Area Tidbits

City Launches Adopt-A-Spot Program

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In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, the City of Dubuque has launched an Adopt-A-Spot program to encourage individuals, businesses, school groups, and other organizations to play an active role in keeping the community clean and beautiful.

The program allows participants to "adopt" a public space such as a street, waterway, park, or storm drain and make a commitment to regularly clean and maintain the spot for no less than one year. Adopted spots must be on City of Dubuque property, such as parks and other green space, or in the right-of-way. Typical activities include removing litter, reporting graffiti, keeping storm drains clear, landscape maintenance, and habitat restoration.

City staff will work with volunteers to identify an Adopt-A-spot location and develop a plan to maintain the space. The work must be performed during daylight hours and in a satisfactory, safe, and professional manner. Adult supervision is required at the work site when volunteers are 18 years of age or younger. If needed, the City will provide pickup materials and arrange for the disposal of trash, yard waste, and other materials collected.

Earth Day 2018 is focused on fundamentally changing human attitude and behavior about plastics and catalyzing a significant reduction in plastic pollution. Approximately 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about ten percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused.

According to the 2017 Iowa Statewide Waste Characterization Study, 18 percent of materials sampled from the Dubuque landfill were plastic. Through the Adopt-A-Spot program, residents can join the End Plastic Pollution effort by committing to properly remove and recycle plastic already in our environment.

For more information, or to adopt a spot, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/adoptaspot. To learn more about the Earth Day 2018 Campaign: End Plastic Pollution, visit www.earthday.org.

 

21st Annual Safety Rules Bike Rodeo

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Area children are invited to bring their bicycle and helmet to participate in the 21st Annual Safety Rules Bike Rodeo scheduled at Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility (14928 Public Safety Way), from 8:30 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, May 19.

The event is organized by several organizations to promote safe bicycle riding habits and reducing accidents involving children. The event is free and offers many interactive activities for children.

A course with a series of seven safety stations gives children the opportunity to learn correct riding skills. A thorough safety inspection of the bicycle is the first stop on the course. Professionals will also check the child's bike helmet to make sure it fits well and is being worn properly. If the child does not have a bike helmet, a loaner helmet will be fitted to use during the event.

The remaining bike safety stations focus on riding techniques and skills. Children will be asked to ride through established courses of figure eights, circles, and parallel lines. The emphasis for youth at this event is to learn how to control their bicycle.

Children completing the safety course are eligible to win prizes, including a brand-new bike, a bike helmet, or a ticket to the Creative Adventure Lab. All participants will receive a packet of safety information at registration and incentive prizes at the various stations. Station prizes include certificates for free ice cream treats, coupons for the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, and more.

Other activities at the Safety Rules Bike Rodeo include tours of a fire engine, ambulance, and police car and the opportunity to visit with the Dubuque Bicycle Police, and meet Dupaco's Dollar the dog.

The 21st Annual Safety Rules Bike Rodeo is made possible through the generosity and support of: UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital, Dupaco Community Credit Union, The Bike Shack, Dairy Queen/Kwik Stop, Dubuque Morning Optimist, TownSquare Media, Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Center, Dubuque Police Department, Dubuque Fire Department, Dubuque Surgery, P.C., Tri-State Family Practice, P.C., Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor and Creative Adventure Labs.

 

Parking Expanded at Intermodal Parking Facility in Millwork District

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The City of Dubuque's Intermodal Parking Facility at 351 E. Ninth St. in the Millwork District has an additional 82 parking spaces on the facility's second level available for general public use.

The expansion of general public parking follows the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transportation Administration's (FTA) approval of the City's request. The parking facility was built with an approved shared use of 200 locally funded general parking spaces and 92 "Park + Ride" FTA-funded spaces for transit users. Usage of the transit-funded spaces was monitored for their intended use. The facility has been in operation since August 2015 and did not have more than five Park + Ride spaces leased and no daily Park + Ride parking passes utilized as bus passes.

Based on this level of utilization and having a waiting list for the general parking spaces ramp, the City requested and received permission to reassign 82 of the 92 spaces for general public use. Based on current demand, the City estimates that reserving 10 spaces for transit-related use would be adequate for the next five years.

Monthly permit parking in the ramp is currently priced at $57/space/month. The ramp will be changed to "unreserved parking" with roof gates removed and one price charged for all spaces. A portion of spaces on the first level will continue to be marked "short-term parking only" for customers of Millwork District businesses. The ramp has automated cashier equipment. The non-permit parking rate is a flat $1 per hour with a daily maximum of $10. Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are accepted in addition to cash.

To purchase a permit or for additional information, contact the City of Dubuque Transportation Services Department at 563.589.4266 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/parking.

 

Vintage Torque Fest

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On May 4 & 5 the Vintage Torque staff and volunteers will be bringing another exciting event that caters to the traditional builders and backyard enthusiasts who break knuckles and bust their bodies to bring their automotive dreams to life.

The show kicks off at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds on Friday around noon. Live bands will be rocking into the night. Then, Saturday at 8:00 a.m., Vintage Torque Fest opens to the public again.

Head to Dubuque County Fairgrounds for 2 days of grease, gas, and steel. The fairgrounds is located at 14569 Old Hwy Rd. Dubuque, IA 52002.

The following are just some of the highlights that you can expect at Vintage Torque Fest:

Traditional hot rods, kustoms, and cycles

Car giveaway

LIVE MUSIC! 20 different acts! Outlaw Country, Western Swing and Rockabilly vibrations will get your feet a movin'

Tin Butchers Swap Meet (this is NOT a flea market-vintage parts and automobile ONLY)

Classic Pin Up Contest

Vendors from California, Texas, and New York - and points in between

Today's hottest contemporary lowbrow and automotive artists

Car Club Hand Made Trophy Picks

Vintage Mini Bike racing sponosored by Mini Bike Weirdo

Original Lowbrow Art Auction

FLame throwing car exhibition

Burn out pad for participating cars

Remember - ALL cars and cycles are a part of the show, but there is segregated parking on site.

This will be an event designed for one purpose - to have fun and raise money for kids with congenital heart defects. Gate proceeds go directly to Helping Hannah's Heart Foundation - a 501(c)3 dedicated to helping families with children suffering from congenital heart defects. The atmosphere is laid back and the rides here are driven.

Weekend passes are $20 when you purchase advance tickets (advance tix must be purchased before 4-24-18). NO CHARGE to show your ride. Everyone pays the same entry fee. Affordable food and beverages will be on site as well.

For a full schedule of events be sure to check out www.vintagetorquefest.com

This is definitely THE season opening bash, so join us Rain or Shine at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds

 

DUBUQUE TO HELP END MS THROUGH WALK MS

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Walkers from Dubuque to move toward a world free of MS April 22, 2018

As part of a nationwide effort to end multiple sclerosis for good, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter will hold Walk MS: Dubuque, Saturday, April 21. Participants from Dubuque will join thousands of other walkers expected to come out and help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Upper Midwest in 2018.

Walk MS: Dubuque is one of 25 walk events throughout Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin and Nebraska banding together to raise funds for programs and services for the more than 17,000 people who live with the disease in the Upper Midwest chapter and advance vital research.

People will gather for Walk MS with the mission to end multiple sclerosis. Accomplishing this goal will take all of us, which is why Walk MS matters so much to so many, as they team up with friends, loved ones and co-workers to change the world for everyone affected by the disease. Together, we become a powerful force. Every step taken and every dollar raised is a step closer to ending MS forever.

Participants in Walk MS: Dubuque will participate in the walk that begins and ends at the Mystique Ice Arena. The route will run along the scenic Mississippi River and there will be options for multiple distances. Registration will begin at 8:30 the morning of April 21st with the walk beginning at 9:15.

Register and begin fundraising right away at tinyurl.com/mswalkDBQ18 or call 800-582-5296.

ABOUT MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MULTIPLE SCELROSIS SOCIETY
The Society mobilizes people and resources so that everyone affected by multiple sclerosis can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. Last year alone, through our comprehensive nationwide network, the Society devoted $122.2 million to help more than one million individuals connect to the people, information and resources they need. To move closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $54 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-344-4867.

 

FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENROLLING IN MEDICARE PARTS A & B

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By Pamela Shaw
Social Security District Manager in Dubuque IA

Understanding Medicare isn't as difficult as you might think. It's a benefit most working Americans can count on. Here are some facts you might not know about the program.

Can I still get Medicare at 65?

Yes, you're still eligible for Medicare starting at 65, no matter what year you were born.

If you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you're eligible for Part A (hospital insurance) at age 65 for free. Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay. It also pays for some home health care and hospice care. You're also eligible for Part B (medical insurance) if you choose to get it and pay a monthly premium. Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventative services. If you are receiving Social Security benefits already, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65. Because you must pay a premium for Part B, you can choose to turn it down. However, if you don't enroll in Part B when you're first eligible for it, and choose to enroll later, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage.

If you're not receiving Social Security benefits, you have a seven-month period (your Initial Enrollment Period) to sign up for Part B. Generally, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after your birth month.

If you are covered under an employer group health plan, you may have a special enrollment period for Part B.

If you are 65 or older and covered under a group health plan, either from your own or your spouse's current employment, you may have a special enrollment period during which you can sign up for Medicare Part B. This means that you may delay enrolling in Part B without having to wait for a general enrollment period and without paying the lifetime penalty for late enrollment. Additional rules and limits apply, so if you think a special enrollment period may apply to you, read our Medicare publication at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/, and visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at Medicare.gov for more information.

To avoid a tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your Health Savings Account (HSA) at least six months before you apply for Medicare.

If you have an HSA when you sign up for Medicare, you can't contribute to your HSA after your Medicare coverage begins or you may have to pay a tax penalty. Premium-free Part A coverage begins six months before the date you apply for Medicare, but no earlier than the first month you were eligible for Medicare. To avoid an unwanted tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your HSA six months before you apply for Medicare.
You can withdraw money from your HSA after you enroll in Medicare to help pay for medical expenses like deductibles, premiums, coinsurance, or copayments. If you'd like to continue contributing to your HSA, you shouldn't apply for Medicare or Social Security benefits.

How Much Does Part B Coverage Cost?

You are responsible for the Part B premium each month. Most people will pay the standard premium amount, which is $134 in 2018 if you sign up for Part B when you're first eligible. This amount can change every year. You can find up-to-date premium amounts on Medicare.gov.

You can learn more about Social Security and Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/medicare.

 

Spring Workshop on Dementia

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The Alzheimer's Association is offering a full-day workshop on dementia on Thursday, May 17th, at Mercy Medical Center, 6th Floor Auditorium, 250 Mercy Drive, Dubuque.

The event is free to the general public, though certificates documenting 4.5 Continuing Education Hours will be offered to professionals for $15, payable at the event.

Sign-in is at 9 am, followed by the first presentation, 9:30 - 10:45 am, by seasoned local elder law attorney Doug Henry, who will discuss the legal and financial options and opportunities families coping with dementia encounter.

The second morning session, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, will be presented by local physician Dr. Yasn Lee, who will discuss memory loss and the dementia spectrum; how Alzheimer's compares to normal aging and other forms of dementia and how these conditions are effectively diagnosed and treated.

The third session, from 1:15 - 2:45 pm, will be presented by local Alzheimer's professional Jerry Schroeder, who will provide an overview of the essential and effective ways to live with and care for a person with Alzheimer's or a related disease.

"Caregivers face a long and difficult road when someone they love is diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related illness. We offer these programs to give them the tools and skills they need to endure. But we also offer them because it is critical for caregivers to meet one another, to find solace and support from those who know better than anyone how to survive this experience. And we're very pleased to offer this full day to professionals who need continuing education," says Mr. Schroeder.

Lunch will be "on your own" though attendees may dine in the hospital cafeteria.

Advanced registration is required by Monday, May 14th. Call 1-800-272-3900. Or for more information contact Jerry Schroeder at 563-293-8056, or at jschroeder@alz.org.

 

Factors that impact auto insurance premiums

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Auto insurance rates vary from person to person, even though it may seem like the offerings are the same. But no two drivers are the same, and certain factors may be affecting drivers' auto insurance premiums without the motorists even realizing it.

Automotive insurance provider State Farm says most insurance companies consider several factors when calculating the cost of car insurance. Recognizing which situations can increase or lower costs can help drivers get the best rates and coverage needed. Although it can be tempting to reduce the price of insurance by choosing lower amounts of coverage, there are other ways to make insurance more affordable.

• Move. Insurers typically look at where a person lives when calculating rates. Those people who live in highly populated, urban areas likely will have higher premiums than others who live in more rural towns. That's because greater population density often translates into more people on the road - and a greater chance for insurance claims due to fender benders or theft. By moving, a person may be able to cut rates.

• Gender and age are factors. One can't step into a time machine, but it's helpful to know that growing a little older can lower insurance premiums. The financial advice source Money Crashers say that young men usually incur higher rates than young women because statistically men get into more accidents. However, as a person moves into his or her senior years, the roles reverse. Older women may see higher rates than men the same age.

• Keep make and model in mind. The type of vehicle driven can affect insurance premiums. Certain insurance carriers will increase premiums on vehicles that are more susceptible to damage. Flashy sports cars or those that do not score as highly on vehicle safety ratings calculated by industry experts may result in high premiums. Vehicles that are desirable to car thieves also may cost more to insure. Researching vehicles prior to purchase and checking the rates for those cars or trucks with insurance companies can help keep costs low.

• Commuters may pay more. Individuals who use a car for business or frequent commuting may pay more than people who drive less because statistically there is a greater risk for an accident, says State Farm. Reducing commute times can lower premiums.

• Tie the knot. Insure.com says married couples have been found to be less of a risk to insurance providers statistically than those who are single. A study by the National Institutes of Health found that single drivers were twice as likely to be in an auto accident as married drivers. Combining policies also can help married people save.

• Follow the rules of the road. Drivers who have moving violations, drink and drive or engage in otherwise risky behavior behind the wheel may see their rates soar.

Insurance companies weigh factors such as driving record, age, locality, and more when assessing premium costs. Drivers have some room to get lower rates by knowing the factors that determine their premiums.

 

Reduce instances of distracted driving

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Distracted driving is a problem that results in injuries and claims the lives of thousands of people each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 injured in the United States as a result of distracted driving. Allstate says distracted driving is now the No. 1 risk on Canadian roads, contributing to eight in 10 collisions.

It is relatively easy to avoid becoming a statistic by reducing distractions behind the wheel.

Put away tech devices
One of the easiest ways to reduce distractions is to keep phones and tablets out of reach while driving. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sending or reading a text message takes a driver's eyes off of the road for about five seconds, or long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph. It removes a person's attention from the road; takes his or her hands off of the wheel; and it mentally engages the brain when a driver's focus should be on driving.

Devices should be stowed away when driving. Drivers should pull over if they need to send a text or read a message.

Set the GPS ahead of a trip
Global positioning systems have revolutionized the way motorists get to and from locations. They can help signal upcoming traffic and find the best routes possible.
Just like other devices, GPS can be a distraction, especially if drivers are taking their eyes off the road and constantly pressing buttons on the map. Enter the destination address before departing and place the GPS in a position that it can be glanced at, which will not impede vision. Better yet, let a passenger navigate.

Limit or skip phone calls
Many people find that making phone calls while on the road is an efficient use of time. Yet the personal injury experts at Lehmbecker Law say even when drivers use hands-free devices their brains can remain distracted for 27 seconds after using voice commands to dial a number. Engaging in phone conversations will continue to take drivers' minds off of their driving responsibilities.

Drowsy driving is dangerous
Being tired can be a distraction as well. Geico insurance reports a U.S. government study showed that 37 percent of drivers have nodded off or actually fallen asleep at least once while driving. Drowsiness increases the risk of a crash by roughly four times. Those who become drowsy behind the wheel should pull over.

Skip the infotainment package

New vehicle infotainment systems can take one's attention off of the road for long periods of time. According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch-screen features may find themselves unusually distracted.

In addition to these tips, drivers can reduce the number of passengers contributing to distractions, turn down the volume on the radio, and pull over when eating on the road. Reducing distractions can save lives.

 

Iowa Public Television to Hold Iowa Press Debate: Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

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Live statewide broadcast Wednesday, May 16, 7 p.m.

Iowa Public Television will host an Iowa Press debate for the Iowa Democratic Gubernatorial Primary on Wednesday, May 16 at the Iowa Public Television studios in Johnston, Iowa. The 90 minute debate will begin at 7 p.m. in front of a live audience in the Maytag Auditorium. The program will air live on IPTV and be streamed online at Iptv.org.

David Yepsen, host of Iowa Press, will moderate the debate. Yepsen, along with a panel of reporters, will ask questions in the free-flowing discussion format that has become the hallmark of the Iowa Press program. Candidates will have the opportunity to discuss their platforms, concerns and plans for the future of Iowa and Iowans.

The Iowa Press Debate: Democratic Gubernatorial Primary will be open to the public and free to attend. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. and spectators should plan to arrive no later than 6:45 p.m. to be seated prior to the live televised debate. Seats are first come, first served. Spectators may begin registering online on Monday, April 23 to reserve seats. Reservations are also available by calling Friends of Iowa Public Television at 800.728.2828.

Learn more at Iptv.org.

Program support provided by: Associated General Contractors of Iowa and Iowa Bankers Association.

For more information on the Iowa Press Debate: Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, please contact Susan Ramsey at 515.725.9703 or susan.ramsey@iptv.org.

 

Premier Bank hosts Free Shred Fridays in April

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Spring cleaning and tax deadlines make this month an ideal time to organize and clear out your sensitive files. Premier Bank and Tri-State Shred are partnering to offer free shredding to the community each Friday in April beginning Friday, April 6.

The public is invited to bring up to three brown paper grocery bags, or equivalent, full of shred for secure disposal at any of Premier Bank's three locations (2526 NW Arterial Rd., 1975 JFK Rd, 140 W. 9th Street). Locked shred bins will be picked up and disposed of by Tri-State Shred.

"Keeping confidential information secure is essential. Holding on to documents you no longer need which aren't kept in a secure area can pose a threat to your identity. With continued data breaches and fraud on the rise, there has never been a better time to be diligent in protecting your identity and credit," said Molly Valaskey, Vice President of Retail Sales & Delivery at Premier Bank.

More information on the types of documents to keep and shred can be found at www.premierbanking.bank/shred. For questions or further information, please contact Tasha Lippold at 563-588-1000.

Premier is a community bank committed to providing attractive account options with cutting-edge technology while supporting Dubuque's civic, educational and charitable organizations. Premier Bank has $312 million in assets and three locations in Dubuque.

 

Armed Forces Day Event Planned

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Daniel Chatfield gave his life in service to his country in Vietnam 50 years ago. Daniel served in the US Army as a gunner on a tank.

Daniel's family has planned activities to remember his sacrifice and the sacrifice of other area Vietnam Veterans. All local Veterans groups are invited. The family has invited the entire community to attend. They especially want to welcome anyone who has been touched by the Killed In Action or Missing In Action experience.

Activities are planned for Saturday May 19, which happens to be Armed Forces Day. There will be a Mass at Sacred Heart Church at 11 AM, followed by a Military Honors Memorial Service at Mt. Calvary Cemetery graveside at noon. If weather is bad the Service will be in Mt. Calvary Chapel. There will be a lunch served afterwards at Dubuque Driving Range.

Bill Kubler and Dick Bridges, American Legion Post #6, are helping the Chatfield family create this event. All Veterans organizations are requested to participate by providing a unit Color Guard. Please respond to Bill (588-3522) or Dick (588-2366) with your intentions.

 

Eco-friendly outdoor activities

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Months spent indoors avoiding the harsh weather outside makes winter a difficult season for people who love the great outdoors. While skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports make it possible to get some fresh air even when that air is frigid, many people find it difficult to consistently get outside when temperatures drop. That difficulty no doubt contributes to the popularity of spring, a season widely seen as a time of rebirth and rejuvenation.

Time spent in the great outdoors is often its own reward. But taking measures to be eco-friendly while spending time outside can make such leisure time even more rewarding. People who want to get out and be eco-friendly at the same time can try the following activities.

• Cycling: Cycling is a fun activity that's also great exercise and incredibly eco-friendly. While it's certainly an enjoyable leisure activity, cycling also can provide a great alternative to more popular modes of transportation like driving. According to Bay Area Bike to Work Day, a movement dedicated to promoting cycling as a means of commuting to and from work, drivers of small vehicles (those that get 35 miles per gallon of gas) who commute 10 miles per day, five days a week can expect to consume 68 gallons of gas in a typical year during their commutes. During those commutes, their vehicles will produce 0.7 tons of CO2. SUV drivers will consume nearly double that amount of fuel while their vehicles produce nearly three times as much CO2 emissions. Cycling to work won't consume any fuel or produce any emissions, and cyclists won't be forced to sit idly in rush hour traffic.

• Hiking: Hiking is another eco-friendly outdoor activity that can pay dividends for both the planet and the people who call it home. Lawmakers in towns and cities with thriving hiking communities may be encouraged to support legislation that preserves hiking trails and parks and prevent potentially harmful construction from taking place. And individuals can reap a number of benefits from hiking through the great outdoors. A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that outdoor exercise such as hiking can decrease feelings of tension, confusion, anger, and depression. In addition, hiking provides a great full-body workout that might appeal to people who have grown tired of more traditional gym-based fitness regimens.

• Fishing: Fishing devotees tend to be wildly devoted to their craft, but one need not be an expert angler to enjoy fishing and help the planet. According to the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, fishing supports wildlife and fisheries management. The DGIF notes that anglers help to set seasons and creel limits, ensuring that wildlife populations remain stable and even flourish. Many anglers also find fishing is a great form of stress relief that provides a peaceful escape from the daily grind.

• Running/walking: In lieu of running or walking on a treadmill indoors, men and women can get outside and do their jogging or walking in the great outdoors. While treadmills are not necessarily big energy consumers, running or walking outdoors consumes no energy and provides a great opportunity to spend time outside, especially for professionals who spend most of their days in office buildings.

The great outdoors comes calling for many people when temperatures begin to climb. Answering that call can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your mood.

 

The best ways to prevent car theft

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds in the United States. And it's not just the expensive models that are targets of thieves. 

Drivers may not realize they are making obvious mistakes that can make their vehicles targets for potential thieves. Guarding against car theft comes down to avoiding common pitfalls, using common sense and making vehicles less attractive to thieves.

• Lock doors. This may seem like a no-brainer, but giving thieves easy access to vehicles increases the risk of theft. Always lock the vehicle, even if you're only running into the house or a store for a few minutes. 

• Keep valuables hidden. Don't leave purchases, cell phones, money (even loose change), expensive sunglasses, or electronics within sight in the vehicle.

• Exercise caution with spare keys. Do not hide a spare key under the vehicle or in an obvious spot. Car thieves are wise to these tactics. Also, if you've lent a spare key to someone, ask for it back promptly.

• Invest in a car alarm. Car alarms can deter thieves because they draw attention to the vehicle. Car alarms that also prevent the vehicle from being started or driven away (kill switch) can be helpful.

• Use various locks. Manufacturers make steering wheel locks and brake locks that render cars undrivable unless they are removed.

• Be visible when parking. Choose highly visible parking spots when out and about. These include spaces that are close to building entrances, near security cameras and in well-lit areas. Cars that are more visible are less likely to be targeted by thieves.

• Don't leave it running. According to the safety resource Safewise, nearly half of all auto thefts occur as a result of not performing reasonable precautions - such as failure to turn off the vehicle after exiting. More than one-third of all thefts occur near the car owner's residence. Resist the urge to "warm up" the vehicle by leaving it running with the keys in the ignition.

• Get VIN etching. Etching the VIN on windows makes it more expensive for car thieves to resell a vehicle or its parts without having to make replacements.

• Buy a tracking system. In the event a car is stolen, GPS tracking devices can help cops recover the vehicle more rapidly.

Car theft can be a serious concern, but exercising caution can prevent vehicles from being targeted.

 

Special Projects Grants Deadline Extended

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The City of Dubuque and the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission are currently accepting competitive applications from all interested parties for special projects grants for the fiscal year (FY) 2019 grant cycle, which runs July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.

The deadline for applications has been extended to midnight on Thursday, April 26. A new grant workshop has also been added and will be held at noon on Thursday, April 19, at the Multicultural Family Center, 1157 Central Ave.

Information on how to apply, guidelines, tips, and applications are available at www.cityofdubuque.org/artsgrants.

The special projects fund is designed to fund creative and artistic projects that have a strong community engagement focus. These grants are intended to fund arts and cultural projects that are unique and innovative and offer diverse communities an opportunity to be inspired and participate in the quality programming. There is a significant focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and grantees will be required to engage diverse audiences.

For additional information, please contact City of Dubuque Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Debra Alleyne at dalleyne@cityofdubuque.org or 563-690-6059. Complete application materials are posted online at www.cityofdubuque.org/artsgrants.

 

Miller Riverview Campground Opening & July 4 Holiday Reservations

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The City of Dubuque's Miller Riverview Campground will open for the 2018 season on Sunday, April 15, weather and Mississippi River level permitting.

Reservations for the 2018 season can be made online by visiting www.cityofdubuque.org/millerriverview. Some mobile devices are not supported by the reservation site; use a laptop or desktop to make a reservation or check your mobile device's compatibility with the reservation site.

Camp sites for the 2018 Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays are now available through the online reservation system. Camp sites for the 2018 July 4th holiday weekend will become available through the online reservation system at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 14.

All reservations must be made online. Please note that a two-night minimum is required for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the July 4th holiday weekends.

For more information, please contact the Leisure Services Department at 563-589-4263 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/millerriverview.

The July 4th holiday weekend for the 2019 and consecutive seasons will be available 240 days in advance of the holiday. There will no longer be a release date for the 4th of July holiday weekend after April 14, 2018.

 

Dubuque Museum of Art to Host Regional Exhibition Featuring Art of Cancer Survivors

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The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) announced today it will partner with Quad Cities-based Living Proof Exhibit on a regional juried exhibition featuring works of art by cancer survivors and patients.

Living Proof Exhibit, which provides the therapeutic benefits of the arts to people impacted by cancer, is seeking entries for its annual exhibition to be held from September 6 to December 9, 2018 in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

The exhibit will then travel to Dubuque and the DuMA, where it will be on display from January 11 to March 17, 2019.

A Call to Entry is now available. All cancer survivors or patients within a 200-mile radius of the Quad-Cities, including Greater Dubuque, are eligible and may submit up to five (5) works for consideration. Entries must be received by June 15, 2018. Complete submission details are available at www.livingproofexhibit.org.

Past Living Proof exhibits have been displayed at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Figge Art Museum, and in Peoria, Illinois.

"This exhibition, A Visualization of Hope, is a celebration of the creative spirit of the cancer survivor," said Pamela Crouch, executive director of Living Proof Exhibit. "We have shown sculpture, painting, crochet and photography to name just a few mediums. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase how art impacts health, and that spirit shines through each piece."

For information about the exhibition and full call to entry, please visit www.livingproofexhibit.org or email livingproofexhibit@gmail.com.

About the Dubuque Museum of Art

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

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

 

CIPCO Increases Wind Generation for Members

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DES MOINES - Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) announced development of the Heartland Divide Wind Farm, a major project to expand its wind energy platform, set for completion by the end of this year. CIPCO will purchase 100 percent of the 104 MW of energy from an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, adding to its already diverse energy portfolio, which is more than 60 percent carbon-free.

"Our members want diverse energy options and CIPCO is committed to delivering safe and reliable power through a strong portfolio that incorporates renewables for the benefit of everyone," stated CIPCO CEO Bill Cherrier. "Iowa is a leader in carbon-free energy resources and CIPCO is dedicated to expanding the footprint."

"We are pleased to extend our relationship with CIPCO, co-owner of our nuclear plant in Iowa, the Duane Arnold Energy Center, to build another project Iowa can be proud of," said Mike O'Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the world's largest operator of renewable energy projects from the wind and the sun. "The Heartland Divide wind project is expected to bring millions of dollars in additional revenue to landowners and local communities as it generates clean, renewable energy for CIPCO's members and their customers."

Once operational, the new wind farm will represent CIPCO's largest wind energy project to date. Heartland Divide Wind represents the first time a renewable energy facility of this size directly interconnects with CIPCO's transmission system.

CIPCO is Iowa's largest cooperative energy provider serving 13 electric cooperatives and associations spanning 58 of Iowa's 99 counties. CIPCO supplies energy to its member distribution cooperatives covering a territory that stretches 300 miles diagonally across the state from the Mississippi River on the east to Shenandoah in the southwest. CIPCO is dedicated to delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service to our members.

 

SPRING CLEAN-UP FOR MT. CALVARY AND MT. OLIVET CEMETERIES

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The annual Spring Clean-up will begin on Monday, April 16, and run through Friday, April 20. Please remove all items and decorations you wish to save no later than Sunday, April 15. 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, April 21.

Please check Cemetery Policies before placing decorations to avoid losing items that do not conform.

 

Johnson Named Dubuque Building Services Manager

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Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen has named Dave Johnson the building services manager for the City of Dubuque, effective immediately. Johnson, an assistant planner in the City's planning services department, had served as acting building services manager since January 2018.

"Over the last 12 years, Dave Johnson has demonstrated his superior work ethic and innovative attitude," said Van Milligen. "His recent management of the almost two-year process to develop a new comprehensive plan for the community demonstrated his keen technical skills and his ability to work with residents on a personal level. Dave will excel as the building services manager."

The City of Dubuque Building Services Department consists of 12 staff and is responsible for the inspection of building construction projects including structural elements, plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical systems. The department also reviews plans for these projects before permits can be issued.

As building services manager, Johnson will manage the enforcement of building, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical codes and ordinances within the city. He will work with property owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and other stakeholders on compliance with and changes to those codes and ordinances. He will also oversee field inspections and enforcement. The building services department also handles code enforcement related to the readily achievable aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), contractor licensing, storage trailers/containers registration, commercial vacant and abandoned buildings (VABs), demolition by neglect in historic and conservation districts, and the unsafe buildings ordinance. Johnson will also supervise the City's five custodial staff who maintain City Hall, the City Hall Annex, Historic Federal Building, and Multicultural Family Center.

Johnson had served as assistant planner in the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department since October 2005. In that role, he coordinated the City's historic preservation program and commission and was responsible for design review for development of Dubuque's historic districts and downtown. Johnson also coordinated the Port of Dubuque design review committee, performing design review for buildings and public spaces in the Port of Dubuque. He also coordinated the long-range planning advisory commission, which required developing, updating, and implementing master and comprehensive plans. Johnson recently served as the project manager for the development of the City's new comprehensive plan, "Imagine Dubuque 2032: A Call to Action."

Before joining the City of Dubuque, Johnson held three positions with McHenry County, Ill. He was a senior planner from 2002-2005, providing staff support to the zoning board of appeals and hearings officer, coordinating the staff plat review committee, and implementing the county's comprehensive land-use plan and development ordinances. Johnson served as zoning coordinator from 2001-2002, coordinating the county's zoning board of appeals and reviewing and processing zoning applications for variances, conditional use permits, and zoning reclassifications. As the county's plans examiner from 2000-2001, he reviewed site and building plans for compliance with building codes and ordinances.

Johnson holds a bachelor of science degree in geography from the University of Iowa and is nearing completion of a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Missouri.

He can be reached at 563.589.4150 or djohnson@cityofdubuque.org. Additional information on the building services department is available at www.cityofdubuque.org/buildingservices.

 

Hospice officials warn of misleading solicitation targeting Dubuque area donors

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Hospice of Dubuque has issued a warning to tri-state residents regarding a fund drive that is being conducted by the Hospice Support Fund of Merrifield, Va.

Residents should be advised that Hospice of Dubuque is not affiliated in any way with the Hospice Support Fund. The personalized solicitation mailer indicates donations are for the 2016 Dubuque Area Appeal, but the Hospice Support Fund does not support local hospice services.

 

Prepare HVAC systems for warmer days ahead

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The arrival of a new season can be an exciting time. Homeowners may have renewed vigor to start home renovation projects or even tackle some cleaning and organization tasks. Before the weather starts to warm up too much, homeowners may want to evaluate their home cooling needs and ensure that all equipment is in good working order.

Spring air conditioning inspections and tuneups are essential steps in system performance. Homeowners should not take for granted that a system that performed optimally last year will do so this year when temperatures climb. Various factors, including weather damage, dust and grime, mechanical wear and tear, and even rodent or insect infestations, can compromise HVAC systems. Since HVAC systems have so many moving parts, a thorough inspection of such systems can save headaches and money down the road.

According to Heating Ontario, the extreme weather conditions that come along with fall and winter can be especially taxing on homes and the systems that keep them comfortable. During a spring visit, an HVAC technician will perform maintenance on the air conditioner and make sure it is ready for the heat of summertime. This maintenance may include cleaning the unit, checking controls, calibrating the thermostat, lubricating moving parts, checking refrigerant levels, tightening electrical connections, and clearing any clogs. Homeowners are urged to also change the filter at the start of the cooling season.

Correcting any issues in the HVAC system well in advance of the arrival of warm weather can help ensure comfort when air conditioning is needed. As an added advantage, homeowners should install programmable thermostats if they do not already have them to keep cooling as cost- and energy-efficient as possible.

 

How to stay flexible as you age

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Men and women may begin to feel less flexible as they get older. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, that loss of flexibility is because muscles lose both strength and elasticity as the body ages.

A lack of flexibility can make men and women more vulnerable to certain types of injuries, including muscle strains and tears. While people might not be able to maintain the flexibility they enjoyed in their twenties, there are ways for them to combat age-related loss of flexibility.

• Stretch frequently. Stretching is a great way to combat age-related loss of flexibility. Stretch major muscle groups, such as hamstrings and shoulder muscles, several times per week. When practicing static stretching, the goal is to gradually elongate the muscle being stretched before holding the elongated position, and ultimately allowing the muscle to return to resting position. As flexibility improves, elongated stretches can be held for 30 seconds. Avoid stretching muscles that are sore or injured, and discontinue a stretch if you feel pain or discomfort.

• Include yoga in your exercise regimen. Practitioners of yoga typically love how this unique discipline that exercises the body while relaxing the mind improves their flexibility. Many yoga poses are designed to improve the strength and flexibility of muscles, and some physicians may even recommend yoga to aging patients. Yoga DVDs or streaming sessions can be great, but beginners may want to visit yoga studios or sign up for classes at their gyms so instructors can personally ensure they are doing each pose correctly. As their flexibility improves, men and women can try more difficult poses and classes if they so desire.

• Get in the pool. Swimming is another activity that can help aging men and women improve their flexibility. Strength-training exercises are an important component of a well-balanced exercise regimen, but such workouts tend to focus on one or two muscle groups at a time. That means other muscle groups may be inactive and tighten up as a result. Swimming works the entire body, which helps all muscle groups stay loose and flexible. One or two swimming sessions per week can contribute to great gains in overall flexibility, especially for men and women who remember to stretch when they get out of the pool.

Flexibility may decrease as men and women age, but there are various ways to combat the natural loss of flexibility.

 

How prom came to precede the pomp and circumstance

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As the final weeks of students' high school careers whittle down, many milestone events dot the calendar. During this time, prom is the pinnacle celebration for many outgoing seniors.

Prom, short for promenade - wherein guests parade around amid lavish fanfare - is an American tradition, but semi-formal dances and dinners for students are held throughout Canada and the United Kingdom as well.

Even though modern proms are closely tied to high school, the tradition actually began for college students. The first recorded prom took place with the all-male student body at Amherst College, who in 1894 invited women from nearby Smith College to dance and dine. Teenagers pushed the prom tradition out of colleges and into high schools, and by the early 1940s, proms were exclusively tied to high schoolers.

Proms have remained essentially unchanged for the last 60 to 70 years, with the exception that proms have become more grandiose over the years. Largely gone are the gymnasium-held dances, and now catering halls, hotels and other top-tier facilities typically host the festivities. Perhaps the grandest prom venue was the White House. In 1975, Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford, hosted her senior prom mere steps from the Oval Office, becoming the only First Child to do so.

Promgoers and/or their parents spend sizable amounts of money on gowns, tuxedos, flowers, transportation, and much more to solidify their prom memories. Quite often prom nights turn into entire prom weekends or vacations, with after-parties and travel built into the tradition.

Greater emphasis is now placed on the drama of the "promposal," with certain individuals going to great lengths to orchestrate the ideal way to ask a date. And while at one point attending prom alone might never have happened, many students now relish the idea of attending as groups of friends to downplay the stress on prom couples.

Thanks to social media and the connectivity of the internet, some enterprising high schoolers have attempted to make their prom experiences more memorable by asking their favorite celebrities to attend prom with them. Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Shaun White, and Miley Cyrus are all celebrities who have gone to prom with fans. Others like Selena Gomez have crashed proms. Even President John F. Kennedy crashed a prom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when the students of John Burroughs High School had already booked the same room in which the President intended to have a fundraising dinner. JFK opted for a smaller room and let the kids have their fun, later popping in to say hello.

Proms have been going strong since the late 1800s. Proms are fixtures of the spring and summer season and events that high school students look forward to as graduation nears.

 

The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for The Pajama Game

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The Grand Opera House will present The Pajama Game, music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, Book by George Abbot and Richard Bissell, based on the novel "7 ½ Cents" by Richard Bissell. Performances are on July 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2018 at 7:30PM and July 22 and 29, 2018 at 2:00PM.

Based on the novel "7 ½ Cents" by Dubuque's own Richard Bissel, the story of The Pajama Game traces its origin back to the old H. B. Glover Factory in Dubuque. The Pajama Game is brimming with songs and dances that have become musical theatre standards, including "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway." Be a part of a piece of local history as it unfolds on stage at the Grand Opera House in this award winning Broadway Musical.

Director: Joe Klinebriel - Music Director: Kristen Eby
Choreographer: Megan MacLeod

Auditions:
6:30-9:30pm Friday, April 27, 2018
3:00-6:00pm Saturday, April 28, 2018
3:00-6:00pm Sunday, April 29, 2018 (Callbacks if needed)

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

Seeking Actors, Singers and Dancers to Play:

Hines - (male) Time study man at Sleep Tite. He is the jealous type, but has a kind heart and a talent in knife-throwing. Surprisingly soft around the edges.

Prez - (male) President of the union at Sleep Tite. He is not the brightest person. A notorious flirt and womanizer who constantly regrets his marriage.

Hasler - (male) The president at Sleep Tite. Fiscally conservative, he is demanding, stubborn, and uptight.

Gladys - (female) Mr. Hasler's secretary. Her penchant for nights out on the town, along with her sexy demeanor, often lands her in hot water with men.

Sid Sorokin - (male) New superintendent at Sleep Tite. He is a charming, productive worker. Adamant about retaining his job and improving his job performance.

Mabel - (female) Sid's secretary. Her earnestness can occasionally melt into crassness, but she is always very aware of the happenings at Sleep Tite.

Babe Williams - (female) The leader of the Union Grievance Committee, who against her own will at first, falls in love with Sid. Strong, feisty, a little stubborn, and full of pride for the union but also charming and sensitive. The unspoken leader of the workers and women who work at the factory.

Ensemble - Female Factory Workers (Brenda, Mary, Mera, Poopsie, Rita), Male Factory Workers (Charley, Joe), Other Employees Of Sleep Tite

Actors wishing to audition but are unavailable to arrive at the start of the audition time should call the Grand Opera House business office at 563-588-4356 to give an approximate arrival time.

Alternate arrangements will be made for individuals who are unable to attend auditions. Please arrange an alternative audition date with the director or submit an audition video to the director's email: josephklinebriel@yahoo.com.

Rehearsals will begin in early June. Those auditioning should be prepared to list all conflict or potential conflicts between June 1 and July 29. Availability for evening dress/technical rehearsals July 16-19 and all performances is mandatory. Rehearsals will typically run from 6:30-9:30.

Actors should prepare 32 bars of a musical theatre selection in the style of the show that best shows their vocal range. Please bring sheet music, an accompanist will be provided. Actors will be asked to read non character specific scenes from the script. All auditioning should be prepared to participate in a dance/movement audition.

 

Bunker Hill Golf Course Open

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The Bunker Hill Golf Course is now open for the 2018 season! At this time, golfers can play the front nine holes only, with carts. Visit www.golfbunkerhill.com for information on 2018 leagues, outings fees, lessons, camps, and more!

If you have any questions, call the Pro Shop at 563-589-4261.

 

Weekly Yard Waste Collections Resume April 2

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The City of Dubuque will resume its regular weekly curbside collection of yard waste and food scraps on Monday, April 2, 2018.

From April 2 through November 24, 2018, yard waste and food scraps will be collected on customers' regular curbside collection days. Materials must be placed in paper yard waste bags that display single-use yard waste stickers; 35-gallon rigid solid waste containers with either single-use yard waste stickers looped on the handles or the City's 2018 annual yard waste decal displayed; or in subscribed City wheeled carts. Yard waste and food scraps should not be placed in plastic bags and must be kept separate from other trash. Collections must be set out by 6 a.m. and not weigh over 40 pounds per container or bundle.

Brush and limbs may also be bundled with City of Dubuque brush ties that have a single-use sticker attached. Bundles must not exceed 40 pounds. Single-use yard waste stickers are sold at City Hall and many local grocery and hardware stores and cost $1.30 each and are sold on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each. The 2018 annual yard waste decals cost $35 each and are only available from the City's Utility Billing Service Center by walk-up, mail-in coupon, or by phone at 563-589-4144.

For food scrap collection, customers have the option to subscribe to a 13, 48, or 64-gallon tipper cart for food scrap collection only.

For additional information, contact the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at 563-589-4250 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwaste.

 

Iowa Public Television announces second season of "Greetings from Iowa"

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After an engaging and successful first season, Iowa Public Television announced today the second installment of its online-exclusive web series, "Greetings from Iowa." Season 2 will premiere Wednesday, April 4 on Facebook, YouTube and Iptv.org.

"Greetings from Iowa" is a dispatch from America's heartland - a personal, firsthand exploration of the colorful people, places and stories that make Iowa great. Every episode is a friendly meeting with folks who are thriving in their own unique ways within the state's ever-evolving culture.

The upcoming season will feature a variety of Iowans and their many talents, including unique female athletes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, artists, musicians, activists and creators. From West Liberty to Storm Lake, to Corydon and Tama, with many stops in between, episodes dive into the wide range of Iowans' lifestyles and cultures, starting conversations across our great state.

"When we're on the road shooting stories, some of the best conversation takes place at the in-between stops - gas stations, diners and other everyday places," said "Greetings from Iowa" producer/director Tyler Brinegar. "I wanted to find a way to capture that common discourse and build a collage of unique Iowans with this series. There is no host, no voiceover and no pre-conceived story. I think people may be surprised at just how interesting their neighbors are."

Utilizing online content delivery channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, "Greetings from Iowa" delivers a diverse picture of our state to a diverse set of viewers. Strategies to feature and engage Iowans in new ways makes "Greetings from Iowa" a can't-miss postcard from the heart of the Midwest. New episodes will premiere the first Wednesday of each month beginning in April 2018.

Learn more at Iptv.org or facebook.com/greetingsfromiowa.

Funding for "Greetings from Iowa" is provided by the Gilchrist Foundation, Iowa Bankers Association and Redeker's Home Furnishings and Flooring.

For more information about Iowa Public Television, please contact Susan Ramsey at 515.725.9703 or Susan.Ramsey@iptv.org.

 

City Offers 'WaterSmart' Tool for Water Customers

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A free, new and improved water management tool and online payment portal, WaterSmart, is now available to City of Dubuque water customers. WaterSmart replaces DBQ IQ, the City's previously offered water management tool.

The WaterSmart platform enables City water customers to monitor their water usage and costs with an easy-to-use web and mobile portal. The WaterSmart system gathers and analyzes data from the water meters installed as part of the City of Dubuque's community-wide water meter replacement project that ended in 2011.

Through the WaterSmart portal, customers can:

• View detailed information on household water usage

• Compare their household water usage with similar households in the area

• Pay their bill

• Access current and past bills

• Check for water leaks

• Receive alerts

• View tips on how to save on water bills

• Enroll in paperless eBilling and sign up for auto-deducted payments

To register for WaterSmart, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/watersmart and use the account number listed on your water bill, followed by the five-digit zip code associated with the property where the water meter is located. To receive the most accurate water-use estimations and comparisons to similar households, answer the simple profile survey once you have registered.

The WaterSmart platform will also be used by City staff to communicate alerts, such as water boil advisories, to customers with a WaterSmart profile. (Emergency alerts will also continue to be communicated through the City's free emergency notification service, CodeRED. More information on CodeRED is available at www.cityofdubuque.org/codered.)

The City's existing online utility bill payment option, available at www.cityofdubuque.org/utilitybilling, will eventually be transitioned to process entirely through WaterSmart. This is anticipated to occur by the end of 2018. At that point, all customers who wish to pay water bills online will need to register for WaterSmart.

For more information, contact the City of Dubuque Utility Billing Department at 563-589-4144 or utilityb@cityofdubuque.org.

 

A beginner’s guide to electric cars

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Electric or hybrid vehicles can be smart additions to eco-friendly lifestyles. Although such cars were once science fiction, EVs are now increasingly more common and traversing roadways around the world. Thanks to several mainstream brands offering EVs and hybrid models, consumers are more informed than ever before about the benefits of a plugged-in ride. 

Still, even with the wealth of information available, some people still may be unsure about what owning an EV entails and how to make informed decisions when shopping for such vehicles. Going electric means thinking beyond the gas station. Here's how to navigate the ins and outs of EVs.

• Type of vehicle: First consider that not all EVs are the same. Hybrid vehicles use a mix of gasoline and electricity and tend to have long fuel ranges. All-electric cars will only use electricity that is gained through charging the vehicle for a certain period of time.

• Affordability: Consumers can expect to pay more for electric and hybrid vehicles than gas-powered vehicles. But as demand increases, costs may drop. According to a report from USA Today, estimates point to EVs as being as affordable as gas vehicles by 2021. Another consideration is there may be tax incentives for purchasing an EV. Speak with a tax professional to see if this is applicable.

• Environmental savings: Electric cars produce no emissions from the tailpipe and reduce dependency on oil-based fuels. Furthermore, EVs will not need oil changes or emissions checks that traditional cars require, further saving resources. The resource Plug in Cars says that EVs can also save on fuel costs, ranging at 2 cents per mile traveled, compared to 12 cents for gas-fueled vehicles.

• Fill-ups: EVs can be charged at home using personal charging kits or at charging stations in the neighborhood. Charge times will depend on the size of the vehicle and its battery. According to TheChargingPoint.com, an EV resource, the typical time for an all-electric car using a standard UK home wall socket is between 6 and 8 hours. Some new EVs can be charged in 30 minutes to an hour at rapid charging points.

• Solar + EVs = savings: Consumer Reports advises that, when EVs are combined with home solar systems, "fuel" costs can be completely eliminated. That financial gain can be a big motivator for some consumers.

• Short trips: Individuals who travel 80 miles or less per day may find pure electric vehicles advantageous. Those who have to go further should consider hybrids that offer greater range. However, Tesla, Chevy and Nissan EVs have recently moved beyond the 200-mile range before requiring a charge.

• Charging stations: A report from University of Michigan researchers using data from the Department of Energy suggests that there are now roughly 16,000 public electric vehicle charging stations with about 43,000 connectors in the United States. ChargeHub, with information from the Canadian Automobile Association, states there are a total of 6,473 EV chargers across Canada.

Electric and hybrid vehicles could be the wave of the future as more people embrace the convenience these cars offer.

 

Suggestions when shopping for fencing

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Fences can improve functionality of a yard and provide extra security and privacy. Some fences are decorative while others are functional. Families with children and/or companion animals also may find fencing is a necessity to keep everyone safe and corralled. 

With a vast array of fencing materials available, homeowners may find it challenging to decide which material is right for their properties. The following breakdown can help homeowners learn more about fencing and potentially point them in the right direction regarding which material to choose for their properties.

Budget
Budget is one of the first considerations many homeowners have when installing fencing. Pricing will affect whether one can afford a chain link fence (one of the most budget-friendly options), wrought iron or ornate wood (more expensive). Pricing out several different types of fences will give homeowners an idea of which material fits into their budgets.

Purpose
Homeowners install fencing for various reasons. If a fence is an ornamental way to delineate property lines, a picket fence or a post-and-rail fence are simple options that can lend a homey feel to a property. These types of fences also can enhance and frame landscaping elements, such as gardens.

In many area, laws require homeowners to install fencing around swimming pools. In such instances, chain link fencing that does not obstruct views of the pool might be the best choice. If security or privacy is the main desire, tall fences that make it difficult for neighbors to see into the yard may make an ideal choice.

Restrictions
It is important to understand local regulations before installing fencing. Communities governed by homeowners' associations may have rules in place that dictate the type of fences that can be installed. Townships and other municipalities may have their own rules concerning fence type, property borders, fence height, and other factors that will have to be adhered to so that fencing will meet code. If such rules are not followed, fines may be imposed and the fence may have to be removed. Homeowners also may need permits to install fencing, whether they are hiring a contractor or doing the work themselves.

Maintenance
Consumer resource Angie's List advises homeowners to consider maintenance before choosing a fencing material. Wooden fencing requires the most maintenance due to painting and staining. Aluminum or vinyl fencing requires less maintenance, but it can be harder to repair isolated damage or replace pickets, if necessary. In some instances, the entire fence may have to be replaced.

Homeowners install fencing for many different reasons. Considering price, budget, purpose, and maintenance before making a decision regarding fencing can help homeowners make the best decision possible.

 

Dubuque Museum of Art to Stage Resale Fundraising Event

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"Upscale Resale" will feature antiques, home goods and furnishings donated from local collections

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) is organizing a special three-day sale of gently-used home décor, accessories, antiques, and fine home furnishings on June 1-3, 2018.

The event, called Upscale Resale, offers collectors with an opportunity to find an appreciative buyer for their special items and to collect fine items at affordable prices.

All proceeds from the event will benefit DuMA's education programs.

Donations are currently being solicited from the public. The list of items we are soliciting includes: vintage furniture and home decor, gently-used dress/designer clothing, jewelry and accessories. A volunteer committee will review and appropriately price and display all items for sale.

The event will be held on Museum grounds at 701 Locust Street. A special preview will be held on Friday, June 1 from 5-8 p.m., in conjunction with the regular First Fridays community art event. The sale will reopen from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the sale is free on Saturday and Sunday.

To offer a donation, community members may phone (563) 557-1851 or complete a short form by visiting www.dbqart.com/special-events. Approved donations may be dropped off at the museum on Fridays, Noon-1 p.m. and Saturdays 1-4 p.m., beginning March 23.

 

America’s River Festival 2018 Tickets Now On Sale

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America's River Corporation is excited to announce Saturday night entertainment in addition to tickets now on sale for the 2018 America's River Festival presented by American Trust & Savings Bank, held in the Port of Dubuque June 8-9, 2018.

Saturday Night acts feature Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Night Ranger, and John Kay & Steppenwolf.

The Rock & Roll Party Pit is back for the second year. This section allows 300 attendees to be up close and personal with Saturday night's entertainment. Reserved seating will also be available that evening.

For Friday night, the Bud Light VIP Zone is back where attendees get access to the area closest to the stage and drink tokens. General Admission is also available for both Friday and Saturday night.

The Tappening, A Beer Event, will be back for its fourth year on Saturday, June 9. VIP tickets will grant attendees early access at 12pm with General Admission opening for the Tappening at 1pm. Live music and over 100 brews will be on site for beer enthusiasts.

Friday night's line up features Michael Ray, High Valley, Walker Hayes, and Lindsay Ell. All four acts are currently in the Billboard Top 40 Country Charts.

Schedule of Events

Friday, June 8, 2018

5:00pm: Festival Gates Open 

5:00pm - 6:00pm: The Struggs at Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Company Regional Stage 

5:30pm: VIP Area Open

6:00pm: Lindsay Ell at Main Stage

7:30pm - 8:30pm: Walker Hayes at Main Stage

9:00pm - 10:00pm: High Valley at Main Stage

10:30pm - 11:45pm: Michael Ray at Main Stage

11:45pm - 12:15am: The Struggs at Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Company Regional Stage

12:15am: Event Site Closes

Saturday, June 9, 2018

12:00pm: Tappening Begins | VIP Ticket Required

12:00pm - 4:00pm: Buzz Berries at Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Company Regional Stage

1:00pm: Tappening Begins | GA Ticket Required

4:00pm: Tappening Ends

5:00pm: Festival Gates Open

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Main Street Jazz Band at Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Company Regional Stage

5:30pm: Reserved Seating Area Open

6:30pm - 7:30pm: Night Ranger at Main Stage

8:00pm - 9:00pm: John Kay & Steppenwolf at Main Stage

9:30pm - 11:00pm: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo at Main Stage

11:00pm - 12:15am: Brandon's Sound Check at Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Company Regional Stage

12:15am: Event Site Closes

All tickets can be purchased online at americasriverfestival.com, by calling 800.798.8844, or stopping by the Dubuque, Iowa Welcome Center at 280 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa. For ticket options and pricing, frequently asked questions, and more, please check americasriverfestival.com.

America's River Festival is presented by American Trust & Savings Bank and held at the McGraw Hill Parking Lot at 501 Bell Street in Dubuque, Iowa. Title sponsors include Andersen Eagle Window & Door, Dubuque Racing Association, Telegraph Herald, KCRG, and Runde Auto Group. Title Media sponsor is Townsquare Media Group. VIP Zone is sponsored by Bud Light. The Tappening is presented by Diamond Jo Casino. Contributing sponsors include A1 Storage, Couler Valley RV, Gigantic Design, Hodge Company, Mound View RV, Tri-State Porta Potty, and Union Hoermann-Press.

 

UnityPoint Health Finley Health Foundation Welcomes Grammy and CMA Award Winner Jo Dee Messina for Gala

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UnityPoint Health Finley Health Foundation is pleased to announce Grammy and CMA Award Winner Jo Dee Messina will be the feature act for the annual Miracles on the Mississippi Gala. The gala is on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Diamond Jo Casino.

Jo Dee Messina is a seasoned veteran in the music industry with nine number one hits, sixteen top 40 songs and has sold more than five million albums worldwide. Her breakout song "Heads Carolina, Tails California" made her a household name. Along with CMA, Grammy and ACM Awards, Jo Dee Messina was the first female in country music history to celebrate three consecutive multi-week, chart topping songs.

"The Finley Health Foundation is excited to partner with the Diamond Jo Casino again this year, to bring what is sure to be a great performance to Dubuque," said Barbara Potts, Executive Director of the Finley Health Foundation. "Community members will have an evening to remember while supporting the children and young adults within the pediatric rehabilitation program."

Funds raised at the 2018 Miracles on the Mississippi Gala will support Pediatric Rehabilitation services at Finley Hospital.

The event schedule includes the Miracles on the Mississippi Gala program with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, live auction, and Jo Dee Messina in concert. To purchase tickets, contact the Finley Health Foundation RSVP and Ticket Line at (563) 557-2700 or email finleyhealthfoundation@unitypoint.org.

 

How to help veterans in need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

City Awarded Grant for Eagle Point Park Restoration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Dubuque Museum of Art's 43rd Annual Gala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Curb appeal pays off big time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information courtesy of Menards

 

The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for Gypsy

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

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

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

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

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

Seeking Actors, Singers and Dancers.

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

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