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NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa - A record number of Iowans are saying "yes" to organ, tissue, and eye donation resulting in hundreds of lives saved in 2018.

Iowa Donor Network (IDN) reports that in 2018, Iowa had the highest number of organ donors in the state's history. In total, 74 deceased donors gave the gift of life which resulted in 248 organs transplanted, also the most ever in Iowa's history. IDN credits the record with giving, caring Iowans and an innovative and responsive healthcare system.

"Iowans continue to show compassion by registering as donors and saying, 'yes', to donation when the opportunity arises," says CEO Suzanne Conrad. "We are so thankful for the generosity of the donors and their families and the incredibly dedicated healthcare providers that help carry out these wishes."

A record number of Iowans also registered as organ, tissue, and eye donors in 2018: There are currently 1.8 million Iowans on the Iowa Donor Registry. Nationally, 54% of adults are registered donors, Iowa is well above the average with 73% of adults on the registry.

IDN provides professional and public education on the importance of organ, tissue, and eye donation. IDN also collaborates with several statewide agencies including the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Health and groups including the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners, the Iowa Hospital Association and the Iowa EMS Association to raise awareness and maximize donation opportunities.

"Donation gives a person the chance to leave an incredible legacy," says Conrad, "and provides a small glimmer of light in what is a dark time for their families. Additionally, recipients are given the hope of returning to work, school or just spending time with friends and family. Organ donation is truly the gift of life."

Anyone can register as a donor, regardless of age or medical history. For more information please visit


Winter Art in the Park Snow Sculpting Event Returns

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In partnership with the Dubuque Museum of Art, the City of Dubuque Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs will sponsor the second Winter Art in the Park Snow Sculpting Event, a snow sculpting competition and a community snow sculpting event, on Saturday, Jan. 26, from noon to 4 p.m. at Washington Park, 700 Locust St.

The snow sculpting competition will feature four teams including a Dubuque team that has participated in the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in past years. Each team will begin with a six feet square by eight feet high block of manufactured snow. They will begin carving on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and will have until noon on Saturday, Jan. 26, to complete their sculptures. The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite sculpture for a People's Choice Award. A State of Iowa award winner will be selected by local artist juror John Anderson Bricker and will advance to the U.S. National Snow and Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wis. Both winners will be announced at the event at 3:45 p.m.

The community snow sculpting portion of the event offers the public an opportunity to sculpt as well, either as a team or individually. Community teams or individuals of any age interested in creating snow sculptures of their own will have access to a limited number of designated blocks. Tools will be provided. Those interested in carving snow should wear clothing appropriate for the weather. The museum will feature new exhibitions to view including the Smithsonian American Art Museum's traveling exhibition, African American Art in the 20th Century. In addition, The Glab Family Art Studio will be open with lots of hands-on activities for all ages. Hot beverages will be available for purchase in the park gazebo and light refreshments will be offered in the museum lobby.

The event is supported through in-kind contributions from Sundown Mountain, Spahn & Rose Lumber Company, JaMar Pattern, Inc., and McCoy Trucking, and is a sanctioned WinterFun, Inc. contest.

For additional information, or questions on event schedule changes, contact the Dubuque Museum of Art at 563.557.1851 X111.


Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council Grant Program Now Open

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The Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council announces their grant program is now opened. One application will be for those pursuing a skilled trade as their career path and is referred to as the Skilled Trade Grant. The Education Grant will focus on students interested in pursuing a two or four year degree.

"The program began in 1999 as the need for skilled trade workers increased. The Council feels it is important to help those interested in pursuing a skilled trade pay for their education. The Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council has always offered the grant program to all post-secondary educational programs (after high school), but this grant will call special attention to the skilled trades," explained Kelly Cooper, Executive Director of the Labor-Management Council.

Employers and unions may become sponsors of the program or join the Labor-Management Council to make the immediate families of their employees and members eligible for grant assistance.

"One of the unique aspects of this program is that people do not need to be straight-A students or show financial need in order to qualify for assistance," stated Cooper. "We ask that individuals be serious about their education, be knowledgeable about the growth occupations in the tri-states, and show evidence of their desire and potential to succeed in highly skilled, high-wage jobs in the Dubuque area."

Skilled Trade and Education Grant applications are on the DALMC website for electronic submission or can be downloaded at The guidelines are also posted on the website. Applications are due by March 15, 2019.

For more information, or to schedule a presentation about the program for a group, contact Cooper at the Labor-Management Council, at 582-8804.


Dubuque Museum of Art Offering Youth Art Classes and Camps

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Registration Open for Drawing and Painting Classes Inspired by Current Exhibits

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) is offering a number of single-day and multi-week youth art classes and camps this winter and spring.

Classes are being offered in drawing, painting, and mixed media and are inspired by the current exhibits, including African American Art of the 20th Century, which is on loan to the DuMA from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and opens on January 19, 2019.

Current classes and camps include:

Back to Basics: Drawing Class
Saturdays, January 19 & 26, February 2 & 9 (4-week session)
Section I: Ages 8-12: 9-10:30 am
Section II: Ages 13-16: 10:30 am-Noon
Tuition: $60 Members | $75 Guests (materials included)
Instructor: Hana Velde

Students will practice the act of observing through continuous line drawing, drawing upside down, and drawing negative spaces, then begin a still life project to discover how shading and perspective add depth to their drawings. Museum exhibits will be visited each class as we discover connections and gain creative inspiration from the art on display. The second half of the class series will focus on the study of facial proportions and portrait drawing.

Gallery Inspiration: Texture Painting Workshop
Sunday, February 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Ages 8-12
Fee: $20 Members | $25 Guests (materials included)
Instructor: Rachel Spurling

Taking inspiration from the exhibition African American Art in the 20th Century and Abstract Expressionist artist Sam Gilliam, students will create an abstract painting from loose canvas. Students will use non-traditional utensils to spread paint and add texture.

Neighborhood Portraits Workshop
Saturday, February 23, 9:30-11:30 am
Ages: 11 and up
Tuition: $20 Members, $25 Guests (materials included)
Instructor: Hana Velde

Students will visit African American Art in the 20th Century to observe the colors, images, and messages in the artworks on display. We will discuss the importance of neighborhoods in everyday life, how basic needs are met through housing and the food supply, and how interpersonal interactions build a feeling of community. After preparing a canvas board and acrylic paint palette and learning brush techniques, students will create personal expressions of their neighborhood environments.

Back to Basics: Painting Class
Sundays, April 7-28 (4-Week Session)
Section I: Ages 8-12: 1-2:30 pm
Section II: Ages 13-16: 2:30-4 pm
Tuition: $60 Members | $75 Guests (materials included)
Instructors: Hana Velde and Kelsey Hammons

Students will visit museum exhibits, including African American Art in the 20th Century, to explore color, theme, and mood and to gain creative inspiration. We will begin by learning about color theory and brush techniques using watercolors. The second week's class will explore shading and perspective using tempera paints. The second half of the class series will focus on composition and acrylic painting techniques as students prepare a canvas and work on a landscape painting.

Spring Break Art Camps

Monday-Friday, March 25-29th
Section I: Grades K-2, M-F, 9-11 am (optional sack lunch add-on 11 am-Noon)
Section II: Grades 3-5, M-F, 1-4 pm
Tuition: $65 Members | $75 Guests (materials included);
$10 sack lunch (optional)
Instructors: Rachel Spurling and Caitlin Donald

Young artists will explore the Museum's galleries for inspiration, then head to the studio to create their own works of art in a variety of age-appropriate mediums.

Need-based scholarships are available for all classes and camps, and discounts are available for Museum members. More details and registration information may be found at

About the Dubuque Museum of Art
The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA), founded in 1874 and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 2004, is among Iowa's oldest cultural institutions. 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:


Strategies to control appetite

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Hunger can be a formidable foe, especially for people attempting to lose weight. When hunger strikes, various appetite-control strategies can help people avoid overeating or eating during those times when boredom is more to blame than an empty belly.

• Eat slowly. When a person eats, a series of signals are sent to the brain from digestive hormones secreted by the gastrointestinal tract. These signals produce a feeling of pleasure and satiety in the brain, but it can take awhile for the brain to receive them. By chewing slowly, people can give the signals more time to reach their brains, potentially preventing them from overeating.

• Choose the right snacks. The right snacks can make it easier to eat more slowly. Instead of reaching for potato chips or pretzels, both of which can be eaten quickly and picked up by the handful, choose snacks that are both healthy and require a little work. Carrots dipped in hummus or baked tortilla chips with low-fat salsa or bean dip are low-calorie snacks that also require some work between bites. The time it takes to dip between bites affords more time for the digestive tract to release signals to the brain that you're full.

• Reach for fiber first. Another way to conquer hunger without overeating is to reach for fiber before eating other parts of your meal. Vegetables are rich in fiber, but since veggies are often served as side dishes, many people tend to eat them only after they've eaten their main courses. That can contribute to overeating. Fiber fills you up, so by eating the high-fiber portions of your meal first, you're less likely to overeat before your brain receives the signals that your stomach is full. Consider eating vegetables as an appetizer or, if the entire meal is served at once, clear your plate of vegetables before diving into the main course or other side dishes.

• Drink water. Perhaps the best, and least expensive, way to control appetite and ensure you don't overeat is to drink more water. A 2010 study funded by the Institute for Public Health and Water Research that included 48 adults between the ages of 55 and 75 found that people who drank two eight-ounce glasses of water right before a meal consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories during the ensuing meal than study participants who did not consume water prior to their meals. Over the course of 12 weeks, participants who drank water before meals three times per day lost roughly five pounds more than those who did not increase their water intake.

Controlling appetite does not have to be a complex undertaking. In fact, some of the simplest strategies can be highly effective.


3 tips to overcome everyday aches and pains

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Pain is a significant concern for many people. Estimates from the International Association for the Study of Pain suggest that one in five adults across the globe suffer from pain.

Pain can affect anyone, even people who have not been in an accident or suffered an injury while playing a sport or performing another physical activity. For example, lower back pain, which can be caused by sitting at a desk for long stretches of time, is the most common type of chronic pain in the United States. Such pain may be unavoidable, but that does not mean it and other types of everyday aches and pains cannot be overcome.

1. Begin a well-rounded exercise regimen.
Regular exercise that includes both strength training and cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow and helps build a strong core. A strong core supports the spine and reduces the pressure on it, making it less likely people who sit for long stretches at a time will end their days with lower back pain. Routine exercise also helps other areas of the body by keeping muscles loose and flexible. Before beginning a new exercise regimen, men and women, especially those with existing aches and pains, should consult their physicians about which exercises they should do and which they might want to avoid.

2. Employ RICE.
RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, can help men and women overcome the aches and pains that result as the body ages and tendons begin to lose some of their elasticity. RICE might be most helpful for people who have been diagnosed with tendinitis. Athletes over 40 who engage in activities that require repetitive motion might need to take more days off between rounds of golf or other competitive and/or repetitive activities. If tendinitis flares up, take some time away, icing any sore areas, wrapping them in bandages, and elevating them while resting. Athletes rarely want to sit on the sidelines, but a few days off can go a long way toward alleviating the pain associated with tendinitis.

3. Recognize your body may develop some limitations.
Age should not prevent you from being physically active, and numerous studies have touted the benefits of continuing to exercise into your golden years. However, as the body ages, muscle fibers become less dense, resulting in a loss of flexibility that increases the risk of injury and/or soreness. As men and women grow older, they shouldn't abandon activities like gardening or strength training. But they may need to scale back on the intensity with which they perform such activities. Doing so can prevent the kinds of muscle strains associated with aging.

Pain affects more than one billion people across the globe. But some simple strategies can help people overcome pain and enjoy a rich quality of life.


7 ways newspapers benefit students

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Classrooms have come a long way since the days when pioneering settlers would send their children to single-room schoolhouses. Modern classrooms might be technical marvels, but one less flashy learning tool remains as valuable as ever.

Newspapers might not be as glamorous as tablets or other gadgets, but they are still an invaluable resource to educators and students. The following are seven ways in which newspapers in the classroom can benefit students.

1. Newspapers build vocabulary. Numerous studies have found that reading can improve youngsters' vocabulary. Each day, newspapers are filled with fresh stories that can introduce kids to new words, helping them to strengthen their vocabularies and make them more effective communicators.

2. Newspapers improve reading skills. Like the old adage says, "Practice makes perfect." Reading newspapers each day can help kids develop their reading and comprehension skills.

3. Newspapers promote critical thinking. Newspaper reporters are trained to objectively report the news, sharing facts without allowing their own opinions to influence their stories. Educators can choose stories from the newspaper to serve as catalysts for discussions that focus not just on the facts listed in the story, but what might be behind them. Such discussions can help youngsters develop their critical thinking skills.

4. Newspapers bring ideas and current events to life. Many children are aware of major world events, even if they don't know or understand the details. Newspaper articles about world events can be used as avenues to discussions about what's going on in the world.

5. Newspapers build global awareness. Customized newsfeeds funneled through social media outlets can make it hard for young people to recognize and understand the world beyond their own communities and interests. Each day, newspapers include local, national and international stories that can illustrate to kids that there's a world beyond their own.

6. Newspapers promote social consciousness. Without newspapers, young people may never be exposed to the social issues facing their own communities or those issues that are affecting people across the country and the world. Newspapers provide unbiased exposure to such issues, potentially leading youngsters to further explore topics that are shaping their world and even encouraging them to form their own opinions.

7. Newspapers make learning fun. According to a 2017 report from Common Sense Media, kids younger than eight spend an average of two hours and 19 minutes per day looking at screens. Newspapers provide a welcome break from tablets, smartphones and computers, and kids may have fun flipping pages and getting a little ink on their hands.

Newspapers remain invaluable resources that can benefit students in myriad ways.


January 21 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prolific figure in American history. King is readily known as an activist and extremely visible spokesperson for the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. King was a writer, minister and humanitarian who made a great impact in his tragically short life. While people know much about King, these few facts may come as a surprise.

• King's first name was originally Michael. It was changed to Martin after his father traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. King Sr. changed his own name after this trip as well.

• King did not originally plan on becoming a minister. However, Benjamin E. Mays, the president of Morehouse College, which King attended, convinced him otherwise.

• At the time he earned the honor, King was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which he earned in 1964. Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel laureate ever in 2014.

• There are more than 730 streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States.

• King's "I Have a Dream" speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The great orator first appeared there in 1957 to speak about voting rights.

• It is believed that King's last speech foretold his death. In front of an audience at Mason Temple Church the night before he was assassinated, King said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now ... And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."


MLK Day: How Far Have We Come?

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The Fountain of Youth Program, Multicultural Family Center, Wartburg Seminary, Sustainable Dubuque, and United Way of Dubuque Present: "How Far Have We Come?", a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy with inspiring performances, cultural integration, and networking.

The celebration, featuring keynote speaker Renee Tyler, will take place January 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Multicultural Family Center, 1101 Central Ave., in Dubuque. Additional performances are planned by Jasmine Barnes, Joseph Coleman, Kennedy Wright, Mark Norton, and Marcus Moore.

No RSVP is necessary for this family-friendly FREE event. Light food will be served and activities will be available for children.


Public Input Sought for Eagle Point Park Restoration

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The City of Dubuque is seeking online public input for the environmental restoration planned to address severe erosion, invasive vegetation, and degraded natural habitats in 2019 at the historic, 164-acre Eagle Point Park.

The environmental restoration work planned for Eagle Point Park involves implementation of the park's Environmental Restoration Management Plan, adopted by the Dubuque City Council in 2017. The 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. Implementation of that plan will commence using state and federal funds under the guidance of the City's consulting team led by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. All of this environmental work must be done within the context of the park's rich cultural history.

The environmental restoration work involves design, engineering, permitting, and construction of low-impact development and green infrastructure best management practices for managing storm water to improve water quality. The restoration work is currently in the concept design phase and may include a variety of practices such as rain gardens, infiltration basins, permeable pavement, soil quality restoration, conversion of turf to native vegetation, and ravine stabilization measures. In combination, these green infrastructure best management practices provide an effective strategy for reducing overall runoff and erosion and improving water quality downstream in the watersheds of Bee Branch Creek and the Mississippi River. They also will provide new nature-based recreation opportunities for park visitors, create habitat for wildlife, and foster sustainability.

City staff and consultants continue to collect input from citizens about the planned work. To view the poster boards describing the issues at the park and the best management practices that are proposed to fix these issues, please visit Public input can be provided by clicking on the appropriate link on the webpage.

Eagle Point Park is a community park that opened in 1909 on Dubuque's northeast side. The park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the City's leisure services department's park division. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.


Trivia Bowl Raises Dollars for New Agency Van

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Opening Doors is planning to kick off Super Bowl weekend with a festive night of trivia "fun"raising at TRIVIA BOWL on Friday, February 1 at the Grand River Center's Exhibit Hall. All proceeds from this event will go toward the purchase of a new agency van.

Doors open at 5:30 PM with a tailgate party of food and a full bar available for purchase all night. Trivia starts at 7 PM with 10 rounds of questions in a wide variety of categories. Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite team gear.

Trivia Bowl also features a 50/50 cash raffle, mulligans, cash prizes for the top three teams, door prizes and a prize for best costume.

The entry fee is $15 per person ($120 for a team of up to 8 players).

To register, and for more information, visit us at or call 563.582.7480. Individual players welcome and will be placed on a team that evening.

Trivia Bowl is sponsored by Grand River Center, McGrath Hyundai, McGrath Used Car Superstore, and the United Way. McGrath Hyundai and McGrath Used Care Superstore in Dubuque has agreed to match the first $5,000 raised for an agency van. We hope to raise this initial amount at this event.

Opening Doors is the nonprofit organization that operates Teresa Shelter, Maria House, and a supportive housing program at Francis Apartments. Homeless women, alone or with children, come to us to help build a new life. We provide goal setting and life skills training that will enable them to take care of themselves and achieve their full potential. We offer a hand up in the world, not a handout. Since 2000, Opening Doors has served over 3,400 women and children through a continuum of services. Teresa Shelter offers emergency and extended stay programs. Maria House offers transitional housing for up to two years. Francis Apartments offers an opportunity for income-based affordable housing with support services; a combination that has proven to be effective at ending the cycle of homelessness. Our three doorways of hope for homeless women and children are much more than a place to sleep. We offer the opportunity for women to claim their own power and become self-sufficient.

For more information, please call 563-582-7480.


Partial Closure of East 16th Street Starts Monday, Jan. 14

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East 16th St. will be closed between Sycamore St. and the US 61/151 overpass for approximately three weeks beginning on Monday, Jan. 14.

A portion of Dubuque's sanitary sewer along Kerper Blvd. will be reconstructed and re-routed from Fengler St. to Sycamore St. as part of a multi-phased project. The new sanitary sewer will replace a section of a failed gravity sewer system along Kerper Blvd. using a combination of gravity sewer main and pressurized sewer main.

Phase 1 of this project is scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 14, with the closure of E. 16th St. from and including the Sycamore St. intersection east to the U.S. Highway 61/151 overpass. Motorists will be detoured using Elm St., E. 11th St., and Kerper Blvd. This closure is anticipated to last approximately three weeks. A map showing Phase 1 extents and detour routing is available at

If you have questions regarding this closure/detour, please contact the City of Dubuque Engineering Department at 563-589-4270 or Please note: closure dates/times are estimates and are subject to change without notification based on weather and contractor schedules.


Silos & Smokestacks Honors Those Telling America's Agricultural Story

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Waterloo, IOWA (January 4, 2019) - Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) honored the Heritage Area's finest during its 14th Annual Golden Silo Awards & Barn Party, Friday, Nov. 9, at The Courtyard by Marriott in Waterloo.

Awards are presented to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in preserving and telling America's agricultural story, both past and present. The following individuals and organizations were recognized for their contributions:

• Alan Hutchings Outstanding Visionary
Dave Bell, Dyersville
The Golden Silo Award for The Alan Hutchings Outstanding Visionary honors an individual, organization, business, agency, or local government who has shown sustained support for the Heritage Area for more than five years, created a legacy in heritage development that has made all the difference, and provided leadership in the heritage development movement. This is the eighth year for this award, named for Alan Hutchings of the National Park Service whose vision was so critical to our very creation as National Heritage Area.

• Outstanding Partner Site
National Farm Toy Museum, Dyersville
The Golden Silo Award Partner Site honors a Partner Site who has shown excellence in interpreting the story of American agriculture.

• Outstanding Preservation in Agriculture
John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, Waterloo
The Golden Silo Award for Outstanding Preservation in Agriculture honors an individual, organization, project, business, agency, or local government who has shown extraordinary effort in preserving the icons of American agriculture.

• Outstanding Volunteer
Maureen Hanson, La Porte City
The Golden Silo Award for Outstanding Volunteer recognizes an individual who has given tirelessly to the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area.

Through a network of sites, programs and events, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area tells the story of farm life and agribusiness-past and present. Visitors can learn about and experience agriculture at a variety of museums, historic sites, and farms. One of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation, Silos & Smokestacks is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The heritage area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa. To plan your visit, go to


What Has Wandered Into Your Woods?

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Learn to identify invasive plants that are hurting the native ecosystem

Forestry experts are concerned about invasive plants crowding or choking out native plants, and an upcoming workshop will address these concerns and help woodland owners care for their land.

What Has Wandered Into Your Woods? Workshop will be on Friday, February 1, 2019, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (registration starts at 8:30 a.m.) at EB Lyons Interpretative Center in the Mines of Spain, located at 8991 Bellevue Heights Rd. Dubuque.

"Native plants provide more benefits for the environment than non-native plants, including better food and habitat for animals and pollinators," Trees Forever program manager Emily Swihart explains. "Learn about the resources available so you can help us protect our native ecosystem by removing invasive species and implementing sound land management practices."

A dozen forestry experts will teach woodland owners how to identify, treat and remove invasive species.

"A healthy forest needs healthy trees, and invasive plants and pests destroy our forests," Iowa Department of Natural Resources forest health specialist Tivon Feeley said. "We want to help private landowners deal with these problems before these invasives get out of hand."

As the keynote speaker, Feeley will compare and contrast two common invasive species, Oriental bittersweet and emerald ash borer, and their devastation on woodlands.

The $10 registration fee covers lunch and handouts.

Register online at

This event is possible thanks to a partnership between Trees Forever, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and Syngenta's Operation Pollinator.

For more information, contact: Emily Swihart by email at or phone at 563-260-1000.


Identity Theft Update: Resolve to Protect Your Privacy in 2019

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It's New Year's resolution time again. You may be planning to lose weight, get in shape, or firm up your finances. But here's one resolution we should all follow – to better protect our privacy in 2019!

Resolving to do a better job protecting your privacy will not show up when you get on the scale, but the hidden benefits can be enormous. For example, who wouldn't want to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft?
By following the simple steps below, you'll be much less likely to fall victim to an identity thief.

Resolve to:

• Read every monthly credit card and financial account statement like a hawk. Make sure every charge or withdrawal is legitimate. Immediately contact your credit card issuer or financial institution if you find any errors.

• Get your free annual credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Spread them throughout the year. For example, get your first free report from one of the companies in January, from another company in May, and from the third in September. Go to:, the only truly free online source of credit reports.

• Hang up on phone calls asking for personal information such as a Social Security or Medicare number, or a credit card number. Also, don't fall for official sounding names. Government agencies, real businesses, family members and friends will never call "out of the blue" and ask for your personal information.

• Be on guard against scams that ask you to wire money somewhere or to buy a gift card or loadable debit card and share the password. The caller may claim to be a relative or friend in immediate need of money. Don't believe it! This is a very common scam.

• Be very cautious if you receive unexpected e-mails from friends, fellow employees, or even your boss asking you to open an attachment. Scam artists use this trick to embed spyware in your computer's hard drive. They then use the spyware to steal personal information, such as financial account passwords.

• Use better passwords and change them regularly. Make your passwords long and complex. Use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, plus numbers and symbols. Don't use the same passwords for multiple accounts. If multi-factor security is available, use it. Don't choose a parent's name before marriage as part of the multi-factor security because scam artists can easily find that information in public records.

• Reduce credit card solicitations by opting out of prescreened credit offers. Go to:

Finally, if you become a victim of identity theft, visit our website,, for advice on what to do to avoid future problems and recover from the scam.


How to overcome a lack of motivation

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Lack of motivation can affect anyone in any aspect of their lives. Days at the office when motivation is difficult to muster can adversely affect productivity, while lack of motivation at home can have a negative impact on individuals and their families.

Periodic lack of motivation might not be too problematic so long as it does not extend past a single day. But people might find themselves in a rut that's tough to get out of if their lack of motivation extends for several days or longer. In such instances, individuals can try the following strategies to get themselves back on track.

• Write down some short- and long-term goals. Motivation might be wane when individuals feel as though they have little direction in life. Jotting down some short- and long-term goals can be just the kick in the pants people need to get back in the swing of things.

• Start planning. Simply jotting down your goals likely won't be enough to inspire action. Once you have determined your immediate and long-term goals, start developing a plan to achieve them. A successful first step may provide all the motivation you need to keep going forward.

• Share your goals. Sharing your goals with loved ones can be a great way to get and stay motivated. If your goals are complicated, loved ones can serve as the support system you need to keep going if or when you hit a bump in the road. And once you've shared your goals, you may be motivated to keep pursuing them so you can make your loved ones proud.

• Celebrate small successes. Short-term goals often pave the way toward achieving your long-term goals. For example, you can't lose 20 pounds until you have lost five. Celebrate the benchmarks that are integral to achieving your long-term goals. Don't discount your efforts by focusing on how small some successes may be. Each small success will ultimately be part of a larger success, and that's worth of celebrating.

Overcoming a lack of motivation may require some reassessment of your goals and a recommitment to improving your life.


Great reasons to visit your local library

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Many people have a wonderful resource at their disposal just minutes from their homes. This resource can transport them to distant lands, teach their children valuable lessons and serve as a great place to meet new friends. 

So what is this magical place? The local library.

Libraries are filled with books for adults and children. But libraries have even more than books to offer, making them an invaluable resource for the entire community. The following are just a handful of the many great reasons to visit your local library.

• Reading may help improve long-term mental health. A 2001 study from researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that patients with Alzheimer's disease were less active in early and middle adulthood in regard to intellectual, passive and physical activities than people who did not have AD. Young adults and middle-aged men and women who visit their local libraries and check out a good book might decrease their risk for cognitive decline later in life.

• Reading can improve your vocabulary, even as you get older. Reading for pleasure as a child has long been linked to helping young people age 16 and under develop strong reading and math skills. But a recent study from researchers at the University of London that examined how the vocabularies of more than 9,400 people developed between the ages of 16 and 42 found that vocabulary continued to improve long after teenage years. By continuing to read books from their local libraries into adulthood, adults can further develop their vocabularies.

• Libraries provide lots of free entertainment. Libraries are home to thousands of books, but that's not all you can find at your local branch. Newspapers, magazines, CDs, and DVDs are some examples of the forms of entertainment available at local libraries. Better yet, such entertainment is free to card holders.

• Libraries offer age-appropriate programs for kids. Some parents may lament the lack of programs available for their youngsters. Such parents are urged to visit their local libraries, which are often home to many programs that can inspire kids to read and foster their creativity. The scope of kid-friendly programs at your local library is wide and may range from sing-along sessions for toddlers to group art programs for preschool-aged children to STEM-based programs for elementary and secondary school students.

The local library is an invaluable resource than can benefit people of all ages.


Dubuque’s Winter 2019 'State of the City'

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Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol is now offering residents and stakeholders a quarterly State of the City update, available in multiple formats and channels, rather than an annual public presentation. The Winter 2019 State of the City was recently distributed and focuses on a timely topic – the process to develop the City's annual operating and capital improvement program budgets.

Each year since 2007, Buol has delivered an annual State of the City Address to provide residents and stakeholders with an update on the state of the community. These public presentations were also broadcast on television and streamed and archived online.

"Much has been achieved and much has changed since that tradition began," explained Buol. "Among those changes is the dramatic increase in the ways we have to receive information on topics important to us. As a result, I have chosen to modify the State of the City format to connect with more people and provide more frequent updates on community projects, initiatives, and issues."

Buol's new quarterly State of the City columns will appear in the City News newsletter four times per year. They will also be converted into a video that will air on CityChannel Dubuque (on Mediacom channels 8 and 117.2 and online at and will be shared on the City of Dubuque's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn channels. Both the text version and video of the Winter 2019 State of the City are available at


UnityPoint Health® - Finley Hospital Releases 2018 Top Baby Names

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Two years in a row, Lincoln secures the top spot as the most popular baby boy name at Finley. Seven babies went home with the name Lincoln in 2018 with six in 2017. Amelia is the top baby girl name for 2018, which didn't make the top 10 in 2017, but did in 2016. Five girls were named Amelia this year.

After the top spot for both boys and girls, the winners are not so clear. For boys, there's a two-way tie for second place with Beau and Henry. For girls, there is a five-way tie between Lucy, Emma, Mila, Avery and Olivia.

At Finley, the top names for each gender are as follows:

Boys (Top 10)

Lincoln (7)
Beau (5)
Henry (5)
Nolan (4)
Abel (4)
Oliver (4)
William (4)
Wyatt (4)

Girls (Top 10)

Amelia (5)
Lucy (4)
Emma (4)
Mila (4)
Avery (4)
Olivia (4)

Here are the most popular names from more than 20,000 babies born at UnityPoint Health hospitals across Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin:

UnityPoint Health most popular girl names:


UnityPoint Health most popular boy names:


Nationwide, a report lists Sophia as the most popular girls name and Jackson as the leading name for boys.


Habits that can promote personal growth

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The dawn of a new year is a time of personal reflection for many people. Upon reflecting on their lives, many people resolve to change those lives for the better. 

Making the most of opportunities for personal growth can help people enrich their lives and be happier. Embracing some habits and ditching others can contribute to personal growth and help people live full and fulfilling lives.

• Wake up early. Many people can think of various things they would like to do if they only had more time. Reading more books, exercising more often or learning to cook are just a handful of activities that can enrich peoples' lives. By waking up earlier each day, people can make better use of their mornings. Read a book while the morning coffee is brewing or run a little on the treadmill before the kids wake up. Waking up earlier also can give you a chance to get some chores done, opening up more time to pursue some new hobbies at night.

• Quit smoking. The ill effects of smoking are many. Smokers may not know just how quickly after quitting their bodies will begin to recover. The American Lung Association notes that smokers' heart rates drop to a normal level 20 minutes after quitting. Twelve hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide levels in smokers' blood return to normal as well. Quitting also can provide people with more financial freedom. The resource notes that, in early 2018, someone smoking a pack a day spent about $177 per week on cigarettes. That amounts to roughly $9,200 per year. Financial freedom can make it easier to pursue passions that promote personal growth, such as traveling.

• Volunteer. A study from researchers at the London School of Economics that was published in the journal Social Science and Medicine found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. The researchers compared people who never volunteered to people who did, finding that the odds of being "very happy" increased by 7 percent among people who volunteered monthly. Those odds increased by 12 percent among people who volunteered every two to four weeks. Volunteering also provides opportunities to meet new people, including those from different backgrounds than your own. Such interactions can help people develop more well-rounded worldviews.

• Turn off your devices. Numerous studies have discovered that the brain cannot multitask. Unfortunately, many people unknowingly try to force their brains to do just that by checking their devices. Avoiding devices during the workday can make you more productive, and turning them off when you arrive home at night can foster stronger relationships with your loved ones.

The dawn of a new year is a great time to explore various ways to promote your personal growth.


Organize and declutter room-by-room

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Getting organized is a popular New Year's resolution. 

Clutter can be a major source of stress that affects how individuals feel about their spaces. Psychology Today indicates messy homes and work spaces can contribute to feelings of helplessness, anxiety and overwhelming stress. Clutter bombards the mind with excessive stimuli, makes it more difficult to relax and can constantly signal to the brain that work is never done.

Tackling messes no matter where they are lurking is not a one-time project. Much like losing weight and getting healthy, clearing a home of clutter requires dedication and lifestyle changes. With these organizational tips and tricks, anyone can work through their home room-by-room and conquer clutter.

Find a place for everything
Clutter creeps up as people accumulate possessions over the years. Over time, failure to regularly go through belongings and thin the herd can lead to the accumulation of clutter. But clutter also can accumulate if people fail to find a place to put items. Racks for garages, organizational systems for closets and furniture with storage capacity, such as storage ottomans, are some storage solutions that can help people find a place for their possessions.

Utilize vertical space when possible
Getting items up and off the floor can maximize square footage in a home. Bookshelves, hanging wall shelves, hooks, cabinetry, built-ins, and other storage solutions that rely on walls and ceilings are simple and effective storage solutions. Unused space behind cabinet or closet doors are some additional places to store belongings. Hang razors or toothbrushes on medicine cabinet walls and curling irons and other hair tools on the interior of cabinet doors in bathrooms.

Create a coding system
Home offices can be some of the more disorganized rooms in a house simply due to the volume of electronics and paperwork within them. HGTV suggests using a color-coded system for important files to keep them organized. Label important items, whether they're paper or digital files, in accordance with your system.

Put it away
When you finish using an item, return it to its storage location. This eliminates piles of belongings strewn around the house - and hunting and pecking for missing things. If you can't put it away immediately, have a few baskets on hand labeled for the different rooms in the house. Pop the items in the requisite baskets and then routinely take each basket around the house to return the items.

Investing in custom cabinetry and organizational systems also can help people organize their belongings. Tackle rooms such as the garage, basements, bedroom closets, and pantries, or those areas that tend to accumulate clutter the fastest.


City of Dubuque and Mathias Ham Historic Site Receive 'Great' Support

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The City of Dubuque, in collaboration with the Dubuque County Historical Society, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an Iowa Great Places Grant by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Great Places Citizens Advisory Board.

The $285,762 award supports the Mathias Ham Historic Site's five-acre campus, which connects the diverse Washington and Central Corridor neighborhoods with the Eagle Point Park District and completes the rich and diverse story of Dubuque's Driftless North End.

Funding will support the long-term preservation and restoration of the Mathias Ham Historic Site including a conditions assessment of the Ham House, significant landscape enhancement, and restoration work on the Ham House, Humke School House, and Arrandeaux Log Cabin -Iowa's oldest building.

The Iowa Great Places Program seeks to recognize places that take action to enhance their local assets while staying true to the qualities that make them unique. The Mathias Ham Historic Site depicts life in Dubuque in the 19th century and presents tours, events, programs, and living-history interpretation to approximately 11,000 visitors each year from throughout the United States and beyond.

The Mathias Ham Historic Site is located in the "Driftless North End", the geographic area recognized as an Iowa Great Place earlier in 2018. The region extends from the bluffs east to the Mississippi River, and from Loral Blvd north to the Four Mounds Estate.

The Iowa Great Places Program was established in 2005, and funding is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. More information on the Iowa Great Places Program is available by visiting


Connors Named Dubuque Economic Development Director

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Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen has named Jill Connors as the City's next economic development director. Connors has worked as the economic development project coordinator for the City since 2014 and replaces Maurice Jones who recently accepted a deputy city manager position with the City of Springfield, Mo. 

As Dubuque's economic development director, Connors will develop, manage, coordinate, and supervise programs to meet the social, economic, and physical development needs of the Dubuque community. The position involves significant coordination, cooperation, and interaction with community groups, private not-for-profit economic development organizations, other city departments, businesses, and citizens. Specific responsibilities include economic development, downtown redevelopment, and riverfront development,

"Working for the City, Jill has proven herself to be a highly skilled, hard-working individual," said Van Milligen. "She has been an important part of the economic development projects in Dubuque for many years and has demonstrated the ability to create the partnerships that are key to success."

In her position as project coordinator in the economic development department, Connors coordinated multiple departments and private sector partners to facilitate local, multi-million dollar business-expansion projects, managed state and federal grants and related reporting requirements, synthesized stakeholder input for area-wide development plans, drafted and implemented urban renewal (tax district) plans, and developed and presented policy requests to legislators. Connors is leading strategy development and implementation of an $8.5 million multi-year redevelopment of the former Flexsteel industrial property. She has also served as the lead coordinator for development of eight urban renewal plans, meeting state compliance requirements and funding over $11 million annually in City programs.

Before joining the City of Dubuque in 2014, worked as special projects coordinator for two years for Gronen Restoration and the Smart Growth Development Coalition in Dubuque. In that role, she created and managed a statewide coalition of historic tax credit stakeholders, coordinated communication among internal and external partners, recommended strategies for stakeholders when corresponding with their legislators, and advocated policy changes with federal and state legislators and agency/department staff. Connors also organized and conducted site visits and tours, drafted and designed educational literature, and coordinated special projects for a $40 million building redevelopment.

Her previous experience includes seven years as a middle school instructor in the Dubuque Community School District and six years as an English-as-Second-Language instructor in France. Connors holds a master of public administration degree from Drake University, a bachelor's degree in secondary education/French from the University of Northern Iowa, and a certificate of French Language and Civilization from Université Jean Monnet in France.

Connors' community involvement includes presently serving on the board of directors and chair of the governance and operations committee of Opening Doors and the Dubuque conference steering committee of Iowa Women Lead Change. She previously served on the board of directors of the Women's Business Factory.

Connors' appointment as economic development director will be effective on Monday, Jan. 14. Jones' last day of employment with the City will be Friday, Jan. 11. A farewell reception will be held for Jones from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Multicultural Family Center, 1157 Central Ave.


HUD Awards Dubuque $3.6 Million for Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Program

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In an effort to protect children and families from potentially dangerous lead-based paint and other health and safety hazards, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded over $139 million to 48 city, county, and state governments. The grant funding announced yesterday will reduce the number of lead-poisoned children and protect families by targeting health hazards in approximately 6,500 low-income homes with significant lead and/or other home health and safety hazards.

As part of this initiative, the City of Dubuque will be awarded $2,999,968 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding and $581,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. The City will use the funds to address lead hazards in 120 housing units providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children. The City will also perform healthy homes assessments and complete health and safety improvements in the same 120 units.

The efforts in Dubuque will be a collaboration among the City's Housing & Community Development, Health Services Department, Office of Sustainability, Fire Department, and Police Departments will work with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, the Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association, Crescent Community Health Center, Operation: New View Community Action Agency, Black Hills Energy, Alliant Energy, Green AmeriCorps, and Dubuque Community School District.

Since January 1992, the City of Dubuque has addressed childhood lead poisoning, first in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Public Health, and then by conducting its own Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. The federal Housing and Urban Development Department has awarded Dubuque $3.69 million In 1997, $2.4 million in 2003, $2.98 million in 2007, $3 million in 2011 for Lead and $1million for Healthy Homes, and $3.2 million in 2015 for a combined total of $16,604,432 million.

To date 1,280 units occupied by very low to moderate-income families with children have been made lead safe. More than 1,800 contractors, workers, owners, and inspectors have been trained. This program has initiated many cost-effective measures to prevent and eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Dubuque and has built local capacity through extensive public education efforts.

The goals of Dubuque's lead hazard control project are: 1) reduction of lead-poisoned children, especially throughout the target neighborhoods of Dubuque; 2) continuance of professional lead certification and training of area contractors, workers, program inspectors and property owners; 3) collaborative public education, awareness, and training of health professionals, tenants, and property owners; 4) integration and braiding of related services and resources from community partners who will promote and establish lead-safe housing throughout the neighborhoods of Dubuque; and 5) continued transition of Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program to a more comprehensive Healthy Homes Program.

Healthy Homes funding addresses environmental hazards in the home to protect children and their families from housing-related health and safety hazards. A home assessment will be conducted utilizing a Healthy Homes rating system that identifies 29 potential hazards. Scoring of the hazard and the mitigations cost will determine which hazards are corrected. Simple, low-cost examples of hazard repairs may include installation of handrails and guardrails for trip hazards, installation of exhaust vents for mold prevention, placing of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, testing for Radon and providing Radon remediations, etc.

According to HUD, unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the economy directly, through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly through lost wages and increased school days missed. Housing improvements help prevent injuries and illnesses, reduce associated health care and social services costs, reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work, and reduce stress, all which help to improve the quality of life.

"The Trump administration's new Lead Action Plan reflects our strong commitment to preventing future generations from being affected by lead exposure," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "We know that lead exposure at a young age can result in serious effects on IQ, attention span, and academic achievement. We need to continue taking action to prevent these harmful effects. Identifying lead-exposed children, connecting them with appropriate services, and preventing other children from being exposed to lead are important public health priorities for this administration."

Developed through cross-governmental collaboration of the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, which includes 17 federal departments and offices, the Lead Action Plan is a blueprint for reducing lead exposure and associated harms by working with a range of stakeholders, including states, tribes and local communities, along with businesses, property owners and parents.

The four goals of the Lead Action Plan are:
Goal 1: Reduce Children's Exposure to Lead Sources
Goal 2: Identify Lead-Exposed Children and Improve their Health Outcomes
Goal 3: Communicate More Effectively with Stakeholders
Goal 4: Support and Conduct Critical Research to Inform Efforts to Reduce Lead Exposures and Related Health Risks

The Lead Action Plan will help federal agencies work strategically and collaboratively to reduce exposure to lead and improve children's health. EPA and members of the task force will continue to engage with and reach out to community stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations.


Dubuque and Army Corps of Engineers Sign Waterfront Plan Agreement

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The City of Dubuque and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mississippi Valley Division met on Thursday, Dec. 19, to formalize an agreement for assistance in the preparation of a comprehensive waterfront master plan for the city.

The agreement was signed by Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol and USACE Rock Island District Engineer Colonel Steven Sattinger. Following the signing ceremony, City of Dubuque staff gave USACE staff a tour of project sites along Dubuque's riverfront.

The Planning Assistance to States program was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 and details a 50/50 cost-sharing agreement between cities and USACE to work on mutually beneficial projects. The agreement between the City of Dubuque and the USACE will focus on the development of a comprehensive waterfront plan, projected to cost a total of $196,300. The City and USACE would each be responsible for $98,150. The cost born by the City can be paid entirely or in part through in-kind contributions to the work of developing the plan.

The project scope is specific to Dubuque and is divided into three main tasks:

Identify ecosystem restoration opportunities in the Dubuque area.

Resiliency to climate change and its effects
1) Assess storm water runoff rates over a period of time
2) Assess Mississippi River levels over a designated period of time
3) Increase pervious surface

Increase ecosystem education and outreach within the Dubuque region
1) Create more communal sites to increase public synergy with the ecosystem

Sustain and create native habitats in the Dubuque region
1) Greater mussel habitat development
2) Sediment traps or other best management practices to improve water quality

Identify recreational enhancement opportunities in the Dubuque area.

Promote recreational development in the planning area
1) Assess Maus Lake for recreational enhancement opportunities

Increase non-motorized boating in the water resources within the area
1) Evaluate potential kayak and canoe launch points

Create more transitional and viewing sites
1) Create more beach/park areas and connect significant environmental sites with tour routes for the purposes of Ecotourism

Identify beneficial use of dredged material opportunities in the Dubuque area

Infrastructure enhancement
1) Identify potential material stockpile sites for various future uses



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The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival will debut its Winter Film Series with a collection of clips from the work-in-progress film Needles in the Hay: A Nation's Road to Recovery, a documentary about America's opioid crisis.

The event will be held 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Hotel Julien Dubuque Ballroom. It is the first installment of the new annual series that will feature a cause-related film and Q&A opportunity monthly in January, February, and March.

A cocktail mingle will precede the film from 6 to 6:45. Local organizations will have informational booths set up during this time. The film begins at 7 p.m. and a Q&A will follow. Tickets are $10 and are available at or at the door.

The film explores America's opioid crisis, which claimed more than 72,000 lives from overdoses in 2017. It examines the politics behind the epidemic while taking an up-close look into the lives of people suffering from opioid addiction, the communities losing loved ones daily, and the grassroots efforts to save lives and find long-term solutions through awareness, recovery, and hope.

"This documentary is so timely and important," said Susan Gorrell, executive director of the film festival. "I'm glad we can bring it to Dubuque and start a community conversation about this important topic."

The film's director Brett Meyer, a recovering addict himself, will be in attendance along with Misty Barrett, one of the subjects of the film. They will host a Q&A session after the screening with Malissa Sprenger, who is the coordinator of Mercy Turning Point Treatment Center in Dubuque, which provides care to patients and families dealing with substance abuse.

Voted one of the top 50 film festivals worth the entry fee by MovieMaker Magazine, the eighth annual Julien Dubuque International Film Festival is set for April 24-28, 2019, in downtown Dubuque.

For more information, visit


Prepare for a sledding adventure

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Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh ...

Winter holidays are made all the more merry with the addition of some outdoor recreation. Sleighs and sleds are par for the Christmas course, especially when a bounty of snow is in the forecast.

Sledding has been part of snowy celebrations for ages. Sledding is a fun-filled activity, but it can be made an even better time, and a little safer, if revelers learn a little more about it.

Sled styles
Sleds come in many different styles, each with its own advantages.

Sleds with metal blades will work like ice skates, balancing riders' weight on two metal runners. These sleds can work well during icy conditions or with hard-packed snow.

Toboggans can fit multiple people, which can increase the fun factor and downhill speeds.

Saucer-style sleds are good for one or two people. Foam liners on some saucers can absorb shock for riders, making those downhill bumps a little easier on the backside.

Keep in mind that sleds with steering mechanisms are easier to control, which can equate to safer sledding.

Layer up
It is best to dress in layers when going sledding Even if it seems warm at home, it may be colder and windier at the top of hills. Sweating when it's cold out can increase a person's risk for hypothermia. According to experts at Timberline Trails, a person who works up a sweat and comes in contact with ambient air when taking a break will feel an immediate chill. This is called evaporative danger, and can be remedied by dressing in layers and trying to stay dry.

Invest in a helmet
Sledding requires the use of a helmet. At high speeds, a blow to the head can cause a concussion or worse.

Let others go first
Wait until some sledders have already gone downhill, allowing them to compact the snow, which should make for a smooth ride.

Choose safe hills, such as those that are free of bare spots, holes, trees, and obstructions, and do not end abruptly at a road. Hills with a long, flat areas at the end make for easy, safe stopping.

Safety first
Put safety first when sledding. Sled during the daytime so visibility is better. Keep arms and legs on the sled, and only sled feet-first, advises the National Safety Council.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, sledders can make sure this popular winter activity is as safe as it is fun.


Enjoy more time outdoors with easy tricks (even when it's cold)

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The amount of time people spend outdoors has dramatically decreased, as the Environmental Protection Agency now reports the average American spends 87 percent of his or her time in a residence, school building or workplace.

Being outside is linked to better moods, more physical activity and less exposure to contaminants (concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher indoors). Also, people who spend time outside may not come into contact with surface germs or develop various illnesses spread as often as those who spend a lot of time indoors.

Cold weather can make the desire to be outside less appealing, but it is important for one's mental and physical well-being to get outside. The following activities might coax people outside for some crisp air.

Create snow critters
Why do snowmen and women get all of the fanfare this time of year? Just about any living or fictional creature can be molded from snow and embellish landscapes. Use food-grade coloring in spray bottles to added even more creative flair to snow designs.

Go on a nature hike
While many plants and animals hibernate in winter, there is still plenty to see. Bring along a sketch book or camera and capture nature in winter. White-washed hills can be beautiful to behold, and many small animals and birds look even more vivid against the white backdrop of snow.

Make an obstacle course
Turn an area of the yard or park into a homemade obstacle course. It's much more difficult, - and a great workout - to try to jump over snow mounds or run down paths when decked out in warm layers. Engage in lighthearted competitions with friends and family members.

Build a bonfire
Children can set off in different directions to gather up firewood to craft a bonfire with adults in a safe location. S'mores taste equally delicious whether it's warm or cold outside, and in winter they can be accompanied by toasty mugs of cocoa.

Get sporty
Sledding, skating, snowshoeing, and ice hockey are just a few of the winter sports that can get the heart pumping and muscles working outside. These activities are entertaining and also great exercise.

When venturing outdoors in winter, dress in layers. This way clothing can be put on or taken off to reduce the likelihood of hypothermia.


Dubuque Museum of Art to Host Traveling Exhibition from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

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Survey of 20th Century African American Art is the First Smithsonian Exhibit to Visit DuMA

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) announced that a major traveling exhibition will visit Dubuque in the new year.

Opening January 2019 at the DuMA, African American Art of the 20th Century is organized by and drawn from the collections of the world-renowned Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is the first Smithsonian traveling exhibition to visit DuMA since it announced its affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution in January 2016.

According to the SAAM, "[The exhibition] presents a selection of paintings, sculpture, and prints by black artists who explored the African American experience from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights era and the decades beyond.

"The artworks in the exhibition lay out a vision of America from an African American viewpoint. These artists embrace many universal themes and also evoke specific aspects of the African American experience-the African Diaspora, jazz, and the persistent power of religion."

The SAAM's chief curator, Virginia Mecklenburg, will present a talk at the DuMA later in the spring (date TBA).

The exhibition's stop in Dubuque was made possible by major support from Art Bridges, a recent initiative spearheaded by philanthropist and art collector Alice Walton (who is also the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton) and the museum she helped found, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The DuMA was among a handful of smaller museums awarded funding through Art Bridges' competitive Exhibition Projects program, which seeks to place high quality collections of American art in smaller communities.

"We heard early last year that Art Bridges was accepting letters of interest from museums our size," said Schmitz. "The timing was perfect. This exhibition was on our radar, but we were trying to determine how to fund it."

Additional support comes from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Donors to the DuMA's Impact Fund and annual Fund-a-Need also contributed to the project.

The approximately 50 artworks on display from the SAAM will be complimented by a selection of prints, on loan from the University of Iowa Museum of Art, by celebrated African American artist Elizabeth Catlett. Catlett was the first African American woman to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree, which she completed at the University of Iowa in 1940.

A selection of mixed-media works by Fort Dodge, Iowa artist Madai Taylor will also be on view. Madai Taylor: An Elegy to America in Black and White opens on the Amuse Bouche Balcony Gallery January 25.

A number of related public programs are planned in conjunction with African American Art of the 20th Century, including:

(All programs are held at the Dubuque Museum of Art, unless otherwise noted.)

Exhibition Member Preview
Friday, January 25
5-8 pm
Museum members free; guests $10

First Friday
Friday, February 1
10 am - 4 pm
FREE admission

Dubuque Chapter NAACP Speakers Bureau Lunch & Learn Series
Fridays; 12:15-1 p.m
Dubuque Museum of Art Lobby
January 25, 12:15-1 p.m.
Speaker: Tom Lo Guidice
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In Iowa: A Message for Today
A history about the October 1962 Iowa visit told from the perspectives of a family that greeted Dr. King upon his arrival, the President of Coe College, and the minister at Cornell College and excerpts from the lecture/sermon Dr. King presented.

February 8, 12:15-1 p.m.
Speaker: Anthony Allen
A Brief History of Civil Rights
African-Americans and whites were the founders of the NAACP in 1909. The presentation addresses the history of the organization including contemporary social concerns related to economics, education, education, health, public safety and criminal justice, and voting rights.

February 22, 12:15-1 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Mary Gitau
Hidden Figures
Hidden figures is based on a true story of three female African American Mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. They faced discrimination and institutional racism as they tried to build a career in a male-dominated workplace. Regardless of all that, they were some of the brains behind one the greatest operation in history-the launch of astronaut, John Glenn into the orbit.

March 22, 12:15-1 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Henry Grubb
The Maroons: Free People of Color in America
Maroons were Africans and their descendants in the Americas who formed settlements away from New World chattel slavery. Some had escaped from plantations, but others had always been free, like those born among them in freedom.

April 5, 12:15-1 p.m.
Speaker: Lynn Sutton
Food Desserts in Urban America and Urban Dubuque
African American Art of the 20th Century continues through April 19, 2019.

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:


8 best things to buy in December and January

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Oh the weather outside is frightful. Rather than succumb to cabin fever, people can use the winter months as the perfect time to visit area stores and score a few deals. 

Savvy shoppers understand that key items go on sale at specific points throughout the year. Learning how to shop the sales can lead to considerable savings.


1. Toys: Toys are perhaps the best items to purchase in December. Apart from Christmas gifts, it is a good time of year to stock up on toys children have coveted, which can be put away for birthday presents or other occasions. Retailers tend to lower toy prices as Christmas approaches.

2. Holiday decor: Decorative holiday items also tend to be heavily discounted in December. Stores slash prices on ornaments, gift wrap, artificial trees, holiday-themed baking items, and much, much more. If it has a passing connection to the holidays, chances are stores will cut prices by 50 percent or more once Christmas is over.

3. Televisions: It's possible to find discounted TVs even after the Black Friday sales have come and gone. Keep eyes trained on the circulars and jump when sales are advertised, as inventory may be limited.

4: Bubbly: Competition in the market will help drive down the cost of champagne and other sparkling wines. According to the wine resource GuildSomm, 22 percent of all champagne sales are run during the month of December.


5. Winter apparel: As the winter progresses, the amount of clothing stock in stores starts to dwindle to free up room for a new season's worth of attire. Starting in late December and continuing into the latter half of January, retailers are eager to liquidate their stock of scarves, sweaters, boots, and winter coats. This is a prime time to replenish wardrobes.

6. Linens: "White sales" are traditionally in January, with home goods retailers running discounts all month long. These sales generally encompass towels, bed sheets, curtains, and other linens.

7. Fitness items: January is the ideal time to purchase a new gym membership or fitness equipment since these purchases tie into New Year's resolutions to get fit. Gyms may waive extra fees or offer discounted rates.

8. Travel and entertainment: Most people return home after the holidays, and that can generate a slow travel season afterward. The travel industry attracts new customers with discounted hotel rates and other deals. Tickets to Broadway shows and other theaters also may be discounted to encourage people to leave the house.

December and January are great times to grab steep deals on an array of products.


Winter Collection Schedule for Yard Debris and Food Scraps Begins Thursday

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Beginning Thursday, Nov. 29, the City of Dubuque will start its winter yard waste and food scraps collection schedule. The City's weekly collection of yard debris and food scraps on customers' normal collection day ended Saturday, Nov. 24.

The winter yard debris and food scrap schedule will run on Thursdays only starting on Nov. 29 until regular, weekly yard waste and food scraps collection resumes on April 1, 2019.

Current food scraps collection subscribers will automatically have their collections made every Thursday and will be charged $1 per month for this winter service.

All other curbside collection customers who would like to have yard debris and/or food scraps collected must schedule an appointment for a Thursday collection by either calling the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request through the City's website at

Yellow yard waste stickers and/or annual yard waste decals are required for winter collections.

To receive automatic reminders about curbside collection schedule changes, recycling reminders, and other alerts, customers are encouraged to visit the ReThink Waste Dubuque site at to download the app or register their contact information to:

• sign up for curbside collection reminders by email, automated telephone call, and text message;

• download their collection schedule into iCal, Google calendar, or Microsoft Outlook calendar; and

• print their collection schedule.

The ReThink Waste Dubuque tool also offers a "Waste Wizard" feature, which allows users to type in any keywords and get disposal and recycling tips specific to Dubuque.

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


Comfortable winter entertaining ideas

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Winter entertaining need not end once Christmas and New Year's Day have come and gone. Getting together with friends and family is still possible even if the weather outside is frightful. When Mother Nature takes a chilly turn, those who don't want the party can consider the following entertaining ideas.

• Indulge in sweet treats. Comfort foods can make even the most blustery winds easier to tolerate. Invite people over for a dessert party. At a dessert pot luck party, everyone brings along a favorite decadent dessert, from molten lava chocolate cake to warm bread pudding. Serve alongside tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Adults can enjoy the added punch of spiked beverages, which can warm everyone up instantly.

• Host a "snowed in" party. Spending a day cooped up inside when the roads are covered in snow might not be your idea of fun, but invite a mix of friends and neighbors who live nearby over, and this impromptu party can make the cabin fever disappear. Ask guests to bring one food item or beverage. Light a fire in the fireplace and set out some cozy throw blankets. If possible, invite everyone outdoors to build a snowman.

• Get physical. Get physically active with friends or family members by staging mock Olympic events in the yard. These can be fun "sports" created by participants or variations on fun winter activities. Sledding races, snowball dodging contests, ice skating obstacle courses, and much more can make for an entertaining afternoon.

• Get cooking. Cooking can certainly pass the time, and it can be even more enjoyable when done in the company of others. Send out an invitation for friends to stop by for a meal or plan a meal prep party.

• Host a movie marathon. Handpick some favorite films and invite everyone over for a movie marathon. Fill the family room, home theater room or living room to capacity and host a group for a film fest. If space permits, set up one room with a children's movie for youngsters, while the adults retire to another room for movies that are more their speed. A buffet table set up with assorted snacks will help keep bellies full while guests watch some favorite flicks.

Winter days and nights are ripe for entertaining possibilities. These events help squash the cabin fever that can sometimes develop during the colder times of year.


What is Giving Tuesday?

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While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the more widely known retail holidays, Giving Tuesday is becoming pretty popular in its own right.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday helps raise awareness that charity is an important component of the holiday season. The nonprofit services company Neon says nearly one-third of all annual giving occurs in December, with 12 percent happening over the final three days of the year. Giving Tuesday is positioned right in the midst of the most popular time for charitable giving.

What makes Giving Tuesday unique is that it is largely fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. The day was actually created by the 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City that has been instrumental in bringing diverse groups of people together with the goals of giving back through service. The 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012 to help form a day that was focused on the generosity of giving during the holiday season. Thus, Giving Tuesday was born.

Technology and social media play a large role in uniting people for Giving Tuesday. Founding partners included Mashable, a technology website, Skype and Cisco. But the success of Giving Tuesday is thanks in large part to the general public, who have both spread the word and made their own contributions to charity.

In 2017, Giving Tuesday soared to new heights when technology mogul Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, announced their foundation would match up to $2 million in donations to Giving Tuesday fundraisers started on Facebook. Facebook similarly waived its 5 percent fee for U.S.-based nonprofits all day long.

The global Giving Tuesday movement helped raise more than $300 million online across more than 150 countries in 2017 alone. This year, the Giving Tuesday organization is poised to top their numbers and continue to improve upon the more than 46,000 participating organizations involved in their charitable efforts.

Learn more at


3 Memorial Day weekend travel tips

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Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In 2017, the automotive group AAA estimated that 40 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more on Memorial Day weekend. Those estimates also projected that 34.6 million vehicles would be used to make those trips.

Often referred to as "the unofficial beginning of summer," Memorial Day and the weekend that precedes it has become synonymous with beach trips and backyard barbecues. Travelers who want to avoid traffic jams and ensure their weekends get off on the right foot can benefit from employing these three travel-savvy strategies.

1. Start the weekend early.
In its "State of American Vacation 2017" survey, Project: Time Off found that 662 million vacation days were unused in 2016. People traveling for Memorial Day who typically leave some vacation days on the table can start their weekends early this year. Many offices close early the Friday before Memorial Day, and workers who aren't so lucky may just leave work early, meaning Friday afternoon traffic figures to be heavy. By leaving Thursday afternoon or evening, travelers can avoid the Friday rush to the beach.

2. Take public transportation.
Travelers who can't take an extra day off or leave work early the Friday before Memorial Day may want to consider taking public transportation to their beach destinations instead of driving themselves. In 2016, the U.S.-based data firm Inrix noted that a traffic-free Friday jaunt from New York City to Long Island's East end would take 90 minutes, while the same trip would take three hours and 40 minutes on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Travelers who can't leave early can save themselves from the stress of holiday traffic jams by letting someone else do the navigating.

3. Be patient and depart on Saturday morning.
Travelers who can be patient may find that waiting to depart for their destinations until Saturday can save them from dealing with much of the stress of traveling on Memorial Day weekend. The benefits of being patient may depend on where travelers live, as the Inrix study noted that Friday was the busiest day to leave Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend, while San Diego residents tended to deal with the most traffic on Saturday. An added benefit of waiting until Saturday is the likelihood that such travelers will not return home until Tuesday, avoiding traffic on Monday, which tends to be the busiest return travel day of the weekend.

Memorial Day weekend travel tends to be hectic. But savvy travelers with some flexibility can take steps to make their trips less stressful.