Area Tidbits

Winter Iowa Games Adds Iowa City Events

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AMES, Iowa - Iowa Games CEO/Executive Director and Hawkeye legend Chuck Long announced the Winter Iowa Games presented by Grinnell Mutual will be hosting five sports at the University of Iowa Field House in February 2018.

"We are excited to be hosting events in Iowa City this year," commented Long. "This is a great opportunity to connect Iowans with a wonderful community through competition in the Winter Iowa Games."

The 2018 Winter Iowa Games will feature 25 sports throughout January and February, with the majority of sports hosted in Dubuque, January 26-28. Following the main weekend, Cedar Rapids will host events February 10-11, followed by Iowa City, February 17-18.

Over the course of 6 weeks, athletes from across the state will compete in events in 16 Iowa communities.

Dubuque sports: alpine ski racing, youth basketball, cross country skiing, fitness walk, youth ice hockey, indoor soccer, martial arts, pickleball, swimming, table tennis, 5K road race, youth volleyball and zumba

Cedar Rapids sports: adult ice hockey and figure skating

Iowa City sports: adult basketball, dodgeball, spikeball, adult volleyball and wheelchair basketball

Other sports in the Winter Iowa Games include: archery NASP & 3D, fat bike race, horseshoes, indoor paddling, indoor triathlon, snowshoeing and trapshooting

For more information and online registration, visit www.iowagames.org.

 

The Avery Foundation Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement to prove we can make a difference

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The Avery Foundation has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. The Avery Foundation, with care and concern for families and patients dealing with treatments for cancer, want to help with the stress of those struggling with the added costs of travel, meals, and lodging.

Occurring this year on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

The Avery Foundation is participating with Facebook and with matching funds from the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation to raise monies on Giving Tuesday November 28th. The funds raised will be used to help with the applications that are coming in now. The more funds we raise the more people we can help. Donate at: https://www.facebook.com/AveryFndtn/

The Avery Foundation has begun accepting applications from tri-state-area cancer patients and their families for assistance with the costs of travel, fuel, lodging and meals related to cancer treatment. The grants also are for patients who live in the surrounding communities who have to travel to Dubuque for treatments. The foundation was established in September of 2017 in memory of well-known local artist Jim Avery and his sister, Julie. Jim died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 59. His sister Julie passed away thirty-five years ago at the age of 21. Applications are available at www.averyfndtn.org.

To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:
Website: www.givingtuesday.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday

 

Avery Now Accepting Grant Applications

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Avery Foundation raising funds to help Tri-State cancer patients and their families.

On November 1, 2017, the Avery Foundation began accepting applications from Tri-State area cancer patients and their families for assistance to help offset the costs of travel - fuel, lodging and meals - related to cancer treatment that local residents experience in order to obtain care in places like Iowa City, Madison, or Rochester. The grants are also for patients that live in the surrounding communities of Dubuque that have to travel into Dubuque for treatments. Applications are available on the Foundation's website, www.AveryFndtn.org

The Avery Foundation was organized in the summer of 2017 and, after successful fundraising events this fall, has established a strong financial foundation in order to begin fulfilling its mission of supporting patients and their families with the costs related to travel to distant cancer centers. In September, the Avery Foundation hosted the Founders' Ball and Gala at the Convivium Urban Farmstead on Jackson St. in Dubuque. In October, Convivium was the site of a bluegrass night.

Ronald J. Avery, founder, president, and CEO, of the Avery Foundation said "we are incredibly excited to begin the next chapter of the Avery Foundation! We are very grateful for the support of the Tri-State community in our initial fundraising efforts that has allowed us to translate those successful events into serving our mission and helping people. We also appreciate the support of our business partners: Hy-Vee, 7G Distributing, The Telegraph Herald, Radio Dubuque, Premier Bank, Runde Auto Group and Prairie Farms Dairy, who have made this possible."

The Foundation is in honor of the late James and Julie Avery, brother and sister to Ronald. James died of cancer in 2015 and Julie died of cancer in 1982.

Avery Foundation's mission:
With care and concern for families and patients dealing with treatments for cancer; we want to help with the stress of those struggling with the added cost of travel, meals and lodging.

 

RIVERVIEW CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Riverview Center is excited to share that Joey Taylor will serve as the agency's new Executive Director. Ms. Taylor was selected through a regional search for qualified candidates following Carrie Melton's acceptance of the Executive Director position at April House in Illinois.

"The Riverview Center Board is pleased and excited to have Joey Taylor accept the position of Executive Director," said Mary Weck, Board President. "Her passion and commitment to the mission of Riverview, along with her experience in fundraising, marketing and public relations will be a great asset to the organization."

Joey Taylor joins Riverview Center's team with over 15 years of leadership experience in the Dubuque community. Her extensive nonprofit and social service experience includes fundraising, marketing, and public relations. She worked for Hospice of Dubuque as the Director of Development and Public Relations, Dubuque Racing Association as Community Relations Director, and United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States as President /CEO. Her accolades include the Girls Scouts - 2014 Wonder Woman of the Tri-States, American Red Cross Volunteer of the Year in 2014, Telegraph Herald People Who Make A Difference in 2013 and the Telegraph Herald Rising Star Award in 2012.

"I am honored to be working with such a compassionate and dedicated group of individuals," said Joey Taylor. "The Riverview Center staff and volunteers make a remarkable difference in the lives of so many throughout the communities we serve and I look forward to being a part of the important work being done every day."

For the past twenty five years, Riverview Center has proudly provided the healing and justice that survivors of sexual violence deserve, free of charge. We are a nonprofit agency committed to providing free, confidential, compassionate, client-centered care for individuals affected by sexual violence in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Jones, Linn, and Winneshiek Counties in Iowa; and for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence in Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties in Illinois. Riverview Center envisions a world free of sexual and domestic violence by providing access to inclusive services and actively working to end oppression through social change and justice.

FREE & CONFIDENTIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES

24-HOUR SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINES:
IOWA (888) 557.0310
JO DAVIESS COUNTY (815) 707-8155
CARROLL COUNTY (815) 244-7772

24-HOUR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINES:
JO DAVIESS COUNTY (815) 777-3680
CARROLL COUNTY (815) 244-1320

 

How to manage cooking for a crowd

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Hosting family and friends for special occasions requires a lot of hosts, who must prepare their homes for guests or find establishments capable of catering to large parties. For hosts inviting people into their homes, the task of preparing homemade meals adds to their list of responsibilities.

Cooking for a crowd can be rewarding. Hosts can see the fruits of their labors on the faces of their satisfied guests, and few things make guests feel more welcome than a homecooked meal. Managing such a large undertaking can be difficult, but there are ways to simplify cooking for a crowd.

• Do the math beforehand. Hosts who are preparing a favorite recipe but on a much grander scale than they're accustomed to should take some time in advance of the big day to determine the equivalent amounts of each ingredient they will need. Write the recipe down and mark it as "serves 25" or however many guests you're inviting, storing it away so you won't have to break out the calculator the next time you host. Once you have figured out the equivalent volumes, check the cupboard to ensure you have enough of each ingredient to prepare the meal.

• Serve something familiar. One of the joys of cooking is experimenting with new cuisine. However, when cooking for a crowd, hosts might want to stick to a dish they have prepared in the past. That familiarity can make cooks feel more comfortable and relaxed when the cooking commences. In addition, cooks may rest easier knowing they're about to serve a dish they have perfected as opposed to something they have never before tried.

• Start prep work early. Begin prep work as early as possible. Depending on the dish being prepared, it might be hard to get too much done more than a day in advance of the festivities. But even removing small tasks from the docket can save cooks time come the big day. If possible, pour out ingredients in the adjusted increments in advance of the big day. Though it seems like a simple task, stopping to pour out each individual ingredient come the big day can take a substantial amount of time.

• Share the responsibilities. Hosts can make their tasks more manageable by sharing the responsibilities of hosting. For example, hosts who are handling the cooking should not also feel responsible to clean their homes. Enlist a spouse, child or even a loved one attending the festivities to handle the chores you don't have time for. By sharing the responsibilities, hosts will ensure no one person is overwhelmed and party prep will go that much faster.

Cooking for a crowd can be exhausting. But hosts can employ several strategies to simplify the process of preparing a large meal for many people.

 

Celebrate Thanksgiving with foods from the first feast

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Thanksgiving is celebrated each November in the United States. People traditionally gather around the dinner table flanked by friends and extended members of their families to give thanks for the blessings they enjoyed throughout the year as they dig into a delicious feast.

Turkey is typically the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal. Although turkey can be a delicious and nutritious addition to the table, individuals looking to expand their culinary horizons may want to borrow from the other foods believed to have been shared among the Plymouth Colony Pilgrims and Wampanoag natives during the 1621 feast that inspired Thanksgiving.

Waterfowl
Wild turkey were available in abundance in the New World, but historians believe that, during the first Thanksgiving meal, participants likely feasted on waterfowl instead of turkey. In fact, turkey wasn't common Thanksgiving fare until after 1800. Waterfowl, according to National Geographic, includes ducks, mallards, swans, and geese. Those looking to experiment can take a break from turkey and make duck the centerpiece of their meals this Thanksgiving.

Seafood
Plymouth, Massachusetts, is located where Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet. As a result, indigenous people and the pilgrims likely relied on the bounties afforded by the ocean for their sustenance. Documentation of the first Thanksgiving by pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow indicates lobster, fish and clams were likely served. People who enjoy seafood or those who prefer to abstain from meat or poultry can embrace seafood at their Thanksgiving gathering.

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits native to the region where the first Thanksgiving took place included blueberries, plums, grapes, gooseberries, raspberries, and cranberries. Cranberry sauce was an unlikely menu option because sugar that traveled over on the Mayflower was probably depleted by November 1621, according to History.com. Also, cooks didn't begin boiling cranberries with sugar until about 50 years later. To recreate the first Thanksgiving, enjoy raw fruit as a tasty dessert, which can be healthier than sugar-laden sauces.

Vegetables to enjoy include onions, beans, spinach, cabbage, carrots, and corn. Corn was likely turned into cornmeal and pounded into a thick corn porridge. Experimenting with a cornmeal recipe can liven up this year's festivities.

Turnips
Plant roots found in 1621 included parsnips and turnips, and not the popular potatoes that often accompany turkey at modern Thanksgiving gatherings. The potato was not yet popular enough among the English to warrant space on the Mayflower as it made its way to present-day North America. Purées of parsnips and turnips can be delectable on their own or used as a basis for a Thanksgiving soup.

Pumpkin custard
Although pumpkins and other gourds were available in the New World, baking was not yet popularized because of the lack of wheat flour. Instead, it is possible pilgrims would hollow out gourds, add spices with milk and honey, and then roll the gourds in hot flames to form a sort of custard. Home cooks can replicate a pumpkin custard in their kitchens and serve it in lieu of pumpkin pie.

Borrowing foods from the first Thanksgiving can expand menu possibilities this November.

 

Attract Birds to your Yard

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Many people enjoy watching birds, especially during the winter months when we're inside the house more often. If you're looking to attract birds to your yard, perhaps viewing them through your windows, a combination of the right feeders, food, suet and bird houses will help create the desired impact.

• FEEDER SIZE - Select a feeder that has a good size capacity and provides an ample supply of food. If you can't settle for one, buy multiple feeders so the birds will be well set in the wintertime.

• COVERED AREA - Birds like to have cover and shelter. Place feeders near cover such as dense evergreens to provide birds shelter from storms and from predators.

• CHOOSE WISELY - Place a black oil sunflower mix that contains a high proportion of black oil sunflower in the feeder. This type of mix is better for the birds because it contains a high fat and protein content. Birds need more energy to keep warm in the wintertime.

• KEEP THEM WELL FED - Provide an all-you-can-eat buffet for the birds by keeping the feeder full. Typically, birds come to the feeder early in the morning to refuel after a cold night and at the end of the day to stock up on necessary calories.

• ADD SUET - If you want to attract some woodpeckers or nuthatches, add some suet to your feeder. Suet is a high calorie fat that is heated and cooled to form suet cakes. The cakes often include sunflowers, berries, fruit, and nuts. Not only is suet high in fat and protein, but it can be enjoyed by birds in the winter and summer. Some suet cakes are melt-resistant which allow birds to enjoy suet any time of the year.

• FILL OFTEN - Do not stop filling your feeder in the middle of winter. Birds become accustomed to using your feeders as a food source so you cannot stop feeding. During severe weather, birds depend on your feeder. If you are unable to fill your feeder, ask a neighbor or friend for help.

• CHECK IN - Shovel snow off and around the feeder after winter snowstorms. Birds are unable to access the food from the feeder or the fallen seed on the ground after it snows.

Courtesy of Menards®

 

Coping with fewer hours of daylight

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Daylight saving time comes to an end each fall, at a time when the hours of available sunlight already are beginning to decline. 

Some people are more accustomed to darkness than others. Norwegians, Swedes and people living in Alaska and the upper reaches of Canada near or above the Arctic Circle may go through a period when winters can be especially dark.

Fairbanks, Alaska, gets just three hours and 42 minutes of sunlight on the winter solstice. Those in Barrow, Alaska, will endure a period of 67 days of darkness, according to Alaska.org. Residents of Seattle, which is even further north than cities such as Fargo, North Dakota, or Portland, Maine, deal with more darkness than those living outside the city may know.

Although much of the rest of North America doesn't experience such profound periods of darkness, when the darkness of fall and winter arrives, it can be difficult to maintain a positive outlook. Borrowing some of the coping mechanisms relied on in northern latitudes can help many people to see the dark in a different light.

• Be aware of SAD. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons, beginning and ending at about the same times each year. Symptoms tend to start in the fall and continue into the winter, sapping energy and making a person feel moody. As with other types of depression, SAD can get worse and lead to severe problems if left untreated. Light treatment, talk therapy and medication can help people who are susceptible to SAD.

• Make daylight hours count. Spend time outdoors while the sun is bright in the sky. Make an effort to switch your schedule if work interferes with getting outdoors, even if all that can be managed is an outdoor walk at lunch. Sit by a bright window and soak up rays whenever possible.

• Celebrate winter activities. Go skiing, snowboarding, outdoor ice skating, or snowshoeing. Look forward to winter for what can be done, rather than what can't.

• Socialize more often. Instead of holing up indoors alone, frequent the places that become indoor gathering spots for locals. These can include coffee houses, breweries, restaurants, or even the local church. Plan more social occasions with friends and families so everyone can collectively shoo away the winter blues.

• Exercise more. Use the darker hours as an excuse to exercise more, be it at the gym or outside. The Mayo Clinic says that exercise and other types of physical activity can relieve anxiety and depression, lifting an individual's mood as a result.

• Light a fire. Set the kindling ablaze in a fire pit, fireplace or woodburning stove, or just light a handful of candles. Flames can be soothing and less harsh on the eyes than artificial light.

Fall and winter darkness does not have to send a person into the doldrums if he or she embraces the right attitude.

 

How hosts can avoid alcohol-related incidents

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Holiday Tags Available for Solid Waste Collection Customers

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The City of Dubuque is continuing its annual distribution of a complimentary "holiday tag" for extra garbage to its solid waste collection customers. The tags will be available until Jan. 3, 2018.

Customers requesting a holiday tag will need to present the original top portion of their November 2017 utility bills, which have holiday tag information printed on them. Renters in housing units where the owner pays the City utility bill will need to request a holiday tag from the owner or property manager. Paperless billing customers requesting a holiday tag do not need to print their bill; however, verification of paperless billing status will be confirmed by City staff at the time of request.

Customers may pick up their holiday tag during normal business hours at the following locations:

Municipal Services Center, 925 Kerper Ct.

Utility Billing office, first floor of City Hall at 13th & Central

Housing and Community Development office, third floor of the Historic Federal Building, 350 W. Sixth St.

Leisure Services Department office, 2200 Bunker Hill Rd.

Multicultural Family Center, 1157 Central Ave.

The holiday tags may be used for refuse on any collection day in the future. For additional information, please contact the Utility Billing Department at (563) 589-4144.

 

How to host an eco-conscious holiday event

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Many families anticipate holiday gatherings for months. Such gatherings bring together friends and family members who may not see one another much throughout the year. 

Food tends to be plentiful at holiday gatherings, so it should come as no surprise that the holiday season generates a good deal of waste. In addition, energy consumption is high during the holiday season.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency says household waste generally increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day - equalling about 1 million extra tons of waste. The Worldwatch Institute states that the same period of time generates three times as much food waste as other times of the year.

Making the holiday season more sustainable does not mean families must give up their cherished traditions. Here are several tips to help make your holiday celebrations a bit more eco-friendly.

• Cut down on packaging. When shopping, seek items that are minimally packaged or shop at retailers that offer package-free products. Packaging accounts for a considerable portion of the trash that ends up in landfills. Shopping at local stores and craft fairs can help you avoid too much plastic packaging. 

• Decorate with efficient products. Making a home look festive is part of many families' holiday celebrations. Opt for LED holiday lights, which last longer and use a fraction of the energy of traditional lights. Use soy or beeswax candles and incorporate as many natural items, such as fresh evergreen boughs, branches and berries, as you can find in your decorations.

• Shop smart. Shop at food stores that stock local products so foods do not have to travel great distances to reach your table. Take advantage of local farm stands and other vendors that pop up in the autumn. Remember to bring reusable shopping bags with you on any shopping excursions so you can reduce your reliance on paper and plastic bags.

• Reduce food waste. People often cook extra food for the holidays out of fear of not having enough for guests. But leftovers often end up going to waste. Use planners to determine how much food to cook for the number of guests you will be having. Keep portion sizes healthy by selecting smaller dinner plates and providing foods that are hearty and will fill guests quickly, such as rich proteins and complex carbohydrates. When the meal is done, promptly wrap up leftovers so they don't spoil.

• Use reusable dishes. Avoid paper and plastic dishes, instead opting for ones that can be used again and again. Take out your fine china or a festively patterned service set to use. Keep the dishwasher empty so that you can load it up with dirty dishes and run a full load to save even more energy.

• Reuse gift wrapping and accessories. Save wrapping paper and other decorative paper products to use as gift wrap at a later date. Keep a container full of bows and ribbons that are still in good condition as well. Gift bags can often be used several times before they begin to exhibit signs of wear and tear.

 

Changing Furnace Filters

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During the upcoming months, changing your furnace filters regularly will be extremely important in keeping the air in your home healthy, fresh and safe. During colder periods of time when you are inside more often, it's especially important to inspect & change your furnace filter every few weeks.

• As your filter collects various bits of dust, pet dander, pollen, etc., it starts to get clogged. Over time, the clog can build up and make it much more difficult for air to pass through. This causes the blower to work harder to force warm air in to your home, increasing your energy bill and eventually causing the blower motor to overheat and burn out.

• Also, the reduction in airflow means it will take longer to heat your home. If the filters get too stopped up and your airflow gets too bad, there's a chance many rooms further away from the HVAC system won't get any warm air at all! Essentially, this means higher heating costs to you.

• In addition, if you don't replace your filter often enough, anyone living in your home with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems may find their symptoms aggravated when the air is not effectively cleansed.

• Changing your furnace filters regularly is the best thing you can do to ensure proper furnace operation all winter long. Filters work to clean debris and dust from the air, resulting in better indoor air quality.

There are several different types of filters that are used today depending on what type of system you have. Selecting a filter that fits your home's lifestyle has never been easier. Write the date on the filter when you install it so you can easily do an inspection in the weeks ahead. Simple to change and benefits galore!

Courtesy of Menards®

 

IS IT MEDICARE OR MEDICAID?

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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

A lot of people have a difficult time understanding the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Both programs begin with the letter "M." They're both health insurance programs run by the government. People often ask questions about what Medicare and Medicaid are, what services they cover, and who administers the programs.

Let's start with Medicare. Medicare is the national healthcare program for those aged 65 or older and the disabled. You pay for some Medicare expenses by paying the Medicare tax while you work. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of both Medicare and Medicaid, but you sign up for Medicare A (Hospital) and Medicare B (Medical) through Social Security.

You can apply for Medicare online from the convenience of your home at the link on our website: www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/. If you're already receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 65 or are in the 25th month of receiving disability checks, we will enroll you automatically.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug) plans are available for purchase in the insurance marketplace. Social Security administers a program called Extra Help to help people with low income and low resources pay for premiums, co-pays, and co-insurance costs for Part D plans. You can find out more about Extra Help and file for it at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp. Each year, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publishes Medicare and You available online at their website at www.medicare.gov/medicare-and-you/medicare-and-you.html. This publication is a user's manual for Medicare.

Each state runs its own Medicaid program under guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicaid offers care for the most vulnerable among us. While it does not require paying taxes while working, it does have guidelines about how much income and resources you can have to qualify. Medicaid provides coverage for older people, people with disabilities, and some families with children. Each state has its own eligibility rules and decides which services to cover. The names of the Medicaid program may vary from state to state. You can read about each state's Medicaid program at www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/by-state/by-state.html. You can find each state's Medicaid contact information at www.medicaid.gov/about-us/contact-us/contact-state-page.html.

Medicare and Medicaid are two of the major insurance programs that provide healthcare to the American public. Understanding each program, as well as how the two programs differ, can help you and those you care about find the right healthcare program.

 

How to help veterans in need

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Millions of men and women serve in the military and make the sacrifices that such service requires. Risking their lives to serve their countries, veterans sometimes endure mental and physical trauma, returning home to face uphill battles as they deal with their injuries.

Many veterans in need are not just in need of medical attention. Learning that their efforts and sacrifices are recognized and appreciated by the ordinary citizens they protect can make a world of difference to veterans as they recover from their injuries. Men, women and children who want to help veterans in need can do so in various ways.

• Visit a veterans hospital. Contact a local veterans' hospital to inquire about their volunteer programs. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes that each year more than 75,000 volunteers spend more than 11 million hours in service to America's veterans. Visiting veterans at the hospital to hear their stories can lift their spirits and aid in their recoveries. In addition, veterans' hospitals may have volunteer opportunities that make it easier for hospitals to operate at optimal capacity.

• Help a neighbor. Unfortunately, many veterans return home with injuries that affect their ability to make it through a typical day without assistance. Disabled veterans may be unable to do their own grocery shopping or maintain their homes. If a neighbor or nearby veteran is facing such hurdles, offer to do his or her shopping or mow his or her lawn. Such tasks won't take much time but can make a world of difference to veterans.

• Offer professional services free of charge. Professionals who want to help veterans can offer their services free of charge. Accountants can offer to prepare veterans' tax returns for free, while attorneys can provide legal advice to veterans who need it. Contractors can help disabled veterans by offering to make alterations to their homes for free or at cost.

• Employ social media to help local veterans. Many people who want to help local veterans might not be able to do so more than one day per week. But some veterans may require daily assistance. Men and women can start a locally-based Facebook group for fellow members of their community who want to pitch in to help local veterans. Such a group can make it easier to share information and arrange help for veterans in need.

Many veterans return home from serving overseas in need of help. Offering such help can improve veterans' lives while letting them know their efforts and sacrifices are appreciated.

 

Memorial gifts honor loved ones

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The loss of a friend or loved one is seldom easy, particularly if a person had been suffering from an illness. Close friends and family honor the memories of their deceased loved ones in different ways. Charitable giving can be a great way to honor a loved one's memory while helping others.

Survivors often find comfort in the knowledge that they can do good in the name of a loved one. Tributes or memorial gifts can be approached in different ways and serve as an ongoing reminder of a deceased loved one.

Create a charitable foundation
Those who have the time and resources can establish their own charitable groups in the decedent's name. This method of charity requires the most time and effort, but can prove to be quite an impactful memorial. Individuals who would like to go this route can consult with financial and tax professionals about the best way to establish a charitable group.

Community foundation
Families can focus on something their loved one cared deeply about, such as animal rescue, children, the arts, or even particular places in a community - such as a local park. According to CarePages, a company that produces free patient websites and offers community support for those coping with illness, families can choose to have their donations funneled to specific charities or nonprofit groups. Otherwise, funds can be allocated to a third party community fund that will distribute money to various organizations no matter where they are located.

Medical tribute
Memorial gifts that assist medical associations or groups working to find cures or offer treatments for diseases are quite popular. If a loved one passed away due to a specific illness, it is common to ask for donations to a specific organization that specializes in information and services pertaining to that illness. Many such groups have a "donate in memory" option on their websites. Oftentimes families are notified regarding who made memorial donations in their loved ones' names, but the amount of the donation need not be revealed.

Personal intentions
Those who would like to make a donation but cannot think of a charity to associate with their deceased loved one have a host of options at their disposal. Consider donating to a school or library, requesting materials be purchased in the decedent's name. Otherwise, donate to a general scholarship fund, possibly at the decedent's alma mater.

Finish their work
If the decedent was engaged in a charitable project prior to their death, volunteer to help complete that project.

Giving back after the death of a loved one is a great way to keep the memory of that person alive.

 

The steps involved in securing wedding venues, licenses

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Getting married is an exciting time in a couple's life together. Wedding planning is the next logical step after the engagement announcement, and while couples often get swept up in planning their dream parties, it's important to note that ultimately the ceremony is the star of the day.

Before booking a wedding reception venue or getting one's heart set on a particular date, couples need to secure their ceremony sites as well as apply for a marriage license. In some instances, ceremonies are held at the same site as the wedding reception, while some couples choose to tie the knot in their church or synagogue. Each of these types of ceremonies will be governed by the schedule of the house of worship or civil site.

Finding a venue
Once couples choose a wedding date, it is a good idea for them to visit their ceremony site of choice to check the calendar. It helps to have some flexibility in the wedding date in case the first choice is unavailable. Although summer weddings used to be the most popular, today's couples are tying the knot more often in September and October than other times of year.

Even though a couple's wedding is special and unique to them, ceremony locations handle hundreds of weddings. Couples must recognize that competition for certain venues may be steep, so it helps to keep more than one venue in mind when planning a wedding.

Getting a marriage license
While laws may vary from state to state within the United States, getting a marriage license generally involves filling out the application and paying a fee at the county clerk's office. Both applicants are typically required to bring identification, such as a driver's license, passport or birth certificate. There may be a waiting period between submitting the application and the license being issued. Couples can pick up the license or have it mailed to them.
Canadian requirements vary by province. For example, in Ontario, applicants need to be at least 16 years old to marry and must show two forms of government-supplied identification to apply. The license is valid for 90 days from when it is issued.

A marriage license is not the same thing as a marriage certificate. The marriage certificate typically becomes available after the ceremony has taken place and the witnesses and officiant have signed off on the preceedings.
Getting married is a multistep process that begins with determining where the ceremony will take place and acquiring a marriage license. With these items in check, couples can focus on creating memorable wedding days.

 

13 FEARLESS THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

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While many of us look forward to Friday, with its end-of-the-workweek designation and our weekend plans, certain cultures consider it an unlucky day. Some people, suffering from triskaidekaphobia, are truly terrified of the number 13. Combine the two factors and it's not surprising that many believe that Friday the 13th is a frightening day.
While superstitions play an important part in the Friday the 13th jitters, we offer a different approach to this "unlucky" day with 13 fearless things to know about your Social Security number and card.

1. Your Social Security number is your link to Retirement or Disability benefits since we use it to record your wages and earnings.

2. There is no charge to obtain a Social Security number and card. This service is free.

3. We keep your records confidential and don't disclose your number to anyone, except when the law requires, or when your information connects you with other government health or social services programs. 

4. To prevent identity theft, keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and be careful about sharing your number. If asked for your number, find out why your number is needed, how it will be used, and what happens if you refuse to provide it.

5. While you need a Social Security number to get a job or for other services, you often don't need to show your Social Security card. Many organizations can verify your Social Security number directly with us. 

6. If your Social Security card is lost, you can replace it up to three times a year with a lifetime limit of 10 replacement cards. Legal name changes and other exceptions will not count toward these limits.

7. You can request a replacement Social Security card with the ease and convenience of our online services if you have a my Social Security account and meet our qualifications. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

8. If you suspect someone is using your number for work purposes, contact us to report the problem so we can review your earnings and verify that our records are correct. You also may view your annual earnings by accessing your Social Security Statement, one of the many services available with a my Social Security account.

9. If you suspect someone is misusing your number to create credit or other problems for you, report the identify theft with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.identitytheft.gov or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT. We also recommend that you contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if fraudulent tax refunds or reporting is involved, quickly file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov, and monitor your credit reports.

10. The nine-digit Social Security number was initiated in 1936 for tracking workers' earnings over the course of their lifetimes for benefits, not with the intent of personal identification. Since 1936, we have issued over 30 different versions of the Social Security number card.

11. Until June 2011, the first three digits of a Social Security number were determined by the geographical region in which the person lived. Numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moving westward. Residents on the east coast often have lower numbers than those on the west coast. Any number beginning with 000 will never be a valid Social Security number.

12. Beginning in June 2011, we assigned Social Security numbers randomly, which protects the integrity of the Social Security number, eliminates the geographical significance of the first three digits of the Social Security number, and extends the longevity of the nine-digit Social Security number.

13. Since November 1936, we have issued 453.7 million different numbers and there are approximately 420 million numbers available for future assignments. We assign about 5.5 million new numbers a year.

Fear not, if you properly protect your Social Security number and card. Information about applying for a Social Security card, name changes, identity theft, and other answers to frequently asked questions is available at www.socialsecurity.gov, or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

 

Home Security

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With the holidays coming up and gifts accumulating in the house, it's more important than ever to make sure your home is secure. Here are a few tips to keep your house safe and sound – at any time of year.

Get to know your neighbors.
One of the best security measures you can take is to get to know your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out for strangers around your house.

Install a home security system.
The research shows that homes without a security system are three times more likely to be broken into than homes with one. Home security systems obviously deter would-be thieves by bringing audible attention to their break-in attempts. They also automatically dispatch the police to your home. Besides monitoring for breaches, many security companies also offer fire and carbon monoxide detection, as well as features that allow you to control your home's lighting and appliances while you're away.

Keep the outside of your house in tip-top shape.
Regular home maintenance and upkeep serves two purposes. First, it keeps your home looking like it's occupied. An un-mowed yard could be a signal that no one is home. Second, you want to keep shrubs and trees trimmed and pruned to eliminate any possible hiding places for potential bad guys.

Watch what you've thrown out in the trash.
One way bad guys will "window shop" your house is to check for any big cardboard boxes for appliances sitting on your curb. If you make any significant purchase, make sure to cut up the cardboard box it came in so it can fit in a trash bag or a recyclables container. Also, before you throw away any bills or bank statements, shred them to stave off identity theft.

Always lock your doors and windows.
Sure, they can be easily picked or bypassed, but remember, 30% of all burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window. While locks aren't foolproof, they do make breaking into your home a little more time consuming, and thus less desirable for a bad guy.

Courtesy of Menards®

 

Winterize Your Home

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Now is the time to prepare your home for winter. A few simple suggestions will help you save energy while decreasing your utility bills.

Stop Energy Loss with Doors
Insulation strips work great around doors and can be applied easily just like sticky tape to help prevent unnecessary cold air from entering your home. Also makes sense to use a draft guard on the bottom of your door's interior.

Well Insulated Windows
Cracks around window frames are a popular escape point for warm air. Check for weak points around your windows by running the palm of your hand around the edge of the frame. Patch the weak points with some type of sealant by squirting it on and smoothing it over.

Consider Double Pane
It might be worth investing in double pane windows if you haven't already. This could save you hundreds of dollar on your utility bill.

Use Window Coverings
Closing blinds or curtains after dark traps in the warm air and prevents drafts, especially if they have thermal backing for added warmth retention. Shrink wrapping your windows will also help retain warmth.

Fill Floor Gaps
Most homes have gaps between the skirting board and the floor, and if you have floorboards there's likely to be a few gaps between them too. Silicone sealer works great to fill the gaps, and putting a rug down isn't a bad idea either.

Insulate the Attic
One of the most efficient energy savings options is to make sure your attic or loft is well-insulated. There are a variety of insulation options available for your home or garage.

Cover Cold Walls
If you have a concrete wall in your home with no or bad insulation, it's a good idea to add insulation and cover with plasterboards or sheetrock.

More Tips:

• Run ceiling fans in reverse

• Shut off your outside water source

• Flush out your irrigation system

• Give your heating system a tune-up

• Insulate pipes & seal ducts

Courtesy of Menards®

 

Gutter Maintenance

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One of the least enjoyable tasks on your property is to clean the gutters. No one likes to do it, but gutter maintenance is a chore that must be done to clean the leaves and debris and allow water to flow freely away from the roof and siding.

Clean the downspouts
You can use a hose to rinse the gutters and send water through the downspouts. You may need to use a chimney or pipe-cleaning brush to further clear the downspouts. Rake up and remove any debris that you remove from the spouts and gutters.

Install leaf guards on the gutters.
A growing trend to prevent more falling leaves from accumulating and undoing your hard work is to install leaf guards on the gutters. They are relatively inexpensive and can be installed easily without professional help depending on the size and height of the task at hand.

Inspect your gutters.
Be sure to seal any small cracks in your gutters with a sealant or strong adhesive. If you have steel gutters, be sure to check for any exposed metal as bare metal tends to rust faster. Paint over any exposed areas as a rusted gutter will likely need replacing.

Trim branches.
Trim back any branches from the gutters or that might be touching your roof. Trees and branches grow over the summer months and can be directly over your troughs.

General debris
When the wind blows, the leaves and seeds are falling straight into the gutters and clogging them up, but also expect that all sorts of debris could work their way into your gutters depending on where your property is located.

Taking care of your gutters each spring and fall by cleaning them out is a decision that will help pay dividends down the road plus make your property look better. Additional accumulation of debris, leaves, sticks and dirt will eventually lead to damaging or discoloring your roof or siding.

Courtesy of Menards®

 

Forensics unravel mysterious eagle deaths

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Wildlife sleuths used forensic science to determine what was killing bald eagles along the Upper Mississippi River corridor. Laboratory tests showed that nearly two-thirds of the 58 eagles examined had lead concentrations and more than one-third had clinical lead poisoning. The lab results deepened the mystery of how these meat eating predators could have been exposed to lead.

Bald eagles live in our area year round with several nesting pairs, especially within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge. Hundreds of eagles gather in winter along the Mississippi River corridor, particularly along the Lock & Dam 13 shoreline where they feed on the sushi buffet floating in the dam's tailwaters.

Eagles die of many causes. Refuge staff collect dead eagles and send them to the National Eagle Repository in Denver that distributes eagle feathers to Native American tribes for religious and cultural ceremonies.

In January 2012, Refuge biologists began investigation into the causes of death for 58 bald eagles. Many eagles appeared healthy externally, however, internal examination unraveled the trail of death for some.
Livers were analyzed at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center. Liver lead levels showed that many eagles had ingested lead in amounts many times over the clinical lethal concentration. An eagle's digestive acids dissolve the lead and it is absorbed like calcium that results in health problems including muscle paralysis, blindness, and inability to fly. Depending upon the lead dosage, eagles will die within days or will persevere until starvation.

X-rays showed that lead fragments were present in several eagle's digestive tracts. Lead ammunition fragments were recovered and identified as shotgun pellets and slugs, .22 caliber bullets, and muzzleloader bullets.

Lead ammunition is used by many hunters for big and small game. Lead is a soft metal that fragments upon impact. This fragmentation often pierces multiple organs and results in a quick humane kill of wild game.

Deer hunting is popular in our area. Harvest reports show that counties bordering the Mississippi River often have the highest number of deer killed because of the quality deer habitat. Tens of thousands of deer are harvested annually along the river corridor.

The largest concentration of bald eagles in our area occurs during the deer hunting season. Eagles have learned that deer gut piles discarded in the field are an important source of protein and an easy meal. Refuge researchers documented that eagles quickly found deer gut piles and multiple bald eagles would feed on a single gut pile for several days. 

Deer gut piles were subsequently collected from 25 hunters and x-rayed. Over one-third of the gut piles contained lead fragments with over 100 fragments in a single pile. Laboratory tests show that just over one grain of lead (a fragment smaller than a grain of rice) will kill a bald eagle, if ingested. A standard one ounce 12 gauge shotgun slug contains 437 grains of lead.

The Refuge encourages all hunters, and especially deer hunters, to use lead free ammunition. Lead free ammunition is commercially available with copper being the most popular choice by deer hunters. Copper is a hard metal that expands rather than fragments upon impact often resulting in deeper penetration, greater shock, and a larger blood trail. 

Please help conserve our national symbol and continue the conservation legacy that hunters are known for by switching to lead free ammunition. And please tell others about this tragic story of lead exposure in bald eagles. 

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge was established in 1924. The refuge contains 240,000 acres and extends 261 miles along the Upper Mississippi River from Wabasha, Minn. to Princeton IA., protecting and preserving habitat for migratory birds, fish, and a variety of other wildlife.

 

Patients and Families Focus on Quality of Life with Hospice

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Each day is a gift with Hospice of Dubuque

November is National Hospice Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of hospice care. Since 1983, Hospice of Dubuque has fulfilled a mission of providing compassionate care for the terminally ill and their loved ones in the tri-state area.

Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible. Through this specialized quality care, many patients and families are able to experience more meaningful moments together. The Hospice of Dubuque team works to ensure that families find dignity, support and compassion during life's most difficult journey.

Together we can meet the growing needs of the community by raising awareness of hospice services available to those facing a serious illness. If possible, share your story and advocate for the community's nonprofit hospice with friends and neighbors.

For more information regarding hospice care or advance care planning, please call 563.582.1220 or visit www.hospiceofdubuque.org.

 

Colts announce audition dates & locations for 2018 season

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The Colts are pleased to announce all audition dates and locations for the 2018 season. New this year will be different "tracks" students may pick from depending on their location and what section they are interested in. This has been done with the goal of creating an experience that is accessible to more students. The Colts will use a combination of three-day events and one-day events in multiple locations for auditions and rehearsals this year. The full audition schedule is detailed below. Specific details will be released prior to each event on the Colts website, colts.org. Audition materials will be sent after students fill out an info request at http://colts.org/inforequest.html.

2018 Audition Schedule
November 24 - 26, 2017 | Dubuque, IA (All Sections)?
December 3, 2017 | St. Louis, MO (Brass Only)?
December 10, 2017 | San Antonio, TX (Percussion Only)?
December 10, 2017 | Tampa, FL (Guard Only)
December 16, 2017 | Miami, FL (Brass Only)?
December 17, 2017 | Miami, FL (Guard Only)?
December 29 - 31, 2017 | Dubuque, IA (Brass and Percussion Only)

Recall auditions and rehearsals will continue in January and February for brass in Miami or Dubuque, in January for percussion in San Antonio or Dubuque, and April for color guard in Dubuque. When a student is offered membership in the Colts, attendance at these events is expected. All members will be expected to attend the April 27-29, 2018 rehearsal in Dubuque.

Three-day events typically begin with check-in and unloading at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and conclude around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. One-day events typically start with check-in and unloading at 8:00 a.m. and conclude around 6:00 p.m. The cost for your first audition is $175 (or $125 for returning members), which includes all audition materials and application fees. Each subsequent event you attend is $60. Pay the fees for your first audition in advance and SAVE $25. Pay online at http://store-colts-org.3dcartstores.com/Camp-Fees_c_28.html. The deadline for advance payment is Monday immediately prior to each audition. These fees cover the cost of these rehearsals and do not apply to summer tuition.

You can view our 2018 membership brochure at http://colts.org/documents/ColtsMemberInfo_2018.pdf. This packet contains information about the Colts, the audition process, and the 2018 season. You can view our full preseason schedule at http://colts.org/schedule-preseason.html.

A rehearsal and audition is more than just an audition. You'll fully participate throughout each day and perform at the end as part of the Colts. The events are designed to give you the full drum corps experience. If you need help finding a ride, email colts@colts.org or call the office at 563-582-4872. If you are interested in becoming a member of the 2018 Colts, click the "Join!" button on the top of the home page, and follow the step-by-step instructions. Be sure to RSVP at http://colts.org/rsvp.html as well!

 

Hygienic apple bobbing and other fun autumn game alternatives

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Bobbing for apples is a game that has been around for centuries. An autumn tradition often associated with Halloween and other fall festivals, the concept of bobbing for apples is, according to History.com, rooted more in romance than Halloween trickery.

As a British courting ritual, young ladies and their potential suitors would vie for certain apples to land a potential mate. Eventually, the tradition faded into obscurity. But apple bobbing was reinvented in the Americas when immigrants introduced the game to children and adults during Halloween parties.

Recently, apple bobbing has fallen out of favor again, with parents lamenting the unsanitary conditions and potential spread of germs, not to mention the hazard of drowning. Thankfully, there are various alternatives to apple bobbing that can still make for an exciting Halloween game.

Hanging Apples
Rather than putting apples in a barrel full of water to float, tie strings to the stems. Then hang each individual apple to a clothesline. Without using their hands, participants must eat the majority of the apple of their choosing. Apples can be replaced with other treats, such as doughnuts.

Fishing for Apples
Attach a magnet to an end of string tied to a stick to make a fishing rod of sorts. Cut out paper apples and adhere something metallic to the cut-outs, such as paper clips. Kids take chances fishing out their selections. Each cut-out earns players a prize.

Candy Catch
Participants line up holding a small receptacle, such as a cone-shaped party hat turned upside down or a small plastic pumpkin. While an adult tosses candy into the air, the children try to catch it in their containers.

Apple Toss
As a variation on a beanbag game or ring toss activity, players can aim a plastic apple or pumpkin into a hole or barrel. Red ping pong balls tossed into canning jars or plastic cups can work as well.

Bobbing Twist
Party hosts can still float apples in a bucket of water, having participants bob in a different way. They can try to scoop apples out with a small spoon or two chopsticks. Let imaginations reign supreme while keeping germs out of the apples.

 

Preserve carved pumpkins in various ways

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Jack-o'-lanterns and other carved pumpkin designs are frequently the centerpieces of Halloween festivities. The twinkling lights and orange glow of jack-o'-lanterns can add ambiance to any autumn event. The trouble with carving pumpkins is that most people want to do it right away, only to discover their pumpkins wilt and decay long before Halloween.

Nothing ruins Halloween more than visiting a home to trick-or-treat and not getting candy. Equally disappointing is a sad pumpkin display withering away on a front porch. Even though all pumpkins will eventually rot, certain tips can keep carvings from collapsing too soon.

• Choose a sturdy pumpkin. Inspect the pumpkin of your choosing carefully, looking for gouges, spots and holes. Even a small blemish can quickly expand into a mushy mess. Select pumpkins with even color and firm flesh, and make sure that the pumpkin doesn't feel tender when you push on the skin.

• Visit local pumpkin stands. Pumpkins that have been shipped miles and miles in hot cargo trucks may be overly ripened or battered. Pumpkins that were grown nearby may be fresher. Plus, buying pumpkins locally supports local farmers.

• Scrape the insides of the pumpkin thoroughly. Any moist bits inside the pumpkin will mold quickly. The pumpkin carving experts at Pumpkin Masters recommend scraping as much of the "guts" out as possible, leaving about a one-inch thickness of the wall of the pumpkin.

• Coat the pumpkin. Preservation methods may aim to keep the pumpkin hydrated and inhibit mold and other microbial growth. Commercially sold pumpkin preservation products, such as Pumpkin Fresh®, hold up well. Soaking and spraying carved pumpkins with a bleach-and-water solution also seems to preserve designs.

• Keep it out of the elements. Store carved pumpkins in a cool, dry place. This will help slow down the rotting process for pumpkins exposed to outdoor fungi, other microbes and warm sunlight.

• Use an artificial light source. Reduce the heat inside of the pumpkin and encourage hydration by selecting a battery-powered light instead of a lit candle to illuminate the carving.

• Skip the carving. Once pumpkin skin is compromised, microbes can enter. In lieu of carving, paint or decorate pumpkins in other ways if you want them to stay fresh for a long time. Glow in the dark paint can help pumpkins stand out at night.

Carved pumpkins may last a week or two, while uncut pumpkins can last for a month or more. Keeping pumpkins hydrated and mold-free will prolong your designs.

 

Make it a green winter with these energy-saving tips

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Conserving energy is a great way to protect the planet and save money. While energy bills might be highest in summer thanks to air conditioning units, certain factors around a house can make winter more wasteful and costly than it needs to be.

Energy bills are influenced by a variety of factors, including geography and how energy-efficient a home is. For example, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average monthly utility bill in Connecticut in 2015 was $153.13, while New Mexico residents paid slightly more than half that amount ($79.23) on average.

Homeowners cannot control winter weather, which can greatly affect how much energy homeowners consume between December and March. However, there are other ways for homeowners to curtail their energy consumption and save money throughout winter.

• Address any leaks or drafts. Drafty windows and doorways can make the air inside homes feel warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. As autumn weather grows colder, homeowners can perform simple inspections around windows and doorways to determine if they have any leaks. On a cold and/or windy day, place a hand near all windows and doors to feel if there are any leaks. Use caulk or another type of sealant to address leaks so you can keep cold air out and set your thermostat to a reasonable, eco-friendly temperature.

• Inspect air vents, faucets and plumbing fixtures. Air vents, faucets and plumbing fixtures attached to exterior walls should be inspected for leaks. Such inspections might need to be conducted from outside the home, which can make it more difficult to detect if cold air is entering the home. Look for gaps in the insulation around these areas, filling in those gaps as necessary.

• Inspect heating systems at the start of each new season. According to EnergyStar.gov, heating systems account for 29 percent of the average homeowner's energy expenditures. Inspect your heating or HVAC system before the start of winter, making sure all gas or oil connections are operating properly. EnergyStar.gov notes that dirty burners and cracked heat exchangers can cause heating units to operate less efficiently and may even pose a safety risk. Inspect the air filter of the heating system at least once per month, as filters can quickly become dirty during a heavy-use season like winter. Dirty filters cause the system to work harder to keep a home warm, unnecessarily wasting energy as a result.

• Install a Wi-fi enabled programmable thermostat. Some programmable thermostats can be very difficult to use effectively, making it far too difficult if not impossible for homeowners to set their thermostats for various temperatures in a single day. Wi-fi enabled programmable thermostats that allow homeowners to control their heating and cooling systems via their smartphones can be more user-friendly than many other programmable thermostats, ensuring homeowners are saving money and not wasting energy heating empty homes.

Winter utility bills can be costly, but homeowners can reduce their cold weather energy consumption in various ways without sacrificing comfort.

 

City Seeking Community Input on Future Recreational Space Along Bee Branch Creek

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As part of the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, the City of Dubuque plans to redevelop the former Blum Co. properties located at 411 and 501 E. 15th St. into a flood mitigation maintenance facility that includes space for public use and an outdoor recreational space abutting the reconstructed Bee Branch Creek.

The site operated as a scrap yard and recycling facility for over 50 years and is currently contaminated with hazardous substances which make it unsuitable for redevelopment without environmental remediation. The City secured $200,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants in 2016 and 2017 through the EPA's Brownfields program to clean up the site.

Cleanup activities will begin with removal of asbestos and other contaminated building materials from the current structures before deconstruction or redevelopment. Soil samples will be tested and analyzed in order to create a full remediation plan which may include the removal of contaminated soil or the encapsulation of contaminated soils in an on-site berm. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and a professional environmental consulting firm will oversee the cleanup.

As part of the grant, the City is currently seeking feedback from residents on what types of activities and equipment in the future recreational space they think will best serve the community. Possible concepts could include a community center, climbing equipment, a natural playscape, a bike and scooter playground, an open gathering space, multi-sport court, and outdoor exercise equipment.

The public is invited to vote for their three favorite concepts and/or submit their ideas for the space at www.cityofdubuque.org/beebranchrecspace. Residents can also view the concepts and vote on the first floor of City Hall located at 50 W. 13th Street. The City will gather this initial feedback through December 15, 2017. A second phase of community engagement will be conducted in 2018 which will expand on the results of the data gathered this year.

The Brownfield cleanup process is expected to be completed in 2020. The flood mitigation maintenance facility and recreational space is scheduled to be completed in 2023. To learn more about the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project and the Brownfield cleanup process, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/beebranchbrownfieldcleanup.

 

The Grand Opera House presents It’s A Wonderful Life

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Kick off the Christmas season with this touching holiday Classic. Opening the day after Thankgiving and starting the Season off right, this poignant show is sure to be just the thing to put the whole family in the holiday spirit. Based on the popular Christmas movie directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart, this live stage play is sure to delight diehard fans as well as newcomers to the story.

It's A Wonderful Life has been adapted to the stage by Philip Grecian, who also created the stage adaptation of last year's wildly successful A Christmas Story. It faithfully tells the story of George Bailey's life from the joy of childhood adventures to the lowest point a man can reach. Counseled back to his family by the untested guardian angel (second class) Clarence, and guided by the love of his family and friends, George comes to realize that the true measure of a man's wealth is in the size of his heart - not his wallet. Performed by a cast of local performers, this show is sure to be a heartwarming experience for everyone.

Tickets for It's A Wonderful Life are $20 for Adults and $12 for children under 18 and 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 can also be purchased on our website at www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

Dates and Times:
Friday, November 24th 7:30pm
Saturday, November 25th 7:30pm
Sunday, November 26th 2:00pm
Friday, December 1st 7:30pm
Saturday, December 2nd 7:30pm
Sunday, December 3rd 2:00pm

Group Pricing is available for Groups of over 12 people

 

City Awarded Grant for Eagle Point Park Restoration

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

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

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

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

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

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

REAP has benefited the City of Dubuque greatly since 1997, with over $2.7 million from 14 REAP grants invested in building off-road trails throughout the community and expanding the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Area at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. A complete list of these 14 City REAP Grant Awards for park and recreation projects is available at http://cityofdubuque.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/6781.

 

Winterizing your Vehicle

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There are some simple steps that you can take to get your car ready for winter, many of which are mentioned in your owner's manual. Taking these steps will give you peace of mind while driving during the harsh winter months.

• Changing your oil. Refer to your owner's manual for guidance about which oil to use in different climates and temperatures. Oil tends to thicken as it gets colder, and if it's too thick it won't do the best job of keeping your engine lubricated.

• Replace your windshield wipers. They usually work effectively for about one year, so be sure to invest in some new ones if you're due. Fill up your windshield washer fluid. Apply a windshield treatment to prevent fogging of your windshield.

• Check your battery. This is a good time of year to make sure your battery's posts and connections are corrosion-free and that your battery has all the water it needs. You don't want to be stuck anywhere in the middle of a snowstorm.

• Check your belts and hoses during your next full service inspection. Cold weather can do a number on belts and hoses, so this is extremely important.

• Check your tire pressure. Your tires must be properly inflated to ensure you'll have the best possible traction as you drive on snow and ice. Traction is often severely jeopardized in wet, snowy or icy conditions. Menards carries several air compressors that would be useful to have on hand in the event that you need to fill your tiers up before leaving home or while on the road.

• Prepare and emergency kit for each car in your household. Store this in your trunk so it is always available if you run into trouble.

– Blankets

– Boots, gloves and scarf along with additional warm clothing.

– Water, food and hard candy

– Ice scrapper

– Small shovel

– Flashlight and flares

– Jumper cables

– Tool kit with tire gauge

– Spare tire with air and all the equipment needed to change a flat tire.

– First aid kit

– A bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or kitty litter to provide traction if you get stuck.

Courtesy of Menard's®

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Addressing the basics of breast cancer

According to Breastcancer.org, one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Though this figure is based on American women alone, it's safe to say millions of women across the globe face a similar fate.

While organizations such as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure have been instrumental in raising awareness of breast cancer, many people remain largely uninformed about breast cancer and what, if anything, they can do to reduce their risk. But the more people understand breast cancer the more formidable a foe they become for this potentially deadly disease.

What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. According to Susan G. Komen For the Cure, between 50 and 75 percent of breast cancers begin in the ducts, which carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. Between 10 and 15 percent of breast cancer cases begin in the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands of the breast. Over time, these cancer cells can invade nearby breast tissue and may even spread into the underarm lymph nodes, which give the cancerous cells a pathway to the rest of the body.

Are there different types of breast cancer?
Breast cancer can be invasive or noninvasive. Invasive breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells from within the ducts or lobules break out into nearby breast tissue. When this occurs, the cancer cells can spread to the lymph nodes, which may allow them to spread even further throughout the body to organs like the liver and lungs and to bones.

Noninvasive breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow within the milk ducts but have not spread to nearby tissue or other parts of the body. But noninvasive breast cancer can develop into invasive cancer.

Are there warning signs of breast cancer?
There may be no initial warning signs of breast cancer. A developing lump on the breast may be too small to notice, which only highlights the importance women must place on routine breast cancer exams. A mammogram, for example, is an X-ray of the breast that might detect symptoms of breast cancer that women did not notice. When such symptoms are detected, then further testing can be conducted to determine if breast cancer is present.
Women or their physicians also might detect breast cancer before a breast exam. A lump or mass on the breast can be detected during a self-exam or on a routine doctor visit.

But the American Cancer Society notes that several unusual changes in the breast may also be symptomatic of breast cancer. These changes include:

• breast pain
• a lump in the underarm area
• nipple discharge other than milk
• nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
• redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
• skin irritation or dimpling
• swelling of all or part of the breast

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
Some risk factors for breast cancer are beyond a person's control. You can't stop aging, you have no way of changing your family history, and there's nothing you can do about your own medical history.

However, there are risk factors for breast cancer that are within your control.

• Alcohol consumption: Alcohol can affect a woman's ability to control blood levels of estrogen, which can increase her risk for breast cancer. Studies have indicated that the more alcohol a woman consumes, the greater her risk of breast cancer becomes.

• Diet: Researchers often cite diet as a risk factor for various cancers, and breast cancer is no exception. However, there are no specifics as to which foods increase a person's breast cancer risk. But studies have shown that eating a lot of red and/or processed meats may increase a person's risk of developing breast cancer. Low-fat diets that include lots of fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of developing many diseases, including breast cancer.

• Exercise: How often a person exercises may increase or decrease his or her risk of developing breast cancer. Studies have indicated that exercise can reduce breast cancer risk, and the ACS recommends that both men, who are not immune to breast cancer, and women get between 45 and 60 minutes of physical exercise five or more days per week.

• Weight: Being overweight is a significant risk factor for breast cancer, especially for women after menopause. Higher estrogen levels increase a person's risk of breast cancer, and estrogen levels increase when a person has more fat tissue. Maintaining a healthy weight pays various dividends, not the least of which is reducing your risk of breast cancer.

Thanks to various organizations promoting breast cancer awareness and research, many individuals have at least a basic knowledge of the disease. While knowledge alone cannot prevent the onset of breast cancer, it may help men and women better protect themselves and their loved ones from a disease that afflicts millions of people across the globe each year.

 

How to prevent or safely extinguish grill flare-ups

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Flavor, convenience and the fun factor drives thousands of home cooks each year to fire up their backyard grills. Preparing meals over an open fire imparts smoky flavors to various foods, and can be a low-fat, quick method of cooking. 

Although grilling is full of benefits, cooking over an open flame also can be dangerous. Flare-ups are a safety risk that, if left unchecked, can lead to grill fires. As many as 10 people each year lose their lives due to grill fires. Prevention is the single best way to avoid damage and injury. After that, acting quickly and knowing how to safely tame flare-ups can help.

Preventing flare-ups
Although many consumer grills are designed to prevent flare-ups, that does not mean they can't still happen. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of high flames and overcooked foods.

• Trim fat. Excess fat that drips down into the coals can ignite easily. Trim as much fat as possible without sacrificing flavor. Consider using lean meats in burger patties.

• Limit use of sauces and marinades. Sugary or oily marinades and sauces may be more prone to ignition. Try dry rubs and then add a small amount of sauce when the heat is low during the final minutes of cooking.

• Wait to grill until windy conditions abate. Oxygen fuels fires, and wind that can channel between the grates may cause bigger flames. Try to keep the grill away from windy areas, or wait until breezes die down before cooking, if possible.

• Leave the lid open. The grill manufacturer CharBroil advises leaving the lid open when searing fatty foods.

• Keep a clean grill. Remove residue from the belly of the grill and clean the grates after each meal is made.

Handle flare-ups with care
If flames do rise, keep calm and try these techniques.

• Leave room to move foods on the grill. Keep empty spots on the grill where food can be moved if a flare-up occurs. 

• Turn off the burners. When using a propane grill, turn off the gas when flare-ups begin. Then move the food to another area.

• Starve the fire. If possible, close all vents and the lid to deplete the oxygen supply to the fire.

• Smother the flames. Never use water on a grill, as any existing grease can pop and explode when it comes into contact with water. This also may cause flames to spread. Instead, use baking soda, salt or sand to put out greasy fires.

• Keep a fire extinguisher handy. A class ABC fire extinguisher can put out a multitude of different fires.

• Call the fire department. If flames cannot be handled immediately, call the fire department and steer clear of the burning grill.

Grill fires can be dangerous. Taking steps to prevent flare-ups is one way to stay safe when grilling.

 

Returning home after a fire

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Home structure fires pose a significant, potentially deadly threat. According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 358,300 home structure fires per year between 2010 and 2014. 

A host of factors can contribute to home fires. Cooking equipment, heating equipment and electrical distribution and lighting equipment can spark home structure fires. In such instances, homeowners may soon find themselves picking up the pieces after their homes, and many of their possessions, have burned to the ground.

The U.S. Fire Administration offers the following tips to men and women who must recover after their homes have fallen victim to structure fires.

• Recognize the need to be patient. When a home is on fire, firefighters may take certain actions to ensure the fire is completely extinguished. For example, holes might be drilled in the walls of homes to make sure there are no hidden flames. In addition, holes may be cut in the roof to let out heat and smoke. Such actions can save lives and even homes, but the resulting cleanup can be time-consuming. When returning home for the first time after a fire, men and women must recognize the need to remain patient as they formulate and execute a plan to clean up their homes.

• Contact a disaster relief service. The local branch of a disaster relief service like the Salvation Army can help victims of home structure fires find lodging, food, clothing, and medicine. Don't hesitate to reach out to such organizations for assistance.

• Do not enter the home until the fire department deems it safe to do so. Even fires that appear to be out can start again. In addition, the USFA advises that roofs and floors, even those that appear sturdy to the naked eye, can still fall down after the blaze has been extinguished. Avoid entering a home until you have been given the go-ahead by the local fire department.

• Contact the police and your insurance agent. Victims of home structure fires whose homes are uninhabitable should contact their local police departments and their insurance agents to inform them about the fire and that they will not be living there. Police departments and/or home insurance providers may require that holes in walls and broken windows be boarded up to prevent trespassers from gaining entry to the home. Renters should contact their landlords immediately as well.

• Be careful with items that were not burned. The USFA notes that even items that were not burned may still have been ruined by smoke or been soaked with water. Carefully clean any items that you think can be salvaged before using them.

• Save all receipts spent on repairs. Insurance companies may require receipts to confirm spending on repairs, and such receipts may also be required for people who want to claim any losses on their tax returns.

Home structure fires can turn lives upside down. But following the advice of local fire departments and accepting the assistance of local relief organizations can make the recovery process go as smoothly as possible.

 

Why hoarding documents is risky and how to avoid it

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Boxes of old documents, stacks of old hard drives and computers, and containers of confidential information all find themselves in storage. While you may think this will allow you to access them easily, you probably end up forgetting about them and continue to stockpile even more. 

This kind of storage poses health, safety and security risks. By hoarding a lifetime's worth of documents, you risk exposure to mold and bacteria, along with the added stress and tension of having to deal with so much piling up in the house. In addition, you risk your safety by having so many items (mostly paper) in one place, which often poses as a fire hazard. Hoarding documents may also cause accidents if boxes fall on you or you injure yourself attempting to access them.

But the biggest threat posed by hoarding documents is doing so increases one's risk of being victimized by fraud or identity theft. Having a mountain of documents may lead frustrated people to simply throw out a few boxes with the trash. But clever fraudsters are known to dumpster dive and pull documents that contain valuable personal information.

According to Shred-it, a leader in information security and document destruction, decluttering on a regular basis should be a priority. Not only does it help prevent the risks mentioned above, decluttering also improves productivity and motivation and boosts mental health and creativity. 

Use these tips to begin editing your storage:

• Tackle one box at a time. Before you know it, the pile will shrink and you will feel less stressed.

• Create a document management process to outline how you will deal with all documents from when you receive them to the time you destroy them, thus preventing a stockpile from even forming.

• Begin digitizing and reorganizing your files. Once you begin reorganizing, you will realize there are things that you shouldn't be holding on to at all and be able to better manage your information in the long run.

• Purge your storage regularly. Trusted third parties like Shred-it can help to clean out your storage on a regular basis, ensuring the mountain of files doesn't keep growing.

 

Fall Leaf Disposal

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The City of Dubuque would like to remind residents of their options for leaf and yard debris disposal: The City encourages mulching, mowing, and backyard composting as economical and beneficial leaf management options, but offers several other options for yard debris management.

As part of the City's April-November collection service, leaves and other yard waste may be placed in paper yard waste bags that display a single-use yard waste sticker, a rigid solid waste container with either a single-use yard waste sticker looped on the handle or a City 2017 annual yard waste decal, or in City yard debris tipper carts. Brush and limbs (not to exceed 40 pounds) can be bundled with a City of Dubuque brush tie or twine and an attached single-use yard waste sticker. Bags and containers may not exceed 35 gallons in capacity or 40 pounds in weight.

Plastic bags containing yard waste will not be collected.

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

Seasonal, regular-route yard waste collection ends Saturday, Nov. 25. From December through March, Thursday collections of yard waste and food scraps may be scheduled by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwaste.

The Public Works Department also offers, by appointment only, leaf rake-out collections in which large, curbside leaf piles are vacuumed into a collection vehicle. Collection appointments must be scheduled in advance by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwaste. Rake-out collections will be offered from Monday, Oct. 16, through Wednesday, Nov. 22, this year. Appointments must be made before raking into a gutter area. Acceptable items in the leaf rake-out include loose leaves, pine needles, and pine cones. Grass, brush, plants, and rocks are not accepted.

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

The department would also like to remind all residents that burning leaves and raking or blowing leaves into the street are prohibited and subject to fines.

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

 

The Dubuque Museum of Art's 43rd Annual Gala

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The Dubuque Museum of Art announced plans for its 43rd Annual Gala, Art Auction and Raffle, to be held on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Hotel Julien Dubuque from 6-9 p.m.

This year's event is based on the theme "Night out in New York", a nod to a major exhibit of art by Iowan Grant Wood that will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in February 2018.

Doors to the Gala and Auction open at 6 pm, with a cocktail hour from 6-7:30 pm. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on original works of art by more than 25 local and regional artists in a silent auction from 6-7:45 pm. The silent auction will feature gift packages from local retailers in addition to works of art.

A raffle drawing will be held at 8 pm. Raffle entrants will have the opportunity to take part in $15,000 in cash prizes, including a $10,000 grand prize and five $1,000 prizes. A limited number of raffle tickets remain available and may be purchased by phone (debit card purchases only) at 563-557-1851, by mail with cash or check, or at the Museum during regular hours. Raffle ticket purchasers need not be present at the event to win.

The live auction, which will include a number of works of art, dining experiences, and artful travel opportunities, will begin around 8 pm. Musician Casey Klein from Cedar Rapids, Iowa will perform live throughout the evening.

This year's emcee is Bobbi Earles, who is currently Executive Director of Alumni & Communications at Loras College in Dubuque. Earles was a news anchor and reporter for KWWL-TV from 1988 to 2002. The live auctioneer will be Mark Schenfeld, President of the Washington State-based Stokes Auction Group.

All proceeds from the event support the Dubuque Museum of Art and its education and community outreach programs.

Advance registration for the event is strongly encouraged and may be completed online at dbqart.ejoinme.org/gala, by phone at 563-557-1851, or at the Museum during regular hours. Advance tickets are $60 per person and include admission, hors d'oeuvres buffet, and a hosted bar during the cocktail hour from 6-7:30 pm. Night of event tickets are $75.

This year's auction is generously sponsored by American Realty, American Trust, A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co., Conlon Construction, Dubuque Bank & Trust, Dupaco, Honkamp Kreuger, Hotel Julien Dubuque, and U.S. Bank. Raffle sponsors include: Anonymous, Crescent Electric Supply, Dr. Paul Ellerbeck, Farber Bag, Nick Yiannias, Coldwell Banker / Dominic Goodmann, Meghan Hackett Memorium, and Tony Pfohl.

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: www.dbqart.com

 

Winter Warm Up Coat Drive

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Give the gift of warmth this season

Useable coats, hats, gloves and boots are wanted for the Winter Warm Up Coat Drive starting Oct. 16 and continuing through December 1.

Drop-off location is EXIT Realty office/Marketplace office (sponsor of the drive) at 4496 Dodge St. in Dubuque.
Pickups can be arranged from local businesses.

For more information or questions, please contact Bobbie Jost at 563-213-3017 or email bjost@marketplacehome.com

 

Santaland Diaries Holiday Parties

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The Grand Opera House is excited to announce The Santaland Diaries Holiday Parties!

Are you looking for a different kind of Holiday Party this year? Why not skip the awkward conversation around the same punch bowl, and treat your guests to an evening of laughs! Enjoy a command performance of The Santaland Diaries.

Following a sold out run last year, Frank McClain is back again to perform the role of "Crumpet", Santa's least enthusiastic little helper. Featuring the dry wit of humorist David Sedaris, The Santaland Diaries tells the (mostly) true story of the author's time as an elf in Santaland at the New York City Macy's. From training to Christmas Eve, Sedaris tells the story of the people you meet during the "most wonderful time of the year".

Each Performance seats 100 people. For an additional fee, use of the gorgeous Grand Ball Room can be provided for a pre-show or post-show holiday party.

Show only: $600

Show and Ballroom: $1000

Performances available December 20th, 2017- January 7th, 2018

Book Before December 1st, 2017

Contact Michelle Blanchard or Frank McClain for more information or to book your Party.

 

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

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Operation: New View Announces Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Launch for 2017-2018 Winter Season

Applications will be taken starting November 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Iowa Department of Human Rights/DCAA, and is administered through local community action agencies. It has been established to help qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs.

The Operation: New View Community Action Agency offices are located at:

Dubuque County: 1473 Central Ave., Dubuque, (563) 556-5130

Delaware County: 721 S. 5th Street, Suite B, Manchester, (563) 927-4629

Jackson County: 904 E. Quarry Street, Maquoketa, (563) 652-5197

Each county office will be taking applications for resident households from November 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018 (Beginning Monday, October 2, 2017 for households with one or more elderly/disabled members).

Heads of household are asked to call their county office to schedule an appointment to apply for assistance. Households with elderly and/or disabled members may call starting September 28.

Applicants will need to furnish some form of identification, a copy of their most recent heating and electric bill, and proof of all household members' gross income for the past 30 days or for the past calendar year.

The assistance is based on household income, household size, type of fuel, and other factors. Eligibility for participation is established according to the following federal income guidelines:

INCOME MAXIMUMS

The following list shows the 30-day gross income followed by annual gross income maximums for various size households, beginning with 1-member up to 8-member households (for households with more than eight members, add $610 / $7,315 for each additional member).

1 member  $1,759 / $21,105

2 members $2,368 / $28,420

3 members $2,978 / $35,735

4 members $3,588 / $43,050 

5 members $4,197 / $50,365 

6 members $4,807 / $57,680 

7 members $5,416 / $64,995 

8 members $6,026 / $72,310

 

 

THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE ANNOUNCES THE 2017/2018 SEASON

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THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE ANNOUNCES THE 2017/2018 SEASON

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

Musical

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. 

SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW!
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 www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

 

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

 

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.

Auditions:
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.