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Weekend road trip tips

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A long weekend provides the perfect opportunity to hop into the car and embark on a road trip. Sometimes it doesn't take an extended vacation to recharge your batteries. A brief change of scenery and venue can make for quite the respite as well.

Road trips also tend to be more affordable than longer getaways. If you have the benefit of a tow hitch and a camper, you already have your accommodations. But even if you still need lodging, there are several budget motels that can fit the bill for overnight lodging along your route.

Here are some other road trip tips.

• Before embarking, take out a map and plan your excursion. Stick to locations that are within reasonable driving distance from home. If you roam too far, you will spend more time behind the wheel than you will enjoying your destination. Locations no more than five to six hours away should suffice.

• Get your vehicle in road trip shape by ensuring it is in good working condition. If your car is scheduled for an oil change, get one before leaving. In addition, top off fluids and be sure that tires are properly inflated.

• Stick to the scenic routes. While they may not save you travel time, avoiding interstates in favor of picturesque backroads will make for a much more relaxing and visually inspiring trip. Schedule rest stops so you can get out of the car and explore along the way to your destination. Taking backroads may also help you avoid some of your fellow weekend travelers.

• Make your long weekend a Saturday through Monday affair. You may find the roads are more congested Friday through Sunday. Simply starting your trip on Saturday and returning on Monday could save you the headache of driving in heavy traffic.

• Scope out low-cost activities at your destination. Many national parks are inexpensive and may only charge one fee per vehicle to enter. After Labor Day, many beaches no longer charge entry fees, making them an affordable option.

Take advantage of cooler temperatures and picturesque scenery by planning a weekend road trip.

 

Tickets are now on sale for Dubuque Area Baconfest II

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Dubuque Area Baconfest II is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds. The event takes place between 6:00 to 9:00 pm for general admissions and at 5:00 pm for V.I.P. Admissions. 

Dubuque Area Baconfest is an evening where guests walk around tasting creative bacon dishes from local restaurants, grocery stores, BBQ pits and caterers.

All proceeds from the event will go to Area Residential Care and support their mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities. Can't go wrong with that! Helping people with disabilities while eating bacon! 

Ticket Information 
General Admission Tickets will be sold at $25 each 

VIP Tickets will be sold at $40 each - VIP tickets allow attendees to enter the venue early and get a taste of all the food before everyone else. Order your tickets today at dbqbacon.org. Don't delay; these tickets won't last long!

Keep up on Baconfest updates on our facebook page!

 

25th REAP Anniversary Celebrated

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The Dubuque County Conservation Board, Jackson County Conservation, Jones County Conservation, and Pheasants Forever will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 21, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at Whitewater Canyon. 

Celebrate by spending the day at one of the country's most beautiful locations. Wagon rides, walking tours, and kids' activities are planned throughout the weekend.

Wagon rides are scheduled for 10 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday. Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist Chris Hiher will be interpreting habitat projects on the wagon rides.

Jackson and Jones County Naturalists will hike and provide kids' activities. Sign up for the wagon tours by calling 556-6745 (these will be sure to fill up fast, so please plan ahead).

We would like to encourage those UNABLE to walk or get around easily to call and reserve their spot on the wagons. If you are able-bodied, we would love you to join us on a walking tour.

 

Bug Party Planned

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The Dubuque County Conservation Board will sponsor a Bug Party Friday, Sept. 12, at Swiss Valley Nature Center, 13606 Swiss Valley Rd. in Peosta.

Join a naturalist and the Baumhovers for a night out starting at 8:00 p.m. This bug party is free and open to all ages. Come learn about the winged party animals and other nocturnal critters hanging out in the preserve! The raindate is scheduled for Sep. 18, same time and place.

 

Establishing a positive homework environment for your student

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Though it might not be something students look forward to, homework is an essential element of the learning process. Homework allows kids to apply the lessons they learned in the classroom while giving educators a chance to determine if students are grasping the concepts discussed in class or if certain lessons need to be revisited.

Students often seek their parents' help when doing their homework, but parents can start helping even before their children bring any assignments home. Creating a homework environment where kids can concentrate and put forth their best effort is a great way to help them throughout the school year.

The following are a few tips for parents who want to ensure that home is as conducive a place as possible for students to do their best on homework assignments.

• Find a quiet space with little or no distractions. A quiet place in the home where kids can concentrate is essential when kids are doing homework. While a youngster's bedroom might have sufficed years ago, today's children tend to have bedrooms that mimic the showroom floor of an electronics store. If kids have televisions, video game consoles and stereos in their bedrooms, then that's likely not the best environment for them to do their homework. Kids can too easily grow distracted, so find a quiet area where kids can focus on their studies without being tempted by television, video games or other distractions not conducive to studying.

• Designate a time each day when kids do their homework. Another way to make your home more amenable to homework is to designate a time each day when kids will study. Let other members of the household know that this is a quiet time in the house so kids aren't distracted. Once kids get comfortable in this routine they likely won't need much prodding to do their homework, and this designated quiet time in the household can be a relaxing time for other members of the household as well.

• Have healthy snacks available. Few people do their best work on an empty stomach, so if kids will be doing their homework immediately after school, make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand. Elementary and high school students tend to eat lunch earlier than adults, so they're liable to be hungry when they arrive home from school in the mid- to late-afternoon. Have plenty of fresh fruit on hand so kids can satisfy their hunger. Less healthy snacks might satisfy youngster's hunger pangs, but such snacks may also make kids drowsy, negatively affecting their ability to concentrate and indirectly hindering their schoolwork as a result.

• Let kids know their work will be checked nightly. Parents who want to create an environment where their children approach homework seriously should let their kids know their work will be checked each night, and they will need to redo any assignments that were not completed correctly. This prevents kids from rushing through assignments without giving their best efforts.

Few youngsters look forward to homework. While parents might not be able to change their kids' attitudes toward homework, they can change their home to make it as positive an environment for kids to pursue their studies as possible. 

 

Make the morning rush to school a lot less hectic

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Weekday mornings during the school year can be hectic. Parents who must get their youngsters ready for school while preparing for their own day often find themselves rushing through the morning and wishing there was just a little more time before they had to run out the door.

While parents can't add another hour to the morning unless they wake up earlier, there are ways they can be more efficient in the morning. An efficient morning is typically a less hectic morning, and the following are a few ways families can work together to make more efficient use of their time on weekday mornings during the school year.

• Get a head start the night before. Perhaps the most effective way to make mornings less hectic during the school year is to accomplish as much as possible the night before. Instead of making kids' lunches each morning, make them at night right before you go to bed. Along with your kids, lay out their clothes for the next day before they go to sleep each night. This way kids won't waste time in the morning agonizing over what to wear, and they're liable to put up less of a fuss in the morning if they had a hand in choosing their attire for the day.

• Avoid turning your kitchen into a diner each morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also can be the most indecisive meal of the day. Kids likely won't want to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but give them fewer options so you aren't wasting time discussing what they are going to eat. The more closely your breakfast options resemble those of a diner, the more time your child is liable to waste choosing what to eat.

• Limit time in the bathroom. Spending too much time in the bathroom is another way families waste time on weekday mornings. Bathroom time should be limited to a set amount of time per person so everyone can get where they need to go on time. How much time adults and children spend in the bathroom each morning should depend on how many bathrooms you have and how many people are sharing those bathrooms. But even if everyone has their own private bathroom, try to limit the time you spend in the bathroom to 15 minutes per person. That should be plenty of time to shower, use the restroom and brush your teeth.

• Locate must-have items before going to bed at night. Your school-aged youngsters and you will need certain things before you can leave home every morning. Car keys, cell phones, wallets, eyeglasses, and backpacks are a handful of items all of you will need at some point during your day. Locate these items before you go to bed each night and place them in the same convenient place each night. This saves you the trouble of running around in the morning looking for lost car keys or wondering where your youngster's eyeglasses ended up the night before.

• Turn the television off in the morning. Watching television in the morning can be very distracting, which can make it harder for adults and kids alike to get out the door on time in the morning. Kids might want to watch cartoons, which may keep them from preparing for school or brushing their teeth. And adults can grow easily distracted by news programs and morning shows, which will eat up time they need to get ready for the day ahead.

• Gas up the car the night before. A pit stop at the gas station en route to school or the office will only add to the hectic nature of the morning. Check your fuel gauge each night before arriving home and refuel your vehicle if it's running low. This gives you a little extra time to relax in the morning and reduces the risk that you or your child will be late for work or school, respectively.

Weekday mornings during the school year can quickly become frenetic. But a few time-saving tips can ensure you and your youngsters start each morning off a lot more relaxed.

 

School bus safety tips to impart to youngsters

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Each day thousands upon thousands of children board school buses to take them to and from school. Parents and caregivers entrust their children's well-being to the care of school bus drivers and aides. Although parents may worry about school bus accidents, such accidents are few and far between.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and protecting against injury. Buses are arguably the safest mode of transportation for getting kids to and from school. By keeping millions of cars off the roads surrounding schools, school buses contribute to less crowded roadways, which are less conducive to accidents.

Danger zone
Though parents may feel buses are most likely to be in accidents while in transit, experts advise that children are more likely to get hurt during pickups and drop-offs when they're in the "danger zone" of the bus. The danger zone is a 10-foot radius around the outside of the bus. Bus drivers and other motorists find kids in the danger zone are more difficult to see, and children can get struck by either the bus or oncoming cars that fail to stop when the bus is picking kids up or dropping them off.

Knowing the safety rules
While a large part of protecting children is on the shoulders of the school bus driver, it is also vital for passengers to learn the basics of school bus safety. Kindergarteners or children who are riding the bus for the first time should be taught the rules of school bus safety.

Some schools offer a school bus tour prior to the new school year. This lets youngsters acclimate themselves with the look and feel of the school bus. This introduction also may include information about bus safety, but parents can also educate their children (and themselves) about using caution in and around the bus by following these guidelines.

• Get to the bus stop 5 to 10 minutes prior to the assigned pickup time. Rushing last-minute can lead to injury, especially if you're chasing down the bus.

• Remain on the sidewalk or grass at the bus stop. Do not step off the curb into the street until the bus has arrived and is completely stopped.

• When boarding the bus, go directly to a seat and sit down. Buckle up if there are seatbelts on the bus.

• Remain seated while the bus is in motion.

• Keep voices low so as not to distract the driver.

• Keep your head and hands inside of the bus, and never hang out of the window.

• Do not throw things on the bus or play rough with friends or classmates.

• Keep the aisle clear at all times.

• Be careful when getting off the bus. Hold on while going down the stairs.

• Only get off at your designated stop unless you have permission to get off elsewhere.

• When exiting the bus, walk at least 10 steps past the front of the bus and cross in front where the driver can see you. Do not cross behind the bus.

• Wait for the driver to give you a signal that it is safe to cross. Be sure to check that all cars on the road have come to a complete stop.

• Get to the sidewalk or off the street as quickly as possible.

• If you've forgotten something on the bus, do not run back and attempt to retrieve it. The driver might not see you and start the bus. Rather, call the bus company and see if you can pick it up at another time.

• Do not get into the cars of strangers waiting around bus stops, even if they offer to take you home.

Parents can arrange to meet with bus drivers so that they will recognize their faces. Adults also can encourage schools to host bus safety courses to further ensure their youngsters are safe.

 

Backpack safety can prevent serious injuries

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Trips and falls on the playground may account for the majority of injuries that send school children to the nurse's office. But backpacks cause their fair share of injuries as well.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries per year. Children routinely carry more than the recommended weight in school backpacks and, compounding the problem, also carry their bags incorrectly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical agencies recommend that a child's backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of the child's body weight. However, this figure should be adjusted based on a child's fitness level and strength. That means that the average seven-year-old second grader who weighs between 55 and 60 pounds should be carrying no more than 11 to 12 pounds in his or her backpack. A backpack that is too heavy may cause:

• red marks on the shoulders or back from the straps

• tingling or numbness in the arms and back

• changes in posture when wearing the backpack

• pain anywhere in the back

To compound these problems, which also may include nerve damage resulting from pressure on nerves in the shoulders, children should lighten their loads and carry backpacks correctly. The following tips are some additional ways youngsters can prevent backpack-related injuries.

• Carry only necessary items. Children should only carry what is required for that particular school day in their backpacks. If teachers routinely have students carry home many heavy books, parents can consult with the teachers to see if there are other options.

• Distribute weight evenly. Items in the backpack should be spread out to distribute the weight across the entire back. Heavier items should be at the bottom of the pack.

• Use both straps. Using only one strap shifts the backpack weight to one side, causing the back and shoulders to strain. Many orthopedists have reported treating children with back or shoulder pain as the result of carrying backpacks incorrectly.

• Choose the correct backpack size. The size of the backpack should match the scale of the child and should rest evenly in the middle of the child's back.

• Lift safely. Children should lift their backpacks by bending their knees and lifting to protect their backs.

There are some safety features parents can look for when purchasing backpacks. A padded back reduces pressure on the muscles and can be more comfortable, while compression straps make the backpack more sturdy. Additionally, reflective material on the backpack can make the child more visible to motorists.

 

Establish a low-maintenance aquarium

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Fish are often the pet of choice when people desire a pet that requires minimal care. While home aquariums may not require substantial maintenance, they cannot go entirely ignored, either. When ignored, aquariums can quickly transform from a visually stunning habitat into a murky, algae-infested mess. But as important as aquarium maintenance is, some additional factors can also influence the beauty of a home aquarium.

• Bigger may be better. Larger tanks may be better than compact tanks, especially for new owners. That's because larger tanks are generally more stable in terms of water balance. People mistakenly overcrowd their tanks with fish, and a small tank can easily be overrun by bacteria and fish waste. Upgrading to a larger tank (think 30 gallons) means fish will have the room they need and the water will not have to be changed as frequently to keep it clean.

• Find a shady spot. It's tempting to put a fish tank where it can be seen by everyone. But if this spot gets a lot of sunlight or even ambient light from overhead fixtures, it may fall victim to excessive algae growth. Algae, like most plants, needs light and a food source to thrive. The fish will provide the food material, but owners can control the light to limit algae blooms. Once algae is present in large amounts, it can easily overrun the tank. Invest in a few algae-eater fish, such as plecos and some catfish.

• Don't overstock the aquarium. It can be tempting to buy more and more fish for a home aquarium. But putting too many fish in a tank can throw the water balance off considerably and lead to a high amount of waste in the water. Fish that are an inch in size need roughly one gallon of water each. Fewer fish are easy to care for and won't cloud up the water quickly.

• Invest in a good filter. A variety of aquarium filters are available, and they can range from inexpensive to more costly. Be sure the filter you choose is large enough to accommodate the volume of water in the tank. It's better to have a filter that's too large for the tank than one that is too small. Look for a filter that will turn over all of the water in the tank at least four times per hour. Ample filtering means the water will remain crystal clear.

• Plan for weekly partial water changes. Siphon 10 to 20 percent of the water each week for optimal health. Try to vacuum around the gravel to remove trapped food particles and waste. Committing to this small bit of maintenance can go a long way toward creating a healthy tank that will not require more maintenance.

• Avoid goldfish as a first fish. Goldfish are particularly dirty fish. They are often purchased because they tend to be inexpensive, but goldfish metabolize food quickly and produce a lot of waste. They can also grow quite large, requiring an upgrade to a larger tank much more quickly than some other fish. Guppies and platies make good starter fish. They're tolerant of harsh aquarium conditions and quite hardy.

All pets require a certain measure of care and maintenance. Although maintaining a fish tank may not require the daily effort of caring for cats or dogs, a tank still must be maintained to provide an ideal living environment for fish.

 

Age equivalents for cats and dogs

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Cat and dog owners know that the responsibility of caring for their favorite felines and preferred pooches changes as those animals age. But owners may not know just what constitutes an "aging" pet.

Many might go by the popular notion that one dog year is equal to seven human years. But that figure is not quite accurate and is rarely associated with cats, leaving many cat owners to wonder about the age equivalents for their furry companions.

The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that determining the age equivalent of pets is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years." In fact, making such determinations is especially difficult with dogs, whose age equivalents depend on the size of the dog. But the AVMA does calculate pet age in human terms, and the following are the equivalents on which they tend to rely.

Cats
Cat years / Human years
     7              45
    10              58
    15              75
    20              98

Dogs (small-medium)
Dog years / Human years
     7               44-47
    10              56-60
    15              76-83
    20             96-105

Dogs (large-very large)
Dog years / Human years
    7                50-56
   10               66-78
   15               93-115
   20                 120

 

Jule Transit Sees 30,000 Ride Increase Over Last Year

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The Jule's crosstown Express service, west-end Shopping Circluator routes, Nightrider evening service, and new service along Jackson Street to Terrace Heights have led to significant increases in ridership for Fiscal Year 2014.

These new services, in addition to partnerships with Clarke University, Loras College and University of Dubuque, led to an increase of 29,932 rides or a seven percent increase from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

This year's increases build on previous years' success; transit ridership in Dubuque has increased from 373,376 to 478,370, over 100,000 rides or 28 percent in the past five years. Fifty thousand of these rides came between FY2011 and FY2012, during the first round of the Smarter Travel pilot study, and over 30,000 rides came between FY2013 and FY2014, after data was used to restructure The Jule's routes. These route changes resulted in shortened ride times, increased coverage, and extended hours; many trip times were reduced by more than half.

The restructured routes took effect in January 2014 and have had a tremendous impact on the number of rides and access to more locations in the city of Dubuque. Candace Eudaley, director of transit operations for The Jule, said that beginning in January, the month to previous year comparisons have been staggering.

"We used to see ourselves exceeding the monthly ridership of the previous year by around 1,000 rides, but as of January, with the new route changes, we've seen monthly increases of 3,000 (January) to almost 7,000 (May) rides in a single month," said Eudaley. "With the increases we've seen in just a short time, we're looking forward to seeing what our ridership looks like with a full year of the new routes."

 

Ride The Jule to School – Students Ride Free

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Dubuque Community School District and Holy Family Catholic Schools students can ride The Jule to and from school and other activities and events free of charge. All K-12 students ride for free, but high school students must show their school ID to board.

The Jule provides public transportation to students to and from school on regularly scheduled routes that are open to the general public with buses stopping at regular bus stops along those routes. Buses operate Monday-Friday beginning service at 6:05 a.m. and Saturday with service starting at 8:05 a.m.

Most schools have a bus stop within three to five blocks of their main entrance. Schools are listed with their closest bus stop location and bus route on www.juletransit.org.

Students must abide by the Jule's Passenger Code of Conduct or risk suspension from services. All Jule buses are outfitted with multiple interior and exterior security cameras for driver and passenger safety.

For complete route details and additional information, please visit www.juletransit.org, call 563-589-4196, or stop by The Jule Office.

 

Dubuque - A Jewel on the Mississippi River

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Gallery C announces Dubuque - A Jewel on the Mississippi River, an exhibition of works by photographer Hunt Harris with Opening Reception Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, 6-9 p.m.

World renowned photographer Hunt Harris has been called "a poet with a camera, offering a highly personal yet stylized view of the world." Gallery C is pleased to exhibit his newest prose, the infrared photographs of his Dubuque - A Jewel on the Mississippi River series.

Photography has been a deep interest of Hunt Harris since he purchased a Brownie camera in grade school. In high school he set up a darkroom in his basement and photographed for the school newspaper. After graduation, interests turned to family and career, so photography fell by the wayside. Decades later, with the advent of digital cameras, Hunt's interest in photography was rekindled.

Most of Hunt's pictures are taken on travels abroad; however, most recently he has been focused on Dubuque's architectural highlights with a camera converted to see the near infrared portion of the light spectrum. This is made up of light waves too long for the visible eye to see but short enough that most digital sensors can capture them. The infrared black and white process turns foliage white, blue skies and water dark and makes architecture stand out from the summer landscape. It gives a different look to otherwise familiar places, one that Hunt hopes the viewers of this exhibit will enjoy.

Hunt and his wife live in Moline, IL, and are the parents of two children and four granddaughters. Recently retired, during his career Hunt ran several companies including Star Forms and Isabel Bloom. He is an active volunteer, having chaired the boards of many non-profit organizations in the Quad Cities. As a philanthropist he is president of two private foundations funding programs primarily in the Quad Cities area.

Those interested in seeing more of Hunt Harris's work are encouraged to visit his websites:
www.TheArtfulLens.com - for mainly international photos
www.World-Scenes.com - for his blog and recent photo galleries including scenes of Dubuque

All are invited and welcome to attend this exhibition, and to participate in the expanding art scene in the Millwork District. There is no charge and refreshments will be served.

Gallery C, Carolyn M, is located in the Schmid Innovation Center at 900 Jackson Street in Dubuque, IA. Main entrance doors are on Jackson Street near 10th Ave. Be a part of the gallery's evolving exhibitions that create dialog, engage the community, and enrich the experience of the arts in Dubuque.

 

DIAMOND JO CASINO TO HOST PBA BUDWEISER MIDWEST OPEN IN DUBUQUE

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The best bowlers in the Midwest section of the United States will convene at Diamond Jo Casino's Cherry Lanes Sept. 13-14 for the Professional Bowlers Association Budweiser Midwest Open presented by Dexter Shoes.

Among the players expected to participate are PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., who also is the most successful PBA Regional bowler in history; 2011 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion Tom Hess of Urbandale; USBC Hall of Famers Jeff Richgels of Madison, Wis., and Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis.; PBA Tour regulars Jesse Buss of Belvidere, Ill., and Brian Valenta of Lockport, Ill., along with several of the Midwest's rising stars.

The Budweiser Midwest Open will be the second event in a new PBA Women's Regional tournament series that will result in a berth in the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas in late October for the top points qualifier in the three-event series.

"We're excited to bring the top bowlers in the Midwest to Cherry Lanes," said Bob Hochrein, Cherry Lanes Director of Bowling. "As a bowler and bowling fan, it's a great pleasure to be able to bring these top players to our community."

The Budweiser Midwest Open will begin with a pro-am squad at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, where amateur men, women, senior and youth bowlers are invited to bowl with PBA partners.

Tournament qualifying is set for 9 a.m. Sunday. All players will bowl seven games with the top 16 at the end of qualifying (based upon a minimum field of 64 entries) returning at 1 p.m. for the single-elimination match play finals. The Round of 16 will feature a best-of-five-game format with eight winners advancing. The Round of 8 will be a best-of-three-game round with four winners advancing to the one-game semifinal round. The two semifinal round winners will bowl for the tournament title.

Scratch-level amateur bowlers are invited to participate in the event along with PBA members. The entry fee for non-professionals is $225. For more information, visit pba.com and look for details under Schedules/Regional Tour/Midwest Region tabs.

Admission to the tournament is free. Youth, senior and adult pro-am entry forms are available at the host center. For additional information call (563) 690-4829.

PBA BUDWEISER MIDWEST OPEN PRESENTED BY DEXTER

Cherry Lanes inside Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14

Saturday, September 13
5 p.m. - Official Practice Session

7 p.m. - Pro-Am

Sunday, September 14
9 a.m. - All players, seven-game qualifying round
Top 16 players after seven games advance to single-elimination match play

1 p.m. - Round of 16, best of five games (losers eliminated, winners advance to Round of 8)

3 p.m. (est.) - Round of 8, best of three games (losers eliminated, winners advance to Semifinal Round)

4 p.m. (est.) - Semifinal Round, one game (losers eliminated, winners advance to Championship Match)

4:30 p.m. (est.) - Championship Match, one game

 

Little Free Libraries Established at Dubuque Fire Stations

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The Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the AmeriCorps VISTA program recently established five permanent "Little Free Libraries" (LFLs) at five of Dubuque's six fire stations to promote literacy and increase access to books.

A Little Free Library, in its most basic form, is a small box that houses free books for anyone to take and exchange at any time. Returns and/or exchanges are not mandatory, but encouraged. Dubuque's Little Free Libraries are open to everyone regardless of income level, age, or residence. Non-residents are welcome to participate.

"The libraries provide a ‘take a book, return a book' gathering place where people can share their favorite literature or stories," said Stacy Seyer, AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Learning Coordinator, who coordinated the effort as part of her AmeriCorps VISTA project. "People are encouraged to make the book selections as unique as those living in the area."

All time and supplies for the construction of the book houses were donated by area professionals, including Tricon Construction, Mike Brimeyer, John Gregorich, Mike Cherry, Dubuque Window and Door Co., and Guardian Industries. Installation was completed by Tim Lattner, Bob Lanka, and two Urban Youth Corps participants from the City's Parks Division. An AmeriCorps VISTA book drive held in January 2014 yielded 1,500 donated books that were used to stock the libraries. The Dubuque Fire Department maintains the libraries with support of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library.

"The fire department is happy to be involved in this project," said Rick Steines, assistant fire chief for the Dubuque Fire Department. "We welcome our neighbors to stop by the LFL locations and get to know their local firefighters while choosing a book."

Dubuque's Little Free Libraries can be found at the following fire station locations:

2180 JFK Rd. (Fire Station 2)
3155 Central Ave. (Fire Station 3)
1697 University Ave. (Fire Station 4)
689 S. Grandview Ave. (Fire Station 5)
1500 Rhomberg Ave. (Fire Station 6)

Other Free Little Libraries locations in Dubuque include:

Mercy Hospital, 890 W. Third St.
Lincoln Elementary, 419 Winona St.
University of Dubuque, corner of North Algona St. and West Third St.
Eisenhower Elementary, 2984 Castle Woods Lane
Bryant Elementary, 220 Hill St.

Additional locations are expected to be added in the future.

The worldwide movement of Little Free Libraries (LFLs) began in Wisconsin in 2009. As a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher with a love of reading, Todd Bol, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse and filled it with books free for the taking. By January 2014, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world was conservatively estimated to be nearly 15,000, with thousands more being built.

A "Dubuque Little Free Libraries" Facebook page has been created and general information about Little Free Libraries is available at http://littlefreelibrary.org.

 

Best exercises for female weight loss and toning

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Diet and exercise go hand in hand, but diets are often associated with women while exercise regimens tend to be geared toward men. But exercise is just as important for women as it is for men, which is why women must find the right balance between diet and exercise to achieve their weight-loss goals.

Feel the burn of strength training
Cardiovascular exercise is important, but women need more iron in their weight-loss regimens, specifically the type of iron found on the weight bench. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, roughly 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. Skipping strength-training exercises eliminates one of the fastest ways to see measurable weight loss. Two sessions per week of strength-training exercises can reduce overall body fat by around 3 percent in as little as 10 weeks. Such exercises can trim inches off of your hips and waist, even if you aren't cutting calories from your diet.

Muscle also helps burn calories even when you're not working out. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long workout that included strength training burned an extra 100 calories in the 24 hours following a workout than they would in the 24 hours after a workout that did not include strength training. This post-workout calorie burn is commonly referred to as "afterburn," and it increases exponentially when women lift more weight for less repetitions instead of lifting lighter weight for more repetitions.

Choose the right strength-training workouts
It may be easy to find a problem area on your body and target that area with certain exercises (think crunches for belly fat). But this is not the best course of action. It's better to work an array of muscles in an exercise session rather than focusing on one particular area. The following exercises can help women build lean muscle and stimulate the afterburn of a good workout.

• Pushups: Pushups are the bane to many a woman's existence. However, pushups and stationary pushups, called "plank" exercises, fire up core muscles in the back and stomach. They also promote shoulder and arm strength, eliminating the need for bicep curls and other arm exercises. If pushups are difficult for you, start out on your knees and work up to doing pushups on your toes. As you build strength, you will find it easier to do pushups and notice your arms have added muscle and tone.

• Lunges and squats: Lunges and squats target some of the largest muscles in your body, which are found in the legs and backside gluteus muscles. Lunges will also work the adductors and abductors of your inner and outer thighs. Not only do these exercises promote strength training in major muscle groups, they require balance provided by engaging core muscles in the abdomen. Your heart rate will increase when these larger muscles are being used at the same time, which means you're getting a cardiovascular workout at the same time as you strength train.

• Rowing: Instead of spending 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym, use a rowing machine. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits that rowing provides, you will be working the muscles of the arms, back, shoulders, legs, and abdomen while you row. Rowing machines work more of the body than more traditional cardiovascular machines.
By including strength-training exercises in a workout and choosing activities that work the maximum number of muscle groups at the same time, women will see a more profound weight loss in a shorter period of time.

 

Camp for stroke survivors & family accepting registrations

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Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp brings fun, respite and renewal to stroke survivors, their families and caregivers

Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the United States. 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.

Retreat & Refresh Stroke CampTM is a weekend getaway offered just for stroke survivors, their caregivers and family. Stroke Camp will be held Sept. 5-7, 2014 at Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa. It's sponsored by UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Quad Cities.

About 40 stroke survivors and caregivers will be spending the weekend together participating in activities including: games, educational sessions, stroke resources, pampering, hiking/walking, discussion groups, swimming, rock wall climbing and more. Volunteers from each UnityPoint Health hospital will be on hand to support campers and help with activities.

The weekend's main goal is for participants to enjoy activities that include the areas of socialization, support, education and relaxation. Past attendees have said their lives, friendships and how they perceive themselves were transformed after attending the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp. Here they begin to build bonds with other stroke survivors, enjoy activities they feared were lost to them, and participate in an experience both heart-warming and life-affirming. The survivors, their caregivers and family stay in hotel accommodations but still enjoy outdoor experiences and many aspects of camping out of their normal range of activities.

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.

Cost for the campers is kept low through the generous support of sponsor UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Quad Cities. You can find out more information about Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp or register for this year's event at www.strokecamp.org, or call 866-688-5450 toll-free.

Retreat & Refresh Stoke Camp Executive Director Marylee Nunley and her husband John started the camp in 2004, three years after John's stroke in 2001. "After John's stroke, I felt like we were so isolated, and more than anything else, we needed the healing that socialization and ongoing support from other stroke survivors could bring," said Nunley. "Since there was nothing available like that, we created it." Through the encouragement of Larry Schaer, associate director, Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp became a non-profit in 2007 and created a national network of camps. As of the start of 2014, RRSC has completed 85 camps. This year Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp anticipates providing 20 camps in 11 states.

 

Who wants BACON?

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Maple Bacon Donuts, Heart Attack Hotel, Breakfast Bacon Martini, Bacon Infused Apple Wine, Cheddar Bacon Popcorn and a Pig Slide are just a few of the dishes/beverages that will be served at this year's Dubuque Area Baconfest, a fundraiser for Area Residential Care. The event will take place on Oct. 2, 2014 at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

It is an evening where guests walk around tasting creative bacon dishes from local restaurants, grocery stores, BBQ pits and caterers. The hottest chefs from the finest area restaurants prepare and serve samples starring bacon. Tri-State mixologists and brewers quench thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews.

Guests will enjoy all the flavors of bacon while helping a great cause. All proceeds from the event will go to Area Residential Care to support its mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities. Can't go wrong with that! Helping people with disabilities while eating bacon!

Tickets go on sale Saturday, August 9, at 9 a.m. at dbqbacon.org. A limited number of tickets are available and are $25 for general admission and $40 for V.I.P. A V.I.P. ticket allows attendees to enter the venue early and get a taste of all the food before everyone else.

Other activities at this year's event will include music entertainment by the Nutsy Turtle Band, DJ Steve Hemmer, an Oink Off Contest, the Hormel Bacon Eating Contest and the crowning of the 2014 Dubuque Area Baconfest King or Queen. The Dubuque Area Baconfest Planning Committee and Area Residential Care are currently accepting applications for the first ever King or Queen of Dubuque Area Baconfest. Fill out your application online at dbqbacon.org and submit an image of yourself (no selfies) by August 1, 2014 to be considered for royalty.

Sponsors for this year's event include: 

Whole Hog Sponsor: Hormel Foods, Inc

Boss Hog Sponsors: Dubuque Bank & Trust, Mystique Casino, 97.7 Country WGLR, Super Hits 106, Xtreme 107.1

Hog Wild Sponsors: Hartig Drug and more coming in each day!

Area Residential Care is a non-profit organization that has provided services for people with intellectual disabilities since 1968. The organization has grown over the past 46 years to serve an average of 250 people with disabilities annually, providing residential, vocational, and day services in Dubuque, Dyersville and Manchester communities. For additional information, contact Shelby Wartick at (563) 556-7560, ext, 743 or go to www.arearesidentialcare.org.

 

Freckles are a common skin condition

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Whether it's a light smattering of spots over the bridge of a person's nose or tiny spots covering his or her arms and legs, freckles are a reality for thousands of people. Despite their prevalence, many people are unsure just why freckles form or who is most likely to have them on their bodies.

Freckles are spots on the skin that are produced from concentrations of melanin, which is the pigment in the skin that gives it its color. Freckles generally show up on people who have fair skin. Melanin is derived from the amino acid tyrosine, which helps with protein production in the body. Melanin is usually a black-brown shade and is produced as a defense against the harmful UV rays of the sun.

In the body, the melanocortin 1 receptor on the MC1R gene helps produce melanin that tans the body. Variants of the MC1R gene will lead to freckles. Melanin is produced in two types: pheomelanin and eumelanin. Individuals who primarily produce pheomelanin tend to have freckles. Freckles also are largely genetic, and some identical twins may have similar freckle patterns.

There are two basic forms of freckles. These include simple freckles and sunburn freckles. Both are made more prominent by exposure to the sun. Simple freckles are usually small, tan and round. Sunburn freckles are larger, darker and more irregular in shape. You'll find them usually on the upper back and shoulders. Lentigines is the medical term for darker sunburn freckles that do not tend to fade in the winter.

Freckles, although most common on the face, can occur anywhere on the body that is repeatedly exposed to sun. While freckles are not harmful and rarely lead to skin cancer, people who who have freckles are at a higher risk for other skin conditions, which in turn may increase their risk of skin cancer. That's because a person with the pheomelanin type of melanin has a lower concentration of photoprotective melanin that guards against the harmful effects of UV radiation. People with freckles tend to burn more easily and need to rely on sunscreen and covering their skin to prevent damage.

When freckles are present, they may fade when the skin gets less exposure to the sun. But some freckles will remain. Those who are embarrassed by freckles can be diligent about covering up in the sun. There are various topical creams that can bleach freckles and lighten them over time. There also are dermatological laser treatments to lighten or eliminate freckles.

Freckles are a skin condition primarly for those of light skin who are exposed to sunlight. They are largely hereditary and rarely harmful. Those who have concerns about the appearance of freckles can visit a dermatologist to discuss their options.

 

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.