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Sustainable Energy Event

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Save money where you live and work!

Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work making our homes more efficient! Come to Swiss Valley Nature Center in Peosta on Saturday, August 8, from 9:00 am to noon to visit with experts about solar power, geothermal, LED technology, tax credits, sustainable programs, and energy audits. The program is free, but the information is priceless!

9:30 am:   Tim Mueller with Solar Planet
               Doug Schuster with Schuster Heating & Pump

11:00 am:  Cori Burbach with Sustainable Dubuque

 

Free Outdoor Screening of Ferris Bueller's Day Off Set for August 13 in Washington Park

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The Dubuque Museum of Art will sponsor a free outdoor screening of the 1980s classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" on Thursday, August 13 at 8 pm in Washington Park at 7th and Locust Streets in downtown Dubuque.

The inaugural Movie at the Museum is a free community event, held in partnership with the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival and Dubuque Main Street, aimed at attracting visitors downtown and to the Museum's front door.

"The Museum is fortunate to have Washington Park as its front porch," said Dubuque Museum of Art Executive Director David Schmitz. "We are always looking for creative ways to utilize this gathering space and to give people new reasons to come downtown and experience the museum."

The pre-film program will begin at 8 pm, with the film beginning shortly after sundown (approximately 8:20 pm). Attendees are encouraged to arrive beginning at 7:30 pm or earlier to claim their place on the lawn; take a short, free tour of new museum exhibitions; and enjoy concessions courtesy of food trucks from Wild Fryers and Candle Ready Cakes, which will be parked in front of the Museum on 7th Street between Bluff and Locust Streets.

The event is held in conjunction with "The Iowa State Fair: Photographs by Kurt Ullrich," which will remain on view at the Museum through October 11, 2015. Additionally, the exhibitions "Words We Know the Songs To: Paintings by Jaclyn Garlock" and the "Dubuque Camera Club's 3rd Annual Exhibition" will be on view in the galleries.

The Dubuque Museum of Art is Iowa's oldest cultural institution, founded in 1874, and is dedicated to promoting cultural growth and enhancing the quality of life in Dubuque through interpretation, preservation, and arts education. The mission of the Dubuque Museum of Art is to seek to excite, engage, and educate constituents through the presentation of collections, exhibitions, and programming; to form mutually beneficial partnerships to enhance the role of the arts within our community; and to adhere to professional museum standards in all operations. The Museum is located across from Washington Park in historic downtown Dubuque at 7th and Locust Streets.
Dubuque Museum of Art hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., Saturday & Sunday 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. Daily Admission: $6 Adults, $5 Seniors, $3 Students, free for kids every day, and free to all on Thursdays thanks to Prudential Financial. Website: www.dbqart.com

 

Workshop features spiritual focus to dementia care

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The Alzheimer's Association will offer an education program titled "The Heart of Dementia Care: What Still Remains" from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21 at the Dubuque County Public Library Asbury Branch, located at 5290 Grand Meadow Drive.

Jerry Schroeder, MSSW, Alzheimer's Association senior program specialist, will present the program about the essential ways to integrate spiritual principles into dementia care.

The education program is free and open to the public. Please call 1-800-272-3900 to RSVP by Wednesday, August 19.

For more information about programs and services, visit the Community Resource page at www.alz.org/greateriowa.

The Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org/greateriowa or call 800.272.3900.

 

Alert to Dubuque Area

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Lavonne Noel, Executive Director of Hospice of Dubuque, is alerting the tri-state area of a mailing that some residents have recently received. The Hospice Support Fund, located in Merrifield, Va., has been soliciting donations with a letter entitled, "2015 Dubuque Area Appeal."

Please note that this organization is NOT affiliated with Hospice of Dubuque and does NOT provide any funding to your local nonprofit hospice.

 

CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SEEKING A DOG INVOLVED IN BITING INCIDENT

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The City of Dubuque Health Services Department is seeking information regarding a dog involved in a biting incident.

The dog is described as a 40-50 pounds, mostly black with some brown, possibly a rottweiler or mix of some kind, was also wearing a collar with a yellow tag on it.

The dog bit a woman on the hand at approximately 1:00pm. The bite happened in the area of Fremont Avenue on the bridge near Wartberg Apartments.  The dog then ran off towards the wooded area near the train tracks .

The Health Department needs the public's assistance in finding this dog to verify the dog's health status and vaccination history.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Health Services Department at 589-4185 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or the Law Enforcement Center at 589-4415 after hours or on the weekend.

 

Turn carnival game odds in your favor

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Mid- to late-summer is peak carnival and fair season. During this time of year, empty fields and parking lots are transformed into entertainment wonders featuring rides, foods and plenty of games of chance.

Carnival games are a fun diversion. Thousands and thousands of fairgoers test their luck at these games when carnivals roll into town. Games often seem as though they are stacked in the house's favor, but games are not impossible to win. A few pointers can increase any player's chances of winning.

• Ring toss: The object of this game is to throw a ring and have it settle around the neck of a bottle. For the best chances, toss the ring so that it remains as flat horizontally as possible. Think of throwing it as you would a Frisbee®.

• Milk bottle pyramid: In this game, participants have to throw a softball to knock over milk bottles stacked in a pyramid. It seems easy, but sometimes the weight of the softball is not in proportion to the weight of the bottles. The ball may be filled with cork, and the bottles may be weighted on the bottom. Aim for the center of the two lowest bottles and throw the ball as hard as you can.

• Basketball shot: In this game, the rim of the basketball net is likely smaller than regulation and the backboard may be stiffer than players are accustomed to. In addition, the ball may be overinflated so that it is more bouncy. Try a high arc that will help you swish the ball. Otherwise, aim for the top of the square on the backboard so that the ball will bank right into the net.

• Whack-a-mole: This game is fun because a player can go after whichever critter pops out of the hole. A key advantage to this game is never to raise the mallet higher than the height of the mole. This ensures a faster swing and a quicker resetting to hit the next mole that pops up.

• Balloons and darts: To counteract potentially dull darts, look for the shiniest, thinnest balloons. Those are the ones that are inflated the most. This will increase your chances of popping a balloon.

• Frog toss: Young children are drawn to this game because they get to launch a rubber frog into the air and throw it toward a lily pad. The chance of getting wet combined with pounding a mallet can make this game quite attractive. To improve your odds of winning, make the frog as small as possible by folding its legs underneath the body. Aim high so that the frog is launched in a high arc and has a better chance of landing in that lily pad cup.

Carnival games can be entertaining. Players have a greater chance of taking home a prize if they learn some secrets of each game they play.

 

Favorite fair foods

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State and county fair season has arrived, and that means there will be rides and games galore. While many people are drawn to fairs by the entertainment, just as many are willing to stand in line for the unique and tasty foods that seem to embody fair and carnival fun.

If it can be served on a stick or deep fried, chances are you can find it at a fair. Everything from chocolate-dipped bacon to deep-fried butter may turn up on fair stand menus. The following are some of the more coveted foods revelers can expect to find at their local fairs and carnivals.

• Funnel cake: Funnel cake and its close cousin, zeppole, have long been fair favorites. Topped with powdered sugar, funnel cakes can be pulled apart and shared with others.

• Corn dogs: Corn dogs are essentially hot dogs on a stick that have been covered in cornmeal and fried. Like funnel cakes, corn dogs have become so synonymous with fairs and carnivals that few people have ever enjoyed them anywhere outside of their local fairgrounds.

• French fries: French fries are a favorite at fairs, and carnival-goers can choose from savory shoestrings to hearty steak-cut potato chunks.

• Cotton candy: What fair would be complete without a cotton candy vendor? Cotton candy is made by heating up granulated sugar until it is liquified enough to be blown into thin threads. Those threads are collected and wound into a sweet treat that is loved by kids and adults alike.

• Pie: Fair-goers are likely to happen upon a pie-eating contest or pie-tasting tent. Many prefer to indulge in a piece of pie while at the fair, preferring such treats to sweeter, heavier desserts.

• Corn on the cob: Corn on the cob is proof that carnivals and fairs provide some healthy fare for customers in addition to the many decadent treats on display. Corn on the cob is most popular in corn-producing areas and can be the ideal complement to burgers and other fair foods.

• Anything on a stick: Each year fair vendors experiment with culinary oddities that can be served on a stick. One day it may be skewered pork chops and the next a sleeve of cookies. Those who want the full fair experience should consider trying something served on a stick.

 

Summer fun that is close to home

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Summer is prime vacation season when travelers take trips to every corner of the world. While faraway destinations abound, those looking for fun can also find enjoyable activities much closer to home.

Many communities come alive during the warmer weather, hosting an array of locally driven events. People looking for a day of entertainment or an evening of excitement may be able to find an event that's just a short car ride away. Pick up a local newspaper or log on to your town's official website to browse a listing of events in your community this summer. Here are a few events you're bound to find.

• Carnivals and fun fairs: Open land or empty parking lots can be transformed into bustling carnivals in a matter of days. Carnivals or fairs may be sponsored by private businesses or local religious organizations looking to raise funds. Some fairs are established by the county and attract participants from near and far. Carnivals often boast a wide array of entertainment, from amusement park-style rides to games of chance to music.

• Summer concert series: Summer concerts series typically begin when the weather warms up, and music may not stop playing until Labor Day. Concerts may range from more intimate affairs that attract a few dozen people to a town square to larger events at beaches and boardwalks that draw thousands of visitors.

• Food festivals: Various towns close down their Main Streets from time to time to accommodate food festivals that feature a variety of cuisines. Some food festivals may feature one ingredient, such as garlic or cheese, while others may delve deeper and offer broader menus. Food festivals allow visitors to sample many different treats and may serve to advertise for neighborhood eating establishments.

• Street fairs: Street fairs also may close down thoroughfares in town. These events usually bring together a variety of vendors selling their wares in an open market setting. You can make a day of touring all of the vendor booths and buying handmade items from local artisans.

• Outdoor movies: Local parks frequently host summer movie nights when participants can view a movie on the big screen while under the stars. This can be an informal way to get the entire family together for a fun flick. Films are typically family-friendly and schedules are available well in advance. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy an inexpensive evening together.

Many people need not travel far for a little summertime fun, as many communities host fun events throughout the warmer months.

 

Host an outdoor movie night

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During the golden age of outdoor movie viewing, drive-in-movie theaters were a phenomenon. By the late 1950s, one-third of theaters in America were drive-ins. Over the last 40 years or so, the number of drive-in theaters has declined considerably. It's estimated there are fewer than 400 drive-in movie theaters in the United States today. Those that are still in operation face pressure from traditional theaters as well as people viewing movies and digital screenings at home.

New York, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania boast some of the highest numbers of drive-in movie theaters across the United States. Those looking for some summer fun that includes a movie night out can visit www.driveintheatre-ownersassociation.org to find a nearby drive-in theater.

Taking a road trip to visit a drive-in theater can be an entertaining adventure. But outdoor movie enthusiasts also can construct an outdoor theater in the comfort of their own backyards.

• Concession sales provided much of revenue of drive-in theaters in their glory days. When creating an outdoor viewing experience at home, don't forget to make food part of the experience. A classic popcorn maker can keep freshly popped corn ready on demand. In addition, fire up the grill to ensure there are plenty of tasty items available.

• Projectors enable viewers to display a movie on just about any large, unobscured surface. While a large, hanging sheet can be handy, any smooth surface on your home, such as a large expanse of wall, can do the trick. Projectors now come in various sizes, and there are some pocket-sized varieties that can work with phones and other mobile devices.

• Create multi-leveled viewing by setting up seating on an incline in the yard, if available. Otherwise, place lawn chairs toward the back and have viewers in the front sit on blankets or towels so they do not obscure the screen for viewers in the back.

• Choose a family-friendly or kitschy movie to display. Delve into the classics of your movie library. Imagine seeing "Jaws" on a big screen once more or a cult-classic like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

• Build in some intermission time when everyone can get up from their chairs or picnic blankets and mingle. Also, plan some pre- and post-viewing activities. Drive-in theaters were known to include some additional entertainment to boost attendance. Having a dance party or including some carnival-type games can make for a well-rounded and enjoyable night.

 

Red Cross Assists more than 25 Iowans in Weekend Home Fires

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Disaster Action Team members have responded to 35 Iowa disasters since July 1

DES MOINES, IOWA - The American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa responded to nine disasters (eight home fires) over the weekend in Appanoose, Wapello, Cass, Floyd, Poweshiek and Polk counties in Iowa and Dakota County in Nebraska. Since July 1, Red Cross volunteers have assisted 101 people across the state of Iowa because of home fires, flooding and severe storms.

Following a disaster like a home fire, the Red Cross provides emergency assistance to make sure the individuals and families affected have safe shelter, food, clothing, medications and emotional support.

Red Cross Disaster Action Team members have been busier this July than in years past. Last year from July 1 to July 20, volunteers answered the call for help to 23 families and assisted 70 people. So far in 2015, the Red Cross has responded to 35 Iowa disasters in Linn, Polk, Wapello, Wright, Cerro Gordo, Clinton, Black Hawk, Des Moines, Boone, Lee, Harrison, Appanoose, Cass, Floyd and Poweshiek counties in Iowa and Dakota County, Nebraska, and have provided help and hope to 101 people.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and the vast majority are home fires. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

HOME FIRE SAFETY

There are several things people can do to protect themselves and their loved ones from fires. They include:

• Installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.

• Developing a fire evacuation plan with all members of the household and practicing it several times a year, at different times of the day.

• Include two ways to get out of every room and consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above. Pick a place outside for everyone to meet and make sure everyone knows where it is.

• Removing any fire hazards from the home.

Download the Red Cross First Aid App at redcross.org/apps to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies including burns.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at@RedCross.

 

IWLC awarded grant from McDonough Foundation to support Dubuque conference

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC) has secured an important infusion of financial and community support from the James B. and Melita A. McDonough Foundation. The donation will fund one of the conference keynote speakers at the Dubuque Conference on Oct. 8, 2015 at the Grand River Center.

IWLC is thankful for the generosity of the McDonough Foundation and its mission to improve the quality of life in Eastern Iowa by supporting other Eastern Iowa and Tri-state area charitable organizations. The McDonough Foundation was created to honor Jim and Melita McDonough, a couple who lived in Eastern Iowa.

"We are humbled by the support of the McDonough Foundation," says Diane Ramsey, CEO of IWLC. "Their vision will enable hundreds of Tri-State women leaders and students to experience the inspiration, learning and networking that occurs during an IWLC conference."

"IWLC and its dedication to elevate our community is clearly in line with our own mission to better the lives of the people and businesses that have made Dubuque their home. We are excited to sponsor the first conference coming to Dubuque and we wish IWLC great success in 2015 and in the future," stated Dale Repass, James B. and Melita A. McDonough Foundation Director.

IWLC provides women with opportunities to enhance leadership skills through resources including conference speakers, peer networking, and other important services. IWLC owes much of its success to generous support from large and small organizations throughout Iowa – such as the McDonough Foundation. Women at all stages of their lives and leadership development – from students to seniors – can benefit from IWLC resources. 

The IWLC Dubuque Conference speaker lineup will consist of three nationally recognized keynote speakers, including Lisa Bloom, American Civil Rights advocate and legal analyst; Alison Levine, history-making polar explorer and mountaineer; and Cy Wakeman, award-winning author, business consultant and trainer. DuTrac Community Credit Union is the Presenting Sponsor of the conference.


IWLC is the state's premier leadership organization for women, offering comprehensive leadership resources including events featuring prominent speakers, frequent networking opportunities, and other important services to advance women's leadership in all aspects of their lives. Since 2007, IWLC - originally known as the Iowa Women's Leadership Conference - has staged events attracting more than 10,000 women and men from across the Midwest. IWLC is an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization and welcomes inquiries from grant makers, individual contributors, and other funding partners who share its passion for women's leadership.

 

 

Finley awarded $105,200 grant from American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Initiative to improve heart attack care

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UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital has been awarded a $105,200 grant from the American Heart Association as part of Mission: Lifeline, an American Heart Association community-based initiative aimed at improving the system of care for heart attack patients throughout rural Iowa.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans have the most serious type of heart attack known as a ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI, in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient's life is at serious risk. Currently, around two-thirds of STEMI patients fail to receive the best available treatments to restore blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments.

Finley is part of a network of hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline. The Mission: Lifeline system ensures STEMI patients get the right care they need, as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients in Iowa.

In collaboration with stakeholders representing hospitals, individual ambulance services and regional EMS Medical Directors, the project will enhance many critical elements of an optimal STEMI system of care: a system-wide data tool for quality measurement and improvement; ongoing medical provider training and STEMI education; coordination of protocols for rural EMS and hospital personnel; regional plans for rapid transport of patients; and a public education campaign on heart attack symptoms and the need to call 9-1-1. Funding focused on enhancing rural systems is being awarded for hospitals and ambulance services to enhance 12 L ECG equipment and training.

"We are truly grateful to the American Heart Association and the Helmsley Charitable Trust for this grant," said David Brandon, President and CEO of Finley Hospital. "We have the opportunity to identify a heart attack faster, and provide lifesaving treatments before significant damage, or even death occurs."

The program is made possible by $6.1 million in funding, including a $4.6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

 

Rental Property Licensing Deadline Approaches

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Non-licensed rental property owners have until Aug. 1, 2015 to avoid municipal infraction

Dubuque property owners who are currently renting property without a valid rental license have two more weeks to register their property to avoid receiving a municipal infraction.

The City of Dubuque's Department of Housing and Community Development announced the initiative to register non-licensed rental properties on June 15. Properties that are currently operating without a license are subject to double licensing fees. Beginning Aug. 1, 2015, non-licensed properties will be subject to double license fees and a $750 municipal infraction.

Since January, approximately 135 previously non-licensed rental properties have become registered and an additional 35 are in process. City of Dubuque Housing and Community Development Director Alvin Nash said he believes there are another 200 non-licensed rental properties within the city.

"Based on advertisements, online listings, information from licensed landlords, and utilities data, we believe there are about 200 additional non-licensed rental units currently operating in Dubuque," said Nash. "It is our hope that they will take advantage of the remaining weeks to avoid the municipal infraction and not force us to increase our enforcement efforts. This is not about generating revenue; it's about ensuring housing safety and standards."

According to the Dubuque Code of Ordinances, a "rental dwelling unit" is a dwelling unit that requires a payment, in money or services, to be made to the owner for the possession and use thereof. All Dubuque rental property owners are required to have a current, unrevoked residential rental license, which requires the rental property to be inspected to ensure the unit meets the City's safety code. The intent of the City's rental license ordinance is to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the general public; to assure preservation of the existing housing supply; and maintain property values.

Non-licensed rental property owners interested in taking advantage of this opportunity and registering their rental property before Aug. 1, 2015, to avoid the municipal infraction should call 563-589-4231 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/rentalproperty for additional details.

Renters/tenants who would like to know if their landlord is licensed should call 563-589-4231 or email ternster@cityofdubuque.org.

 

Temporary Closure of Olde Davenport Road Begins Monday

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A project to connect city utilities to the Dubuque Regional Airport will require the temporary closure of Olde Davenport Road near US highway 61/151 for approximately four weeks beginning on Monday, July 20. A posted detour will utilize Schueller Heights Road and US highway 52 during the closure.

The City of Dubuque is extending fiber optic conduit, interceptor sanitary sewer, and water main utility to the airport. Project work that will require Olde Davenport Road to be closed will begin on Monday, July 20, and is expected to last one month. This utility extension project is in progress and is being completed by Miller Trucking & Excavating.

The extension of fiber optic conduit, interceptor sanitary sewer, and water main to the airport will not only provide the airport and adjacent industrial and commercial developments with fiber optic infrastructure, sanitary sewer service, domestic water service and fire protection, it will allow for future City services throughout this developing area.

For questions regarding the Dubuque Regional Airport Utility Extension project, contact the City of Dubuque Engineering Department at (563) 589-4270 or engineer@cityofdubuque.org.

 

Learn About Flying Squirrels

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The Dubuque County Conservation will present "Shadows in the Night: Flying Squirrel Ecology in Northeast Iowa" Saturday, August 1, at 7:00pm at Swiss Valley Nature Center.

Dr. Gerald Zuercher, Vertebrate Ecologist and Chair of the Department of Natural & Applied Sciences at the University of Dubuque, will be offer a presention on the fascinating nocturnal critter the southern flying squirrel. Dr. Zuercher will speak on the adaptations of the flying squirrel and discuss the research he and his students have done in Northeast Iowa on the species.

For more info, visit www.dubuquecounty.org

 

UnityPoint Health Presents Stroke Survivor Camp

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Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the US. Emergency treatment within three hours is critical and can be life-saving. However, stroke survivors experience a wide-range of lasting symptoms from slight to permanently debilitating. These effects can impact life - physically, emotionally and socially for survivors and their families.

Eastern Iowa UnityPoint Health Stroke Survivor Retreat is a weekend getaway offered just for stroke survivors, their caregivers and family. Stroke Retreat will be held August 21-22, 2015 at Best Western Hotel in Dubuque. It is sponsored by UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Quad Cities.

The weekend's main goal is for participants to enjoy activities that include the areas of socialization, support, education and relaxation. There are opportunities to build bonds with other stroke survivors, enjoy activities stroke survivors feared were lost to them and participate in an experience both heart-warming and life-affirming.

The families and caregivers have respite from the constant pressure of caring for another person. They are pampered and able to share stories and experience the insight of other caregivers - who truly understand what their lives are like.

Costs for the retreat is $20 per person. A retreat registration form is available at http://bit.ly/1TqaALs. Registration deadline is August 7. If participants plan to stay at the Best Western, hotel reservations are required by July 22.

 

Community Partnership for Reading Support Positively Impacts Students

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Students in the Dubuque Community School District who worked with reading tutors from the AmeriCorps Partners in Learning program built relationships and worked hard to improve their reading proficiency. Looking back on their work over the last school year, the results show a positive impact on reading proficiency.

According to results of the DIBELS assessment, 67 percent of students who worked with an AmeriCorps member 30 times or more over the course of the 2014-2015 school year increased their composite reading score. Attendance was also positively impacted through the AmeriCorps mentoring, with 96 percent of the same students attending school at a 90 percent or greater attendance rate.

"Most importantly, this partnership is yielding positive results for students," said Lynne Devaney, associate superintendent of the Dubuque Community School District. "Reading success starts in school and is supported at home and throughout the community. The partnership between AmeriCorps, the City and the district is an example of how supporting reading on many fronts impacts students."

In the fall of 2014, 27 AmeriCorps members were trained by the Dubuque Community School District on specific reading interventions which aligned with the district's curriculum. AmeriCorps members were then placed as academic reading tutors in 11 elementary schools and assigned students who were considered struggling readers according to their fall 2014 DIBELS score. Guided by the elementary school instructional coaches, teachers and staff, AmeriCorps members supplemented and supported classroom instruction throughout the school year.

"We're excited about the results from our first year and our looking forward to having AmeriCorps academic tutors continue this impact during the 2015-2016 school year," said Mary Bridget Corken-Deutsch, Americorps Program Director. "This strategic partnership with the Dubuque Community School District has produced significant gains for students in the Dubuque community and AmeriCorps is proud to be a part of that."

AmeriCorps Partners in Learning, which has been in Dubuque since 2000, is sponsored by the City of Dubuque. In 2014-2015, Partners in Learning rewrote its grant application to support Dubuque's Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The group was awarded $210,581 in federal grant dollars to assist schools in improving students' grade level reading proficiency.

If interested in becoming an Academic Reading Tutor for the 2015-2016 school year, please contact Mary Bridget at 563-584-8644.

For more information, contact the DCSD School and Community Relations Office at (563) 552-3020 or the Dubuque Partners in Learning Americorps Program at (563) 584-8644.

 

Finley Hospital Launches Advisory Council to Improve Patient Experience

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UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital is launching a Patient & Family Advisory Council. The council is intended to provide real-time feedback from Finley patients and their families in order to achieve an enhanced patient experience.

"Providing patient and family centered care is at the heart of everything we do," said David Brandon, President and CEO. "We do that best when we involve patients and their families in their health care. We are taking the concept a step further by inviting patients and families to be involved at a planning and program development level for hospital practices."

The council will include Finley Hospital employees who are charged with listening and implementing feedback from Finley patients. Discussion items for the council may include things such as:

• Providing input to enhance the patient and family experience.

• Providing input to the delivery of service.

• Providing input on educational programs, classes and written materials for patients and families.

• Providing input for program development and program improvement opportunities.

• Providing input on facility design or renovation.

• Providing a vehicle for communication between patients, families, and staff.

The collaborative group will begin meeting in September. Meetings will be held the third Tuesday of the month from September to May, annually. Finley is currently recruiting new volunteer members to serve on the council. Members of the community who have had a recent experience at Finley are welcome to submit an interest form found at unitypoint.org/pfac.

 

Finley Health Foundation and Visiting Nurse Association Awarded DRA Grants

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UnityPoint Health Finley Health Foundation is the recipient of two grants from the Dubuque Racing Association. One grant, in the amount of $10,000, is to purchase pulmonary function equipment and software for the Respiratory Therapy Department. The Foundation was also awarded a $3,000 grant for the purchase of Tyvek suits for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA).

The pulmonary function equipment allows for the diagnosis and treatment of potential lung disease and overall lung health for individuals. The equipment will communicate test results across the UnityPoint Health system, allowing experts within the system to view test results immediately and coordinate as a team to help diagnose and treat patients in an efficient and timely matter.

The VNA will use Tyvek suits to protect clients and staff from the spread of bed bugs in their home care programs. Staff members of the VNA Home Care Aide and Homemaking programs visit multiple homes each day that may have bed bugs present. Staff will wear Tyvek suits into the home, thus minimizing any chance of bed bugs traveling from location to location.

"We are grateful to have the DRA as a generous partner and thank them for their continued support," said David Brandon, President and CEO of Finley Hospital. "The pulmonary function equipment will enable Finley to provide coordinated care to patients with a variety of respiratory conditions and the Tyvek suits will help minimize the spread of bed bugs amongst the VNA clients and staff."

 

Rare Turtle Sighting Coming to Dubuque County Fair

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles featured at all six days of the 2015 event

It's not uncommon to see turtles in a river community like Dubuque. But at this year's 62nd Annual Dubuque County Fair, presented by 7G Distributing, there will be an appearance by a rare breed of turtle – the crime-fighting, pizza-eating kind.

Presented by Mindframe Theaters, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be on the grounds for seven hours daily to meet-and-greet fairgoers while posing for pictures. All four turtles – Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Rafael – will be in attendance. The opportunity to see the turtles is included in the fair's daily gate admission, which is $10 for adults, free to children 11 and under.

"We work hard to provide the Dubuque community with some of the biggest bang for their entertainment dollar," said Jamie Blum, general manager of the Dubuque County Fair Association. "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are hugely popular and are sure to bring out fans young and old."

Fair gate admission tickets can be purchased at the fair office and discounted ticket books are available at Theisen's in Dubuque or Dyersville.

The Dubuque County Fair presented by 7G Distributing is the largest and longest-running family entertainment event in the County. This year's 62nd annual event runs daily from July 28 through August 2 with main-stage and grounds entertainment, one of the nation's top Midway carnival operators, the 4H barns and creative arts exhibits, fair food offerings and more. Theisen's and TH Media are platinum sponsors of the 2015 event.

To learn more about the fair, visit www.dbqfair.com.

 

Moody’s Adjusts Water Bonds Rating

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Moody's Investor Services has downgraded the rating of the City of Dubuque's water revenue bonds to A2 from A1, affecting $5.7 million in outstanding water debt secured solely by the net revenues from the City's water utility. This downgrade applies to just less than two percent of Dubuque's total city indebtedness. The City's bond rating for general obligation bonds continues to be the fourth-highest rating available, Aa3.

"This rating adjustment of water enterprise bonds is based on the previous fiscal year's audit and was expected," said Dubuque City Manager Michael Van Milligen. "Through the budgeting process earlier this spring, the Mayor and City Council adopted an approach to create a water enterprise reserve fund and meet the water bond covenant requirement in fiscal year 2016."

As of June 30, 2015, the City's water enterprise has $24.9 million of outstanding revenue debt, of which $5.7 million is rated by Moody's. Today's action by Moody's relates to water revenue bonds and the City's State Revolving Fund (SRF) water revenue notes, which require the City to produce net revenues in each fiscal year equal to at least 125 percent of the debt service requirement on all water revenue bonds then outstanding for the year of computation. Net revenues are the gross revenues of the water system after payment of all operation and maintenance expenses, not including debt.

In the report rationale, Moody's said the A2 rating reflects the water enterprise's narrow reserve position and history of rate covenant violations including negative debt service coverage in fiscal year (FY) 2014. The report acknowledged the City's unlimited rate-setting authority, rate increases to meet expenses, satisfactory legal provisions, moderate debt profile, and a stable customer base. Moody's also acknowledged that the City will add to its liquidity in the water fund by virtue of previously adopted fiscal debt policies.

The report cited the water enterprise's senior lien debt service coverage which has fluctuated in recent years due to increasing debt service and increased operating expenses. The water enterprise's net revenues declined sharply in FY2014 (July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014) due to higher than normal operating expenses from water main breaks stemming from a particularly cold winter. From FY2005-2013, the City averaged 61 water main breaks per year but the FY2014 winter saw 136 water main breaks.

FY2014 marked the second time in three years that the water enterprise fell below rate covenant. Based on current projections, the water enterprise is not expected to meet the covenant for FY2015, which ended June 30, 2015. The City Council voted in March to raise Dubuque water rates for FY2016 and subsequent years so the bond covenant is met.

Moody's indicated the water bond rating could go up if the City achieved multi-year, sustained trend of debt service coverage in excess of the water enterprise's rate covenant and restoration of liquidity and debt service coverage levels consistent with higher-rated systems.

Even though the City of Dubuque's water revenue bond rating has been downgraded, there is no financial impact to the City at this time. Interest rates on the outstanding bonds will remain the same. There may be an impact on future bonds, if any, sold by the City payable from the water utility, as a lower rating generally equates to higher interest cost when issuing bonds. Moody's includes all debt paid from the water fund in their analysis, which includes State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) and General Obligation Bonds (GO), debt that the water fund is responsible for paying.

Moody's provides credit ratings and research covering debt instruments and securities. The purpose of Moody's ratings is to provide investors with a simple system to gauge future relative creditworthiness of securities. The firm uses nine rating classifications to designate least credit risk to greatest credit risk: Aaa, Aa, A, Baa, Ba, B, Caa, Ca, and C. Moody's appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each rating classification.

 

AUDITIONS SET: Doubt, A Parable

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The Grand Opera House will present Doubt, A Parable, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by John Patrick Shanley, on Sept. 25-27 & Oct. 2-3, 2015.

Auditions will be held on Monday, August 3, 7-9 pm, and Tuesday, August 4, 7-9 pm at the Grand Opera House.
Doubt will be directed by Carol Blitgen, BVM. Auditions will be held at the theatre located at 135 West 8th Street in Dubuque.

Characters:

• Sister Aloysius: The principal, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, is in her 50s or 60s. She is watchful, reserved, and unsentimental.

Sister James: She is in her 20s. There's a bit of sunshine in her heart, though she's reserved.

Father Flynn: Father Flynn, a priest, is in his 30s.

Mrs. Muller: Mrs. Muller is in her late 20s to early 50s (African American), mother of 12-year-old Donald Muller, the school's first African American student.

Those auditioning will be asked to read preselected sections form the script. Perusal copies of the selections are available at the Grand Opera House Business Office at the above location between 9:00am and 4:00pm Monday through Friday.

Information on upcoming auditions and other Grand events is available at www.thegrandoperahouse.com or call the Business Office at 563-588-4356. Specific questions about Doubt, A Parable may be directed to Frank McClain at director@thegrandoperahouse.com

 

The Grand Opera House presents “Cabaret”

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The Grand Opera House will present Cabaret on July 24, 25, 30, 31, and Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 26 and Aug 2 at 2:00 p.m.

"Wilkommen" to 1930s Berlin. The seedy Kit Kat Klub, where even the orchestra is beautiful, provides the backdrop for the story of Sally Bowles, an English cabaret singer who is living life like it's the end of the world, and Cliff Bradshaw, a struggling American writer newly arrived on the scene. They begin a troubled romance as the Nazi presence in Germany begins to grow. With music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, this entertaining and thought provoking musical is filled with song, dance and drama. 

Cabaret contains mature themes and language; parental discretions is advised.

Cabaret will be directed by Joe Klinebriel with music direction by Kristen Eby and choreography by Megan MacLeod.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for those younger than 18. Tickets can be purchased through the Grand Opera House box office, 135 W. Eighth St.; by calling 563-588-1305; or by visiting www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

For more information, visit www.thegrandoperahouse.com or call 563-588-1305.

 

Red Cross Issues Top 4th of July Safety Steps

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"Everyone looks forward to having fun over the Fourth of July, and the Red Cross wants to make sure people know how to stay safe while enjoying the holiday," said Leslie Schaffer, Regional Executive for the Iowa Region of the Red Cross.

HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:

• Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.

• Do not drink and drive.

• Pay full attention to the road - don't use a cell phone to call or text.

• Use caution in work zones.

• Clean the vehicle's lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting legal fireworks off at home:

• Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.

• Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.

• Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.

• Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."

• Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

• Never grill indoors - not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.

• Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.

• Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

• Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

"The Red Cross wants everyone to have fun this Fourth of July weekend, and we have ten ways people can stay safe while enjoying the water," said Schaffer.

• Learn to swim and only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

• Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.

• Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.

• Provide close and constant attention to children and inexperienced swimmers you are supervising in or near the water. Avoid distractions while supervising.

• Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often.

• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.

• For a backyard pool, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.

• Secure the backyard pool with appropriate barriers including four-sided fencing.

• Know how and when to call 9-1-1.

• Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child's life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. If a child is missing, check the water first.

FREE EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive severe weather watches and warnings in their local area, at travel destinations and where loved ones live. "Family Safe" is a unique feature that allows app users to notify family and friends who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster. First Aid steps for situations such as heart attacks, heat-related emergencies and water safety information are also included. The content is available in English and Spanish. The app can be downloaded from app stores by searching for "American Red Cross" or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Since June 1, Iowa Region Red Cross volunteers have responded to 61 local disasters including flooding, tornadoes and home fires, and have assisted 70 Iowans with their immediate needs. If an individual or family has been displaced from their home due to fire, severe weather or another disaster, they can call their local Red Cross chapter:
Central Iowa: (515) 243-7681
Northeast Iowa: (563) 583-6451
North and Western Iowa (712) 252-4081
South and Eastern Iowa (319) 393-3500

For more updates, follow the American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa on Twitter at @GreaterIA_ARC and on Facebook at facebook.com/AmericanRedCrossIowa.

 

Summer fun that is close to home

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Summer is prime vacation season when travelers take trips to every corner of the world. While faraway destinations abound, those looking for fun can also find enjoyable activities much closer to home.

Many communities come alive during the warmer weather, hosting an array of locally driven events. People looking for a day of entertainment or an evening of excitement may be able to find an event that's just a short car ride away. Pick up a local newspaper or log on to your town's official website to browse a listing of events in your community this summer. Here are a few events you're bound to find.

• Carnivals and fun fairs: Open land or empty parking lots can be transformed into bustling carnivals in a matter of days. Carnivals or fairs may be sponsored by private businesses or local religious organizations looking to raise funds. Some fairs are established by the county and attract participants from near and far. Carnivals often boast a wide array of entertainment, from amusement park-style rides to games of chance to music.

• Summer concert series: Summer concerts series typically begin when the weather warms up, and music may not stop playing until Labor Day. Concerts may range from more intimate affairs that attract a few dozen people to a town square to larger events at beaches and boardwalks that draw thousands of visitors.

• Food festivals: Various towns close down their Main Streets from time to time to accommodate food festivals that feature a variety of cuisines. Some food festivals may feature one ingredient, such as garlic or cheese, while others may delve deeper and offer broader menus. Food festivals allow visitors to sample many different treats and may serve to advertise for neighborhood eating establishments.

• Street fairs: Street fairs also may close down thoroughfares in town. These events usually bring together a variety of vendors selling their wares in an open market setting. You can make a day of touring all of the vendor booths and buying handmade items from local artisans.

• Outdoor movies: Local parks frequently host summer movie nights when participants can view a movie on the big screen while under the stars. This can be an informal way to get the entire family together for a fun flick. Films are typically family-friendly and schedules are available well in advance. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy an inexpensive evening together.

Many people need not travel far for a little summertime fun, as many communities host fun events throughout the warmer months.

 

Safeguard yourself from summertime ailments and accidents

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Summer is often marked by vacations, recreational events and relaxing moments spent by the pool or on the beach. But when the weather heats up, so can potential health hazards that can ruin all of the fun. The following are some of the more common summertime ailments and how to avoid them.

• Lawn and garden injuries 
Lawn and garden injuries may not be common, but men, women and children should exercise caution when using lawn and garden equipment. Wear protective shoes and gloves and safety goggles. Remember to turn off any motorized tools before attempting to repair or unclog the blades.

• Swimmer's ear
Water that remains in the ear canal after swimming can make the ear a breeding ground for swimmer's ear, which is a bacterial infection. If water remains in your ear for more than one night, visit an ear, nose and throat specialist.

• Insect bites and stings
Insects return when temperatures rise. Mosquitoes may be the biggest nuisance, but biting flies and wasps also make formidable foes. Use insect repellent to keep the bugs away. Wear long pants and check for ticks after hiking.

• Boating accidents
Many boating accidents can be attributed to inexperience with the vessel and failure to take proper safety precautions on the water. Make sure everyone on the boat wears a life jacket, and follow proper boating protocol throughout your trip.

• Dehydration
The body needs extra water on hot days, especially when spending ample time outdoors. Dehydration can cause dizziness and dry mouth and may make you feel faint. Always drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, which can contribute to dehydration when consumed in excess.

 

Movies in the Park

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Friends of Dubuque County Conservation and Mindframe Theatre present "Movies in the Park" Wednesday, July 29, starting at 8:45pm at Green Ash Pavilion in Swiss Valley Park.

Join us for a free nature-themed movie for the whole family! Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Concessions will be available through Mindframe Theatre.

 

 

The American Red Cross Urges Iowans to Prepare Now for Severe Weather

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Download the Free Emergency App to Help Stay Safe

The American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa urges residents to take steps now to stay safer when severe weather threatens including tornadoes, high wind, hail and flash flooding. As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for severe weather by:

Downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App:
The Red Cross Emergency App provides people with instant access to emergency alerts and life-saving information. Available for smart phones and tablets, it includes content on what to do before, during and after a variety of severe weather events. Users can customize more than 35 emergency weather alerts based on their location and where loved ones live.

Other features include:

• "Make a Plan" helps families figure out what to do and where to go if a disaster strikes

• Preloaded emergency preparedness content is available in English And Spanish and can be accessed without mobile connectivity

• "Family Safe" allows people to notify loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster

• A real-time map with open Red Cross shelter locations and weather information

The app is available in app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Making an Emergency Plan:
Household members should designate a safe place for everyone to go in case of severe weather. Pick a location away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail. Plans should include protecting pets and having emergency supplies for them.

Creating an Emergency Preparedness Kit:
Pack a first aid kit, at least a three-day supply of water and foods that don't require cooking or refrigeration, a seven-day supply of essential medications, manual can opener, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents like insurance policies, cell phone chargers, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other emergency items. Customize the kit for any household members with special needs.

Heeding Storm Warnings:
A severe storm WATCH means severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the designated area. People in a watch area should keep informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. A severe storm WARNING means severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. Seek shelter immediately. The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.

Preparing for High Winds:
If time permits, secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind.

For more information on what to do before, during and after severe weather, people can go to redcross.org/prepare/disaster/thunderstorm.

Iowans are encouraged to call their local chapter of the American Red Cross if they need assistance following a disaster.
Central Iowa: (515) 243-7681
Northeast Iowa: (563) 583-6451
North and Western Iowa (712) 252-4081
South and Eastern Iowa (319) 393-3500

For more updates, follow the American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa on Twitter at @GreaterIA_ARC and on Facebook at facebook.com/AmericanRedCrossIowa.

 

Don't forget to protect skin when boating

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Few activities embody the spirit of summer like sailing. Smelling the ocean air while catching some fish or preparing the boat for a fun-filled day on a nearby lake are activities synonymous with summer relaxation.

As enjoyable as sailing can be, it's in the best interests of sailors and their passengers to take certain precautionary measures to ensure everyone makes it back to shore safely. One such measure is protecting skin from the sun. When sailing, men, women and children spend a significant amount of time soaking up the sun's rays, which can lead to chronic skin damage or even skin cancer for those who don't take steps to protect themselves. The following are a few ways boaters can ensure their next sailing trip is as safe as it is fun.

• Don protective clothing. When sailing, women might be tempted to wear a bikini while men might prefer to wear some swim trunks and nothing else. Such attire might be relaxing, but it's not very safe. Instead of beach gear, wear protective clothing, including long-sleeve t-shirts and wide-brimmed hats that protect both the top of your head, your neck and your face from sunburn. Sunglasses will also protect your eyes from overexposure to the sun's rays.

• Be even more diligent when boating. When boating, it's important for sailors and their passengers to be especially diligent with regards to skin protection. Sand and water reflect the sun's rays, increasing a person's risk of sun damage. So be even more careful and protective of your skin on the water or at the beach than you would be if relaxing in the backyard. 

• Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a generous application of a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, of at least 30. Re-apply the sunscreen every two hours, and immediately after going into the water or if you find yourself sweating. Be sure to use a sunscreen that is "broad-spectrum," as this means it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

• Spend some time in the shade. Even though you're on a boat, there are opportunities to escape the sun. Sit in a shaded area on the boat, especially during certain hours of the day when the sun's rays are at their strongest. The AAD notes that the sun's rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. One trick of the trade is to always seek shade when your shadow is shorter than you are.

• Be prepared. A boat carries a host of supplies so sailors don't end up stranded at sea. But don't forget to stock up on protective items just in case some sailors forget to bring along sunscreen or protective gear. In addition to packing extra bottles of sunscreen, store some extra long-sleeve t-shirts and wide-brimmed hats so friends and family don't fall victim to the sun or feel as thought they need to sit in the cabin or out of the sun for the duration of the trip.

 

5 signs your roof might be wearing down

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Replacing a roof is a costly venture few homeowners look forward to. According to a recent Remodeling magazine's "Cost vs. Value" report, the national average cost of a roof replacement is nearly $22,000, a costly endeavor considering the tenuous nature of the economy. What's more, homeowners who choose more upscale roofing materials can expect to spend almost $40,000 on their roofs.

Such costs make it no small wonder that many homeowners fear the dreaded diagnosis that their home needs a new roof. While there's little homeowners can do to reduce the cost of a roof replacement, there are warning signs homeowners can look for that might indicate a roof replacement is on the horizon. Recognition of these signs can help homeowners be more financially prepared should the day come when the roof needs to be replaced.

1. The presence of algae
If the roof has lots of dark streaks and stains clinging to it, that is likely algae, which can grow on the roof for quite awhile. Algae does not necessarily do any damage to a roof, but it does do some damage to a home's physical appearance, as algae on the roof is not very pleasing to the eye. Algae is most often found on the roofs of homes located in climates that have warm, humid summers. If algae is a problem on your roof, spray washing with a mixture of water and bleach can effectively remove it.

2. Buckling shingles
Like algae, buckling shingles are another unsightly problem on a roof. But buckling shingles are more than just an eyesore, they actually might indicate significant problems. When shingles buckle, that's typically because hot air from the attic is forcing the shingles away from the home. Buckling shingles also indicate that the roof is poorly ventilated, which can take years off the roof's life expectancy while driving up home cooling costs along the way.

3. Granule loss
Granule loss is typically a byproduct of normal shingle wear and tear that results from inclement weather, such as hail. Older roofs might experience granule loss, but granule loss can also occur on a new roof if a defective roofing product was used. Any granule loss, even if slight, should be addressed, as the side effects of granule loss include a weakened roof and leaking. If granule loss is not addressed, the consequences could be severe the next time a storm occurs.

4. Mold
Unlike the warning signs already discussed, mold is not visible on the outside of the home. Instead, homeowners should look in the attic of a home to see if there is any mold growth. If there is, the roof is likely leaking, and the health risks of mold growth in a home are substantial. Mold is not necessarily easy to detect, so a professional inspection might be in order if mold growth is suspected. If a professional determines mold is, in fact, present, then the mold will need to be removed and all options, including a roof replacement, must be considered to keep mold from coming back.

5. Roof rot
Perhaps the most discouraging sign a homeowner can see on his or her roof is roof rot. Roof rot appears when a roof is in considerable decay and, if not addressed, its consequences can stretch far beyond the roof, damaging other parts of the home thanks in large part to water getting through the roof. If roof rot is either not noticed or just ignored, it won't take long for water to get through the roof and blaze a destructive path through the rest of the home.

Homeowners might fear a full roof replacement because of the cost associated with such a project. But if ignored, problems with a roof could eventually prove far more costly than the price of replacing the roof.

 

City Launches 'MyDBQ' Mobile App

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New app offers mobile device option to submit requests for service or report concerns

The City of Dubuque is offering a new mobile device application that allows residents to connect more conveniently with City government to report issues and request non-emergency services.

The free app is now available for download and integrates with the City's current citizen response management system. The new app offers residents the option of using a mobile device to make these requests. Residents who have previously submitted requests for service through the City website can use their same login and password for the MyDBQ app.

Nearly 30 percent of the visitors to the City of Dubuque website (www.cityofdubuque.org) visit the site with a smartphone or tablet. From March through May of 2015, that translated into an average of almost 15,600 visitors to the site via mobile devices. In 2014, nearly 2,300 service requests were submitted by residents through the City website.

The app offers over two dozen different request types ranging from pothole repair, garbage complaints, improper vehicle storage, park maintenance requests, and some of the other most frequently submitted services requests made by residents. With the new app literally "in hand," residents can now report these issues in a few simple steps on their mobile device.

As an additional benefit, MyDBQ users are also able to take and submit photos with their request for service. For example, if a street sign is damaged or a parking meter is out of service, the user can simply snap a quick photo of the item of concern, and send it to City staff through the app.

MyDBQ also includes useful sub-features such as links to the City of Dubuque website, current City job openings, and the City's "Notify Me" email/text notification service. The app also offers quick links to pay utility bills and parking tickets, answers to FAQs, and events on the City calendar.

MyDBQ is available free of charge for users of Android and Apple devices and can be found on Google Play and the App Store by searching for "MyDBQ," or by scanning the QR code above. For more information, including a quick user guide, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/MyDBQ.

 

Is Your Rental Property Licensed?

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Non-licensed rental property owners have until Aug. 1, 2015 to avoid municipal infraction

The City of Dubuque's Department of Housing and Community Development is offering rental property owners who are currently renting property without a rental license the opportunity to register their property without paying a municipal infraction. The deadline to take advantage of this opportunity is Aug. 1, 2015.

According to the Dubuque Code of Ordinances, a "rental unit" or "rental property" is any dwelling unit intended for human habitation and requires a payment, in money or services, to the owner of the unit. All Dubuque rental property owners are required to have a current, unrevoked residential rental license, which requires the rental property to be inspected to ensure the unit meets the City's safety code. The intent of the City's rental license ordinance is to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the general public; to assure preservation of the existing housing supply; and maintain property values.

The City of Dubuque is requesting all non-licensed rental properties to be licensed before Aug. 1, 2015. Properties that are currently not licensed are subject to double licensing fees. Beginning Aug. 1, 2015, non-licensed properties will be subject to double license fees and a $750 municipal infraction.

Non-licensed rental property owners interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to avoid the municipal infraction should call 563-589-4231 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/rentalproperty for additional details.

Renters/tenants who would like to know if their landlord is licensed should call 563-589-4231 or email ternster@cityofdubuque.org.

 

Kids in Nature Series

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The Dubuque County Conservation Board will hold a "Kids in Nature" Series at the Swiss Valley Nature Center every third Thursday of the month during summer. Dates and times are listed here:

• June 18th – 2:00 pm

• July 16th – 2:00 pm

• August 20th – 9:00 am

Small children zero and up are welcome to attend these outdoor nature programs throughout the year. We hike, read books, and have plenty of hands-on activities. Each program features a different nature theme presented by a naturalist.

Pre-registration required. Call 563-556-6745 to register.

 

Picnic in the Park Series

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Dubuque County Conservation Board is sponsoring a Picnic in the Park Series at the Walnut Pavilion in Swiss Valley Park every other Wednesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm starting June 10.

Each Picnic in the Park features a nature theme presented by a naturalist. Themes for each Picnic in the Park are listed below:

• June 10th, - Geocaching

• June 24th - Outdoor Survival

• July 8th - Owls

• July 22nd - Skulls and Furs

• August 5th - Reptiles

All ages are welcome to attend this outdoor program. Programs incorporate hands-on activities, live animals, and wildlife speakers. Participants should pack a lunch to enjoy at the program.

Pre-registration required. Call 563-556-6745 to register.

 

Garfield Avenue and Kniest Street Road Closures Begin Monday, June 8

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Due to construction of the Upper Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project, road closures on Garfield Avenue and Kniest Street will go into effect on Monday, June 8, at 10 a.m.

The road closure on Garfield Avenue will begin at Pine Street and end north of Kniest Street near the Davis Place Apartments. Kniest Street will be closed between Garfield Avenue and Rhomberg Avenue. Motorists should follow the posted detour signs during this time. Rhomberg Avenue will be used as an alternative route. The road closures are expected to be in effect through October 2015.

For questions or for more information, contact Bee Branch Project communications specialist Kristin Hill at 563.690.6068 or khill@cityofdubuque.org.

 

Jule Proposed Route Change Information is Online

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The Jule is beginning the process of moving bus stops and aligning routes in coordination with the opening of the Intermodal Terminal, part of the Intermodal Transportation Center located in the Historic Millwork District, slated for August 2015.

A public hearing will be held during the June 15th City Council meeting to review proposed changes to the Jule's routes.

With the shift from 6th & Iowa St to 9th & Elm St, downtown routes will be realigned making the opening of the Intermodal Terminal an ideal time to make other adjustments to the transit system routes and bus stops.

All Jule routes were reviewed and analyzed for ridership, frequency, hours of service, trip length and times of day to limit negative impacts on passengers. The Orange Fremont, Red Key West, and Green Port/Schmitt have low ridership and are recommended for consolidation with other system routes.

Proposed route changes include:

• The downtown transfer location will be moved from 6th & Iowa Streets to 9th & Elm Streets. Some routes will continue to serve 6th & Iowa St as a bus stop location.

• Downtown bus stops will be moved to align with the new transfer location at 9th & Elm Streets.

• Service to Key West will be reduced to every other hour.

• Service to Fremont will be reduced to every other hour.

• Service to the Port of Dubuque will operate only during business shuttle hours and the Summer Trolley season.

• Service along Loras Boulevard will be reduced to once per hour, eastbound only.

• Fixed-route buses will no longer enter residential parking lots (St. Mary's Apartments, Windsor Apartments) or business parking lots with narrow travel lanes (HyVee South Locust, Medical Associates East). Due to the limited widths of these areas, it is not safe for buses, pedestrians, and parked vehicles to use at the same time. All lots with removed stops will be served with streetside bus stops.

If approved, the proposed fixed-route changes will take effect on or after August 1, 2015, pending the opening and full operation of the Intermodal Transportation Center.

For more information on the proposed route changes, visit The Jule's website: www.cityofdubuque.org/2214.

 

Update: Asbury Road Pavement Project to Begin June 8

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The City of Dubuque will be conducting a pavement rehabilitation project on the section of Asbury Road between Matthew John Drive and J.F. Kennedy Road. The contractor, Iowa Erosion Control, Inc., plans to begin work on Monday, June 8.

Over the past few years, the condition of this section of Asbury Road has degraded due to deterioration of pavement joints. Full-depth pavement patching and dowel bar reinforcement repairs will be made to transverse joints as part of the rehab project. Once pavement repairs are made, the concrete pavement will be resurfaced using a grinding method to provide a smoother ride.

The project is anticipated to be completed by August 7, 2015, weather dependent. No road closures or detours will occur for the majority of this time period, as one lane of eastbound traffic and one lane of westbound will flow at all times. However, near the end of the project, road closures and detours are anticipated for a short duration and the City will provide updates and notifications accordingly.

City staff and Iowa Erosion Control, Inc. will work with businesses and residents on accessibility to their respective properties during construction. Any thru traffic is encouraged to use an alternate route during this time as delays will occur.

For more information, questions, or concerns, please contact the City of Dubuque Engineering Department at 563-589-4270.

 

Common mistakes made on home renovation projects

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ome improvement projects can turn a house into a home. Homeowners plan scores of renovations to transform living spaces into rooms that reflect their personal tastes and comforts. 

Homeowners going it alone may find things do not always go as planned. In fact, a Harris Interactive study found that 85 percent of homeowners say remodeling is a more stressful undertaking than buying a home. But homeowners about to embark on home improvement projects can make the process go more smoothly by avoiding these common pitfalls.

Failing to understand the scope of the project
Some homeowners don't realize just how big a commitment they have made until they get their hands dirty. But understanding the scope of the project, including how much demolition and reconstruction is involved and how much time a project will take can help homeowners avoid some of the stress that comes with renovation projects. For example, a bathroom renovation may require the removal of drywall, reinforcement of flooring to accommodate a new bathtub or shower enclosure and the installation of new plumbing and wiring behind walls. So such a renovation is far more detailed than simply replacing faucets.

Not establishing a budget
Homeowners must develop a project budget to ensure their projects do not drain their finances. If your budget is so inflexible that you can't afford the materials you prefer, you may want to postpone the project and save more money so you can eventually afford to do it right.
Without a budget in place, it is easy to overspend, and that can put you in financial peril down the line. Worrying about coming up with money to pay for materials and labor also can induce stress. Avoid the anxiety by setting a firm budget.

Making trendy or overpersonal improvements
Homeowners who plan to stay in their homes for the long run have more free reign when it comes to renovating their homes. Such homeowners can create a billiards room or paint a room hot pink if they so prefer. However, if the goal is to make improvements in order to sell a property, overly personal touches may make a property less appealing to prospective buyers. Trends come and go, and improvements can be expensive. If your ultimate goal is to sell your home, opt for renovations that will look beautiful through the ages and avoid bold choices that may only appeal to a select few buyers.

Forgetting to properly vet all workers
It is important to vet your contractor, but don't forget to vet potential subcontractors as well. Failing to do so can prove a costly mistake. Contractors often look to subcontractors to perform certain parts of a job, and it is the responsibility of homeowners to vet these workers.

Expecting everything to go as planned
Optimism is great, but you also should be a realist. Knowing what potentially could go wrong puts you in a better position to handle any problems should they arise. The project might go off without a hitch, but plan for a few hiccups along the way.

Overestimating DIY abilities
Overzealous homeowners may see a renovation project in a magazine or on television and immediately think they can do the work themselves. Unless you have the tools and the skills necessary to do the work, tackling too much can be problematic. In the long run, leaving the work to a professional may save you money.

Home improvements can be stressful, but homeowners can lessen that stress by avoiding common renovation mistakes.

 

Coast through summer with thrills and chills

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Summer has arrived, and scores of thrill seekers have begun to visit their favorite amusement parks as they test their mettle on looping, free-falling roller coasters.

Many historians credit Russians with inventing the first roller coasters, which may have been inspired by Russian ice slides. However, others suggest it was the French who first added wheels to slides and therefore created something that resembles the modern-day roller coaster.

LaMarcus Adna Thompson, an American inventor widely considered the father of gravity rides, obtained a patent for roller coasters on January 20, 1885. Thompson worked on Switchback Railway, which opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York in 1884. Coney Island would one day become home to another historical roller coaster when, in June of 1927, the Cyclone opened. Still functional to this day, the Cyclone has been declared a New York City landmark.

Today roller coasters are found all over the world, and North America plays home to several top-rated roller coasters. Thrill seekers can make summer pilgrimages to amusement parks to determine if the following coasters live up to their reputations.

• Leviathan: The Leviathan coaster is located at Canada's Wonderland in Ontario. It makes top roller coaster lists because of its size and speed. Leviathan can travel 92 mph (140 km/h).

• Millenium Force: This thrilling coaster in Ohio's Cedar Point Park reaches a maximum height of 310 feet and can top speeds of 93 mph. Amusement Today magazine routinely ranks this coaster as one of the best in the world.

• The Desperado: Riders can plummet 225 feet at 80 mph on this coaster located at Buffalo Bill's Casino in Nevada. Expect some free-floating air time and amazing views of the desert.

• Nitro and Kingda Ka: These two coasters are located at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Nitro is a steel coaster with 5,394 feet of track. A series of large drops and various curves keep thrill seekers happy. Kingda Ka is the tallest and second fastest coaster in the United States. The train is launched by a hydraulic mechanism that takes riders from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds and climbs to the top of the main tower, a height of 456 feet.

• Apollo's Chariot: Opened in 1998, this coaster in Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia features eight air-time hills.

• New Texas Giant: For many years, visitors to Six Flags Over Texas enjoyed the famed wooden roller coaster "Texas Giant." But over the years the ride became rough and uncomfortable so, in 2011, the park unveiled the New Texas Giant after an 18-month refurbishment to replace the track with steel.

These are just a few of the coasters that dot North America's amusement park landscape. Thrill seekers unable to make it to any of these legendary rides can no doubt get their thrills on coasters closer to home.

 

OWL Maquoketa River Paddle

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the Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones County Conservation Boards will host the OWL (Older Wiser Livelier) Maquoketa River Paddle on Wednesday, August 12, from 8:45 am to 3:00 pm, meeting at Mon Maq Dam in Monticello.

OWL programs are for adults who are looking to get out of the house, make new friends, and learn about the exciting world of NATURE! Join Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones County naturalists on a river exploration paddle. We'll paddle from just downriver of the Mon Maq Dam to Pictured Rocks Park.

Sit back and enjoy the cave-ridden, heavily wooded scenic bluffs and hills making up the Maquoketa River valley which was once prime habitat for the black bear and is still home to deer, bobcat, grey fox, and a wide variety of other wildlife and plant species. Come and see what you can discover!

Participants may bring their own canoes/kayaks or reserve one through Jackson and Jones County. There's a limited supply, so they'll be reserved on a first-come first-serve basis.

There is no cost for the trip, but please bring a sack lunch. Call 563.556.6745 to register.

 

How to keep kids entertained all summer long

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Summer vacation often starts with high expectations. Children are excited about the prospect of fun days outdoors playing with friends, while parents anxiously await relaxing months without the responsibilities of school and extracurricular clubs. But once summer vacation arrives and the first few days have passed, parents often find that the litany of cheers and giggles transform into a chorus of "I'm bored."

Many parents pore over ideas that will keep their children busy throughout the summer. Many activities that come to mind tend to be expensive, so if cutting costs is a priority, parents might need to think outside the box to come up with entertaining ideas that won't break the bank.

Camp
Summer camp is a popular way for kids to spend their summers, but many camps are expensive.The American Camp Association has found that overnight camps can cost anywhere from $325 to $780 a week. Day camp fees may be $100 to $275 per week. Parents who send their children to camp for an entire season might pay anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 for the seven- to nine-week program.

Go Local
Parents looking for an alternative to costly camps should consider local programs that offer summer activities. Libraries, schools and childcare centers may have programs that run the length of summer and are considerably less expensive than more formal camps. A YMCA or even a swim club may also put together activities. Parents whose children attend afterschool sporting classes, such as karate or soccer, may find that the organizations offer a camp or summer program.

Day Trips
If a parent is off for the summer, then day trips may be a possibility. Schedule a few day trips to different locations that the kids are excited to see. Newspapers routinely print "Go See It" or "Just Go" listings that highlight local events. The family can gather around the table and decide which outings would be interesting and then mark them on the calendar. Some parents purchase season passes to amusement parks and take the kids several times over the summer. In either case, bring snacks and lunch from home when possible to keep costs in check.

Kid Swap
Chances are many of your neighbors are also facing the same difficulties as they try to find ways for kids to spend their summer afternoons. Parents can get together and set up a schedule for entertaining the kids. For example, one parent is responsible for the whole lot one day, while the next day another parent takes a turn. This gives parents the opportunity to take a break from parental responsibilities and enjoy some quiet time. And for the children, time spent in a pool, watching movies, playing video games, or riding bikes is often more enjoyable with friends in tow.

Fun Projects

• Children often want to feel useful, and may enjoy the responsibility of some easy tasks in and around the house – so long as the tasks are fun. Washing the car with a hose and a bucket of sudsy water is a fun way to cool off during the hot summer days and get a chore done. While parents should not expect a perfect job, they can rest assured that the kids will have at least an hour of fun in the sun and water.

• Set aside a patch of the yard that children can turn into their own personal gardens. Encourage digging in this area and provide seeds or seedling plants as well as kid-sized gardening tools. Each day the kids can check on the progress of their gardens.

• Some home-improvement and craft stores sponsor free learning activities for children. They can be held in the morning or afternoon and will teach interesting skills that can be put to use again at home.

Summer vacations are soon to arrive, and parents can be armed with a list of enjoyable – yet inexpensive – ways to keep kids busy.

 

Dubuque County Fair Announces 2015 Main Stage Line-Up

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The Dubuque County Fair presented by 7G Distributing is continuing its success in featuring rock and Top 40 acts for the 2015 fair. Tickets for both shows go on sale at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, at the fair office or online at www.dbqfair.com.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, MULTI-PLATINUM SINGER, SONGWRITER AND DANCER JASON DERULO will take the stage, presented by Dubuque Bank & Trust with Y105 as the radio sponsor. One of today's hottest artists, Derulo has sold over 45 million singles worldwide and racked up over 1.7 billion views on YouTube and 1 billion plays on Spotify. He has had 10 career-defining platinum singles, including "Whatcha Say," "In My Head," "Ridin' Solo," "Don't Wanna Go Home" and "It Girl." His current single "Want To Want Me" was the most added Top 40 song in history, making it the largest radio launch for a single ever.

Tickets are $45 for the festival area, $35 for reserved grandstand seating and $25 for general admissions grandstand seating.

On Friday, July 31, the Main Stage will host the SUMMERLAND TOUR, a 90s alternative rock tour featuring EVERCLEAR, FUEL, TOADIES and AMERICAN HI-FI. This is the fourth summer of the tour, which was previously heralded by Rolling Stone as one of the "10 Hottest Summer Tour Packages." This high-energy show is alternative guitar rock at its finest. The radio sponsor for the show is 97.3 The Rock.

Tickets are $20 for the festival area, $15 for reserved grandstand seating, and $10 for general admission grandstand seating.

"We think this is one of the most current, high-caliber and exciting entertainment line-ups we've ever had," said Jamie Blum, general manager of the Dubuque County Fair. "There aren't many artists as popular and radio-dominating as Jason Derulo. He is definitely the biggest Top 40 act to play the Dubuque area in many years. On Friday night, the Summerland tour will be filled with non-stop alternative hits. It is definitely going to be a fair weekend to remember."

The Dubuque County Fair is the largest and longest-running family entertainment event in the county. This year's 62nd annual event runs daily from July 28 through August 2 with main-stage and grounds entertainment, one of the nation's top Midway carnival operators, the 4H barns and creative arts exhibits, fair food offerings (including the legendary lemonade) and more. To learn more about the fair, visit www.dbqfair.com.

 

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 www.cityofdubuque.org/media.

Viewers can access the channel's program guide at www.cityofdubuque.org/cabletv.

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