Area Tidbits

Roundabout Project Receives Safety Award

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Dubuque's first modern roundabout project was awarded the "Tom McDonald Safety Award" at the Iowa Streets and Roads Conference held on Sept. 21, 2016. Developed by Iowa State University, the award recognizes individuals, agencies, or programs that have contributed to significant improvements in traffic safety at the local level.

Dubuque's first roundabout at the North Grandview Avenue/Delhi Street/Grace Street intersection was completed in late August 2016. The roundabout project involved reconstruction of a five-way-stop intersection that experiences heavy pedestrian traffic with a nearby hospital and middle school. As part of the roundabout project, the City of Dubuque conducted an extensive public awareness campaign utilizing traditional media, social media, door-to-door campaigns, public information meetings, and special meetings with targeted groups. The City also developed videos and publications explaining the proper way for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to safely move through the roundabout.

Additionally, during the first few weeks after roundabout construction was complete, City staff were on hand at the roundabout to answer questions and help educate pedestrians on the proper use of crosswalks. Staff also educated children at the middle school near the intersection on the merits of a roundabout and proper use of crosswalks.

For more information on roundabout safety and this project, visit


End-of-summer checklist

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After a few months of blue skies and warm temperatures, summer revelers will soon bid adieu to the sultry days of this beloved season. Summer is often a season filled with vacations and recreation, but as the warm days dwindle and work and school commitments begin anew, there is additional work to be done in preparation for the months ahead.

• Stock up on pool equipment. Homeowners who have pools can take advantage of end-of-season sales to purchase a few more gallons of pool chlorine or other pool equipment. Store them after you have winterized the pool, and you will be ahead of the game in terms of supplies for next year.

• Plan your garden harvest. If you have a backyard garden, pick your tomatoes and other vegetables before the weather starts to get chilly. Herbs can be washed and frozen in zipper-top baggies so they can be used when cooking over the next several months. Boil tomatoes for sauce and freeze or jar them. Begin to clear out residual stems and plant debris from the garden.

• Clean patios and furniture. Scrub and hose down outdoor furniture, cushions and living areas. Clean and dry items before storing them for the winter, so everything is ready to go when the warm weather returns next year. 

• Purchase spring bulbs. Buy bulbs for spring-blooming flowers and map out where they will be planted for beautiful flowers next year. Wait until temperatures start to dip before planting the bulbs, otherwise they may begin to produce shoots prematurely, zapping the bulbs of energy.

• Check the heating system. Although turning on the heat may be the last thing you're thinking about, it's a good idea to test it and, if necessary, have the system serviced prior to the arrival of cold weather.

• Tend to the deck and other repairs. Make repairs to outdoor structures now, and they'll be more likely to survive the harsh weather that's just over the horizon. Apply stain or sealant to further protect wood structures in advance of snow and ice.

• Examine the roof and chimney. Winter is a poor time to learn you have missing roof shingles or a leak. Furthermore, ensure the chimney and venting to the outdoors is not obstructed by abandoned animal nests.

• Check your closets. Go through clothing and remove any items that are damaged or no longer fit, donating them if possible. Clean out kids' closets as well, as pants that fit perfectly in May will not necessarily fit come September.

• Stock the shed. Once the weather has cooled down, move outdoor flower pots, hoses and lawn ornaments you no longer need into the shed or garage while ensuring items needed in fall and winter, such as rakes, snow shovels and snowblowers, are more accessible.


“Birdies Fore Beds” Scores $9,600 for Opening Doors

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On August 25 at 2 PM, 84 women prepared to tee off at the scenic Thunder Hills Country Club. By the end of the evening, $9,600 was raised for Opening Doors!

"Birdies Fore Beds," a four person best shot charity event for Opening Doors, was the first venture of this kind for the Thunder Hills Country Club (THCC) Ladies' Golf Association. The planning committee, pictured at right, included, left to right, Cyndie Nelson, Nancy Fett, Beth Rowe, Elaine Schemmel, Joellen Herkert, Dr. Amy Vaassen and Sue Tefft.

The benefit featured 9 holes of golf, a delicious meal, a variety of vendor booths, raffle ticket prizes, and silent auction items. The evening's keynote speaker was one of the first residents of Maria House who spoke about how the staff helped to shape her future by encouraging her to believe in herself.

"The extraordinary efforts of the "Birdies Fore Beds" committee and the THCC Ladies Golf Association is a wonderful example of women reaching out to help other women, who find themselves on the margins of society, struggling with homelessness and poverty," said Opening Doors' Executive Director Michelle Brown. She added, "this amazing team gave a voice to those in need in our own community."

Thunder Hills' Head PGA Golf Professional Brian Wilson remarked, "We were so excited to host this special event. The commitment of our THCC members, the community, and our local companies was amazing."

Many thanks to the participants, vendors and sponsors! 

Opening Doors is the nonprofit organization that operates Maria House and Teresa Shelter. Homeless women, alone or with children, come to us to help rebuild their lives. We provide goal setting and life skills training that will enable them to take care of themselves and achieve their full potential. Women are dependent when they come in...independent when they leave. Since 2000, Maria House has provided transitional housing, where residents can stay for as long as two years. In 2006, we opened Teresa Shelter. It offers the same transitional housing, as well as short-term emergency shelter services.
For more information, please contact Ann Lorenz at 563-582-7480,


Emphasize safety when swapping stories around the campfire

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Camping is a popular and fun way to enjoy the great outdoors. For families vacationing on a budget, camping provides an affordable alternative to costly resorts and hotels. 

No camping trip is complete without spending some time around a campfire. But as fun as swapping stories around the campfire can be, campfires can also pose a safety risk. When building a campfire, campers can employ the following approach to ensure everyone enjoys a safe night around the fire.

• Choose the right spot. Select a location that is on level ground and clear any obstructions or flammable items from the area before starting the fire. Be sure to look above you to make sure there are no low-hanging branches that may fall into the fire and ignite, putting campers at risk of injury.

• Check the fire danger level. Many parks and campsites will post a warning level on signage indicating whether dry conditions can contribute to fast-expanding fires. When a high fire warning has been issued, it may be wise to avoid campfires altogether.

• Ensure water is nearby. Have bottled water available or choose a campsite that is in close proximity to a water source. This ensures you can douse the fire or cool coals if need be.

• Use existing fire pit rings. Many campsites have fire rings in place. This serves to keep the fire contained in a safe manner. The best place to build a fire is within an existing fire ring in a well-placed campsite. If there is no ring, create your own barrier with rocks, stones and sand. Keep flammable material outside of a 10-foot diameter circle.

• Stay close to the fire so long as it is burning. Never walk away from a lit fire. Even a small breeze can cause the fire to spread quickly, so stay near until it dissipates or you extinguish it.

• Do not use accelerants. Light wood or coals with matches or a lighter or use a flint fire starter kit. Never douse the materials in lighter fluid or gasoline to get the blaze going.

• Make sure the fire is out. When breaking down the campsite, completely extinguish the fire before leaving. Move stones and spread out embers and ash so that all heat can dissipate. Do not leave until the remains of the campfire are cool to the touch.

Campfires can be both fun and practical when camping out. But always keep safety in mind and exercise considerable caution when choosing where and when to light fires.



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The annual Fall Clean-up will begin on Monday, October 10, and run through Friday, October 14, 2016. Please remove all items and decorations you wish to save no later than Sunday, October 9. All items not removed will be discarded.

Cemetery Management requests that no decorations or plantings be placed on grave sites or in the mausoleum until Saturday, October 15, 2016. Check Cemetery Regulations before placing decorations to avoid losing items that do not conform.


The Grand Opera House Announces Terror At the Grand Opera House

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A Halloween Haunted Theater Experience

For decades there have been rumors that the Grand Opera House is haunted. Now is your chance to find out for yourself!

The Grand Opera House will present Terror At The Grand Opera House, "A Halloween Haunted Theater Experience" on Friday, October 28th, Saturday, October 29th, and Sunday, October 30th at 135 W. 8th Street in Dubuque. Each evening will feature "Light Fright" from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM and "Full Fright" from 8:00 PM to midnight.

$5 Light Fright is intended for young children and those who prefer a more "fun" and less "scary" experience. Adult supervision is suggested. $10 Full Fright is intended for those who want the full "Haunted House" experience. 

The haunted route will take visitors through the dark back hallways and staircases of the ancient theater, off limits to our regular guests. At the Grand there really are things that go bump in the night. This is your opportunity to come face to face with one of our visitors from beyond. As you make your way through the maze of hallways, be wary of the dark corners and unseen passageways – you never know if the hand that grabs you belongs to a being of this world...or the next!

Fog and strobe effects will be used (not recommended for individuals with asthma, heart conditions, seizures, or mental problems). This tour includes walking several stairs and is not recommended for individuals with mobility impairment.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or, to avoid lines, purchase in advance on the Grand's website, or at the box office. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, noon to 4:00 PM. Phone 563-588-1305

The Grand is also seeking volunteers to help make the haunted tour a success, both in the weeks before and during the nights of the event. Those interested in volunteering should contact Michelle at


The Grand Opera House Announces EVA and Cranes/Vultures

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International Roots and Local Flavor in an evening of great music!

The Grand Opera House will present the International Folk Music Trio EVA and Dubuque's homegrown Indie-Folk-Rock Trio Cranes/Vultures in a double bill at 7:30 PM Friday, October 14th, all tickets just $10.

The women of EVA feature breathtaking voices with roots in Australia, Ireland, the UK & the USA. EVA performs a seamless mix of traditional and contemporary original folk music. Kath Buckell, Liz Simmons and Nicole Zuraitis lend their three distinct voices to songs that meld worldly sensibilities with time-honored musical traditions. EVA's powerful three-part vocal harmonies are bedded on the textured landscape of guitar, piano, and percussion.

The men of Dubuque's Cranes/Vultures derived the band's name from the skies over their bluff-laden hometown, where America's greatest waterway bids birds of all sorts. The dichotomy of Cranes/Vultures also reflects the versatile emotional style and personality of the music. Band members Nate Jenkins (vocals, guitars, tenor banjo), Brad Cavanagh (drums, vocals, percussion) and Josh Engler (double bass, electric bass) create original music ranging from melodic, personal lyrics that push inward to punchy, outward licks that will leave you dancing.

Tickets can be purchased at the Grand Opera House box office noon-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, by calling 563-588-1305, or by visiting


UnityPoint Health® Finley Hospital Offers Online Pre-Diabetes Class

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UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital is now serving patients in a new way – online "live" pre-diabetes programming. As diabetes and pre-diabetes are on the rise, Finley's Kehl Diabetes Center is connecting with patients where they are – whether it be at home, work, or traveling. The class is designed to meet patient's needs and provide education on pre-diabetes to those who need it.

"UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital continues to be on the forefront on the ways in which we deliver care to our patients," said David Brandon, President and CEO of Finley Hospital. "We provide care in our hospitals, clinics, at home and also in the digital world."

The class is a two-part class designed to help those with pre-diabetes learn about the condition and assist in making long-term lifestyle changes. The videoconferencing class can be accessed on any type of device that connects to the internet.

Classes are offered beginning October 6 through December 28 at a variety of times throughout the day. For dates, times and information to register, visit Under Classes and Events, click on Pre-Diabetes Online Program to find a list of dates, times and class identification numbers that are needed when registering on

For any questions about the program, please call (563) 589-4899.



Romantic films to watch together

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Couples celebrate the weekend in many different ways. For some the idea of dinner out followed by a stroll arm-in-arm seems the epitome of romance, while others may want to go out dancing or engage in a favorite hobby.
Weekends can also can be a romantic endeavor if a couple chooses to spend time with each other watching a romantic movie. The following are a handful of love-inspired movies that can add a special something to any couple's weekend.

• The Notebook: Author Nicholas Sparks has a way of taking the everyday experiences in a person's life and making them relatable and heartbreaking in a pluck-at-your-heartstrings sort of way. His novel "The Notebook" won the hearts of many and seemed a natural to be adapted to film. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, the movie illustrates how love can last through the years and even survive an Alzheimer's diagnosis.

• The Proposal: In order to remain in the country, a demanding New York-based book editor (Sandra Bullock) asks her brow-beaten assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her. Their tumultuous relationship involves a trip to Alaska to meet his family.

• An Affair to Remember: Romantic melodramatic master Cary Grant falls in love with Deborah Kerr aboard a cruise ship while they are traveling with other people. They agree to meet at the top of the Empire State Building in six months if they have ended their relationships and are ready to commit to each other. Grant makes it to the rendezvous spot, but an injured Kerr never shows as Grant assumes she has rejected the proposal.

• Say Anything: In pursuit of a woman he believes is out of his social league, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) creates hope for the underdog in us all. The movie inspired teens to raise their boom box radios over their heads and blast romantic tunes to illustrate their love.

• The Wedding Singer: This quirky movie about a wedding singer who falls for a banquet waitress highlights the importance of loving each other for what makes you unique.

• Once: Attraction between the main characters comes by way of creative musical collaboration. Music proves to be an aphrodisiac, making the film and the song "Falling Slowly" from its score so popular. This romantic tale helped take the film from the big screen to the Broadway stage.

• West Side Story: "West Side Story" is yet another homage to "Romeo and Juliet." But the film made Shakespeare's tragic love story relatable to audiences of the 1960s.

• My Best Friend's Wedding: Julianne (Julia Roberts) is called on to be the "best man" for her friend's (Dermot Mulroney) wedding. Only when the wedding planning is underway does Julianne realize she is in love with her friend and needs to get him to fall for her instead.

• Never Been Kissed: A reporter goes undercover at a high school to discover something controversial and ends up being the subject of her story when she falls in love with her English teacher.

• Harold and Maude: A man in his twenties and a much older woman begin a romantic relationship and challenge social norms along the way.

• Annie Hall: Winner of four Academy Awards, "Annie Hall" follows a comedian who is trying to maintain his relationship with a woman.

• Bridget Jones' Diary: A modern adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice," the movie tells the tale of a self-conscious woman who finds love in a man that seems to be her polar opposite.

• Ten Things I Hate About You: Filmmakers reinvented "The Taming of the Shrew" in this teen comedy starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger.

• Casablanca: No romantic movie list would be complete without this wartime drama. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are in top form in this movie of chance meetings.

• The Princess Bride: Girl meets boy, girl detests boy, girl truly loves boy, and then girl loses boy. This fairy tale shares the purity of true love and happily ever after.


The Grand Opera House Receives $5,000 Dubuque Racing Association Grant

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The Grand Opera House was the recipient of a $5,000 Dubuque Racing Association Grant used to partially replace the theater's failing Clear-Com Communication System. 

Dubuque Greyhound Park (now known as Mystique Casino) became the nation's first non-profit greyhound track. The facility is owned by the City of Dubuque and is run under the guidance of the Dubuque Racing Association, a volunteer board comprised of 21 directors. Profits from the casino go to the City and area charitable organizations, and gaming taxes provide revenue for the City, County and State.

In addition to the distribution of excess profits, the City of Dubuque receives lease payments and also receives revenues from pari-mutuel and casino taxes. Total payments made to the City of Dubuque since 1985 have been over $244 million.

In 2016, 182 charitable organizations received monies from the DRA Grant Program. Projects funded within these organizations included school security systems, books and educational materials, and fire safety equipment. Since 1985, 961 organizations have benefited from the 5,195 grant awards totaling over $42 million. These organizations not only help the City of Dubuque locally, but umbrella areas in the surrounding counties of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

The $5,000 grant allowed the Grand to purchase a Clear-Com MS-704 4 Channel Base Station, partially replacing the aged and failing MS-400a from 1987. The new unit allows two way communications among stage personnel and performers in cases of emergency, the proper calling and execution of technical cues and to make sure everyone is on stage when they are needed, enhancing the performance for the audience. This unit is capable of utilizing the 4 channels to communicate with different parts of the building allowing instant communication for the effective management of the performance.

Information on upcoming Grand events is available at or call the Business Office, 563-588-4356.


The connection between forest fires and climate change

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Roughly 35 forest fires raged in the state of Colorado in June of 2012, obliterating homes and thousands of acres of land in the process. While these devastating fires were blazing, much of the central United States was under record-breaking heat, with some temperatures consistently reaching the triple digits.

The National Climate Data Center reported that 41 heat records were broken at the time, most in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Such high temperatures are not typical in these areas. Many scientists have questioned if the forest fires and the heat waves tend to go hand in hand.

According to the "Heat Waves and Climate Change" report from Climate Communication, a nonprofit science and outreach project funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation, as of the June forest fires, there had been nearly 10 times as many high-temperature records as low-temperature records through the midway point of 2012. In the last 10 years, high-temperature records have outnumbered low-temperature records by a two-to-one margin. This has led many people to firmly believe that the climate is growing warmer.

The prospects of global climate change have prompted the assumptions of many different ecological changes. Ecologists and scientists have said that a mere two degree change in temperature can have profound effects. Some of those effects include:

• Intense warming over land, exacerbated over the Arctic. Retreating sea ice in this area reflects less light and therefore results in less cooling.

• Ice caps and glaciers melt, causing an overall rise in sea levels.

• Rising sea levels force many coastal areas, and those already below sea level, to be covered in water.

• Although day-to-day weather may not seem to change much, when extreme weather events do occur, they will be much more intense.

• Long dry spells combined with earlier snowmelt will increase the risk of wildfires, according to Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist and head of the climate analysis division of Colorado's National Center for Atmospheric Research.

• A study published in 2007 in the journal Climate Dynamics predicted wetter winters for the northeastern United States – with 10 to 15 percent more precipitation – and hotter summers. Residents of the Northeast witnessed this firsthand when the 2010-2011 blizzards essentially shut down major cities like New York and Boston.

Many more people have taken notice of weather abnormalities that have occurred in the last several years. Fiercer hurricanes and other storms around the world and alterations of normal seasonal patterns have raised questions. The Natural Resources Defense Council offers that while local temperatures fluctuate naturally, over the past 50 years the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. And experts think the trend is accelerating. The 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990.

Scientists say that hot temperatures in Colorado are one factor that may have contributed to the forest fires. However, low levels of precipitation throughout the year and the lack of very cold nights throughout the winter may have contributed to a drying out of the forests. In essence, the forests were like stacks of kindling just waiting to go up in flames.

Dr. Steven Running, a University of Montana forest ecologist, predicts that extreme events like immense forest fires will only become more prevalent and accelerate every year as warming trends continue.


How to show support for local police

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Police officers put their lives on the line every day they show up for work. But in spite of the sacrifices officers routinely make, their contributions often go unnoticed.

Police officers' jobs might be thankless, but that does not mean people cannot express their gratitude to the men and women in blue who keep their communities safe. The following are a handful of ways to show support for the police officers who work hard to protect and serve your community.

• Pick up a police officer's tab. Police officers work in your community and, therefore, they likely break bread in your community as well. When you see police officers ordering meals at a local restaurant or sitting down to lunch at a neighborhood diner, offer to pay for their meals or arrange payment with their waiter or waitress without letting the police officers know. Picking up police officers' tabs is a simple gesture, but it's one they will appreciate and it will let them know they're supported in the community they're working hard to protect.

• Support police fundraisers. Police departments fundraisers support various causes. Some might aim to raise funds for sports programs designed to help local youth, while others might hope to raise money for the families of fallen officers. Whatever the motivation for the fundraiser, by supporting the event you are donating to a good cause and showing the police they and their efforts are being supported.

• Teach kids to respect police officers. Police officers have come under considerable scrutiny in recent years, and youngsters may not know how to respond to news stories that do not paint police officers in a positive light. Parents can show their support for police officers by teaching their kids to respect police at all times. Encourage children to come to you if they read or hear stories that depict police officers negatively so you can help them process the story and encourage them to maintain the respect they have for police officers.

• Thank a police officer when given the opportunity. Though it seems simple, saying "Thank you" to police officers can reassure them that the communities they work so hard to protect support and appreciate their efforts. Thanking police officers may only take a few seconds, but such a gesture can help police officers better cope with the stress of their jobs.

Police officers have difficult jobs that require them to make considerable sacrifices to protect the communities where they work. But it doesn't take much to show your support for local police officers and express your gratitude for the sacrifices they make every day.


Prep pointers for the upcoming hunting season

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Hunting is a popular hobby and sport enjoyed by millions of people across North America. Over the last 10 years, data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that more and more females are taking up hunting. 

Hunting seasons vary depending on where you live. Regulations designed by local conservation, game, fish, and wildlife departments often dictate the start and end of hunting season. Although the licensing, seasons, limits, and fees for hunting may differ geographically, the preparation that goes into getting ready for hunting season is similar regardless of geography.

Many seasoned hunters realize hunting season does not begin on "opening day." Rather, it can take weeks or months to get ready for a successful season. Considering hunting seasons can be brief, preparation helps hunters make the most of their time spent in the field.

• Purchase your license, tag or stamp. Many wildlife departments require hunters to register in advance of the season, and this registration includes securing a hunting license. Because there is a limit to how many animals each hunter can hunt, tags for the animals they're hunting also will be issued. Hunters planning on going out for the season should stay apprised of when licensing and registration begins and ends so they can hunt legally.

• Scout areas. The landscape can change from year to year depending on a host of factors, including construction, commercialization and weather. Areas once open to hunting may now be restricted lands. Map out your potential hunting location and be aware of any new landmarks or changes.

• Check and replenish gear. Inspect weaponry, field-dressing supplies, clothing, and other supplies for wear and tear. Address any issues that need to be fixed, or replace items as necessary. If a rifle, bow or shotgun hasn't been fired in a while, take it to a range to verify accuracy and sighting. If you hunt out of a tree stand or blind, make sure it is sturdy and in good condition prior to use.

• Get in shape. Hunting often requires hiking in and out of the great outdoors in various terrain. It's helpful to increase physical activity leading up to the hunt to prepare your body for the physical demands of hunting.

• Organize and pack gear. Ensure your equipment is clean, in working order and packed away in your travel bags. Establish a system of organization and a checklist so you're certain you will have what you need. Don't forget to bring along your hunting license and animal tags; otherwise, you may be levied with costly fines.

• Always hunt safely. It is quite easy to get swept up in the moment when tracking game. Don't let overzealousness cloud rational judgement and safety precautions. Otherwise an injury or even death can occur.

Hunting season is on the horizon and that means preparing now for the few weeks of sport to come.


5 ways to honor your grandparents

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Grandparents hold a special place in the hearts of people all over the world. In many cultures, elders are revered and celebrated, and many people know their grandparents as fun-loving folks who sneak their grandchildren candy and let them get away with things when their parents aren't looking. 

The American Grandparents Association says there are 70 million grandparents in the United States, and more than a million people become first-time grandparents every year. Many grandparents even serve as the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

The roles grandparents play in the lives of their children and grandchildren are significant, and the following are some ways to honor the grandparents in your life.

• Create a customized brag book. Grandparents often enjoy sharing photos and stories of their family members with others. Thanks to user-friendly software, it is now easier than ever to design a brag book, photo album or even a photo calendar that grandparents can cherish. Rely on a photo-sharing site to get started. Remember to include special moments, such as family trips or milestone occasions, that highlight what your grandparents mean to you.

• Develop a family history project. Forays into genealogy don't need to be limited to class assignments. Examining the family tree can be a unique way to spend more time with grandparents or other seniors in your life. Chronicle moments in your family history and compile a catalog of genealogical data. You never know which details of historical significance you may uncover when exploring your family history.

• Organize a special outing. Take an interest in a grandparent's hobby or occupation. Schedule a date when you spend time together exploring this interest, whether it be fishing, scrapbooking or taking in a sporting event. This will reinforce bonding time. On another day, reverse roles, inviting a grandparent or elderly relative to participate in an activity you enjoy.

• Travel together. Planning a vacation with a grandparent is an ideal way to see some sites and make great memories together. If traveling internationally, investigate how people of different generations live in the country you are visiting.

• Catalog family recipes. Before hosting your next family meal, invite a grandparent over to help with the cooking and to share family recipes. Arrange a day to write all the family recipes down in a single book or file so they can be shared with future generations.


Take your pick of apple history and trivia

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Though apples are enjoyed across the globe, many people associate apples with the United States of America. That's in spite of the fact that the first apples were cultivated on the opposite side of the world from North America in Asia. 

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples that produce various characteristics for flavor and appearance. Apples are often a topic of discussion in the fall, when many trees produce their largest bounties of fruit. Autumn is a good time of year to take a closer look at apples, and explore some of the most popular varieties for picking and eating.

Apple origins
Malus deomestica, or the common apple tree, is a descendent of apple trees that originated in Central Asia in what is now southern Kazakhstan. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe. The original apple tree was the wild apple, or Malus sieversii. DNA analysis has confirmed that the wild apple is the progenitor of the cultivated apple enjoyed today.

European colonists likely brought apple seeds and trees with them when they emigrated to North America, introducing that part of the world to the apple tree. Records from the Massachusetts Bay Company indicate that apples were being grown in New England as early as 1630. Americans also enjoy the popular story of Johnny Appleseed, who was believed to have distributed apple seeds and trees to settlers across the United States. 

While apples can be produced from seeds, nowadays many apples are propagated by grafting so that they retain the parent tree's characteristics of flavor, hardiness and insect resistance.

Apples and symbolism
Apples have become the main symbols of many different stories and tales throughout history. Apples are linked to the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve and their ultimate expulsion from the Garden of Eden. However, the apple is never named in any of the religious texts as the fruit Eve picked from the tree of knowledge.

Apples have appeared in fairy tales and folklore. The Brothers Grimm had the character "Snow White" fall ill after eating a poisoned apple. In Norse mythology, the goddess Iounn was the appointed keeper of golden apples that kept the Aesir young forever.

Apples have also played a role in science, most notably Sir Isaac Newton's study of gravity. While myth surrounds the story of Newton and an apple falling from a nearby tree, it's likely that witnessing an apple fall from a tree did spark something in the famed scientist.

Most popular apple varieties
Many varieties of apple stand out as perennial favorites. In the United States, the Red Delicious is the country's most popular grown apple. It was called the hawkeye when discovered in 1872. The Golden Delicious is the second most popular grown apple in America. The Delicious apples tend to have mild, but grainy flesh that can fall apart when cooked, so they're best used for snacking. Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, McIntosh, and Macoun are some of the other most popular varieties.

Those interested in baking with apples can select among Granny Smith, Jonagold and McIntosh. These apples tend to be crisp and tart and hold up better in recipes.

Apples have been enjoyed for thousands of years. While apples are a staple of autumn, they can be enjoyed all year long thanks to their widespread availability.


Hispanic Heritage Celebration

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The Multicultural Family Center (MFC) will host a Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Saturday, October 8th, from noon to 3pm at Washington Park, 700 Locust Street in Dubuque.

The free event will feature Mexican folkloric dance performances from Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico (QCBF). QCBF teaches Mexican culture to the community through the art form of dance. Fifty students will perform a full hour of dances representing a variety of regions in Mexico.

"Throughout the years, we have performed across the Midwest but have also performed in Arizona and Minnesota. We are proud to say that we now have over 100 students which is a milestone that we have never reached before. This allows us to have a performing group of about 50-60 students" said Ray Terronez Jr., Director of QCBF.

The event will also consist of children's activities including face painting, a piñata, Hispanic arts and crafts, free Adobo's Mexican Grill tacos provided by the MFC for the first 300 guests, Hispanic folk tales with Amy Ressler and a Hispanic heritage educational presentation and display.

Partnerships for the event include the City of Dubuque, the Dubuque Museum of Art and the Loras Intercultural Student Association (LISA). In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held at Prescott Elementary, 1151 White Street in Dubuque.

For details on all MFC happenings visit our NEW and improved Multicultural Family Center Website or on Facebook at MFC Facebook Page,


Dubuque, Iowa Tourism Executive Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

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Rapid City, SD | Keith Rahe, President & CEO of the Dubuque Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, was honored on Monday, September 19th, with the Bruce Riley McDaniel Individual Professionalism and Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was presented to Rahe at the 19th annual Upper Midwest Convention & Visitors Bureau Fall Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota and is awarded each year to a tourism industry professional that achieves and exemplifies greatness throughout their career.

Rahe's involvement in the tourism industry started in 1990 in Dyersville, Iowa at the Field of Dreams Movie Site. Amazed at the flood of tourists coming to see the field, Rahe organized a group of his friends to ‘magically appear' from the corn just like Ray Liotta and his team did in the movie. Rahe saw the potential of what could be, purchased authentic Chicago White Sox uniforms out of his own pocket, put together a team, and created the Ghost Players of the Field of Dreams. Throughout the past 27 years, the Ghost Players have made appearances all over the world. They have worked with the USO, assisted in baseball clinics, appeared at major events, and worked with the less fortunate, all while spreading the magic of the Field of Dreams. Rahe managed Left and Center Field of Dreams for 17 years, welcomed millions of visitors, and orchestrated major events at the site. To this day, Rahe continues to manage and travel with the Ghost Players, most recently to Puerto Rico.

In 2002, Rahe served as the Chair for the Board of the Dubuque Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (DACVB). His dedication to moving the Tri-States tourism industry forward caught the eye of Dubuque leaders and he was asked to organize the 2004 Grand Excursion in Dubuque. The event brought over 6,000 people to Dubuque to celebrate the boats and the Mississippi River. Due to the event's success, Rahe and a group of local dignitaries were challenged to create an annual event that celebrated the Port of Dubuque and to bring people from around the country and world to experience Dubuque, IA. America's River Festival was born with Rahe at the helm. In its inaugural year, America's River Festival brought over 2,500 people from the Tri-States to enjoy live music, food and fun. In 2016, 12,000 people came from 548 communities in 24 states and 1 foreign country. Through Rahe's leadership and vision over the last 12 years, this event has grown to become one of the premier event in the region.

In 2005, Rahe became the Executive Director of the Dyersville Economic Development Corporation where his responsibilities were to advance the quality of life for the community in business and tourism. Rahe was tasked with attracting new companies as well as growing interest in the popular farm toy industry which the community is known for. Rahe put together the largest economic development package in the history of the community of 4,000, by successfully recruiting US Bio Energy, a 110-million-gallon ethanol plant. He was instrumental in negotiating/implementing the land transactions, financial incentive packages, annexation/zoning and contractor recommendations of the $135 million project. He also coordinated and oversaw two of the largest farm toy shows in the world, the Summer Farm Toy Show and the National Farm Toy Show. Each of these shows brings travelers domestically and internationally annually.

In 2007, Rahe became one of three full time employees as the Director of Sales at the DACVB and in November of 2008, his experience & leadership earned him the title of President & CEO. Under his leadership in the last eight years, Dubuque County has increased its economic impact of tourism to the State of Iowa by $75.35 million. Staffing has grown from 3 full time members to 7 full time members and 5 part time employees.

Currently Rahe serves on the board of Medical Associates Clinic in Dubuque along with the steering committee for Schmidt Island's future development in the City of Dubuque. He is the current President of the Eastern Iowa Tourism Association and President of the Travel Federation of Iowa. Along with these boards, he is also active in the Iowa Destination Marketing Association and the Tri-State Tourism Council. Rahe is also an instrumental board member for the Grant Wood Loop, a project that Governor Branstad has earmarked $1 million towards a pilot program creating and enhancing the Iowa parks system as well as a quality of life project for citizens and visitors to the State of Iowa in Iowa's parks.


Another Record Year for Jule Transit Ridership

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For a seventh consecutive year, The Jule has posted a record increase in transit ridership. Transit usage in Dubuque has risen to over 550,000 annual rides, with a significant portion of this growth a result of increased fixed-route usage. Dubuque's college and university population account for a large percentage of the rise in fixed-route ridership in fiscal year (FY) 2016.

This year's increase continues The Jule's trend of annual growth. Transit ridership has increased 26 percent, or over 150,000 rides, in the last five years. The 553,387 total ridership in FY16 consists of a 14,786 ride increase in fixed-route ridership even with the $100,000 reduction in operating costs from combining low ridership routes in August 2015.

With the shift in ridership towards an increased use of fixed-route service, the cost per ride is reduced for Dubuque tax payers. Candace Eudaley, the City of Dubuque Transit Manager, said, "The more people that ride each bus, the lower the cost per ride and the greater the revenue on each route. When we're able to combine routes but maintain ridership levels, we provide more rides for fewer taxpayer dollars."

Jule staff continue to conduct ongoing ridership analysis to determine passenger needs for bus routes, stop locations, and opportunities to combine routes and use peak and off peak scheduling to allocate resources efficiently. The continued partnership between the Jule and Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque will also contribute to the growth pattern of both daytime and nighttime ridership. 

In addition to this year's success, The Jule was recognized by the Federal Transit Administration, Region 7 Office, for the largest percent increase in ridership for urban transit systems in Iowa with a 15.4 percent increase from fiscal year 2014 and 2015.


New Doors for Opening Doors Thanks to the DRA!

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Opening Doors is proud to announce a new location for its administrative offices located at 2100 Asbury Road, Suite 8, thanks in part to a grant from the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA).

Opening Doors is the nonprofit organization that operates
two shelters for homeless women and children: Maria House and Teresa Shelter. Teresa Shelter was recently renovated to include an intake room for new admissions.

Thanks to a DRA grant, we were able to construct a similar room for incoming residents at Maria House. Because space was limited at Maria House, the project required that the administrative staff move to a new location. The
DRA grant provided funding for the technology changes necessary to move the offices which took place on August 1. The grant also included a new intercom system at Maria House that provides better communication between the staff and the residents on the second and third floor.

"As we enter our 17th year of service, we are excited to expand our operations to better serve the homeless women and children of the tri-states," said Executive Director Michelle Brown. "Maria House is now truly a home for our women and children and not a multi-purpose building. Our new office provides an additional location for our supporters to drop off Wish List items and cash donations. We are very grateful to the DRA for 14 years of support!"

??Opening Doors moved into their new administrative office on August 1.

Opening Doors is the nonprofit organization that operates Maria House and Teresa Shelter. Homeless women, alone or with children, come to us to help rebuild their lives. We provide goal setting and life skills training that will enable them to take care of themselves and achieve their full potential. Women are dependent when they come in...independent when they leave. Since 2000, Maria House has provided transitional housing, where residents can stay for as long as two years. In 2006, we opened Teresa Shelter. It offers extended stay housing, as well as short-term emergency shelter services.

For more information, please contact Michelle Brown, Executive Director ( or Ann Lorenz, Development & Marketing Director at 563-582-7480 (


Terms novice anglers may want to learn

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Fishing is a fun activity that many people consider a passion. Novice fishermen may have fun on their first fishing outing but come away confused by some of the terminology used. The following glossary of common fishing terms can help men and women as they further explore their newfound love of fishing.

• Angling: Fishing using a hook and line. Anglers are people who fish, and types of angling include bait and fly fishing, casting and trolling.

• Bait: The food or food substitute used to lure in fish. Insects, minnows and worms are some of the widely used types of bait.

• Cast: To throw the hooked or baited end of a fishing line out into the water.

• Catch and release: When anglers "catch and release" their fish, they unhook the fish they catch and return them back to the water before the fish dies.

• Drifting: A type of fishing where the angler allows his or her boat to drift.

• Fly-fishing: A technique in which a lightweight rod known as a "fly rod" is used to cast live or imitation flies tied to a hook.

• Gaff: A type of hook used to land a fish.

• Jig: A lure that consists of a single hook with a lead weight molded around it. Jigs are often adorned with fur, feathers or a plastic body.

• Lure: Artificial bait designed to resemble live bait.

• Plug: A type of lure made of wood, plastic or rubber that is designed to resemble live bait, such as minnows or insects.

• Rod: The pole of a fishing pole. Different types of rods are used for different types of fishing.

• Sinker: A weight used to prevent lures from floating up in the water. Sinkers come in various shapes, types and weights.

• Spinner: A lure made with a rotating blade on a wire shaft.


Car seats and swings may not sleep baby safely

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Frazzled new parents seek out any way to get their infants to sleep soundly, particularly when these parents also could use some shut-eye. Some parents will attest that newborns seem to come into the world with their days and nights mixed up, as well as with an aversion to resting comfortably in a bassinet or crib, noting how infants seem to doze off most comfortably in swings or car seats.

While it may be tempting to let sleeping babies lie, or rather, sit, in car seats when they're asleep, research has suggested that car seats are not the safest places for babies to sleep. A relatively recent study in the journal Pediatrics showed that the car seats can compress the chest wall and reduce airway size, possibly lowering blood oxygen levels.

The study placed 200 healthy newborns in a hospital crib for 30 minutes and in a car bed or car seat for an hour. Infants who slept in a car seat or car bed had lower oxygen levels than when they slept in the crib.
Pulmonary pediatrics experts at Massachusetts General Hospital concur, saying car seats can cause mild respiratory compromise in about 20 percent of newborns.

This means that the car seats should be restricted to use in the car only, and not be used as a makeshift sleeping area outside of the vehicle.

Hypoxia, or a fall in oxygen levels that causes a deficiency in the blood, is associated with behavioral problems and adverse effects on development, offer researchers from Auckland University. Limiting time spent in car seats, and similarly, infant swings, can help prevent the condition. A child's head can fall forward onto his or her chest and cause a decline in available oxygen. When children are in car seats for travel, ensure the seat is set at the proper incline, usually a 45-degree angle. This helps keep airways open. 

If a child falls asleep in a swing at home, keep an eye on him or her. Turn off the rocking mechanism when he or she falls asleep and be sure that infants are always buckled in securely to avoid their slipping out and falling. Keep the swing in the most reclined position until the baby is able to lift and hold up his or her head on his or her own. Also, don't pad the swing with loose pillows or blankets, as this can increase SIDS risk, advises the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Parents should recognize that car seats and swings should not be used as sleeping areas for children. Consult with a pediatrician about safer ways to help kids get some sleep.


Housing Department Offering Home Ownership Workshop in October

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Peck Receives Labor Relations Award of Excellence

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City of Dubuque Personnel Manager Randy Peck is the recipient of an award of excellence from the Iowa Public Employer Labor Relations Association (IaPELRA) for his contribution to the management role in public sector labor relations. Peck received the award Thursday at the IaPELRA Annual Conference in Waterloo.

The award of excellence represents IaPELRA's highest acknowledgement of the recipient's dedication and achievement in the development of positive labor-management relations. It signifies professional efforts resulting in successful labor relations over an extended period of time.

Peck has served as Personnel Manager for the City of Dubuque since June of 1979. For the past 37 years, he has represented the City in facilitating collective bargaining agreements with the Dubuque Police Protective Association, Dubuque Professional Firefighter's Association, International Union of Operating Engineers, Teamsters Local Union No. 421, and Teamsters Local Union No. 421 Bus Operators.

Peck is a member of the Iowa Public Employer Labor Relations Association and the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association. He is a founding member of the Dubuque Area Labor Management Council (DALMC) Board of Directors and was awarded the DALMC's Bob Bennet Award for Good Faith in Collective Bargaining in 2008.

"Randy is a skilled negotiator and patient communicator with a great ability to compromise," said Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen. "Throughout his years of service to the City of Dubuque and members of its bargaining units, he has worked with one single goal in mind - the betterment of this community. The length of his tenure speaks volumes about the stability, maturity, and strength of the relationships he has built and maintains between city administration and our collective bargaining units."


The history of National Hispanic Heritage Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month highlights the historical and cultural contributions of Americans who trace their ancestry to Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The event began as a week-long recognition in 1968, but transformed into a month of celebration 20 years later.

Hispanic Heritage Week began under President Lyndon Johnson, who recognized how Hispanic and Latino people helped shape the nation. The week of celebration began on September 15, which is an important date in Hispanic history. September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence at roughly the same time.

As the Hispanic population in the United States grew, it only made sense to expand celebrations regarding the legacy of Hispanic peoples who helped turn America into the land it has become. President Ronald Reagan expanded Hispanic Heritage Week into a full month of celebration in 1988. The Public Law 100-402 was enacted on August 17 and designated September 15 through October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. The month also served to celebrate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, who was sailing for Spain. Hispanics held presence in North America long before the English staked their claim.

According to the Library of Congress and data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics constitute almost 20 percent of the nation's total population today. At the current rate, Hispanics will constitute 31 percent of the population, or 128.8 million people, by 2060. People of Mexican descent account for the largest sector of Hispanics in the United States, and only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population than the United States.

There are many ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, from dining on authentic Hispanic cuisine to visiting important landmarks in Hispanic history. Individuals who want to delve further into the rich history of Hispanic culture in the United States can rely on a number of resources. The Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and Smithsonian Institution all have their own archives that catalogue Hispanic migration and achievements.

Learn more by visiting


The Jule Launches Interactive Bus Route Site

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The Jule now offers MyRide, an interactive website allowing users to find the nearest Jule bus stop, track Jule bus locations and view upcoming departure times. The site is accessible from the Jule website and directly at

MyRide offers a user-friendly interface providing a list of bus routes, current bus locations, and upcoming bus times. Using the Bus Times function, users can enter an address or location to view a list of the closest Jule bus stops. The list will include upcoming departure times for each stop. The stops are organized by route, distance, street location, and bus stop number.

The interactive map function allows users to select desired routes from the full list to view a map of the route and the live location of the Jule buses. Users have the option to save specific routes or locations as favorites for easy access to frequent destinations.

MyRide is accessible from a desktop computer or smartphone and operates like an app when added to your phone's homescreen. Detailed instructions for adding My Ride to your smartphone are available at

For more information about the new Jule MyRide website, visit or call 563- 589-4196.


Pay a visit to a key 9/11 memorial

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Thousands of people were directly affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Millions more were glued to their televisions as they watched the news coverage of the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania. 

The former World Trade Center site was decimated by the attacks. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were part of the New York skyline for more than 40 years.
The World Trade Center spanned 16 acres and opened to the public on April 4, 1973. Including the two towers that fell, World Trade Center Building 7 and many other surrounding businesses were ultimately demolished. While 2,977 people perished in the 2001 attack, many find it miraculous that so many others were able to evacuate and escape death.

After the iconic towers fell, thoughts turned to the best ways to commemorate the memories of the people lost on 9/11, as well as the heroism that took place on that fateful September day. Out of the rubble came The National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Millions of people have visited the memorial, which opened to the public on September 12, 2011, and the museum, which opened on May 21, 2014.

Many tourists make it a point to visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum when traveling to New York City. The memorial portion was the first to open and includes twin reflecting pools that are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit within the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the 2011 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels along the edge the pools.

In the memorial plaza, visitors will find trees harvested from locations within a 500-mile radius of the WTC site, and additional trees coming from locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Visitors will also see the "Survivor Tree," which was recovered from the rubble at the World Trade Center site in October 2001.

According to The National September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation, the museum serves as the country's principal institution concerned with exploring the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11.

The underground museum has many different artifacts from 9/11, including steel from the Twin Towers, fire trucks and debris. It houses 110,000 square feet of exhibition space and has multimedia displays, monumental collections, archives, and stories about the men, women and children who died during the attacks.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum archives the story of destruction that occurred, but also represents the hope and camaraderie that the attacks spawned.


3 pre-winter lawn care pointers

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Winter weather can be harsh, especially on lawns. Homeowners who spend much of spring and summer tending to their lawns may fear the impact that winter will have on their once-lush landscapes, making the fall a great time to fortify lawns against any harsh conditions to come.

Homeowners must take grass type into consideration before taking steps to prepare their lawns for the winter. Some grasses are best fertilized in late-summer, while others should be fertilized in autumn. Cool-season grasses, including fescue and bluegrass, are best fertilized sometime between the months of September and November. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda or zoysia, should be fertilized between July and September. Once homeowners have gained a greater understanding of their lawns, they can begin exploring the various ways to prepare their lawns for whatever winter has in store.

1. Explore winterizing fertilizers.
Homeowners who want to make their grasses more winter hardy can consult landscaping professionals to determine if winterizing fertilizers will work for their lawns. These specially formulated fertilizers, many of which are made exclusively for cool-season grasses, contain higher levels of potassium and lower levels of nitrogen than early-season fertilizers. Potassium helps strengthen and harden plants, and cool-season grasses may need extra potassium as winter settles in.

Homeowners who are not sure if they should apply winterizing fertilizer can conduct soil tests to determine the potassium levels in their soil. If the test indicates the soil has sufficient potassium, then applying a winterizing fertilizer is likely unnecessary. In addition, homeowners who have fed their lawn a balance of nutrients throughout spring and summer likely will not need to apply winterizing fertilizer.

2. Get rid of fallen leaves.
While fallen leaves may be integral components of idyllic autumn landscapes, leaves left on the lawn throughout the winter may lead to disease in the grass. Leaves trap moisture and block sunlight and air from reaching grass, and that can encourage the development of disease.

In addition, leaves can harbor insects that also may contribute to disease. While it might seem like common sense to delay leaf removal until the end of autumn when all the leaves have fallen, that, too, can prove harmful to lawns. Leaves left laying on lawns for long periods of time can contribute to the same types of damage as leaves left on the lawn throughout winter, so do your best to remove leaves as they fall.

3. Take steps to fight snow mold.
Homeowners who live in regions where snow falls into spring or where spring tends to be cold and damp may want to take steps to prevent snow mold. Gray snow mold typically looks fuzzy and gray, and lawns infested with snow mold may develop unsightly gray or brown spots indicative of dead grass. Pink snow mold may be even worse than gray snow mold because pink mold attacks the roots as well as the leaves.

To prevent snow mold, continue mowing into the fall, even as lawns grow dormant, clearing the lawn of grass clippings and leaves after each mow. Thick lawns may provide a breeding ground for snow mold, so homeowners whose lawns have a history of developing snow mold may benefit from mowing their lawns into the fall.

Winter is rarely easy on lawns, but homeowners can take several steps to prepare their lawns for potentially harsh winter weather.


Swiss Valley Trail Run

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Friends of Dubuque County Conservation will sponsor the Swiss Valley Trail Run on Saturday, October 1, at Swiss Valley Nature Preserve.

The second annual Swiss Valley Trail Run will feature a 5 mile, 10 mile, and 25k event that will all take place on the trails of the Swiss Valley Nature Preserve. This course offers all the best of the Dubuque County landscape; steep terrain, creek crossings, and scenic views. There will be great prizes, food, and friends!

All money raised from the event will benefit the Friends of Dubuque County Conservation, who help support county parks, conservation, and environmental education.

Registration is available online at Early bird registration ends on Friday, September 16th.

Please call 563-556-6745 with any questions.


Mississippi River Art Workshops

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Mississippi River Art Workshops Announces Bluff Strokes Plein Air Paint Out

Mississippi River Art Workshops will launch its inaugural Bluff Strokes Plein Air Paint Out Sunday, October 9, through Saturday, October 15, 2016. Up to 50 artists will paint landscapes and architecture in Dubuque and the surrounding area. Artwork will be juried by award-winning artist Kathleen Newman of Chicago, IL. $10,000 in prize money will be awarded to artists, including a $2,000 purchase award, sponsored awards, and themed awards such as Best River Overlook and best Historic Building. Headquarters for Bluff Strokes will be Dubuque's Historic Steeple Square, White and 15th Streets. Steeple Square will be used for registration, artist information and work areas, art display, and Patron and Public Sales.

Artists will arrive in Dubuque starting Sunday, October 9, and will paint scenes of their choice through Thursday. A timed Quick Paint event will held Wednesday, 3 to 6 pm, and an evening Nocturne Paint will be held Thursday starting at 5 pm. All work will be judged and prizes awarded on Friday.

Steeple Square will be open to the public Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm; artists will be displaying and selling examples of their work. Work from the Quick Paint will be displayed starting Thursday, and the public will be invited to vote on a People's Choice award. A Patron Sale will be held Friday evening, 6-9 pm. A light supper will be served. A $100 Patron Pass will serve as admission to the Patron Sale; this entire amount may be applied to purchase of an original painting. A Public Sale will held Saturday 9 am to 7 pm. 

Jillayne Pinchuk is serving as Chairperson of Bluff Strokes. Sponsors include Hirschbach Trucking, Premier Bank, Cottingham and Butler, Andy and Debi Butler, Gronen Properties, Conlon Construction, and McGoo's Pizza. Special award sponsors include Carolyn Gantz, in honor of John Gantz, and Heritage Works Dubuque.

Mississippi River Art Workshops was founded in 2014 by a local group of arts supporters. Its goal is to create events for artists which explore and capitalize on Dubuque's natural and man-created beauty. It has sponsored 3 plein air painting workshops in Dubuque, giving participating artists an opportunity to become intimately familiar with Dubuque's varied and beautiful scenery. Mississippi River Art Workshops is an Affiliate of the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society. 

Contact Information:

Mississippi River Art Workshops: Wes Heitzman, Chair 563-845-7274

Bluff Strokes: Jillayne Pinchuk, Chair 703-203-0227
Facebook: Bluff Strokes, Mississippi River Art Workshops


Beekeeping with Bill

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The Dubuque Audubon Society will sponsor "Beekeeping with Bill" presented by Bill Johnson (Johnson Honey Farm) on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at EB Lyons Interpretive Center.

The Johnsons are very involved in promoting beekeeping in our region. They are active with the American Beekeeping Association and have been on the board of the Iowa Honey Producers Association for 15 years. They teach a six-week beekeeping course at NICC every January and also work with the Iowa Honey Queen.

Bill will speak about his experiences with beekeeping and the current threats to these amazing pollinators. He is an energetic, passionate, knowledgeable speaker. With the decline in honey bee populations and the general threat to pollinators this topic is an important one for our future.

Any and all ages are welcome to attend the free programs sponsored by Dubuque Audubon Society, which are informational and exciting. Also feel free to join us for the Audubon meeting before the program at 5:30pm.


Take your pick of apple history and trivia

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Though apples are enjoyed across the globe, many people associate apples with the United States of America. That's in spite of the fact that the first apples were cultivated on the opposite side of the world from North America in Asia. 

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples that produce various characteristics for flavor and appearance. Apples are often a topic of discussion in the fall, when many trees produce their largest bounties of fruit. Autumn is a good time of year to take a closer look at apples, and explore some of the most popular varieties for picking and eating.

Apple origins
Malus deomestica, or the common apple tree, is a descendent of apple trees that originated in Central Asia in what is now southern Kazakhstan. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe. The original apple tree was the wild apple, or Malus sieversii. DNA analysis has confirmed that the wild apple is the progenitor of the cultivated apple enjoyed today.

European colonists likely brought apple seeds and trees with them when they emigrated to North America, introducing that part of the world to the apple tree. Records from the Massachusetts Bay Company indicate that apples were being grown in New England as early as 1630. Americans also enjoy the popular story of Johnny Appleseed, who was believed to have distributed apple seeds and trees to settlers across the United States. 

While apples can be produced from seeds, nowadays many apples are propagated by grafting so that they retain the parent tree's characteristics of flavor, hardiness and insect resistance.

Apples and symbolism
Apples have become the main symbols of many different stories and tales throughout history. Apples are linked to the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve and their ultimate expulsion from the Garden of Eden. However, the apple is never named in any of the religious texts as the fruit Eve picked from the tree of knowledge.

Apples have appeared in fairy tales and folklore. The Brothers Grimm had the character "Snow White" fall ill after eating a poisoned apple. In Norse mythology, the goddess Iounn was the appointed keeper of golden apples that kept the Aesir young forever.

Apples have also played a role in science, most notably Sir Isaac Newton's study of gravity. While myth surrounds the story of Newton and an apple falling from a nearby tree, it's likely that witnessing an apple fall from a tree did spark something in the famed scientist.

Most popular apple varieties
Many varieties of apple stand out as perennial favorites. In the United States, the Red Delicious is the country's most popular grown apple. It was called the hawkeye when discovered in 1872. The Golden Delicious is the second most popular grown apple in America. The Delicious apples tend to have mild, but grainy flesh that can fall apart when cooked, so they're best used for snacking. Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, McIntosh, and Macoun are some of the other most popular varieties.

Those interested in baking with apples can select among Granny Smith, Jonagold and McIntosh. These apples tend to be crisp and tart and hold up better in recipes.

Apples have been enjoyed for thousands of years. While apples are a staple of autumn, they can be enjoyed all year long thanks to their widespread availability.


Managing prediabetes or diabetes

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Diabetes and its precursor is a major problem, both in the United States and across the globe. In 2015, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that nearly 50 percent of adults living in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes, a condition marked by higher than normal blood glucose levels that are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reports that the global prevalence of diabetes figures to rise from 8 percent in 2011 to 10 percent by 2030.

Preventing diabetes should be a priority for men, women and children, but management must take precedence for the millions of people who have already been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes.

According to the American Heart Association, making healthy food choices is an essential step in preventing or managing diabetes. Making those choices can be difficult for those people who have never before paid much attention to their diets, but the AHA offers the following advice to people dealing with prediabetes or diabetes.

• Limit foods that may worsen your condition. Some foods, including fiber-rich whole grains and fish like salmon that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, can help people with prediabetes or diabetes. But many more foods must be limited, if not largely ignored. Limit your consumption of sweets and added sugars, which can be found in soda, candy, cakes, and jellies. It's also good to limit your sodium intake and resist fatty meats like beef and pork.

• Document your eating habits. The AHA recommends that people with prediabetes or diabetes maintain a food log to see how certain foods affect their blood glucose levels. Within 60 to 90 minutes of eating, check your blood glucose levels to see how your body reacts to the foods you eat. As your food log becomes more extensive, you will begin to see which foods match up well with your body and which foods you may want to avoid.

• Plan your meals. Hectic schedules have derailed many a healthy lifestyle, but people who have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes do not have the luxury of straying from healthy diets. Plan your meals in advance so your eating schedule is not erratic and your diet includes the right foods, and not just the most convenient foods.

Bring lunch and a healthy snack to work with you each day rather than relying on fast food or other potentially unhealthy options in the vicinity of your office.

• Embrace alternative ingredients. Upon being diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, many people assume they must abandon their favorite foods. But that's not necessarily true. Many dishes can be prepared with alternative ingredients that are diabetes-friendly. In fact, the AHA has compiled a collection of diabetes-friendly recipes that can be accessed by visiting

A prediabetes or diabetes diagnosis requires change, but these conditions can be managed without negatively affecting patients' quality of life.


Do-it-yourself floral arrangements

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Fresh flowers can impart beauty and pleasant aromas anywhere they are displayed. This is why flowers are one of the most popular choices for event centerpieces. Many would-be entertainers desire the classic look of floral centerpieces but may be intimidated by the work required to create dazzling arrangements. However, it is actually easy for the average do-it-yourselfer to create beautiful centerpieces.

It doesn't require a fortune or too much expertise to create a centerpiece perfect for your next social occasion. Once you master a few floral arrangement skills, you may be tempted to place arrangements all around the house. Though there are no concrete rules for floral arrangements, it's best to stick to a few standard tips when it comes to your first attempt at floral centerpieces.

Centerpieces are often categorized in one of eight possible design types: horizontal, vertical, triangular, crescent, oval, minimal, lazy "S" and freestanding. When entertaining at a buffet table or where people will be encouraged to converse, the horizontal arrangement is generally the best fit.

To create a horizontal design:

• Select a relatively shallow container, such as a basket or low-profile rectangular or oval vase.

• Use a florist's foam that can be soaked in water and retain moisture and line the container with the foam.

• Use long foliage or sprays to create the shape of the horizontal display and anchor them into the foam.

• Insert the flowers that will be your focal point into the middle of the arrangement and let them gently spill over the edge of the container on both sides.

• Insert fill and other smaller blooms and foliage around the focal flowers to fill out the arrangement to your desired height and density.

Basic arranging

There are certain basics to floral arrangements that ensure a centerpiece will look its best.

• Select flowers that you like rather than ones you believe will look exotic. Start with one type of flower to test your arrangement skills. As you become more experienced, go with two or three different types of flowers and experiment.

• Don't venture too far off your color palette when mixing different shades of blooms. Try to keep the shades relatively the same or in complementary colors.

• Decide on the shape of the arrangement based on the flowers you've selected.

• Measure and cut the flower stems according to the size of the container. Flowers should only be one or two times taller than the height of the container. Fuller flowers usually look best when they are an inch or two taller than their container. Slimmer flowers can be a few inches longer.

• Cut the stems of flowers on an angle, and for leafy stems, such as with roses, cut a small vertical slit into the base of the stem to allow as much water penetration as possible. Remove thorns and any leaves that will be below the water line.

• If arranging into a vase, use a small amount of bleach to keep bacteria, which can reduce the life of the arrangement, at bay.

• Pay attention to flower spacing. You don't want too many flowers or the arrangement could look too cluttered. Use foliage and other fillers to create the right amount of spacing.

• Remember, a simple container will draw attention to the flowers and not the container itself. Rectangular and square containers often look sophisticated.

• Once you've established a finished product, you want to ensure the arrangement lasts as long as possible. Avoid keeping fresh flowers in direct sunlight, as they may dry out and wither more quickly. Routinely change the vase water or add fresh water to the floral foam. Consider continuing to supplement the water with a bit of bleach to minimize bacteria growth.


Tips to get kids more excited about eating right

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Childhood obesity is reaching record heights across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 41 million children were obese or overweight as of 2014.

Obesity is an all-too-familiar problem for parents, many of whom are aware of the long-term threat that childhood obesity poses to their sons and daughters. According to Let's Move!, an initiative launched by First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama that's dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity, obese kids are more likely to become obese as adults than youngsters who maintain healthy weights throughout their childhoods. In addition, obese children may be at greater risk for cardiovascular diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Combatting obesity can start in the kitchen, where parents can set a positive example by making sure the whole family eats healthy. Parents know that encouraging youngsters to forgo fatty foods in favor of healthier fare is not always so easy. But the following tips can help get kids excited about eating healthy, which can help them maintain healthy weights and lower their risk of various ailments.

• Invite kids into the kitchen. Kids might be more excited about healthy foods when they play a role in preparing the meals they eat. People who cook often cite the pride they feel when they cook meals that they and their families or guests enjoy. Kids feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment when preparing meals, and that pride may increase the likelihood that they will eat the entire meal, including vegetables and other healthy foods, without complaint.

• Reinvent foods kids don't like. Rare is the child who embraces vegetables. But parents can experiment with vegetables in ways that might make them more attractive to youngsters. For example, rather than serving carrots without sauce or seasoning, serve them with a bowl of hummus that kids can dip their carrots into to add some flavor. Available in various flavors, hummus is a healthy dip that's high in protein and various vitamins and minerals. Hummus can be high in fat, but that should not discourage parents too much, as much of the fat found in hummus is unsaturated fat that won't negatively affect kids' hearts. If hummus does not do the trick, parents can look for other healthy dips, such as those with a Greek yogurt base, that can add flavor to veggies without compromising their nutritional value.

• Solicit kids' input regarding the menu. Much like kids might be more excited about eating meals they prepare, they may also be more likely to embrace healthy diets when their parents solicit their input regarding the weekly meal menu. If kids ask for unhealthy fare like hamburgers or macaroni and cheese, compromise by preparing healthier alternatives, such as turkey burgers or whole grain pasta with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Explain your reasons for preparing healthier alternatives.

In addition, don't be afraid to veer off course every so often and let kids choose a meal that's not as nutritious as you would like. Straying from healthy fare is only problematic if it becomes routine. But periodic indulgences in pizza and other less nutritional fare should not affect kids' long-term health.

• Make experimenting fun. Parents who love trying new things in the kitchen or when dining out can encourage the same spirit of experimentation in their children. Kids who are focused and enthusiastic about trying new foods may not think twice about how the new foods they're trying are healthy. Make experimenting with new foods a family affair by alternating who gets to choose the restaurant when ordering takeout or the type of cuisine to cook on nights when the family experiments in the kitchen. Once the choice has been made, choose healthy items and share dishes so kids can try various healthy foods in a single meal.

More information about kids and healthy eating can be found at


What athletes should know about shin splints

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Exercising more is a primary goal for many people, especially those interested in losing weight. Athletes also look to increase the time they spend exercising as new seasons draw near. While additional exercise can benefit many people, those who frequently perform weight-bearing exercises or repetitive motions, such as running, dancing and jumping, may find themselves battling shin splints.

Also known as tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are a condition marked by pain in the shinbone, also known as the tibia. Shin splints are common among athletes and dancers who spend so much of their time on their feet. The Mayo Clinic says shin splints are caused by repetitive stress on the shinbone and connective tissues that attach muscles to the bone. Shin splints typically appear when there is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule.

Shin splints are characterized by tenderness, swelling, soreness, and/or pain along the inner part of the lower leg. While the pain may stop when the body stops exercising, eventually that pain can transform into continuous pain.

Many cases of shin splints can be alleviated through rest, icing and other self-care methods. Wearing proper footwear and modifying exercise routines can help ensure that shin splints are not a recurring problem. 

Should shin splints not clear up on their own, or if over-the-counter pain relievers prove ineffective at managing pain, then athletes should contact their physicians. Doctors will likely try to determine if the pain is caused by something other than shin splints.


2016 Baconfest Tickets on Sale Now

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The popular Baconfest will be taking place at the Grand River Center on October 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Baconfest is an evening where guests enjoy samples of creative bacon dishes from local restaurants, BBQ pits, caterers and more while helping a great cause. All proceeds from the event will go to Area Residential Care and support its mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities.

Also, guests have the chance to compete to become the 2016 Bacon Royalty! The Dubuque Area Baconfest committee is now accepting applications for the 2016 Dubuque Area Baconfest Royalty Court. Complete your application online at by September 12, 2016 and the winner will be announced at the event.

During the event enjoy the bacon treats, music by DJ Steve Hemmer, take part in the Hormel Eating Contest and Oink Off Contest, and much more!

Tickets are on sale now at Area Residential Care or at General Admission Tickets are $25 each and V.I.P Tickets are $45 each. A V.I.P. ticket allows attendees to enter the venue early, and taste all the food before everyone else. Also during V.I.P. hour, live music will be provided by the Music Men and there will be great raffle prizes drawn for V.I.P. ticket holders.

Area Residential Care is a non-profit that has provided services for people with intellectual disabilities since 1968. The organization has grown over the past 48 years to serve an average of 250 people with disabilities annually; providing residential, vocational, and day services in Dubuque, Dyersville and Manchester communities. For additional information, contact Ellen Dettmer at (563) 557-4743 or go to


Tips for adult students returning to school

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Adults return to school for a variety of reasons. Some might be spurred by a desire to pursue a new career, while others might go back to school to learn more about their existing field and improve their career prospects. While their reasons for returning to school may differ, many adults find themselves battling some nerves as they begin the process of going back to the classroom.

Feelings of doubt are common among adults returning to school. But there are steps all adult students can take to reduce their anxiety and make the most of the often exciting experience of going back to school.

• Start slow. Unlike more traditional college students, adults returning to school tend to have significant responsibilities, including families and careers. Juggling work and family is difficult on its own, but doing so along with college coursework is even harder. Adult students returning to school after a long layoff would be wise to take things slowly at first so they and their families can gradually adjust to their new schedules. Many schools now offer online courses, which can be especially beneficial for working professionals.

• Have a plan. Many adults only return to school when they know exactly what they want to study or which courses they need to take to complete a degree or earn a certificate. If you have not already mapped out such a plan, do so before enrolling in any classes. The cost of a college education has no doubt increased considerably since you last stepped foot on campus, so you don't want to be signing up for costly classes that will not help you accomplish what you hope to accomplish by returning to school.

• Research your options. Just because you are an adult returning to school does not mean you are ineligible for scholarships or other forms of financial aid. The United States Department of Labor maintains a scholarship search engine at where students of all ages and academic levels can search for scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities to determine if they are eligible for some help paying for tuition. In addition, adults returning to school may want to discuss their plans with their employers, especially if they are looking to continue working in their current fields. Employers may have programs in place to subsidize employees looking to continue their education.

• Don't be discouraged. Many adults mulling a return to school are hesitant to do so because they feel as if they will be the only older students in classrooms filled with millennials. However, the National Center for Education Statistics predicts a 14 percent increase in enrollment of students 25 and older between 2011 and 2021, suggesting that adults going back to school are unlikely to be the only graybeards in their classrooms.

Returning to college as an adult can be both exciting and overwhelming. But adults need not be nervous about returning to the classroom, even if it has been quite some time since they last stepped on a college campus.


Did You Know?

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Solstices happen twice per year. The solstices mark the shortest and longest days of the year and when the sun is at its highest or lowest point in the noon sky.

The solstices occur in both June and December, and when you experience each solstice depends on which hemisphere you call home. People who reside in the northern hemisphere will experience the summer solstice in June while those in the southern hemisphere will experience the winter solstice at this time.


CityChannel Dubuque to Air ‘From the Archives’

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

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

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

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

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

The channel is also streamed live on the City's website at

Viewers can access the channel's program guide at

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