCorps and learning about available positions, contact Mary Bridget, AmeriCorps Director, at 563.584.8644 or


Applicants Sought for City Boards and Commissions

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The City of Dubuque's volunteer board and commission members provide a valuable link to the community and to the various interests within it. They assist in the development of policy recommendations to the City Council, provide leadership and support to City staff, promote the City and its programs, and provide expertise in specialized areas.

Volunteers are needed for current and upcoming vacancies on the following boards and commissions:

Airport Zoning Board of Adjustment

Airport Zoning Commission

Building Code and Advisory Appeals Board (ADA Representative, Commercial Contractor, and Journeyman Carpenter)

Community Development Advisory Commission (Low to Moderate Income Area Rep)

Dubuque Community and Police Relations Committee

Historic Preservation Commission (Langworthy District, Cathedral District)

Library Board of Trustees

Mississippi River Partnership Council

Sister City Relationships Advisory Commission

Transit Advisory Board

Zoning Advisory Commission

Applications can be printed or submitted online from or through the City Clerk's Office. Applications can be submitted at any time for all boards and commissions and are activated as positions become available. Applications remain on file for one year from the date they are submitted. Some positions may require specific applicant qualifications or compliance with the State of Iowa Gender Balance Law.

To apply online or view a complete list of boards and commissions, descriptions, terms and meeting information, please visit or contact the City Clerk's Office at 563-589-4120 or


Dubuque Receives Livability Award for Bee Branch Project

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Dubuque has again been named one of the "most livable" cities in the nation. Mayor Roy D. Buol was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project at the 2017 City Livability Awards Program on Saturday, June 24, during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 85th Annual Meeting in Miami Beach.

The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America's cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by the mayors. This year's winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of over 150 applicants.

"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of all Dubuque residents and everyone involved with the Bee Branch project -- past, present, and future," said Buol. "This award acknowledges a unique approach to stormwater management and a citizen-driven project that simultaneously improves public safety and quality of life."

The Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation project is a multi-phased, green infrastructure investment to mitigate flooding, improve water quality, stimulate development, and enhance quality of life. The project catalyzes community, economic, social, and environmental capital to create resilient neighborhoods, foster economic opportunities, and balance resources. It involves replacing almost one mile of buried storm sewer with an open waterway from the Mississippi River levee system to Comiskey Park, connecting Dubuque's historic riverfront to its urban core. The restored creek includes a hike/bike trail, rain gardens/bioswales, walking paths, lighting, benches, pervious pavement, an amphitheater, and over 1,000 trees and other plantings. The overall project also includes reconstructing 240 alleys in the watershed to permeable "green alleys" to reduce stormwater runoff within the watershed by up to 80 percent.

Dubuque was one of six finalists for the first-place award in the category for cities with populations under 100,000. Dubuque received the first-place award for the America's River Project in 2008.

"Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the chance to express our pride in cities' mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable," said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the Conference of Mayors. "We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country."

This is the 38th year in which cities have competed for the award, which is sponsored by the Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc., the nation's largest environmental solutions provider.

Alex Gonzalez, Waste Management's Florida Area Public Affairs Director, presented the City Livability awards during the annual luncheon in Miami Beach.

"Through the City Livability Awards, Waste Management is immensely proud to honor U.S. mayors who are committed to strengthening our communities and enhancing the lives of their residents across the nation," said Susan Moulton, Waste Management's Senior Corporate Director of Public Sector Solutions. "For more than 28 years, Waste Management has sponsored the awards, because the work these Mayors do to keep our communities safe, healthy, and vibrant aligns directly with our commitment to community vitality by providing innovative, safe and sustainable recycling and waste services."

This year's first-place winners were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for a local program focused on keeping city streets and alleys clean, and Hattiesburg, Miss., Mayor Johnny DuPree for a local literacy initiative where young people can access free books through library lounges in local restaurants.

In addition to the two top awards in each category (cities of 100,000 or more and cities of under 100,000), Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to five cities in each category. For a complete list and project descriptions, visit



Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease continue to evolve

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Alzheimer's disease is one of the most prevalent types of dementia in the world, affecting an estimated 35.6 million people all over the globe, and that number is expected to double in 20 years. 

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America estimates that as many as 5.1 million Americans may be living with Alzheimer's disease. Australian company Actinogen Medical says Alzheimer's is Australia's second biggest killer. According to a 2012 study commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society of Canada, 747,000 Canadians were living with cognitive impairment, which included, but was not limited to, dementia.

People with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia may experience a decline in mental function severe enough to reduce their ability to perform everyday activities. Some of the cognitive functions that may be impaired include memory, communication and language, ability to pay attention, reasoning and judgement, emotional control, and social behavior.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, nor is there an effective long-term way to prevent potential mental decline. However, that has not stopped scores of researchers and medical teams that continue to study the efficacy of different drugs and therapies. The following are some of the more promising options in the works.

A safety trial on the drug Leukine already is underway at the Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus.

"We found so far that Leukine is safe in people with Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Huntington Potter, the director of Alzheimer's research at the university. "That means it doesn't have the side effects that so many other Alzheimer's drugs have had, which are swelling in the brain and bleeding into the brain."

Leukine has been successful in removing the plaque or amyloid along the outside of nerve cells in the brain of mice. Researchers do not know the exact mechanism for removal, but the drug is working and working quickly. Leukine also may be helping the brain repair itself. The Alzheimer's Association has donated $1 million toward financing the costs of the next phase of this trial.

Neurologists at Rush University Medical Center are testing a type of insulin that is inhaled through a nasal spray to see if it improves cognition and memory function in people with mild cognitive impairment.

"There is growing evidence that insulin carries out multiple functions in the brain and that poor regulation of insulin may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, a neurologist at Rush and the lead investigator of the study.

The 18-month clinical trial will study the nasal spray versus a placebo in 275 adults between the ages of 55 and 85.

Australian researchers at Actinogen Medical have begun trials of a new drug called Xanamem. More than 170 patients with mild dementia in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom will take part in the placebo-controlled 12-week trial. The medicine blocks the stress hormone cortisol in order to improve mental function for those with dementias. In 2015, an Edinburgh University study of mice showed reducing cortisol in the brain improved their memory and decreased the number of Alzheimer's-associated amyloid plaques in the brain.

Researchers continue to work as they seek a successful, long-term option for treating or preventing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.


How to save money on vacation

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Going on vacation often means throwing a little caution to the wind and indulging here and there on purchases or experiences a person wouldn't normally make at home. According to a 2015 CBS News poll, the average American is entitled to 16 days of paid leave each year, and the average Canadian worker 19 days. Such time off is an opportunity to fit lots of fun into a relatively short period of time.

Frugal travelers may want to be sure they're spending their hard-earned money in the smartest ways. Traveling without breaking the bank enables the average person to take more vacations and continue to make invaluable memories.

Here are some suggestions on making a getaway, whether it involves lots of traveling or staying close to home, more affordable.

• Be flexible. Travelers who are flexible in their departure dates and times can usually find great rates because they have the ability to shop price instead of date. Various airline websites and travel discount services show the average flight prices across several days. Frugal fliers can select the lowest price. The same can be true when booking hotels and other vacation components.

• Pack light. Many airlines now charge extra for baggage fees - especially for suitcases that exceed the weight limit - so don't bring along unnecessary items. Hotels typically provide toiletries for free, so save space and money by removing such items from your luggage. Chances are if you didn't pack an item, you can still find an affordable alternative at your destination.

• Use coupons. Coupons aren't only for getting cents off your favorite brand of tissue at the supermarket. Coupons and discount codes are available for just about any purchase - even vacations. Check all travel websites to see if there are any deals to be had. Don't overlook discounts related to your membership in clubs such as AAA or AARP or those linked to your alumni or military organization. According to RetailMeNot, having a social media account can help, too. Travel deal sites and airlines may post about flash sales.

• Plan meals. Look into economical restaurants before departing. Know where you'll be eating and when, including packing a lunch or enjoying a hotel-provided breakfast. Enjoying a big lunch can be more frugal than indulging on dinner.

• Rent small. If renting a car, choose the smallest model that will fit your needs. In addition, there's no need to pay for a large room that you don't plan to spend much time in, so resist the temptation to book large hotel rooms.

• Consider public transportation. Investigate the public transportation options at your destination. Such options may not be as convenient as taxis, but they may be more economical.

• Book based on currency. Stay abreast of currency exchange rates. Such rates can make a big difference in choosing a destination, particularly if your money will be worth more internationally. Also, try booking a vacation through the local country's version of the same travel site.

• Skip tourist hotspots. Talk to the locals to find out where to get the best deals. Try local foods, brews and more for a cost savings.

Travel can be expensive, but savings are possible when travelers know where to look.


Stop making these 8 common grilling mistakes

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Cooking food over an open fire imparts all sorts of flavor. Grilling tends to be quicker, less messy and more convenient than cooking in the kitchen - particularly during the dog days of summer.

Outdoor grills are everywhere, including nearly every backyard across the country. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association says $1.47 billion in grill sales were made in 2016.

That grills are so commonplace doesn't mean that everyone grilling is employing the right techniques. Becoming the ultimate grillmaster involves understanding the subtleties of grilling and avoiding common mistakes so food can look and taste that much better.

1. Not prepping the food: The French culinary term for preparing to cook is "mise en place." This is especially important when grilling, as cooks must deal with faster cooking times than they would otherwise encounter when cooking meals in the stove.

2. Dirty grill: Make sure the grill is cleaned before and after each use. Grease can quickly build up on a grill, leading to flare-ups that can cause foods to char. Frequent cleaning also helps grillmasters avoid a tiresome cleaning process at the start of the season.

3. Forgetting to preheat: Preheating the grill ensures that foods will cook quickly and as evenly as possible. Otherwise, meats can lose moisture and even stick to cooler grates. Reader's Digest suggests preheating to between 350 F and 450 F depending on the food.

4. Overreliance on lighter fluid: The chemical taste of lighter fluid can transfer to foods even when the fluid is used sparingly. Consider using a chimney starter when grilling with charcoal. And avoid repeated pyrotechnics with fluid, or worse, gasoline.

5. Too much direct heat: Food should not char on the outside before the inside has a chance to cook. A two-zone fire, according to food experts at Serious Eats, enables grillmasters to cook over high heat to sear and then move the food to a lower temperature to continue to cook evenly.

6. Playing with food: Grilling does not require much intervention. Repeatedly flipping and squeezing meat and poultry can cause flavorful juices to leak out. Then you're left with dried-out food. Resist any urges to prod and poke food. And minimize how many times you lift the grill cover to take a peek, as that can cause temperatures to fluctuate. Use a thermometer to determine when food is done. And don't forget that meat will still cook a bit after it's taken off the grill.

7. Improper seasoning: Basting food with sugar-laden sauces and marinades too early can cause flare-ups and burning. Quick rubs can help lock in flavor, and then reserve the sauce for the last few minutes of grilling, says cookbook author Dave Martin.

8. Digging in too soon: Give meats a chance to rest for between five and 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute through the food. This improves flavor and tenderness.


Remember fireworks safety when celebrating

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Outdoor celebrations dominate social schedules each summer. Several of these celebrations coordinate with national holidays or days of national pride and are accompanied by barbecues, parades, picnics, and often fireworks.

Fireworks can add character and excitement to group events. When done well, they can be the focal point of festivities and often mark the culmination of a day of fun. The earliest record of fireworks dates back to 7th century China, believed to be the home of fireworks. Fireworks have long been a part of Chinese culture and were used to accompany many festivities. Soon the use of fireworks spread beyond China.

Today, fireworks may be part of military homecomings, large sporting events and so much more. Holidays like New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July frequently feature fireworks displays. Fireworks tend to be most commonly used during warm-weather months, which is why fireworks safety is emphasized throughout June and July.

Each year, the National Fire Protection Association warns that thousands of people - most often children and teens - are injured while using consumer fireworks. To the novice, fireworks can be dangerous, even in ways people may not realize. Burns, fires, loss of fingers, blindness, and even death are possible.

The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks urges the public to avoid the personal use of fireworks and to enjoy displays conducted by trained professionals who adhere to various safety protocols.

Those who engage in personal firework use are urged to do so properly and safely. The American Pyrotechnics Association says 47 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia allow legal "consumer" fireworks. Consider the following safety tips whenever fireworks are included in the festivities.

• Ensure that fireworks are legal where you live before planning a fireworks display.

• Purchase all fireworks, which can include everything from cone fountains to sparklers, from a licensed and reputable dealer.

• Read all instructions before lighting.

• Supervise all firework activities, making sure children do not light any fireworks.

• Avoid alcohol and drug use when lighting fireworks. Both can impair judgement and create hazardous conditions.

• Have safety equipment on hand. This includes safety glasses and ear protection.

• Do not light multiple fireworks at the same time. 

• Use fireworks in a clearing far away from buildings and vehicles.

• Always have a hose or bucket of water available to douse fireworks.

• Soak "dud" fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding them. Wait 20 minutes before approaching the dud.

• Don't point fireworks at people.

• Maintain a safe distance between those observing the fireworks show and the fireworks.

• Dispose of spent fireworks safely, away from combustible materials.

Fireworks can be an enjoyable component of celebrations when used responsibly.


Let grilled desserts add spark to outdoor entertaining

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Grilling immediately calls to mind smoky meats, vegetables and even seafood. However, many people may not know that grills can be an ideal place to cook dessert.

Outdoor grills are relied on to impart flavor and facilitate outdoor entertaining. Yet, when it comes time to serve dessert, hosts and hostesses often turn to store-bought treats or delicacies that must be cooked in the oven. But various delicious desserts can be prepared over an open fire.

• Grilled fruit: Slice up melon, pineapples, peaches, mangoes - just about anything you can think of. Cook for a few minutes over low heat. The grill will help release the sugars and create that extra-tasty caramelization. Grilled fruit is a dessert without too many extra calories.

• Grilled s'mores: S'mores are the quintessential campfire food, and they also can be cooked on the grill. If you don't trust little ones around the hot coals or propane, have them prepare the s'mores and then wrap them in foil. Adults can them toss them on the hot grates for a little while, until the foil packets can be unwrapped to unveil melted chocolate and marshmallow goodness.

• Grilled cake: Use a firm cake, such as pound cake, and slice into thick pieces. Grill for a few minutes to warm, then top with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream for an easy and tasty treat.

• Grilled cobbler: Dutch ovens are one of the great tools of outdoor cooking. Dutch ovens are heavy, cast-iron pots that can be lowered into a campfire. However, Dutch ovens also can be placed in the belly of a grill. Line with foil and fill the Dutch oven with a favorite cake mix, the corresponding oil amount, fresh berries and even chocolate chips. Let cook for 30 to 40 minutes on low heat until the mixture is bubbly.

• Grilled dessert pizza: Ready-made or homemade pizza dough can be oiled and grilled over medium heat for a few minutes until grill marks form and the dough starts to puff and harden slightly. Turn over and cover with chocolate-hazelnut spread or some preserves. Grill for another few minutes until the dough is cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and add sliced bananas.

Grilled menu options can extend to dessert to make outdoor entertaining even easier.


6 facts about watermelons

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Watermelons provide cooling, juicy refreshment during the warm days of summer. But while they're most associated with summer, watermelons can typically be found in grocery stores year-round.

Watermelons are members of the cucurbitaceae family, which includes other gourds, such as pumpkin, squash and cucumber. Watermelons can be considered a fruit or a vegetable. In some areas of the world, watermelons are considered a fruit used primarily in snacks and desserts. In Russia, watermelon rind is pickled, while some Asian countries stir-fry or stew watermelons.

To quench one's curiosity about watermelons, the following are six facts about this beloved food, courtesy of The Watermelon Board.

1. Washing watermelons before cutting into them will help prevent the transfer of any dirt or bacteria into the fleshy center.

2. An average 15- to 20-pound watermelon offers 90 6-ounce servings.

3. Watermelons grow in warm climates and are harvested from Florida to Guatemala. Residents of the United States who want to enjoy domestically grown watermelons should look for them in June, July and August.

4. Seedless watermelons contain small, white "seeds." These are actually seed coats that didn't fully form. Crossing watermelons that are a diploid plant (having two sets of chromosomes) with a tetraploid plant (having four sets of chromosomes) will form a fruit with a triploid seed three sets of chromosomes). It's the triploid that produces seedless watermelons.

5. Whole watermelons do not necessarily need to be refrigerated. But once cut, any remaining pieces should be refrigerated.

6. Watermelons are 92 percent water, and they're the perfect carrying case for beverages. Early explorers even used watermelons as canteens.



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

In 2017, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere. Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease.

On June 4, we observed National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States. In support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education, and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease.

Social Security stands strong in our support of the fight against cancer. We offer services to patients dealing with this disease through our disability insurance program and our Compassionate Allowances program. Compassionate Allowances are cases with medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security's disability standards, allowing us to process the cases quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are part of our Compassionate Allowances list. 

There's no special application or form you need to submit for Compassionate Allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits online, in-person or over the phone. Once we identify you as having a Compassionate Allowances condition, we'll expedite your disability application.

Social Security establishes Compassionate Allowances conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from our employees, who review millions of disability cases each year, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including the list of eligible conditions, visit

Social Security is with you throughout life's journey, through good times and bad. If you think you qualify for disability benefits based on a Compassionate Allowances condition, please visit to apply for benefits.


The Soothing Sound of Water

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For homeowners, business owners, guests and wildlife, the benefits of an outdoor fountain are very real. Whether located in a yard, garden or public area, the sound and appearance of flowing water not only improve people's enjoyment of the space, but can be beneficial to one's health.

The sound of running water is a natural psychological relaxant helping people to unwind and even to fall asleep. An outdoor fountain provides stress releasing benefits by drowning out other sounds that are possibly irritating such as traffic, construction, barking neighbor dogs, nearby conversations or other annoyances.

For people who enjoy the benefits of bird feeders, an outdoor fountain is a natural extension. All birds need water not only to drink but to bathe and preen. Birds that do not ordinarily visit bird feeders are often drawn to fountains. They actually prefer running water to still water which makes the trickles and splashes of a fountain attractive to birds.

Anyone with a dog who enjoys time in the yard knows how important it is to keep fresh water available at all times. Dogs love the constant flow of fresh water in outdoor water fountains that are endlessly refreshing water bowls. Plus, a constantly flowing fountain requires less frequent cleanings than warm, still bowls of water that quickly collect drool, insects and plant matter.

Fountains add much needed humidity to otherwise dry environments while also serving as a natural air purifier as they remove dust and allergens from the air. Another natural phenomenon is that flowing water produces negative ions which scientific theory suggests to having many positive effects on health and mood, alleviating depression and boosting energy.

Fountains come in a variety of models, shapes, sizes and price points. Find one that is a perfect fit for your home or business and start enjoying the benefits.

The above info is courtesy of Menards®


Sunburn and skin cancer

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Sunburn can be a painful, unsightly consequence of too much unprotected time spent in the sun. But sunburn is more than just a temporary nuisance. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburn can cause long-lasting damage to the skin and increase a person's risk of developing skin cancer.

Sunburn tends to be so common, particularly during the warmer months of the year, that many people may consider it a relatively harmless byproduct of spending time outside under the sun. But the United Kingdom-based charitable organization Cancer Research UK notes that getting painful sunburn just once every two years can triple a person's risk of developing melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. A better understanding of sunburn and its relationship with skin cancer may encourage more people to prioritize protecting their skin when spending time in the sun.

What is sunburn?
Sunburn occurs when the DNA in skin cells has been damaged by UV radiation. Many people associate sunburn with skin that peels or blisters, but any skin that turns pink or red in the sun has been sunburnt.

Am I always vulnerable to sunburn?
Though many people may only get sunburns on hot days, that's not because the skin is not susceptible to sunburn year-round. In fact, sunburn can occur any time of year because it's caused by ultraviolet radiation, which has nothing to do with the temperature. Many people only spend time outdoors on hot days; hence, the reason they may only suffer sunburn in late spring and summer. Since sunburn can occur at any time of year, it's imperative that skin is covered up and sunscreen is applied regardless of what time of year a person is enjoying the great outdoors.

Am I out of the woods once my skin peels?
People who have experienced sunburn may have noticed their skin peeling in the days after they were burned, though not every sunburn victim's skin peels. Peeling is how the body rids itself of the damaged cells that can lead to cancer. But just because a sunburn victim's skin peels post-sunburn does not mean that person has necessarily dodged the skin cancer bullet. Some damage may remain after skin peels, and that remaining damage can still make sunburn sufferers vulnerable to skin cancer.

I've been sunburned. Now what?
A sunburn, even a particularly bad sunburn, does not guarantee a person will develop skin cancer. But frequent sunburns increase a person's risk of the disease, so people who have been sunburned, whether it's just once or several times, should revisit what they're doing to protect their skin before going back out in the sun. Wearing protective clothing, including long sleeve shirts and protective hats, and applying strong sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 are just a couple of ways to protect skin from sun damage.

More information about sunburn and skin cancer prevention is available at



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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

Social Security's blog is a go-to source for news and resources. That's why we named it Social Security Matters - it matters to everyone even if you don't think you directly benefit from Social Security benefits today.

The popularity of our blog has grown. We'd like to share some of our most popular posts with you so you can share what you've learned with your friends and loved ones. Here's our recent top five.

• Inspector General Warns Public about Phone Calls from OIG "Imposters"

• When Is a Good Time to Start Receiving Social Security Benefits?

• Women need to understand their Social Security benefit...but that's not all!

• Knowing where you stand now with Social Security will pay off

• Meet Our New Acting Commissioner

It's easy to share these links on social media - just click on the icons below the article to post them to your preferred site. Knowledge really is power. The more informed your community is, the stronger we all will be. This is how you can secure today and tomorrow with Social Security.



Plan now to enroll your child for classes in Head Start!

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Operation: New View Community Action Agency Head Start program is currently taking applications for the 2017-2018 school year.

Ten percent of Head Start's funded enrollment is offered to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Children attend classes 4 days per week at a mimimum of 24 hours per week from August through May. Head Start children need to be at least 3 years of age on or before September 15, 2017.

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 family. Head Start staff assist families as much as possible with the offering of transportation services for some of the sites.

Persons interested in additional information about our Head Start Program should call their local Operation New View Community Action Agency Outreach Office; call Becky at 563-556-5130 ext. 39 or visit our website at

Operation: New View 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.


Water Main Extension Project Requires Kennedy Road Lane Closure Through July

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A public water main extension project will require a lane closure and temporary traffic signals on a northern section of John F. Kennedy Road from Monday, June 19, through the month of July.

Public water main will be extended north along Kennedy Road from approximately John Wesley Drive to Forest Glen Court and 1,400 feet west on Derby Grange Road from Kennedy Road. The extended public water main will serve customers along Kennedy Road and Derby Grange Road, which include two residential subdivisions currently being developed.

This project is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 19, with one lane closed and two-way traffic being controlled with temporary traffic signals until approximately Aug. 1, 2017. Access to existing driveways and intersections will be maintained during the project. A map of the project area is available at

If you have questions regarding this closure/detour, please contact the City of Dubuque Water Department at 563-589-4303 or email Please note: closure dates/times are estimates and are subject to change without notification based on weather and contractor schedules.



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This season features 5 Broadway Style Plays and Musicals, 1 Ballet, and a Youth production. Included on the schedule is the Dubuque premier of the newly released Mamma Mia! and Madagascar Jr. as well as the Dubuque based musical The Pajama Game.

The Grand Opera House is excited to announce the 2017/2018 Season. The 600-seat theater will feature 5 Plays and Musicals this year as well as hosting the Dubuque City Youth Ballet's Production of The Nutcracker, and one musical performed by and for students in elementary and middle school. Located at 135 W. 8th street in Downtown Dubuque, The Grand Opera House is a community theater starring local talent all year round.

Young Frankenstein
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Music and lyrics by Mel Brooks
Original Direction & Choreography by Susan Stroman
October 6, 7, 13 &14 @ 7:30pm, 8 & 15 @ 2pm

Christmas 2017

It's A Wonderful Life
Based on the Liberty Films Motion Picture Directed by Frank Capra
November 24, 25 & December 1, 2 @ 7:30pm
November 26 & December 3 @ 2:00pm

The Dubuque City Youth Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker Ballet
December 9, 15, 16 @ 7:30pm, December 10 & 17 @ 2:00pm

Spring 2018

The Man Who Came To Dinner
By Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
February 23, 24 & March 2, 3 @ 7:30pm
February 25 & March 4 @ 2:00pm

Summer 2018

Mamma Mia!
Music and Lyrics by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
And Some songs with Stig Anderson by Catherine Johnson
Originally conceived by Judy Cramer
June 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 @ 7:30pm June 17 & 24 @ 2:00pm

The Pajama Game
Book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell
Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Based on the novel "7 1/2 Cents" by Richard Bissell
July 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2018 @ 7:30pm
July 22 & 29, 2018 @ 2:00pm


Madagascar Jr
Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture
Book by Kevin Del Aguila, Original Music and Lyrics by
George Noriega & Joel Someillan
August 17 & 18 @ 7:30pm August 18 & 19 @ 2:00pm

The Grand Extravaganza
August 25 @ 7:30pm & August 26 @ 2:00pm
This is an End of Season celebration highlighting the performers who have graced our stage in the last year, as well as previewing the upcoming season. 

Single tickets for plays and musicals on sale Monday, June 19th.

Broadway Series
(Includes: Young Frankenstein, It's A Wonderful Life, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Mamma Mia! And The Pajama Game)
Early Bird (30% off): adult-$70, Under 18-$42 Through July 31st!
Subscription (25% off): adult-$75, Under 18- $45
(Regular Price: Adults-$100, Under 18-$60)

Broadway Series Plus The Nutcracker Ballet
Early Bird (30% off): Adult-$84, Under 18-$50.40 Through July 31st!
Subscription (25% off): Adult-$90, Under 18- $54
(Regular Price: Adult-$120 Under 18-$72)

Tickets and Subscriptions for the 2017/2018 Season can be purchased in person at the Box Office located at 135 W. 8th Street in Dubuque, or by calling (563) 588-1305. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from Noon until 4:00pm. Tickets and Subscriptions can also be purchased on our website at


Curb appeal pays off big time

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How attractive a home looks from the outside is often a good indication that a homeowner also takes pride in the interior. You can improve your home's curb appeal with a few minor landscaping upgrades.

Clean and repair - Weed gardens, flower beds and edging, cut back overgrown plants and shrubs that block windows or spill over walkways, trim trees and power-wash paths, sidewalks and porches.

Focus on the front porch - Place potted evergreens or other plants at the base of front steps, hang flowering baskets and replace worn welcome mats.

Block what's ugly - Hide unsightly air conditioning units, meter boxes, propane tanks, rusty sheds and more with plants or accessories.

Add Color - Edge sidewalks and tree bases and add brightly colored flowering annuals.

Rethink walkways - Carve a path to your front entry or seating area near your yard's most attractive spots, using gravel, wood chips or landscape blocks.

Refine foundations - Design landscaping beds closest to the front of your home to look interesting year-round. Combine various types of plants, rocks, mulch and shrubs with flowering annuals when perennials aren't blooming.

Plant a tree - Trees can add much value to your home. They can help prevent erosion, improve air quality and even reduce utility bills with the shade they provide.

Add a structure - Fences, pergolas, arbors and landscape blocks can define and complement different areas and promote year-round curb appeal.

Have a seat - Create a spot that invites people to sit out front. Place an attractive bench beneath a large tree or tuck a bistro table and chairs on a porch or amidst a densely flowered garden.

Light the way - Low-voltage outdoor lights can be used to define a walkway, spotlight a tree, highlight landscaping, showcase shrubs or accent an entry way.

Information courtesy of Menards


Dubuque Museum of Art Opens Two New Exhibitions in May

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Visitors to the Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) will enjoy two major exhibitions for the price of one this summer.

Opening May 27 and continuing through August 20, the 2017 DuMA Biennial returns with an invigorating survey of new works created by regional contemporary artists.
The Dubuque Museum of Art organizes this popular and highly-competitive exhibition every two years to highlight the artistic talent that enriches the quality of life of our region. The DuMA Biennial is recognized as a premier juried exhibition opportunity and brings together emerging and established artists who are actively producing and presenting new work.

A Call for Entries went out in December 2016 and resulted in a record 508 submissions representing 208 artists from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. This year's Biennial juror was Amanda C. Burdan, associate curator at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Burdan's most recent exhibition Rural Modern: American Art Beyond the City, which included Grant Wood's iconic painting Appraisal, opened at the Brandywine in October 2016 and traveled to the High Museum of Art in early 2017.

"In the nearly 600 works submitted to the biennial some very distinct themes came to the fore", said Burdan. "Some are universal humanistic issues: the environment, the life cycle, and other fears. From an artistic standpoint, there are convergences as well. Several of the works cause the viewer to look twice and to question exactly what we're looking at in terms of media and technique."

"The continued growth of the Biennial underscores the importance of this type of regionalized, open-call exhibition opportunity," remarked Stacy Peterson, Associate Curator and Registrar of the Dubuque Museum of Art. "The Biennial offers emerging and established artists a chance to exhibit together and brings special attention to the talent in our own backyard."

Peterson added, "With its geographical focus, the DuMA Biennial presents a visual representation of life in this region through distinctive styles, themes, and materials."

Opening May 14, 2017 is the exhibition, The Artist Revealed: Two Centuries of Portraits from Cezanne to Dylan.

Organized by the DuMA in conjunction with a traveling exhibition from Syracuse University, The Artist Revealed includes more than 60 self-portraits and portraits, made by and depicting leading 19th, 20th and 21st century artists. The exhibition traces the history of artist portraits, beginning with the earliest work, a small wood engraving by American Winslow Homer, dating to 1857; continuing to Paul Cezanne, a French Post-Impressionist artist; and extending to contemporary images by artists as diverse as Norman Rockwell, Alex Katz, Dieter Roth, and Rose Frantzen.

Lenders to the exhibition include: the Des Moines Art Center, the Figge Art Museum, Grinnell College Falconer Gallery, the National Portrait Galleries in Washington D.C., Syracuse University Art Galleries, Dan Weiss, Rose Frantzen, Diego Lasansky, Larry Gerber, and Jessie Rebik.

The Artist Revealed: Two Centuries of Portraits from Cezanne to Dylan continues through August 6, 2017.

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

Members' Preview
Friday June 2, 5-8 pm*
*Free admission includes complementary appetizers for museum members. Guests $10

Amanda Burdan Gallery Talk
Saturday, June 3, 1:30 p.m.
Ms. Burdan will speak in depth about her curation background and her process as a juror to select the participants of the 2017 biennial exhibition.

Lunch and Learn: Politics and Portraiture
Wednesday, June 28, 12:15 - 1 pm
Bryan Zygmont, Associate Professor of Art History, Clarke University

In celebration of The Artist Revealed, and the central role that portraiture continues to play in American art, DuMA has undertaken a unique art-commissioning project called "Not Just Another Pretty Face" (NJAPF). Founded by the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and now replicated by museums across the U.S., NJAPF brings together artists and patrons in an accessible process that builds lasting relationships among museums, artists, and collectors.

Commissioned works will be on view at the museum during The Artist Revealed. Participating artists include: John Bissell, Heidi Draley-McFall, Adam Eikamp, and Rose Frantzen.

Additional programs will be announced throughout the course of the exhibition. Details on all exhibitions and upcoming programs may be accessed at

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

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


Jule Proposed Saturday and Weeknight Service Information is Online

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As part of the FY2018 budget process, additional evening bus service was approved to begin in August 2017. Part of the proposal which allowed for a reduced cost evening service included combination of low-ridership Saturday service routes and elimination of two low-ridership weekday service routes, the Orange Key West and Orange Fremont.

The Jule is beginning the process of public input on the proposed changes. A public hearing will be held during the April 17th City Council meeting to review the proposed service reductions.

Proposed Saturday and evening service routes are available online for review and comment at through May 1, 2017.

All Jule routes were reviewed and analyzed for ridership, frequency, hours of service, trip length and times of day to limit negative impacts on passengers while providing substantial cost savings that allows for the evening service expansion.

Proposed route changes include:

1. The Monday through Saturday Key West fixed-route service will be eliminated.

2. The Monday through Saturday Fremont fixed-route service will be eliminated.

3. No Saturday service along Windsor Ave from Davis Street to Mount Saint Francis.

4. No Saturday Service along Hillcrest Rd between Asbury Rd and JFK Rd.

5. No Saturday service along JFK between Asbury Rd and Sunset Park Circle.

6. No Saturday service along Jackson St between 22nd and 32nd Streets. Service is available on Central Ave between 22nd and 32nd Streets.

7. Saturday service along Jackson St and Central Ave will be reduced to once per hour.

8. No Saturday service to current Yellow Line stops including Dubuque Industrial Center West and Medical Associates West.

If approved, the proposed fixed-route changes will take effect on August 14, 2017 in conjunction with the start of expanded evening service.

For more information on the proposed route changes, visit The Jule's website:


The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for Gypsy

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The Grand Opera House will present Gypsy, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Arthur Laurents, suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. Performances are on July 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 2017 at 7:30PM and July 23 and 30, 2017 at 2:00PM. 

Loosely based on the memoirs of the queen of burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy is the ultimate story about an aggressive stage mother. Hits include Let Me Entertain You, If Momma was Married, All I Need Is the Girl, Everything's Coming up Roses, You Gotta Have a Gimmick and Together Wherever We Go.

Director is Joe Klinebriel, Music Director is Kristen Eby, and Choreographer is Megan MacLeod.

1:00 PM Saturday, April 22, 2017
1:00 PM Sunday, April 23, 2017

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

Seeking Actors, Singers and Dancers.

Actors wishing to audition but are unavailable to arrive at the start of the audition time should call the Grand Opera House business office at 563-588-4356 to give an approximate arrival time. Rehearsals will begin approximately June 1st. Those auditioning should be prepared to list all conflicts or potential conflicts between June 1 and July 30. Availability for evening dress rehearsals July 17-20 and all performances is mandatory. Rehearsals will typically run from 6:30-9:30.

Adult actors should prepare 32 bars of a musical theatre selection in the style of the show that best shows their vocal range. Young actors (ages 7-12) should be prepared to sing any song of their choice. Please bring sheet music; an accompanist will be provided. Actors will be asked to read non character specific scenes from the script. All auditioning should be prepared to participate in a dance/movement audition.