Area Tidbits

Various ways you can put pumpkins to use

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Few items signal the fall harvest season more than the bright, orange pumpkins that dot fields and liven up displays outside of homes and businesses. Come fall, many pumpkins are turned into grinning jack-o-lanterns just in time for Halloween. But there are many other uses for pumpkins as well.

Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America. Early Native Americans relied on pumpkins as a source of food that helped them survive long winters. Pumpkins could be roasted, baked, boiled, and dried, and they were eaten and used as medicine. Pumpkin blossoms were added to stews. The shells of the pumpkins could be dried and used as eating and storage vessels.

While pumpkins may now be symbolic of Halloween, the following are a handful of additional ways this versatile fruit can be put to use.

Beauty regimen
Pumpkins contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals that can help replenish the skin. Pumpkin purée can be mixed with honey, aloe vera gel, olive oil, and a bit of cornmeal to create an exfoliating mask for the face or body. Pumpkin also can be used to rejuvenate dry or tired skin from cold weather.

Honey, pumpkin and yogurt can be mixed together and used to condition hair. Let the mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it out and shampoo.

Foods and beverages
Pumpkin purée is the basis for many tasty, pumpkin-infused treats. Purée can be used in pies, cakes, muffins, breads, and many additional foods. Pumpkin purée also may be found in certain beverages, such as smoothies and shakes. A bit of spiced purée may appear as flavoring in teas and coffees.

Roasted pumpkin seeds make a healthy treat. Foodies suggest using the seeds from "sugar pumpkins" or the ones best for making pies. Boil the seeds for a few minutes before draining. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and put the seeds in a single layer. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and serve.

Pumpkin wines and beers are popular as well. There are many recipes for developing sweet, fermented beverages, which tend to be especially popular in the fall.

The "guts" of the pumpkin can be simmered along with aromatics and other vegetables to create a vegetable stock perfect for soups and broths.

Pumpkins can also add to one's home décor during the fall. Pumpkins can be carved for Halloween displays, hollowed-out to hold tealights or simply left on tables and used as centerpieces. Larger pumpkins may be used as natural flower pots for mums or other seasonal floral displays.

As the Native Americans once did, pumpkins can be hollowed-out and used as bowls to serve favorite soups and dips.

Use a hollowed, small pumpkin as a natural aromatic candle holder. Cut holes in the sides to vent the exhaust. Rub aromatic spices, such as cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and vanilla bean, on the inside of the pumpkin. Insert a beeswax candle in the bottom of the pumpkin and let it send inviting aromas into the air.

Pumpkins are a versatile fruit that can serve many purposes beyond just jack-o-lanterns and pies.


Prevent fires at home this winter

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Winter is synonymous with many things, but few people would rank home fires atop their list of things that remind them of winter. However, according to the United States Fire Administration, more than $2 billion in property loss occurs in winter home fires each year, and more than 900 people per year lose their lives to winter home fires.

Perhaps the most troubling thing about those statistics is that winter home fires are entirely preventable. By taking certain precautions, men, women and children can greatly reduce the risk of home fires.

• Have the furnace inspected. Ideally, furnaces should be inspected and any problems addressed before the arrival of winter. But many homeowners forget this routine maintenance until that first cold day when it's time to turn the heat back on. If you have not yet had your furnace inspected, schedule an inspection with a local HVAC professional, who can make sure all controls and emergency shutoffs are fully functioning. If you discover an issue during a self-inspection, call a professional to make the repairs. Unless you have experience in HVAC repair, it's best to let the pros handle any repairs because the stakes are so high. Home fires often result from faulty equipment, so only trained professionals should be inspecting and repairing your home furnace.

• Be especially careful when using portable heaters. Portable heaters can warm up those areas of the house that always seem to be too cold in winter, and such devices also provide a backup plan in case of a broken heating system. But the USFA notes that, in 2011, heating equipment was involved in more than 53,000 home structure fires in the United States, accounting for 14 percent of all reported home fires. When using portable heating equipment, such as space heaters, radiators and portable fireplaces, do not place such devices anywhere close to items that can burn. Upholstered furniture, bedding, mattresses and clothing can ignite in seconds, so keep portable heating devices away from such items. And always turn portable heating devices off when leaving the room where they are in operation.

• Address frozen pipes correctly. Water pipes in a home can freeze depending on how cold the home gets. It might be tempting to thaw such pipes with an open flame, but such an approach is highly dangerous, as the pipe may begin to conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure inside the space. When addressing pipes you suspect are frozen, thaw them with hot water or even a laboratory-tested handheld dryer rather than an open flame.

• Treat your fireplace with kid gloves. Fireplaces make great gathering spots for families in the winter, but only when they are operated safely. Before lighting the first fire of the season, have the fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned to reduce the risk of fire. Once the time comes to spark your first fire, do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate the fire and make sure you have installed a screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out of the fire and possibly igniting any nearby items or materials.

• Inspect smoke alarms. Properly functioning smoke alarms can save both your home and your life. When functioning properly, smoke alarms can alert you to a fire early on, giving you time to extinguish a small fire before it spreads or to escape a larger fire before it threatens your life. Inspect your smoke alarms periodically regardless of the season and make sure you have at least one functioning alarm on each level of your home.


Life after breast cancer

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The moment a person receives a breast cancer diagnosis, his or her life changes immeasurably. The roller coaster of emotions begins, and suddenly this person is thrust into a schedule of doctor's appointments, treatments and visits from friends and family.

The World Cancer Research Fund International says breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and men and is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. Despite that prevalence, the five-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer (cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes or outside the breast) is 98.5 percent, says the American Cancer Society. Survival odds increase as more is learned about breast cancer and more people take preventative measures, including routine screenings. Today, there are nearly three million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.

Breast cancer treatments may last anywhere from six months to a year. Adjusting after treatment may not come so easily at first. But adjustments are easier with time, and many cancer survivors continue to live life to the fullest in much the same way they did prior to their diagnosis.

When treatment ends, patients often still have fears about the cancer, wondering if all of the cancerous cells have been destroyed and worrying about recurrence. But focusing on the present and all of the things you now can do with health on your side is a great way to put your fears behind you.

Many cancer survivors must still visit their doctors after treatments end. Doctors still want to monitor patients closely, so be sure to go to all follow-up appointments and discuss any symptoms or feelings you may be having. Side effects may continue long after radiation or chemotherapy has ended. Your doctor may have suggestions for coping with certain side effects or will be able to prescribe medications to offset these effects. Follow-up appointments should gradually decrease the longer you have been cancer-free.

It's not uncommon to feel differently after cancer treatment, as your body has been through quite a lot. Many women still experience fatigue, and sleep or normal rest doesn't seem to make it abate. Realize this is normal, and how long it will last differs from person to person. It can take months or years for you to experience your "new normal." Things do not happen overnight. While your hair may grow back quickly, it may take some time for you to feel like yourself again. Exercise routines or other lifestyle changes may help you overcome fatigue or make it more manageable.

Speaking with others who have survived breast cancer can help. Join a support group or reach out to others through social media. Getting a first-hand account of what can be expected the first year after treatment can assuage anxiety.


Dubuque Receives REAP Grant for Valentine Park Expansion Project

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded the City of Dubuque a $140,790 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grant for its Valentine Park Expansion Project.

The City will use the grant funds to purchase property for the expansion of Valentine Park, located at 860 Valentine Drive on the southwest side of Dubuque. The project involves acquisition of eight adjoining acres to expand Valentine Park to 19 acres. The park currently features a public restroom, softball field, hard surface play area, play equipment, picnic tables, grill, and bike/hike path.

In July 2016, Dubuque City Council authorized the purchase of 730 Cody Drive from George and Dorothy Roepsch for expansion of Valentine Park. The purchase price is $171,000. The Valentine Park Expansion is also part of the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region's "Mississippi Circuit." The Region will be providing a $30,210 grant to complete the purchase.

The Grant Wood Mississippi River Region is the pilot region for the State of Iowa and Iowa Parks Foundation's Parks to People program. The goal of the Parks to People program is to employ public-private partnerships and local planning to connect citizens to nature and improve parks across the state.

REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect 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 27 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting over 15,000 projects. REAP has funded these projects with $250 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 benefitted the Dubuque area greatly over 27 years, and has provided funding for projects such as the EB Lyons Center Expansion, Mississippi Riverwalk Recreation Trail, Julien Dubuque Nature Trail, and the Iowa 32 Bike/Hike Trail.

For more information on REAP, visit


Alzheimer’s Association Offers Workshop for Caregivers

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Registration is still available for the 2016 Alzheimer's Association Caregivers Workshop on Dementia Thursday, October 27, 2016 in Dubuque. The workshop will be from 8:30am to 3:30pm at the Best Western Plus, 3100 Dodge Street, Dubuque, IA.

The conference, is free of charge, thanks to a generous gift from the Dubuque Racing Association. It will focus on practical and effective ways to care for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.

Speakers at the conference will be Verna Benner-Carson, president of C&V Senior Care Specialist, who will present "Becoming an Alzheimer's Whisperer," a gentle and loving method for understanding and managing dementia related behaviors.

Elaine Eshbaugh, Associate Professor of Gerontology at the University of Northern Iowa, will present an interactive look at how dementia changes the way individuals see and experience life.

And Diane Blyer, Project Director for the FamTechCare study in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, will speak on her research that focuses on long term outcomes for people with chronic and/or life-threatening conditions.

Register online at, or call 1-800-272-3900.


Educating young women about breast cancer

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At the age of 12 to 15, many young women are experiencing the body and life changes that accompany adolescence. It can be difficult to imagine that breasts that are just beginning to develop may contain cancer. But such is the reality for some girls. 

The majority of women who receive a breast cancer diagnosis are over the age of 40. Experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Hospital at Vanderbilt University note that only 5 percent of breast cancer cases are found in women under the age of 40. However, the hospital recently treated a 14-year-old girl who found a lump and learned she had a rare form of breast cancer called a phyllodes tumor. In 2009, a 13-year-old from Little Rock, Ark. found a quarter-sized lump in her right breast, while a 19-year-old student at the College of New Jersey was diagnosed with cancerous cells and underwent a bilateral mastectomy.

Though such cases are rare, it behooves teenage and adolescent girls to familiarize themselves with the disease and be mindful of their breast health.

Some organizations have increased breast cancer messages for young girls, and it is not uncommon to find young women participating in runs and fundraisers for breast cancer research. Some organizations even conduct breast cancer workshops to educate young women about breast health.

Dorothy Paterson of Texas, a former Girl Scout leader who was diagnosed with breast cancer herself, began conducting workshops for Girl Scouts in 2007. The idea isn't to scare girls into believing they have the disease, but rather to increase their awareness of changes in their bodies that may or may not be normal.

Some parents worry that educating children about breast cancer may cause them to worry unnecessarily, especially considering a young girl's risk of developing breast cancer is so minimal. However, others see the importance in schooling girls early on about a disease that is so common. Advocates of teaching young girls about breast cancer often note that any effort to help save lives and promote health is worthwhile.

Just as with older women, adolescents and teens should realize that eating healthy foods, exercising, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and maintaining annual physical exams with a doctor are key ways to reduce the risk for cancer.


Stay safe with supplemental heating

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When the weather begins to grow cold, individuals turn to supplemental forms of heat for a variety of reasons. The rising cost of home ownership as well as escalating fuel prices often set people on a search for the least expensive and most efficient ways to keep comfortable during the cold weather season. Space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are among the more common and popular supplemental heating sources.

The same heating sources that can be cost-effective and safe when used correctly can become hazardous when safety guidelines are not followed. The National Fire Prevention Association states that in 2010 heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported home structure fires in the United States alone, resulting in 490 deaths, 1,540 injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 16 percent of all reported home fires.

In an effort to prevent property damage or loss of life, homeowners should follow the safety guidelines that come with a supplemental heating device. Also, simple steps can prevent fire and injury.

• Test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are in proper working order. Should a malfunction of a heating appliance occur or a fire start, a smoke alarm could be your first indicator of a problem.

• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from any heating equipment, including a furnace, a wood stove, portable space heaters, or a fireplace.

• Consider the use of a gate or another obstruction to keep children and pets several feet away from a space heater or another appliance that can easily be knocked over.

• Never use fuel-burning appliances without proper room venting to the outdoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Fuel includes everything from wood to gas to oil.

• Only use the fuel recommended by the product manufacturer.

• When making a fire in a stove or fireplace, never use flammable liquids to start or accelerate the fire.

• A wood-, pellet- or coal-burning stove should be burned very hot at least twice a day for about 30 minutes to reduce the creosote buildup in the chimney or flue. 

• Chimneys should be professionally cleaned at the beginning of each use season to ensure there is nothing lodged within that can catch fire.

• Do not use an oven to heat the home while it is in the "on" position. You can leave the oven door open after cooking is finished so that residual heat can enter the kitchen, provided pets and children are kept away.

• Electric space heaters should be kept away from walls, curtains and furniture. Many now feature tip-over safety features that will turn the unit off should it be tipped over. However, it is always adviseable to use a space heater on a level, sturdy surface that is away from foot traffic in the room.

• All supplemental heating sources should be turned off or extinguished before leaving the house or going to bed.

• Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in every level of the home. Install the detectors close to all bedrooms. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that cannot be detected easily. It quickly robs the body of oxygen and can be fatal when present in high amounts.

• Any stationary space heating equipment or HVAC system should be installed by professionals and inspected so that it adheres with local building codes. This is to ensure your safety as a homeowner.

• Use safety screens in front of fireplaces to prevent sparks from escaping.

• Make sure the damper is open every time you light a fire.

• Do not move a heater while it is hot or fill it with fuel at this time, except when adding wood to a stove.

• Cinders and ashes should be cleaned routinely from stoves and fireplaces and stored away from the home in a heat-safe container until cool.

• Never position an electric heater next to a water source.

• Extension cords should not be used unless absolutely necessary. The cords should be heavy duty and meet the draw of the heating unit. Also, they should be run so they don't present a tripping hazard, but also so the cords themselves do not create a combustion hazard.

• Children should not be allowed to touch or play near any heating appliances. Do not leave children or pets unattended in a room with a fire or space heater going.

Before investing in a heating unit, homeowners should consider adding more insulation to homes or caulking drafty windows and doors as a method to warming a home.

Whether out of necessity or just to provide an added measure of warmth to a home, many people use supplemental heating appliances frequently during the winter. Emphasizing safety when using such devices can prevent many of the fire hazards associated with these devices.


Knowing and recognizing the signs of breast cancer may save your life

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As with many types of cancer, breast cancer is most successfully treated when it is detected early. Over the previous quarter century, death rates for breast cancer have been on the decline, a positive development that, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reliable, complete and up-to-date information about breast cancer, suggests is a byproduct of the heightened awareness of breast cancer over the last 25 years and the increasing emphasis placed on breast cancer screening.

Understanding the symptoms of breast cancer also can help women battle and defeat this potentially deadly disease. While the presence of any of the following symptoms does not necessarily mean breast cancer is present, the appearance of the following should be enough to inspire women and even men to visit their physicians for thorough examinations and screenings.

• Changes in the feeling of the breast or nipple: A change in how the breast or nipple feels could be indicative of a larger problem. If the nipple is especially tender and this persists for an extended period of time, exercise caution and discuss this change with your physician. Similarly, if a lump or thickening develops on or near the breast or underarms, speak with your physician.

• Changes in appearance of the breast: A lump or thickening in the breast may affect the appearance of the breast. Another visible symptom of breast cancer is a change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast, which may appear similar to dimpling, not unlike an orange peel. Swelling or shrinking of the breast, especially when such symptoms appear on just one breast, may also indicate breast cancer. In addition, some women with breast cancer notice a sudden asymmetry with their breasts despite their breasts previously being symmetrical, and such a development should immediately be brought to the attention of a physician.

• Changes in the appearance of the nipple: A nipple that appears different also may be a sign of breast cancer. Some women with breast cancer have noticed a nipple turned slightly inward or inverted prior to their breast cancer diagnosis. Skin of the nipple, as well as that of the breast and areola, which is the dark circle of skin around the nipple, may also become red, scaly or swollen when breast cancer is present.

• Clear or bloody discharge from the nipple: Women who are breastfeeding often notice a milky discharge from their nipple after breastfeeding. Such discharges are normal. However, when a woman who is not breastfeeding notices the presence of a clear or bloody discharge from her nipple, such a development should be brought to the attention of a physician. 

Any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms may be a sign of infection or the presence of a cyst, both of which are less severe than the presence of breast cancer. But the success rates of treating cancers that are detected early is such that any potential symptom of breast cancer warrants an immediate discussion with a physician.


Green Receives Outstanding Service Award

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The American Water Works Association-Iowa Section (AWWA-IA) has awarded its 2016 Award for Outstanding Service to AWWA-IA to City of Dubuque Water Department Manager Bob Green. He received the award at the 101st AWWA-IA Annual Conference in Altoona, Iowa, on Oct. 5, 2016.

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes AWWA-IA members for outstanding service to the association through leadership and active participation in AWWA-IA section programs. Recipients exemplify the best in the water industry by continually bringing credit to the profession and the water community.

Green joined the City of Dubuque staff in June 1992 and supervises the City's water treatment and water distribution operations. His professional background includes positions as assistant superintendent of water distribution for Orange County Public Utilities, Orlando, Fla.; water distribution manager for the City of Mason City, Iowa; and water distribution manager for Mahaska Rural Water, Oskaloosa, Iowa. Green completed coursework in chemistry and water system hydraulics from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. He holds a Grade IV Water Treatment and Grade IV Water Distribution License with the State of Iowa.

Green has served as the Iowa American Water Works Association Region I Chairperson, Iowa American Water Works Water Utility Council Chairperson, and board member of the Iowa Section of the American Water Works from 2006-2012, serving as chair in 2011. He has also been a conference speaker on the state and national level for the American Water Works Association.

"Bob is more than deserving of this award," said AWWA-IA Executive Director Dave Scott. "He has provided service and leadership to the Iowa Section since becoming a member through his tireless participation and leadership at both the state and regional levels."

The Iowa Section of the American Water Works Association is comprised of drinking water professionals and water quality advocates dedicated to the promotion of quality drinking water for the citizens of Iowa. Its purpose is to support its members and young professionals, to influence other stakeholders through accurate and balanced educational forums, communication and support of technical, legislative and regulatory activities. For more information, visit


Simple steps for candle safety

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Candles are one of the easiest and most effective ways to add aroma and ambiance to a home. While many people would like to use scented candles in their homes, they may be weary of the fire risk. However, candle-related fires appear to be on the decline.

Scented candles are just one component of the larger science of aromatherapy, which is an alternative treatment that uses scents to alleviate physical and psychological disorders. Nurses and doctors at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston actually offer classes in aromatherapy to deal with cancer and other ailments. Certain scents can make a person feel more alert, while others may reduce stress and relax a person.

It is estimated that candles are used in seven out of 10 American households and that people spend around $2 billion annually on candles, according to the National Candle Association. Candles can be used for aromatherapy or to make a room feel more cozy. People who are anticipating a weather event that may knock out electrical power also rely on candles as an alternative light source.

Although using candles can lead to fires, the NCA reports that candle-related fires have dropped to their lowest level in roughly 10 years. Data shows candle fires dropped by nearly 50 percent between 2001 and 2010. That's thanks in part to the industry's safety standards and consumer education efforts.

According to a Home Candles Fires report issued by the National Fire Protection Association, there were approximately 9,600 accidental candle fires in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, compared to a peak of 18,900 in 2001. The statistics are based on data reported by the federal government's National Fire Incidence Reporting System and NFPA's survey of fire departments.

"We are extremely pleased that candle fires are continuing to drop," said NCA executive vice president Carol Freysinger. "We believe there's no question that the industry's safety standards and educational campaign have been pivotal in reducing candle fires."

While candle fires tend to peak during the holiday season, when candles are an integral part of holiday decorating, candles are widely burned throughout the year, including during outdoor gatherings in the summertime. To reduce the risk of fire when using candles, consider these guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

• Trim the wick to 1/4 inch each time before burning. Long wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.

• Use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be sturdy and heat-resistant.

• Avoid drafts, vents or air currents that can cause rapid or uneven burning and excessive dripping.

• Never leave a burning candle unattended.

• Do not burn candles by or on anything that might catch fire.

• Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

• Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use.

• Don't touch or move a burning candle or when wax is liquefied.

• Discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains.

• Always keep a candle within sight.

• Extinguish all candles before bed or if you feel sleepy. The largest number of candle fires occur in the bedroom.

When used safely, candles make a welcome addition to a home.


Dienst Named President of APWA Iowa Chapter

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City of Dubuque Civil Engineer II Jon Dienst has been named president of the Iowa chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). Dienst will serve as president of the Iowa chapter during the 2017 calendar year. The APWA Iowa chapter has nearly 500 professionals from around the state involved in all aspects of public works.

Dienst has been with the City's engineering department for 11 years and has served on the APWA Iowa board of directors since 2013. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts/engineering from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and a bachelor of science degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The American Public Works Association (APWA) serves professionals in all aspects of public works – a fact that sets it apart from other organizations and makes it an effective voice of public works throughout North America. With a membership over 29,000 strong, APWA includes not only personnel from local, county, state/province, and federal agencies, but also private sector personnel who supply products and services to those professionals.

For more information, visit


UnityPoint Health – Finley Health Foundation Receives $10,000 grant from Variety – the Children’s Charity

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The UnityPoint Health Finley Health Foundation has received a $10,000 grant from Variety - the Children's Charity to fund the improvements of UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital's Pediatric Rehabilitation unit, currently located in the Westmark Outpatient Rehabilitation Services building in Dubuque. The improvements are intended to align patient treatment needs with square footage needs. 

The Pediatric Rehabilitation staff, consisting of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech/language pathologists, provides a supportive environment that focuses on creating functional independence and communication skills in the lives of children from birth to 21 years of age. The multidisciplinary team completes comprehensive assessments and develops individualized treatment programs for children whose disabilities range from having a mild effect on their daily life to having profound needs that impair daily activities.

Barb Potts, Executive Director of Finley Health Foundation, says "We are very thankful for the partnership and opportunity with Variety - the Children's Charity. Improvements to Finley's Pediatric Rehab unit will allow us to better serve our growing patient population."

David Brandon, President and CEO of Finley Hospital, adds, "Our team of pediatric therapists are extremely dedicated to the patients they serve. We are very proud of the patient outcomes and believe that improvements to the unit will help further improve patient outcomes and satisfaction."

Variety - the Children's Charity is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and special needs children throughout Iowa. Grant funding is provided to programs and initiatives that directly impact the well-being of children. For more information on Variety grants and programs please visit


Enjoy a safe and cozy winter

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As temperatures drop and the annual hibernation routine begins, we start using heating appliances such as the furnace, fireplace, and space heaters for the first time in months. To avoid potential hazards, check every autumn that these are in still in good condition and follow precautions for proper use.

CSA Group, a leader in public safety and testing and certification, offers the following safety tips for keeping warm on cold days:


• Have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system.

• Clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating season.

• Keep the immediate area free of obstructions to ensure free air flow.

• Look for a certification mark such as the CSA star mark on your gas-fired furnace to ensure it has been tested and certified to the applicable standard.

• Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids near your gas furnace.

• Don't store combustible materials such as paper, chemicals, paint, rags and cleaning products close to your gas furnace.

Gas fireplace:

• Check that the glass panel is intact. Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked or broken. Glass panels and frame assemblies should only be replaced by a qualified service person.

• Check for the mark of an accredited certification organization, such as the star mark from CSA Group when purchasing a gas fireplace.

Space heaters:

• Check for wear on the electrical cord. If it's damaged, replace the entire unit or have the cord replaced by a qualified repair person.

• Keep it clean by dusting or vacuuming it regularly. Always turn the unit off first. 

• Keep the heater clear of furniture, rugs and drapes to allow free air movement and avoid overheating. 

• Look for certified third-party verification marks like CSA Group's certification mark. This shows that the heater complies with recognized safety standards.

• Turn the heater down or off before going to sleep and keep it out of pathways and well away from bedding and clothes. Turn it off when leaving the house.

• Install a smoke alarm in the room with the space heater.

• Have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed throughout the home.

You can find more safety tips at


Prepare vehicles for harsh weather

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As the seasons change, motorists must take steps to safeguard their vehicles, especially when the season changes from fall to winter. Each winter, many vehicles are subjected to sub-zero temperatures, snowfall and icy roads, and such conditions can take their toll on vehicles over time. Taking steps to prepare vehicles for winter weather is a vital step that can make cars and trucks safer for drivers and their passengers.

Old batteries should be replaced before winter begins. Without a strong, properly functioning battery, engines cannot turn over. Most batteries last between three and five years. However, extreme cold can compromise batteries, especially those that have been around awhile. Batteries are made up of acid and water, and cold temperatures can freeze the water, thereby affecting battery performance. According to AAA's Automotive Research Center, at 32 F, the average battery loses 35 percent of its strength.

Newer batteries can be protected by starting the vehicle each day to warm up and recharge the battery. Let the car run for at least 10 minutes if you cannot take an extended drive.

Exterior maintenance
Keeping a car waxed and sealed can help maintain a durable exterior finish. This includes not only the paint, but the rubber and vinyl parts of the car's exterior.

Winter is a good time to switch to a heavy-duty synthetic wax that can shield against water and road salts. High-quality sealants can be used on bumpers, trim and rubber door seals as added protection. Speak with an automotive retailer or even the car dealership if you are unsure which products will make your car's parts most durable for winter weather.

Do not stop washing your car just because the weather is cold. Slushy, wet roads and snow-melting salts can speed up the formation of rust or other decay on the undercarriage of the vehicle. These materials will need to be periodically cleaned off. Flush the underside of the vehicle whenever possible, taking advantage of any dry, slightly warmer days.

Tire pressure
According to the automotive retailer Pep Boys, vehicle tires lose a pound of air pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Many modern cars will alert to changes in air pressure, and drivers should be diligent in maintaining the proper tire pressure. Fuel economy as well as handling ability can decline when tires are not inflated properly. Tires can be refilled at many gas stations for little cost.

Visibility is key in hazardous weather conditions, and keeping the windshield clean is a priority. This means ensuring there is enough windshield wiper fluid in the car and that it is a product that will not freeze.

Wiper blades can freeze and crack in the winter. Older blades may be more susceptible to damage. It's a worthy investment to replace existing wiper blades at the start of each winter. When vehicles are parked, pull the wipers off of the windshield to safeguard them from sticking and cracking.

Cold weather requires drivers to amp up their vehicle maintenance routines. Consult with a mechanic or automotive retailer for more ideas and products that can help your vehicles operate safely and efficiently this winter.


Discover the ways to fireproof a home

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A house fire can engulf and destroy a home in a matter of minutes. Even with the fast-acting response of firefighters, a home that has caught fire may be irreparably damaged by flames, soot and water. Fire is no laughing matter, and it behooves homeowners to take precautions to fireproof their homes as much as possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that although death and injuries caused by residential fires have declined gradually during the past several decades, fire-related deaths continue to pose a significant health hazard. In 2010, it is estimated that someone died in a fire every 169 minutes in the United States alone. A person was injured by fire every 30 minutes, according to the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division. The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs estimates an average of 375 people die every year from fires in Canada, mostly from smoke inhalation.

Most fires are largely preventable. The following are a few fireproofing measures for safety-conscious homeowners.

• Install smoke detectors and check the batteries regularly. Smoke inhalation causes many fire-related deaths. A smoke detector should be installed outside of every bedroom and on every level of the house. Don't install a smoke detector near a window, door or forced-air register, where drafts could interfere with the detector's operation. Be sure to routinely check that every smoke detector is working properly.

• Have a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location. Ideally, there should be a fire extinguisher in every room of the home, but at the least keep one wherever fire is used regularly, such as a kitchen or by a fireplace. Ensure the fire extinguisher is charged and that you understand how to operate it.

• Remove combustible materials from around the house. Do not allow old clothing, rags, newspapers, or cardboard boxes to accumulate around the house. Discard newspapers and magazines as quickly as possible and be careful to avoid storing anything too close to heaters, furnaces or electrical equipment.

• Adhere to the recommended wattage in lamps and lighting fixtures. Do not exceed the recommended bulb wattage for lights around the house. There may be overheating or shorting that can lead to fire.

• Look for fireproof interior decor items. Nowadays, carpeting and furniture can be coated with fireproof chemicals. The added investment may be worth it in the long run.

• Do not leave candles unattended. Many people like the look and aroma that candles provide. Candles also provide emergency illumination in the event of a power outage. Candles can be easily knocked over and start a fire. In fact, candles are one of the top causes of house fires. Never leave a candle unattended, even for a short amount of time. And certainly never go to sleep without extinguishing a candle.

• Keep the chimney clean. Inspect the chimney flue regularly and have it cleaned to prevent an abundance of residual burnt material from accumulating. This creosote can catch fire itself.

• Use a fire-resistant roofing material. A roof should be made from metal, clay or asphalt tiles. Trim any overhanging branches or vegetation to reduce the amount of combustible material nearby.

• Have a fire-safe wall behind wood heaters. A brick wall or another fireproof material should be used on any walls that house a wood- or gas-burning appliance for added safety.

• Verify electrical safety. Extension cords and power strips should be kept to a minimum, and the outlets should not be overloaded. Replace fuses properly and don't be afraid to call a certified electrician to verify you are correctly set up.

By making a few tweaks in and around the house, a homeowner can decrease the likelihood of a fire.


Dubuque Leaf Disposal Options

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

As part of the City's April-November collection service, leaves and other yard waste may be placed in paper yard waste bags that display a single-use yard waste sticker, a rigid solid waste container with either a single-use yard waste sticker looped on the handle or a City 2016 annual yard waste decal, or in City yard debris tipper carts.

Brush and limbs can be bundled with a City of Dubuque brush tie or twine and an attached single-use yard waste sticker.

Bags and containers may not exceed 35 gallons in capacity or 40 pounds in weight. Plastic bags containing yard waste will not be collected. Paper yard waste bags, single-use yard waste stickers, and brush ties are available in most grocery, hardware, and discount stores throughout the city. Single-use yard waste stickers are available at area retailers on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each.

Seasonal, regular-route yard waste collection ends Saturday, Nov. 26. From December through March, Thursday collections of yard waste and food scraps may be scheduled by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at

The Public Works Department also offers, by appointment only, leaf rake-out collections in which large, curbside leaf piles are vacuumed into a collection vehicle. Collection appointments must be scheduled in advance by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at Rake-out collections will be offered from Monday, Oct. 17, through Wednesday, Nov. 23, this year. Appointments must be made before raking into a gutter area. Acceptable items in the leaf rake-out include loose leaves, pine needles, and pine cones. Grass, brush, plants, and rocks are not accepted.

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

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

For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at (563) 589-4250 or visit


AccounTraining Solutions, LLC Opens

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AccounTraining Solutions, LLC, has opened at 2890 Central Ave. The company provides small-business owners and individuals with local, in-person Quick-Books Software Training and Support.

QuickBooks software holds an 86 percent market share in the small-business accounting software arena. AccounTraining Solutions, LLC, will have three Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors on staff conducting the training sessions.

The instructors not only have QuickBooks training and support experience, but they also have over 45 years of combined tax and accounting experience. They will provide training sessions for both desktop and online versions, as well as one-on-one training customized to individual needs.


Participants Sought for Third and Final Year of Smarter Travel Study

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The City of Dubuque and East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) are seeking volunteers to participate in a Smarter Travel Study that will gather data to improve travel options within Dubuque. Volunteers selected for the study who complete all the requirements will be compensated with a $50 gift card.

The project is part of the Smarter Sustainable Dubuque initiative and will include the collection of anonymous data through smartphone technology on how, when, and where study participants travel within the community. The aggregate data will be analyzed and the findings used by the City of Dubuque and its transit partners to implement practices and policies that incorporate lower-cost and lower-impact travel options within Dubuque. The goal of the research is to identify and create travel options to save money, conserve resources, and improve the environment through better travel choices.

Participation in the Smarter Travel Study is open to anyone who lives in Dubuque or surrounding communities and commutes and travels in Dubuque by car, public transportation, biking, walking, or any other mode on a daily basis. Volunteers will be considered to be part of a research group that will provide necessary baseline information to guide the future transportation and travel policies and practices in Dubuque.

If you are interested in participating in the study or want to learn more, visit to apply by completing a brief demographic survey. Volunteers who complete the survey will be eligible to participate in a 7-day study.

This study follows a Smarter Travel Pilot Study conducted in 2012. Using findings from that study and new technology on The Jule buses, significant changes were made to The Jule transit routes and implemented in January 2014. Transit ridership has increased 26 percent, or over 150,000 rides, in the last seven years. More than 50,000 of the new rides occurred between FY2013 and FY2015, after data collected in the pilot study was used to restructure The Jule's routes.

"The Jule's increased ridership is proof of the value of local research in guiding local policies," said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. "We are pleased to partner with ECIA and IBM Research to continue research on travel issues that affect everyone who lives and works in or visits our community."

The City, ECIA, and IBM Research are working together again to gather additional information about commuting and travel patterns in Dubuque. "Our goal is to make traveling and commuting in Dubuque even more efficient than it already is by using the data gathered in the Smarter Travel Study to provide detailed information on travel patterns," said ECIA Executive Director Kelley Deutmeyer. "We want to build on past success. We encourage citizens to become involved in this exciting research."

For more information on the Smarter Travel Study, call ECIA Director of Transportation Chandra Ravada at 563-556-4166.


Youth Deer Hunt a Success

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Thirty-two hunters participated in the Youth Deer Hunt held Oct. 8-9 at the Lost Mound Unit of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Lost Mound Site Manager Alan Anderson boasted, "The number of deer taken was a record harvest combined with one of the highest percentages of successful hunters since the hunt began in 2007."

The 14 deer that were harvested included 5 bucks and 9 does. Twelve-year-old Charlie Sandholt from Miles, Iowa harvested the largest deer, an 8 point buck with a field dressed weight of 225 pounds. This is one of the largest deer taken in the 9-year history of the hunt. Charlie harvested his first deer two years ago at the Lost Mound Youth Deer Hunt.

Eleven-year-old Brennon Anderson harvested the buck having the largest rack with 13 tines and a field dressed weight of 185 pounds.

Lost Mound provides a unique hunting opportunity for youth aged 10-17. There were 35 hunt sites located within areas closed to public access due to ongoing environmental cleanup at the former Savanna Army Depot. The deer population was high because the area provides a sanctuary for deer. The number of large bucks was impressive and offered an outstanding opportunity to observe and harvest deer for this special group of hunters. Several youth stated they were selective in harvesting deer and passed up opportunities to shoot a doe, waiting for a trophy buck. Seven of the 32 hunters were non-residents.

Lost Mound is an important bald eagle wintering area. Many hunters observed eagles soaring overhead that were vigilantly searching for their next meal. In a recent study at Lost Mound, cameras documented that bald eagles feed on deer carcasses and discarded deer parts, especially offal (gut piles).

Lead bullets used in hunting often fragment upon entering a deer. Toxic lead fragments often become embedded in the offal that is discarded in the field. Xrays of offal collected from 25 deer shot at Lost Mound in 2012 and 2013 revealed more than 100 tiny lead fragments embedded in one offal pile.

Bald eagles and other wildlife that feed on the offal ingest these lead fragments. Examination of 168 dead bald eagles that were randomly collected in the Upper Midwest in 2011 and 2012 showed that 48% had lead exposure and 21% had lethal lead levels.

As a result of this research, non-lead ammunition has been required for the Youth Deer Hunt at Lost Mound since 2014 in an effort to reduce lead exposure to bald eagles. Many positive comments were received this year by youth hunters on the effectiveness of the copper ammunition that was preferred.

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is the most visited Refuge in the United States. It extends 261 miles along the Upper Mississippi River from Wabasha, Minn. to Albany, Ill., protecting and preserving habitat for migratory birds, fish, and a variety of other wildlife. This 240,000 acre Refuge was established in 1924.


Dubuque Bond Rating Upgraded by Moody's

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Moody's Investors Service announced Friday it upgraded the rating on a City of Dubuque bonds series from A3 to A2. The rating applies to the City's Sales Tax Increment Revenue (Annual Appropriation Property Tax Supported) Senior Bonds Series 2015A, which represent nearly $18 million in bonds issued to support the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project.

Moody's says issuers or issues rated A present "above-average creditworthiness relative to other U.S. municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues." Moody's report said the upgrade concludes a review of the rating conducted following a July 2016 revision of Moody's rating methodology. It also stated the rating change "reflects the City's moral obligation pledge to consider appropriating from its debt service levy to replenish the debt service reserve if it is drawn upon." Moody's also said the change reflects the "more essential nature of the financed projects, which were flood mitigation projects." The new rating is also based on the adequate debt service provided by pledged sales tax revenue, projections of which are expected to provide 2.5 times the maximum annual debt service.

Moody's municipal ratings are based upon the analysis of four primary factors relating to municipal finance: economy, debt, finances, and administration/management strategies. According to Moody's, "issuers or issues rated Aa demonstrate very strong creditworthiness relative to other U.S. municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues."

Specifically, the bonds affected by this rating upgrade are being used to fund costs associated with the lower Bee Branch creek restoration (phase 4) and the upper Bee Branch creek restoration (phase 7), the flood mitigation gate replacement (phase 5), flood control maintenance facilities (phase 9) and north end sewers (phase 10), and the related costs for property acquisition, engineering and design, and other professional services.


Simplify fall leaf cleanup

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Apple pie, pumpkins and blooming chrysanthemums are symbols of autumn. But nothing signals the arrival of fall more than the millions of leaves that begin to cascade from the trees as the temperatures dip. 

Many people feel nothing is more beautiful than the yellow, red, purple, and orange leaves that coat neighborhoods and countrysides each fall. But in spite of their beauty, leaves might be a nuisance to homeowners tasked with removing the growing piles of them from their lawns. Those with large oak and maple trees in front of their homes understand the seemingly endless work of leaf removal.

As the days begin to grow shorter and colder, these changes trigger a hormone release in trees, prompting them to drop their leaves. This chemical message causes the formation of abscission cells where the leaf stem meets the branch, say botanists at the Missouri Botanical Garden. So rather than merely dropping off of trees when the wind blows, the leaves actually fall off deliberately.

Left untouched, fallen leaves can contribute to lawn problems such as poor aeration, mold growth and moisture issues. Leaves also can cause staining on driveways and walkways. Prompt removal can help prevent any problems.

To make faster and easier work of leaf removal, keep these tips in mind.

• Mow over thin leaf coverage. If only a few leaves have fallen, use a mulching mower to shred the leaves until they are small enough that they won't suffocate the lawn. The small pieces will decompose in the lawn, reintroducing nutrients as a result.

• Use an ergonomic leaf rake. Ergonomic rakes can prevent back and arm pain, much in the way that ergonomic shovels do when shoveling snow.

• Invest in a quality leaf blower. Using a rake is good exercise, but homeowners with large properties might want to use a leaf blower. These machines can dislodge leaves from bushes and hard-to-reach crevices, and they work faster than rakes.

• Use a tarp. Rake or blow leaves onto a tarp and then drag the tarp to the curbside or to the back of a truck for proper disposal. Special leaf scoopers enable you to grab more leaves if they need to be picked up and transported. Otherwise, you can use the covers from two garbage pails to achieve a similar effect.

• Work with the wind. Rake in the direction the wind is blowing and downhill if your property slopes. This way it will be easier on you, and you won't be working against Mother Nature.

• Spread out the job. Do not attempt to remove all fallen leaves in a single day. Schedule a few cleaning days during the season to make lighter work of the job than if you tried to do it all at once. Keep in mind that leaves will continue to fall throughout the season and you may need to spend a few days removing leaves from your yard. 

Removing leaves is a large part of fall home maintenance. Employ these tips to make this task less strenuous.


Transform spaces into cozy retreats

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Cool weather often drives people to spend more hours indoors than they do during the warmer months. Autumn is a time to winterize gardens, put away lawn furniture and prepare for the holiday season. Autumn also provides the perfect opportunity to begin home interior projects. 

Many people decide to redecorate their homes to reflect each season. When temperatures change, it's time to transition from the light colors and breezy fabrics symbolic of summer to thicker, darker materials that evoke coziness.

With some inspiration and a little know-how, any homeowner or apartment dweller can cozy up a space in time for fall and winter.

• Invest in area rugs. While wood floors can look beautiful and work well with many different design styles, wood can feel chilly underfoot. Thick area rugs add warmth to a room and can help it look more lived-in. Area rugs also help a room appear more cohesive, coordinating with other colors in a space and providing a visual border.

• Practice layering in rooms. An affordable and relatively easy way to make a room seem more cozy is to layer fabrics and other accents. Layers can include throws and blankets. Remove place mats from the dining room table and use them on accent tables or an ottoman in the living room. Table runners also can add a splash of color to the top of bedroom dressers.

• Play with texture. Look for fabrics that boast texture and can add a tactile feel to spaces. When used on throw pillows or small accents, faux fur can create that cozy cabin feel. Draperies made from nubby fabrics or those with grooves and ridges can add dimension to a room as well. Even a lampshade made of an unusual fabric, such as a waffle-patterned material, can add a little depth and warmth to a space.

• Reevaluate your lighting. Lighting a space is more than just flipping on a switch. Finding the right balance of lighting fixtures can instantly transform the feel of a room. Create more warmth and a cozy feel by switching out bulbs from cooler shades to warmer ones - those that give off yellow and pink hues rather than cool blues. Accent lighting helps establish a comfortable space for curling up and reading a good book. Spot lighting, such as fixtures that are trained on artwork or inside of a curio or china cabinet, also can set a more welcoming mood.

• Install a bookshelf and start a book collection. Piles and stacked books can add warmth to any space. Books evoke the hallowed halls of schools and quiet nooks in the library. Fill shelves with books interspersed with additional design accents, and you will instantly make a room feel more inviting.

• Choose dark paint. Do not feel nervous about incorporating deeper shades in rooms. Dark colors give rooms a more enclosed feel than lighter colors, and that can create a warm and cozy feeling. This works particularly well in larger spaces that feel vast and empty. If you're scared to paint all of your walls, try a darker shade below a chair rail or just paint one accent wall.

• Add architectural elements. Think about adding rich moldings to crown the ceilings or to frame doorways. If you have the space for a nook, create a window seat beneath a picture window or add a bench and cushions in a corner for a nice escape spot.

Use the colder weather as an opportunity to reinvent some of the rooms in your home. With paint, texture, fabric, lighting, and more, rooms can be quickly transformed into cozy respites from the cold.


Preparing your fireplace or stove for the season

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Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves not only can be beautiful focal points within a home, but they also provide an additional source of heat and can be used to keep rooms or entire homes comfortable without the need for additional and potentially costly heating sources. 

Just like more modern home heating systems, stoves and fireplaces need to be maintained, and that maintenance includes readying them before winter when they are used more heavily. Ensuring a fireplace or stove is in good working order helps to guarantee efficiency of use and safety during the winter months.

Open-flame heating sources carry with them certain risks. The National Fire Protection Association states that, between 2009-2013, American fire departments responded to 56,000 home structure fires that involved heating equipment. The NFPA notes that the leading factor contributing to home-heating fires is a failure to keep things clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment.

The following are a handful of ways to stay safe as you get ready for another cozy season around the fire.

• Start with the chimney. Begin by having your chimney thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Creosote can build up inside of the chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and becomes more difficult and expensive to clean the longer it builds up inside your flue lining. In addition, animals may have created nests inside of the chimney since the last time the fireplace was used. A professional chimney sweep should be hired in this situation. He or she will be able to effectively clean the chimney in a manner that is the least messy and disruptive to residents.

• Install or check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Operational alarms are essential to preventing injury or death resulting from smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation. Such detectors are inexpensive safeguards that should be installed on every floor of the house. Batteries should be replaced every six months, and the alarms themselves should be changed every five to 10 years.

• Inspect the chimney from outdoors as well. Inspect the mortar around any bricks in the chimney and surrounding areas for cracks. If left unaddressed, these can cause dangerous fires. If there are serious cracks, a professional may need to make repairs or the chimney may need to be replaced. You also can have the chimney capped with a screen to keep animals and debris from entering.

• Inspect the damper. A damper is a valve or plate that stops or regulates the flow of air inside a chimney. It should be checked prior to the first use of a stove or fireplace so homeowners can be certain it opens and closes smoothly.

• Clear out flammable items. Move flammable items away from the front of a fireplace or stove. Be sure curtains or other home furnishings are far enough away that they will not catch fire from any errant sparks or flames.

• Order wood now. Be sure there is plenty of wood for the season. Ask a wood supplier to estimate just how much will be needed, and double-check that the wood will arrive in time for the start of the season.

By preparing for fireplace and wood stove use now, homeowners can ensure their winters are comfortable and safe.


Establish a home fire safety plan

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People rely on fire and smoke detectors to help keep them safe in their homes. Though fire and smoke alarms are effective, a firm fire safety plan that will keep everyone calm should a fire occur could make the difference between life and death.

The U.S. Fire Administration says that more than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires, while roughly 18,300 more men, women and children are injured each year. Cooking accounts for the greatest percentage of residential fires, followed by arson. Dryer vent fires are also a big concern.

FEMA says that smoke, rather than the fire's flames, is responsible for 75 percent of all deaths by fire.

In addition to physical injury and material damage, fires can cause a host of problems. Psychological distress, monetary damages and loss of pets may come with fires. Loss of irreplaceable personal items is also a concern.

Although fires can be devastating, they're also highly preventable, and smoke alarms and a home fire safety plan are two precautionary measures everyone should take.

Creating an evacuation plan doesn't have to be complicated. Such a plan can be established in a few minutes and then reinforced through practice every so often to keep everyone fresh on what to do.

• Begin by assessing the layout of the home. Figure out the two best exits from the home.

• If your home doesn't have two doors, invest in a fire ladder so that one of the windows can be a point of exit.

• Know how to gain access to the exits, including the best path to take to avoid injury. It's a good idea to consider a few different scenarios. A kitchen adjacent to the upstairs staircase may become engulfed in flames and make exit by way of staircase impossible. Just because you have doors to the outside doesn't mean they'll present the best type of exit.

• Sketch out the layout of the home and the escape plan. Smoke can make it difficult to know up from down. Be sure everyone can reach the exits even if vision is obstructed. Try it with your eyes closed.

• Check fire/smoke alarms routinely, and change batteries at least every year.

• Make sure windows can be easily opened if they are an exit point.

• Make note of who will be helping children or the elderly out of the home.

• Establish a place where the family will meet outdoors. This area should be far enough away from the home so that everyone will be safe from smoke, flames and falling debris. Fires may ignite fuel explosions, so be sure the meeting spot is a good deal away.

• Children should be instructed to run to the meeting spot immediately without waiting behind for anyone to catch up. No one should reenter the home after arriving at the meeting spot.

• Do a few practice runs so that everyone will be accustomed to getting out quickly.

• While in most cases it is better to escape and let the fire department extinguish a fire, in the event of a small fire, occupants may be able to stanch it with a personal fire extinguisher. Follow the acronym PASS to properly put out the fire.

      - PULL the pin in the extinguisher.
      - AIM the nozzle or hose at the base of the flames.
      - SQUEEZE the trigger.
      - SWEEP the foam across the fire base; do not just aim in one place.

Fire safety is very important. In conjunction with smoke alarms, a fire safety plan can help everyone get out alive.


Choral Positions Available

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The Catholic Cathedral of Saint Raphael the Archangel (231 Bluff Street) is currently accepting all voice parts for the Cathedral choir.

Commitments entail Monday evening rehearsals and attendance at the 9am mass on Sunday morning. Repertoire consists of music ranging from the great choral masters to modern day chant.

Interested singers should contact the Cathedral Director of Music, Jim Mendralla, directly at the music office via phone or email 563.582.7646



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The annual Fall Product Sale Program is a best kept secret in Girl Scouts. Each fall, Girl Scouts sell nuts, candy, magazines, and other items to friends and family. These treats are not only yummy and make great gifts for the holidays, but have a huge impact on financial literacy training for girls.

As troops form at the beginning of the school year, Girl Scouts set goals for what their troop wants to do for the year. Travel, camp, service projects, and events are all fun opportunities for girls, but require funds to make happen. The Fall Product Sale Program is a great way for girls to earn initial support for these activities and develop their business skills before the popular Cookie Sale Program in January.

To purchase items from the Fall Product Sale Program, talk to a Girl Scouts or call 800-798-0833 or email and we will help you find a troop.


Emergency responders need support, too

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Emergency responders, which include the police, firefighters and paramedics who are the first to arrive at the scene of an incident, are in the business of protecting others and helping to save lives. These workers are on call during natural disasters, technological failures, terrorist attacks, and many other potentially traumatic events. Emergency responders are the unsung heroes of many communities that they work hard to keep safe and secure. 

While emergency responders are heroes, it's important that people know these brave men and women sometimes need assistance, too. The pressure and stress associated with being an emergency responder can sometimes be overwhelming, and it's times like that when emergency responders need help.

Comprehensive statistics on stress-related medical conditions among first responders are difficult to tabulate because many incidents go unreported or unshared. However, pressures of the job and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can take their toll on paramedics and law officials. EMS World reports that, between January and September of 2014, the United States had around 58 documented fire/EMS suicides. In Canada, 25 first responders were known to have committed suicide in a five-month period in 2014.

Addressing the stress of being an emergency responder can help responders and their families better cope with the pressure and stress of the job. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that all workers involved in first-responder activities should help themselves and others to reduce the risk of stress-related psychological and physical health effects from their jobs.

Certain symptoms and behaviors may present themselves when emergency responders are having difficulty coping with the demands of the job. These symptoms may include:

• Changes in sleeping patterns

• Passive or fatalistic behavior

• Frequent conflict and argumentative behavior

• Limiting social networks and general withdrawal

• Poor problem-solving abilities

• Poor concentration

• Inability to rest

• Self-medicating with alcohol

While there is no single method to cope with the physical and psychological demands of a first reponder's job, a combination of therapies can help. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that responders need to take care of their own health to maintain the constant vigilance they need for their own safety. These steps can put workers on the right track.

• Form a support network in which each responder looks out for one another. Knowing support is available can be a big help.

• Take frequent breaks to clear the mind and rest the body. Try to take breaks away from a work area.

• Accept what cannot be changed, such as chain of command or long hours. 

• Take advantage of mental health support services when they are made available. Recognize that it is not indicative of weakness to discuss difficult emotions.

• Maintain a healthy eating pattern and try to get adequate sleep.

• Exercise, which can reduce feelings of stress and be a healthy way to clear the mind and strengthen the body.

Recognizing that emergency responders are not invincible and may need some emotional support can be the first step in getting these workers the help they need and deserve.


Firefighting a rewarding career

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Firefighting can be a rewarding career and exciting opportunity to serve one's community. Firefighters protect homes and businesses when fires unexpectedly break out, saving millions of dollars in potential property loss. These invaluable workers also make emergency medical calls and may help preserve lives until paramedics or other medical services can respond. 

The United States Department of Labor reports that there are more than 300,000 professional firefighters across the country. More than 90 percent of all those firefighters are employed by local governments.

Despite the risk involved in firefighting, many find it to be a very satisfying career. The requirements to become a firefighter vary depending on the locality, but people willing to put in the time and effort to become a firefighter can likely find a department that will give them a chance. The application process to become a firefighter can be competitive, and the training is physically demanding.

The following are a few tips for men and women mulling a career as a firefighter.

• Meet the basic requirements. Confirm the schooling and age requirements for the job. Depending on where they apply, firefighters may need to have high school diplomas or some college credits. Age requirements are common as well, as many departments mandate that applicants are at least 18 or 21 upon submitting their applications.

• Refrain from drug use and illegal activity. Firefighters must be physically fit and undergo criminal background checks and drug screenings. 

• Undergo CPR and EMT training. Firefighters may be called upon in emergency medical situations. As a result, many firefighters are required to have an Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT, license. Even if a license is not a requirement, it is a helpful to have and may increase your odds of being hired.

• Take fire technology courses. According to FireRescue1, a resource that features the most current news and analysis from some of the top experts in fire service, taking a semester of building construction and fire behavior can be helpful. Such coursework can educate prospective firefighters about how buildings are built and may make them more attractive candidates.

• Speak to current firefighters. Visit a local firehouse to speak to current firefighters. Ask questions of the firefighters and get their impressions on training and testing. They may offer some job leads, and some may even offer some first-hand advice from their time in the field.

• Become a volunteer firefighter. Volunteer as a firefighter while enrolled in training or while studying. This can provide you with a pretty accurate idea of what the job entails. Gaining hands-on experience prior to applying for a permanent position - or even if the decision is made to keep volunteering - can be quite handy.

• Take the tests. Firefighting tests vary depending on the agency, but many include a written examination, oral interview and physical aptitude/agility exam. A person may not pass the first time around, but he or she will gain experience and understand which areas to work on for future examinations.

Becoming a firefighter takes commitment, physical and emotional strength and a willingness to help one's community.


10 fun facts in time for fall

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Autumn is a season of many changes, with some of the most notable including the dramatic multicolored displays that occur just prior to trees shedding their leaves. It's also a time of year when many people feel reenergized by cooler temperatures and spend many hours outdoors enjoying all that fall has to offer.

Whether one is collecting leaves, picking apples, exploring corn mazes, or driving the countryside enjoying the foliage, autumn is full of fun facts that can make the season that much more enjoyable.

1. Autumn begins on the autumnal equinox, which occurs on or near September 22 in the northern hemisphere. This year, September 22 is the day when the sun crossed the celestial equator moving southward. When the equinox occurs, there are an equal number of daylight and nighttime hours.

2. Since ancient times, autumn has been an important time of year for many civilizations. Autumn is a main harvesting time in many areas, and a successful harvest was once necessary for survival. Many steps are, and have long been, taken to ensure a bountiful autumn harvest.

3. Fall is a time when trees and other plants prepare for dormancy during winter. As autumn progresses and the hours of daylight gradually decrease, trees begin to close down their food production systems and reduce the amount of chlorophyll in leaves. Chlorophyll is the chemical that makes tree leaves green, and as it declines, other chemicals become more prominent and shine through in the leaves. That is why leaves change color. 

4. Some scientists believe that global climate change can impact autumn colors, such as delaying the change in trees. Also, red pigments may start to decline as trees use sugary fuel to grow new twigs rather than to cause red leaf displays.

5. Americans more readily refer to this time of year as "fall," while the British use "autumn." Both terms date back to around the 16th century. Prior to this period, autumn was known as "harvest."

6. Much of the United States bids farewell to monarch butterflies in the fall. Each autumn, monarch butterflies migrate from the United States to Mexico and some parts of Southern California. They fly at speeds ranging between 12 and 25 miles per hour.

7. A study of U.S. centenarians born between 1880 to 1895 published in the Journal of Aging Research, found that babies born during autumn months are more likely to live to age 100 than those born during the rest of the year. Thirty percent of the centenarians followed were born during the fall.

8. Squash, pumpkins and other gourds are prominent in the fall. The largest squash grown on record belonged to Joel Jarvis of Ontario, and his huge winner weighed in at 1,486.6 pounds in 2011.

9. The many-colored leaves are not the only display one might see during the fall. The autumn equinox signals the aurora borealis, also called the Northern Lights. Besides the lengthening of nights and cool evening weather, which are great for stargazers, autumn is "aurora season," according to NASA. That's because, during the fall, geomagnetic storms are about twice as frequent as the annual average.

10. Full moons are named for the month or season in which they rise. The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.


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.


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


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.



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.


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.


American Legion Dubuque Post #6 Annual Veterans Day Ceremony and Chili Feed.

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American Legion Dubuque Post #6 proudly announces the 2016 Veterans Day ceremony to be held indoors at Mystique Ice Arena on Chaplain Schmitt Island. The event will start at 10:30 AM, Friday, November 11th, and last for about 45 minutes. All TriState Veterans organizations and military units have been encouraged to participate. It will be followed by the annual Chili Feed at the American Legion.

The featured speaker for the ceremony is Dick Bridges, a US Air Force Veteran who served in the Republic of Thailand during the Vietnam War. He is Past Commander of American Legion Dubuque Post #6, and serves on its Honor Guard and Color Guard. Dick is a historian for the Dubuque Veterans Memorial Plaza. He is a member of the TriState Vietnam Veterans and VFW Post 9663. Dick will speak about the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the TriState WWII Veterans commitment to winning the war.

The ceremony will have music, with singers Taylor Manders, Logan Manders, and Gery Ryan; plus the East Dubuque Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums will provide music for the event.

All veteran group members, spouses, families, and friends are invited to join us at our Annual Chili Feed after the remembrance ceremony. It will be held in the American Legion Dubuque Post #6 clubroom located at 1306 Delhi Street in Dubuque, Iowa. Chili will be available for $1.00 per bowl starting at 11:30 a.m., and as always the Legion Clubhouse is open to the public.


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.