Area Tidbits

Memorial Day Holiday Schedule for City Services

The City of Dubuque is reminding residents of several service schedule changes related to the Memorial Day holiday.

There will be no refuse, yard waste, or curbside recycling collections by the City of Dubuque on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). Instead, these Monday collections will be made on the preceding Saturday (May 23) and must be set out by 6 a.m. The Dubuque Metro Landfill will be closed all day on Memorial Day.

The Jule, Dubuque’s public transit system, will not operate on Memorial Day.

For non-emergency issues during City office closures, please call 563-589-4415. In the case of an emergency, always call 911.



Miller Riverview Park and Campground Opening on May 27 with Extra Safety Protocols

The City of Dubuque will open Miller Riverview Park at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, for self-contained camping units only.

A combination of weather, campground readiness, and the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the opening. Staff have been working to prepare the campground for use as well as implementing best practices for COVID-19 related safety protocols for operation.

A variety of new protocols/practices will be in place at the campground to minimize the risk of spreading the virus:

The campground will be open for self-contained camping units only (RV/trailers with bathroom facilities or tents/pop-up campers with portable toilets).

All campground restrooms and shower buildings remain closed, including drinking fountains.

Playgrounds and pavilions remain closed.

The campground will be open to campers only, no visitors.

Water, electricity, and park dump stations will be available.

Picnic tables are available for use at own risk.

Campfires at campsites should be for occupants of the campsite only.

Current reservation rates apply.

Additional signage will be posted throughout facility reminding campers of regulations and safety practices. Some campsites may be blocked off to create a buffer between recreational campers to maintain social distancing guidelines. The campground office will remain closed to the public and customers will be encouraged to use the online reservation system for reservations and payment. A check-in kiosk will be installed near the office to facilitate cash reservations.

To make a reservation or for current rates, please visit For more information, call the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department at 563-589-4263.



Dubuque Offering Grants for Renters and Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19

The City of Dubuque is offering financial assistance to qualified Dubuque renters and homeowners whose income has been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications are being accepted for the City of Dubuque’s Short-Term Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program from Dubuque renters and homeowners whose income has been reduced due to COVID-19. This program is funded by a federal grant and does include income and property eligibility requirements. The program is a grant program so residents who qualify and receive the assistance will not have to pay back any funds they receive. This is a short-term assistance program and can assist with a portion of approved households’ rent or mortgage for up to $1,000 for three months.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be a current city of Dubuque resident living in a rental unit or home they own that they have occupied since at least January 1, 2020. Applicants must have been working as of January 1, 2020, AND, as a result of COVID-19, either:
1) lost employment completely or monthly income has been reduced by at least 50 percent;
2) have applied for unemployment benefits;
3) were current on rent or mortgage payments and all household utilities as of March 1, 2020; and
4) applicant’s household’s current income meets the following requirements:

Household Size         Program Income Limit
Family Size 1                  less than $28,500
Family Size 2                  less than $32,600
Family Size 3                  less than $36,600
Family Size 4                  less than $40,700
Family Size 5                  less than $44,000
Family Size 6                  less than $47,250
Family Size 7                  less than $50,500

Households of eight or more should contact City staff for additional information. “Household income” includes current wages, unemployment benefits, child support, military benefits, and social security. All income coming into the household is required to be reported.

To apply for the Short-Term Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program, please call 563.564.7489, email, or visit



Dubuque to Resume Parking Meter Enforcement on June 1, Free Ramp Parking Extended to July 1

The City of Dubuque will resume parking meter enforcement beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enforcement has been suspended since March 19.

The City is extending free ramp parking until 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1.

For more information, please contact the City of Dubuque Transportation Services Department at 563-589-4266 or, or visit



Grand Opera House Summer 2020 Productions Postponed to 2020/2021 Season

The Grand Opera House Board and Management has made the difficult decision to move all remaining productions in the 2019/2020 Season, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon and Disney’s Frozen Jr., to summer 2021. All three productions will become part of the yet to be announced 2020/2021 Season.  

The previously postponed Heartland Ballet production of Coppélia, originally scheduled for performances between March 28th and April 5th, has now been canceled.  A Grand Reveal, previously scheduled for May 2nd and 3rd, has also been canceled but will be replaced with a special “Welcome Back Celebration” as soon as circumstances allow.  

“In a perfect world we would have announced our 2020/2021 Season at A Grand Reveal on May 2nd but due to the ongoing health crisis and shifting productions, we are still tinkering with  our schedule and rethinking some of the productions we had planned” said Frank McClain, Grand Opera House Executive Director.

Additional details regarding the upcoming season, set to begin in the fall, and information for ticket holders for canceled or postponed productions can be found on the Grand’s website,



Tips when planting shade trees

Beautiful landscaping can add instant curb appeal to a property. But beauty isn’t the only thing that makes idyllic landscaping attractive to homeowners. Some landscaping features, such as shade trees, save homeowners money while adding aesthetic appeal.

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that shading is the most cost-effective way to reduce solar heat gain in a home. Shading also cuts air conditioning costs, which tend to be expensive in areas with warm, humid climates. In fact, the DOE notes that well-planned landscapes can reduce unshaded homes’ air conditioning costs by anywhere from 15 to 50 percent.

When planting shade trees, one of the first decisions homeowners will need to make is which type of tree, deciduous or evergreen, they want to plant. Deciduous trees are those that seasonally shed their leaves, while evergreens are trees that keep their leaves throughout the year. Deciduous trees can help keep homes cool in the summer by blocking sun, and those same trees can be beneficial in winter after they shed their leaves by letting the sun in and keeping homes warm. But evergreens also can be beneficial in winter by blocking wind, potentially preventing cold air from making its way into a home through cracks in walls or around windows.

When planting shade trees, techniques vary depending on which type of tree homeowners ultimately choose to plant.

Planting deciduous trees
The DOE says that deciduous trees that are between six and eight feet tall when planted will begin shading the windows of a home within a year of being planted. Depending on the species of the plant and the home, those same deciduous trees may begin shading the roof within five to 10 years of being planted. When planting deciduous trees, homeowners should keep these tips in mind.

• Plant trees to the south of the home. When planted to the south of the home, deciduous trees can screen between 70 and 90 percent of the summer sun while still allowing residents to feel summer breezes.

• Consider sun angles. Homeowners who want to shade their homes from low afternoon sun angles should plant trees with crowns that are lower to the ground on the west side of their homes.

• Cool air before it reaches your home. Shrubs and groundcover plants can be planted to cool air before it reaches a home.

Evergreen trees
Planting evergreens to block wind is known as “windbreaking,” which lowers the wind chill near a home. Wind also can be used to cool a home in summer. But these benefits can only be realized when evergreens are strategically planted.

• Location, location, location: The DOE advises planting evergreen trees to the north and northwest of the home to stop wind. In addition, to get the most bang for your windbreaking buck, the distance between the home and windbreak should be two to five times the height of the mature tree.

• Plant trees on either side of the house. Planting trees on either side of the house will direct cooling winds toward the home in the summer.

Shade trees can help homeowners reduce their energy bills, making them valuable and attractive additions to any landscape.



Tips for family camping trips

For nature lovers, perhaps nothing is more enjoyable than packing up the camping gear, traveling to a favorite campsite and getting away from it all while sleeping under the stars. Such an experience can be transformative, turning first-time campers into lifelong enthusiasts.

The opportunity to turn youngsters into nature enthusiasts who can’t wait to spend time outside may be one reason why so many families go camping. A 2018 report Kampgrounds of America found that 52 percent of campers have children, making camping among the most popular and family-friendly ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Camping with youngsters can help families make lasting memories. Parents who have never before taken their children camping may benefit from employing a few strategies to make the trip as fun as possible.

• Make a trial run in the backyard. A night camping in the backyard won’t be exactly the same as a night in the woods, where wildlife, and particularly insects, may be less welcoming hosts. But a backyard camping night can acclimate children to their sleeping bags and their tents. A fun night sleeping under the stars in the backyard also may make kids more enthusiastic about an upcoming camping trip in the woods.

• Go over safety early and often. Use every opportunity to explain camping safety measures to youngsters in advance of your trip. Emphasize the importance of staying together in the woods, and teach youngsters how to identify potentially harmful plants like poison ivy, making sure they know to avoid coming into contact with these and other poisonous plants. Contact your local parks department, or the campground where you will be staying, for some additional advice on camping safety.

• Let kids help when choosing camping equipment. Youngsters may be more excited about camping if they’re allowed to choose certain equipment, including their sleeping bags and tents. Before visiting your nearby camping retailer, explain to kids that tents come in various styles because they’re designed to protect campers from certain elements that may be more common in certain areas than others. Such an explanation can make it easy to explain to youngsters why you’re purchasing certain items, even if those items weren’t kids’ top choices.

• Plan the family menu in advance. Plan the menu in advance so you can ensure everyone will continue to eat healthy. But make sure to include a few kid-friendly camping classics, like s’mores, in the meal plan as well.

• Prepare a camping-friendly first-aid kit. Bandages and topical antibiotic creams are part and parcel of any first-aid kit, regardless of where you’re going. But the elements pose a different set of challenges that require a more extensive first-aid kit. When designing a first-aid kit for your camping trip, be sure to include all the usual items but also over-the-counter medications that can treat pain, allergies, constipation, and diarrhea. An extra gallon or two of water also makes for a wise addition to campers’ first-aid kits.

Family camping trips can instill a lifelong love of the great outdoors in youngsters. A few simple strategies can help parents make such trips safe and memorable.



Common play equipment injuries

Park playground equipment and swing set apparatuses in backyard jungle gyms are exciting places for children to be active outdoors. Play equipment gives children opportunities to exercise and engage with friends.

Despite all the benefits of playing outside on playground equipment, many youngsters get hurt on playgrounds every year. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says each year more than 220,000 children under age 14 are treated in hospital emergency rooms across the United States for playground-related injuries. The Canadian Public Health Association reports that 1,841 children in Canada under the age of 18 required hospitalization between the years of 2014 and 2015.

The same organization says fractures are the most common playground injury, followed by contusions/abrasions and lacerations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adds that playgrounds present an elevated risk for internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations. Children also may suffocate if hooded sweatshirt drawstrings get tangled.

All children are at risk for injuries, but statistics indicate girls sustain injuries slightly more often than boys. Children between the ages of five and nine have higher rates of emergency department visits for these types of injuries, according to the CDC.

Preventing injuries comes down to a few simple strategies.

• Supervision: A responsible adult can be the most important factor in preventing or minimizing playground injuries. Supervising play means enforcing rules and monitoring risky antics.

• Ground material: The type of surface on the play area can reduce severity of injuries from falls. Softer surfaces, such as mulch, wood chips, shredded rubber, or sand reduce impact injuries. Equipment in yards should be surrounded by soft materials. Parents can rally to ensure school and neighborhood playgrounds employ similar materials.

• Age appropriateness: Children should be guided to equipment designed for their ages. Equipment is typically rated for various age groups.

• Maintenance: Remove tripping hazards and verify that the equipment is in good working order before allowing children to play. Avoid or replace equipment that has openings that could ensnare a child’s head.

• Clothing: Children should dress appropriately for playground use. That means slip-resistant soles on shoes and well-fitting clothing and avoidance of clothing that can become tangled or get caught on structures.

Playgrounds are enjoyable places for children to congregate and spend hours outdoors. Prioritize playground safety at home or in the neighborhood to reduce the risk of injury for youngsters.



The roles of the different branches of the U.S. military

The United States military is one of the most comprehensive, effective and respected armed forces in the world. Without the tireless commitment of military personnel — from the soldiers on the ground to the support staff behind the scenes — America could not be the world power it is today.

Each branch of the U.S. military has a unique mission, and here is a brief rundown of what those missions entail, courtesy of and the U.S. Department of Defense.

United States Army
The Army is one of the three military departments that reports directly to the Department of Defense. The Army conducts operational and institutional missions around the world, typically handling land-based missions. The Army also guards U.S. installations and properties throughout the world.

United States Navy
Serving to protect the freedom of the seas, the Navy is another branch of the military that reports directly to the Department of Defense. Among its many missions, the U.S. Navy serves to make the seas safe for travel and trade.

United States Air Force
The Air Force also reports directly to the Department of Defense and trains for and maintains global superiority in air, space and cyberspace. Air Force personnel fly planes, helicopters and even satellites.

United States Marine Corps
The Marine Corps is a component of the Department of the Navy. It carries out global missions on both sea and shore and serves as an expeditionary force. Marines are a rapid-reaction team and are usually the first boots on the ground in a conflict.

United States Coast Guard
The Coast Guard safeguards maritime interests through both civil and military missions. The Coast Guard operates around the world and in domestic waterways and ports.

United States Army National Guard
The oldest branch of the U.S. military, the National Guard serves as a complementary force to active duty. Those in the National Guard are trained to be versatile, providing for humanitarian aid, domestic emergencies, combat missions, and homeland security operations. The Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, and Navy Reserve are the other branches made up of servicemen and servicewomen who primarily work civilian jobs but may be called to full-time military duty if necessary.

The U.S. Armed Forces are headed by the President of the United States. The Secretary of the Department of Defense reports directly to the Commander-in-Chief. The DOD controls each military branch, except for the Coast Guard, which is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.

Learn more about the U.S. military at



Pollinators are an important part of gardens

A thriving backyard garden requires homeowners to take steps to ensure the garden has the best environment in which to grow and thrive. The right tools and components, including trowels, rakes, soil, amendments, and fertilizer, can help gardeners create beautiful spaces.

It’s also important that pollinators are made to feel welcome in the garden. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that one-third of all agricultural output depends on pollinators. The USDA notes that insects and other animal pollinators are vital to the production of healthy crops for food, fibers, edible oils, medicines, and other products. Pollinators also are essential for maintaining habitats and ecosystems that many wild animals rely on for food and shelter.

The U.S. Forest Service says that, without pollinators, the human race and all of the earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive. Pollination done the natural way often yields large, flavorful fruits.

Pollinators are make-or-break components of large-scale agriculture, and they’re just as important in private home gardens. The Pollinator Partnership, an organization that works to protect pollinators and their habitats across North America, says pollinators include bees, butterflies, beetles, birds, and bats. These animals travel from plant to plant carrying pollen on their bodies.

The following are some ways to maintain healthy pollinator habitats.

• Consider the soil and types of plants that will thrive in it before choosing what to plant. Fix drainage issues and plant with sunlight in mind.

• Vary the colors and shapes of plants to attract a greater array of pollinators. Plant flowers close to vegetable gardens to attract pollinators.

• Group plants together when planting to more effectively attract pollinators.

• Select plants that flower at different times of the year so that nectar and pollen sources are available year-round.

• Whenever possible, choose native plants.

• Avoid the use of pesticides.

• Provide a water source for pollinators, such as a shallow dish with stones half-submerged for perching.

Pollinators are important for gardens, whether those gardens are commercial operations or small backyard plots. Allow pollinators to share spaces and be mindful of behaviors that can threaten their survival.



Practice safe boating at all times

Boating is a recreational activity enjoyed by thousands of people. Spring and summer are prime times of year for boating, though people who live in temperate climates may be able to enjoy boating all year long.

Everyone who takes to the water, novices and experienced boaters included, should be familiar with boating safety guidelines. In fact, it is a good idea to take a boating safety course prior to boating for the first time or as a refresher if it has been a while since reviewing the rules of the water.

Boating safety goes beyond learning basic operation and navigation. Safety guidelines also involve getting a vessel safety check. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers complimentary boating examinations. They can verify the presence and condition of safety equipment required by federal and state organizations. Boaters also may be able to conduct virtual vessel exams. This means boat owners can perform a self-inspection of the boats based on digital prompts. People who reside in Canada can contact the Office of Boating Safety to confirm whether vessel checks are required and how to get one. Licensure and registration of boats are part of responsible boat ownership both in the U.S. and Canada.

Along with boating inspections and water rules, some other ways to stay safe involve educating oneself of the larger dangers on the water. These generally involve risky boater behavior, such as failing to wear a life jacket or having an inadequate number of life jackets for passengers.

Alcohol use while boating also can be problematic. Being under the influence can adversely affect boaters’ reaction times and decision-making abilities. According to the 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics Report, alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2018, accounting for 100 deaths (19 percent) of total fatalities. Curbing alcohol use while boating can help avoid accidents and deaths.

Excessive speeds also can derail nice days on the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says that, although there are no numerical speed limits on the water, excessive speed can cause accidents in crowded areas. Speeding makes it difficult to react to obstacles — including underwater wildlife — and bring the boat to a stop within a safe distance of others.

Boating season is heating up, and that means making safety a big part of operating and enjoying a vessel.



Prevent injuries with ladder safety

The moderate temperatures of spring and summer make these great times of the year to tackle jobs around the house. When cleaning or remodeling goals involve reaching heights, ladders are often put to use.

The American Ladder Institute reminds do-it-yourselfers and professionals that ladders are tools, and it is the responsibility of people to follow safety precautions when using ladders just as they would any other tool.

Choose the right size
The right ladder makes a job safer, as it prevents the user from having to stand on the top rung or step, which can throw off DIYers’ balance. Ladders come in various sizes and types, from step to straight to combination. Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. When calculating, include the weight of the person or persons who will use the ladder and any tools and equipment he or she may carry on the ladder during a job.

Keep it steady
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises against shifting or moving a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder. Use the ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured to prevent displacement. The proper angle for setting up a ladder can help keep it steady. The base of the ladder should be at one-quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface, says OSHA.

Climb carefully
Never use a ladder if you are feeling dizzy, tired or impaired, as such feelings can cause accidents. Be sure to place a ladder where the climb will not be impeded by electrical wires, obstacles or even wind and other weather conditions. The National Safety Council recommends wearing slip-resistant shoes with clean soles for maximum traction. Always grip the rungs and climb the ladder while facing it, all the while maintaining three points of contact with the ladder (two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand). Hang tools from a tool belt while climbing or have them handed up to you after you’ve safely reached your height.

Be smart
Do not overreach while on a ladder. Go slowly when ascending or descending, being deliberate where hands and feet are placed. Avoid distractions while working on ladders to further reduce the risk of balanced-related accidents.

Ladders are an important tool around the house. Safety is key when climbing to new heights.



Personal safety tips to live by

The fight or flight mechanism is an important tool in safeguarding well-being, but there is much more a person can do than relying strictly on gut reaction. Taking personal safety seriously means having a realistic view of the potential dangers in the world, and employing various strategies that promote safety.

• Put down the phone. Distractions are a major cause of injury and putting oneself at risk. Texting while walking or driving increases the risk for injuries. Predators also look for signs of distraction or weakness, and eyes that are glued to a phone make it hard to remain aware of your surroundings.

• Lock your doors. Everyone wants to believe theirs is a safe community. But crimes like door push-ins or break-ins happen in every community. Locking home and vehicle doors puts an added barrier between a would-be criminal and your belongings or person.

• Stick to well-lit areas. The dark can hide people and ill intentions. Try to run as many errands or tasks during daylight hours as possible. When you must go out at night, walk or park in well-lit areas.

• Move to a public place. If you think you are being followed, either on foot or in the car, go to a public place or a police station.

• Don’t overshare on social media. People have a tendency to throw caution to the wind on social media, revealing personal details they likely wouldn’t share in other settings. Posting you are out of the house or away on vacation is an invitation for trouble.

• Avoid isolated places. Waiting for a bus, taxi, ride share, or even to meet another friend in a place without a lot of people around can put you at risk. It’s better to wait inside of a store or a building with others, if possible.

• Check visitors first. Whether at home or in a hotel while traveling, confirm who is knocking on the door before opening it. If someone states they are from a particular business or service, ask for identification. Call the front desk of a hotel to confirm identities and purposes.

• Watch your drink. Never leave a drink unattended in a public restaurant or bar, as something can be slipped into it. Similarly, don’t accept a drink you that didn’t see being poured.

Maintaining personal safety is something that requires forethought and practice.



8 garden tools for beginners

The right tool for the job is essential to working safely and efficiently. This is as true in the workplace as it is in the garden.
Novice gardeners may not know where to begin in regards to which tools they need.

The following are eight items that can serve as a solid foundation for beginning gardeners.

1. Gloves: Your hands will be working hard, so it pays to protect them from calluses, blisters, splinters, insects, and dirt. Look for water-resistant gloves that are also breathable.

2. Hand pruners: Hand pruners are essential for cutting branches, cleaning up shrubs, dead-heading flowers, and various other tasks. Choose ergonomic, no-slip handles that will make work easier. Rust-resistant, nonstick blades also are handy.

3. Wheelbarrow: A wheelbarrow can transport gear to garden beds or tote dirt, leaves, rocks, and other materials around the landscape. A good wheelbarrow is strong but light enough to maneuver when full.

4. Loppers: Long-handled loppers will fit the bill for thick branches. The long handles provide leverage to cut through branches an inch or more in diameter.

5. Hand trowel: A hand trowel is a handy tool that lets you dig holes or unearth weeds. While shopping for a trowel, consider getting a hand-held garden fork, which can aerate soil and cut through roots.

6. Hose/watering can: Keeping gardens hydrated is part of ensuring their health. That makes a hose and a watering can two invaluable tools to have around. Invest in a lightweight, expandable hose if storage space is at a premium. An adjustable nozzle will enable you to customize the water flow as needed. A watering can is an easy way to tote water to hard-to-reach pots and containers.

7. Garden kneeler: Gardeners often bend and kneel while working in the soil. That puts pressure on the back and knees. A comfortable garden kneeler with memory foam or one made from shock-absorbing material can reduce aches and pains.

8. Garden hoe: Garden hoes till soil, remove weeds and perform many other tasks. A garden hoe can be used along with a full-sized shovel, trowel and garden rake.

This list is just the tip of the garden tool iceberg. Visit a garden center and speak with a professional about other tools that can be added to the mix.



How to protect dogs from Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a potentially dangerous condition transmitted by the passing of bacteria from deer ticks to their unsuspecting hosts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease also is a cause for concern in Canada, parts of Europe and Asia.

Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. But Lyme disease also affects animals, including popular house pets like dogs. Tufts University says that the Lyme bacterium can cause serious illness in some dogs. Lyme disease can be difficult to detect and cause serious and recurring health problems. That is why it is essential for pet parents to make concerted efforts to reduce the risk that their dogs become infected.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says the best way to protect pets against Lyme disease is to emphasize prevention.

• Speak with your veterinarian about a tick preventive product that is right for your dog. These can include repellant collars, topical treatments and ingestible medications.

• Vets may recommend vaccination against Lyme disease if you live in an area that is home to high tick populations. Recommendations also may be based on your pet’s lifestyle and overall health, among other factors.

• Address conditions in the yard that are conducive to ticks. Mowing the lawn regularly is one way to make the backyard less attractive to ticks, as is removing leaf litter.

• Keep a clean home and landscape. Rodents and other wildlife can carry deer ticks. Securing trash cans, picking up food scraps, removing hiding spots and potential dens, and other strategies can keep these carriers away.

• Conduct a daily tick check if your dog spends time outside. Pay attention to bumps on the skin and part the fur so you can see where the coat meets the skin. Don’t forget to look in the ears.

• When possible, avoid areas where ticks may be found, such as tall grasses, wooded areas and marshes. Stick to trails when spending time in wooded areas.

Dogs with Lyme disease may exhibit various symptoms. These include loss of appetite, fever, joint swelling, decreased activity, and lameness. Visit the vet promptly if symptoms occur and do not abate, or are causing considerable distress for your pet.

Lyme disease is a concern for pets. Avoidance, preventive measures and outdoor maintenance can help reduce the likelihood that pets will contract Lyme disease.



Allergies or COVID-19?

As winter gave way to spring, nature did not give any signs in relation to what the people of the world were going through. As trees and flowers bloomed just like they do every spring, the people accustomed to witnessing the awe-inspiring transformation on display each spring were experiencing a transformation of their own.

Social distancing measures enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak in late-winter 2020 forced many people to stay home, only venturing outside to run routine errands like buying groceries or filling prescriptions. People were urged to stay home to help prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading, and those recommendations included people exhibiting mild symptoms of illness.
As spring hit its stride and pollen counts climbed, many people wondered if certain symptoms they were experiencing were byproducts of seasonal allergies or the COVID-19 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that it’s easy to mistake common allergy symptoms for COVID-19, and that’s especially so given the level of concern many people have about the novel coronavirus that has already claimed thousands of victims across the globe. But it’s important that people recognize the symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 are different. The following are some symptoms of allergies and some of COVID-19, courtesy of the CDC and the Mayo Clinic.

Allergy symptoms
• Itchy eyes
• Stuffy nose
• Sneezing
Doctors advise people who are exhibiting potential allergy symptoms to pay attention to their body temperatures. People with allergies very rarely experience fever, so the absence of fever, even if other symptoms of allergies are present, might indicate that a person is suffering from allergies and not COVID-19. In addition, allergy symptoms tend to be mild and recur year after year around the same time, such as when plants bloom in spring and summer. So if symptoms that are currently present are the same ones a person confronts every year, then he or she is likely suffering from allergies and not COVID-19. People can err on the side of caution by discussing their symptoms and history with their physicians.

Coronavirus symptoms
• Shortness of breath
• Fever
• Cough
Some asthma sufferers experience shortness of breath as a result of allergies, so people with asthma should consider that before assuming they have COVID-19. Discussing shortness of breath with a physician can help asthma sufferers gain more clarity on their condition.

While symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 are different, the CDC notes that people suffering from the flu may experience the same symptoms experienced by people with the coronavirus. Symptoms such as fever, fatigue, body aches, and cough can affect both flu and COVID-19 sufferers, so people experiencing these symptoms should contact their physicians.

It’s easy to mistake common allergy symptoms as indicative of the presence of the COVID-19 virus. But the symptoms of each condition are quite different. Learn more at



Tree of Life Memorial Service

Join us online as we honor and remember your loved ones

The Hospice of Dubuque Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers welcome the entire community to the virtual Tree of Life Memorial Service and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, May 19, at 7:30 pm. This annual service, which honors and remembers loved ones, will be held online this year. To join the ceremony and view the Live Feed, “Like” us on Facebook at Hospice of Dubuque. You can also visit our website at or find us on YouTube by searching for Hospice of Dubuque. The Tree of Life display will be illuminated in Washington Park the night of the event and will remain lit through Memorial Day. Each light symbolizes a donation made in the name of a loved one.

Help us to ensure that quality, compassionate hospice care and bereavement services are available to our tri-state community. Anyone may submit a donation to add a light to the Tree of Life display. Gifts are tax-deductible and can be submitted online at or mailed to Hospice of Dubuque, 1670 JFK Road, Dubuque, IA 52002. To ensure the name of a loved one is included in the printed program, donations must reach the Hospice of Dubuque office by May 14.

For more information, or questions on the event, please contact Tiffany Stietz, Hospice of Dubuque Community Relations Coordinator, at 563.451.4664 or



MidWest One Bank Provides Remote-Learning Financial Literacy Program for Local Schools

Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. MidWest One Bank is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make online, remote-friendly curriculum available to 71 schools in Dubuque, Des Moines, Polk, and other neighboring Counties completely free.

“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life,” Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. “But because MidWest One Bank is sponsoring it, local schools get it for free. More than ever, it’s important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world, and MidWest One Bank realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks and aligns with Iowa state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. The course work can be completed on any internet enabled computer or mobile device, and teachers are able to monitor student progress remotely. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 60,000 teachers nationwide.

MidWest One Bank has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom. Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget – but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit or call 888-8-BANZAI. MidWest One Bank has also made a suite of financial education resources available to adults and all members of the general community at



How to exercise during the pandemic

Life changed overnight for millions of people across the globe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which shuttered businesses and forced many people to follow stay-at-home measures issued by their local governments. These measures not only affected the overall health of those infected with the virus, but also those who experienced no symptoms and even tested negative for COVID-19.

In recognition of the mental toll that social distancing and stay-at-home measures can take, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people to exercise regularly. But opportunities to exercise seemingly dried up when stay-at-home guidelines were issued and gyms were shuttered. People without exercise equipment at home suddenly found themselves wondering how they could stay fit and keep their bodies in the best possible condition to fight a virus that has claimed thousands of lives.

Thankfully, there are ways to stay fit and keep immune systems strong without violating stay-at-home measures.

• Access online exercise programs. Many gyms that were forced to close to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus began offering exercise tutorials and classes via social media or websites such as YouTube. These videos can be invaluable resources, teaching people how to stay fit at home even if they don’t have weights or other equipment on hand. In addition to gym-sponsored exercise tutorials, the internet is loaded with free exercise videos and advice that can help people without access to a gym get fit or maintain their fitness routines.

• Go back to the basics. Many people no doubt recall gym class from their school days. Such classes teach youngsters the basics of physical fitness without employing dumbbells or advanced exercise machines. Those same basic exercises that work for youngsters, including push-ups, sit-ups and lunges, can be effective for adults as well. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done your most recent push-up, access an online tutorial so you can be certain your form is correct.

• Do some yard work. It might not feel as high-intensity as a spinning class or a Pilates session, but yard work can be a great workout. Dust off the push mower the next time the grass needs to be cut, and get to work on pulling weeds in garden beds. The added benefit to yard work is it provides a great opportunity to get some fresh air without violating social distancing guidelines.

• Go for a jog. Perhaps the simplest way to exercise during the pandemic is to go for a daily jog. According to the Mayo Clinic, aerobic exercise repeatedly moves large muscles in the arms, legs and hips while engaging the immune system and helping it to ward off minor viral illnesses. That makes an early morning jog an especially valuable – not to mention easily accessible – way to exercise during the pandemic.

Exercise can help people maintain their immune systems in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and there are many simple ways to fit in a little physical activity even while social distancing.



How communities can recognize nurses

Nurses play essential roles in their communities. Nurses interact with and assist their patients in many different ways.

Nurses are the foundation of most successful social healthcare programs, and they are often the powering force behind implementing private- or government-funded universal health plans. In addition, a 2015 report in the International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery found nurses are key players in community health awareness and promoting preventative health measures.

People who recognize the impact a great nurse can have may wonder how they can honor this special person. While nursing organizations offer prestigious awards for nursing excellence, a community-based or individual recognition may be just as meaningful.

School nurses day
School administration can set aside a special day each year, whether it’s in May on National School Nurses Day or another time of year, to pay homage to the school nurse. Children can be urged to draw thank-you cards, and parents can chip in for a special luncheon or gift.

Donate in tribute
Honor a special nurse by making a donation in his or her name to a charitable healthcare organization. Honorees may receive a listing on a website, notification of the tribute, official certificates of honor, or a letter of honor sent to his or her place of employment.

Volunteer services
Pitching in may be a big help to a dedicated yet overworked nurse. Volunteering at a hospital or health center can show a nurse how much he or she is appreciated.

Offer gifts
People who want to thank a nurse who has provided exemplary service may want to offer a gift to the nurse directly or provide something for the entire medical office or hospital floor. Catered food, flowers, gift cards, candy, or similar gifts may be appreciated.

Offer a public thanks
In an era of social media posts, someone can share with the community (and the world) how a nurse impacted his or her life for the better. Thanking a nurse online can be a way to start a positive pay-it-forward movement.

Nurses work long hours for the benefit of their patients. Offering a word or gesture of thanks can mean the world to these dedicated individuals.



Don’t be shocked! Separate lightning facts from fiction

Lightning is an awe-inspiring display of nature. Captivating, careening streaks of light brighten the sky and are often accompanied by Earth-shaking booms of thunder.

Is it any wonder that people are equal parts fascinated and terrified of lightning? That’s likely due to the immense power contained in lightning storms. Every bolt of lightning delivers up to one billion volts of electricity, states National Geographic.

As afternoon summer storms return, it can help to dispel some of the myths about the energy and science behind lightning storms.

MYTH: Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.
FACT: Contrary to what the familiar expression may indicate, lightning can and frequently will strike the same place twice, offers Britannica. It may occur during the same storm or years or centuries later. There’s no guarantee that a spot already hit by lightning is now immune.

MYTH: Crouch down to avoid a lightning strike outside.
FACT: The National Weather Service says that crouching closer to the ground will not make a person any safer outdoors. Moving indoors to a substantial building or a hard-topped vehicle is better.

MYTH: Rubber tires insulate a car from lightning strikes.
TRUTH: It’s actually the metal roof and metal sides of the vehicle that channel the lightning down to the ground, helping to safeguard people inside the vehicle. Remember, convertibles, fiberglass RVs and motorcycles are on rubber tires and offer no protection against lightning.

MYTH: Being under a tree is better than no shelter at all.
FACT: The Insurance Information Institute advises against sheltering under a tree. If lightning hits that tree, there’s a chance that a “ground charge” will spread out from the tree in all directions. In fact, being under a tree is the second-leading cause of lightning-related casualties.

MYTH: If there are no clouds or rain, you are safe.
TRUTH: Lightning can strike more than three miles from the thunderstorm itself, which is far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. Even infrequent lighting strikes have occurred as far as 10 miles from the thunderstorm origin.

MYTH: Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are rare.
TRUTH: These types of bolts are quite common, with roughly 100 striking the Earth’s surface every second.

Lightning can be beautiful but it also can be dangerous. Getting the facts about lightning can help keep people out of danger.



6 ways to prevent falls around the house

Despite all of the potential hazards around a house — from electrical issues to fire hazards to carbon monoxide — the National Home Security Alliance says that falls are the leading cause of death due to home accidents. Falls are responsible for one-third of all home-related fatalities.

Although seniors are the group most affected by falls, these types of accidents can affect anyone. A broken bone may be a minor inconvenience for young people, but fractures are more serious for the elderly. As a result, seniors must take measures to protect themselves against falls.

These steps can minimize risk at home.

1. Remove tripping hazards. Examine rooms and hallways for potential hazards, such as slippery throw rugs, floorboards that stick up, loose carpeting, or furniture that blocks walking paths. Remedy these hazards as soon as possible. Address loose floorboards and/or place nonslip materials beneath rugs.

2. Install grab bars or railings. Install grab bars in certain locations for extra stability or where someone may need leverage getting up from a seated position. They are particularly helpful near toilets and bathtubs and in stairways and hallways.

3. Stick to sensible shoes. Sensible shoes fit properly and have sturdy, nonskid soles. Avoid walking around in slippers or even in stocking feet, which are much more slippery.

4. Store items within reach. Store items that are used frequently, such as dishes, in easily accessible cabinets and other locations. This prevents having to climb or reach for them.

5. Install more lighting. Poor visibility can contribute to falls. Lighting in hallways, stairways, bathrooms, and bedrooms — even if it is a small night light — can be enough to light the way.

6. Reinforce your home’s exterior. Falls do not only occur inside. Inspect the perimeter of a property for uneven turf, holes or cracked or uneven patches of walkways. Make sure lighting is working at entryways, and check that exterior handrails are secure.

Falls can cause serious injury or death, particularly for aging men and women. Simple fixes around the house can make things more secure and reduce the risk for falls.




On April 27, 2020, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that Hillcrest Family Services (Hillcrest) was awarded $1,853,583.25 a year for two years, under the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC’s) Expansion Grants.

This expansion grant will allow Hillcrest to develop a CCBHC to serve the Dubuque and Jackson County, Iowa catchment area for the purposes of increasing access to and improving the quality of community brain health, substance use, and co-occurring disorder treatment services.

“We are very excited to be able to build a clinic that will be focused on providing the best brain health and substance use treatment services for those in need in Dubuque and Jackson County.” said Francie Tuescher, Interim President/CEO for Hillcrest Family Services. “We are so proud that with this grant funding we will be able to serve those that are uninsured, underinsured, and underserved and in need of brain health and substance use treatment.”



Dubuque’s Bunker Hill Golf Course Opening Friday, May 1

The City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department is pleased to announce that the Bunker Hill Golf Course opened on Friday, May 1.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, several operational changes will be in place as the season opens at Bunker Hill. The changes are in place to provide the safest environment possible for both golfers and Bunker Hill staff. Some of these changes include, but are not limited to:

• All purchases, including tee times, clubhouse merchandise, and food/beverages, must be made via phone or online.
• The clubhouse and snack bar facility are closed to the public.
• Golf carts will be limited to one person unless both individuals reside in the same household.
• Golfers are not to touch or remove the hole flagpoles on the greens. Foam inserts have been placed in the cups.

For a complete list of 2020 Bunker Hill Golf Course rules and ways to reserve tee times, please visit the Bunker Hill website at or contact Mike Sullivan, PGA Professional, at 563-589-4261 or

PLEASE NOTE: City of Dubuque parks are open but the playgrounds, equipment, amenities, and the Flora Park Skate Park remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice. Patrons visiting parks are reminded to practice physical/social distancing.



The Salvation Army of Dubuque Partners with Business for FREE Senior lawn services

The Salvation Army of Dubuque in partnership with a local business is offering lawn mowing and light lawn care to senior citizens at no cost.

Captain Matt Phelps says a business approached The Salvation Army looking for ways to keep its employees busy and keep them on the payroll. Phelps says they discussed options and came up with the idea of providing lawn services to seniors.

Phelps says, “For many years, The Salvation Army of Dubuque has been active in supporting senior citizens in the community with a vibrant senior center. The center has been the site of many activities for seniors. Those in this age group may not be able to afford a lawn service and may be vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or medical conditions, and for safety reasons may not be able to get out and do a simple task like get gasoline for a lawn mower.”

Phelps says that he sees this as a ‘win-win’ for both the business and seniors wanting to use the service. “The business will have work for its employees and seniors will be able to have lawn work done safely and at no cost,” said Phelps. While the business wishes to remain anonymous at this time, Phelps says that their offer deserves to be recognized. Residences are asked to allow use of their lawn mower if available. Note that if paid work for the business comes in, this will take priority for the employees.

Senior citizens who wish to take advantage of the service need to call The Dubuque Salvation Army at 563-556-1573 between 9 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday to sign-up for the service.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has served Dubuque County for over 100 years. Established in London in 1865, its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. The Salvation Army of Dubuque currently serves the community with a food pantry year-round, The Pathway of Hope program, a Senior Activities Center, weekly church services and bible study and a children’s and adult music and ballet program. To learn more, give a monetary donation, or volunteer for The Salvation Army call (563) 556-1573.



How to approach diet after a diabetes diagnosis

Diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people across the globe, and more and more people are being diagnosed with this often preventable disease every year.
According to the World Health Organization, 108 million people across the globe were living with diabetes in 1980. In 2019, the International Diabetes Foundation estimated that 463 million adults between the ages of 20 and 79 were living with diabetes. Perhaps even more troubling is that the IDF estimates that, by 2045, 700 million people will be living with diabetes.

A diabetes diagnosis can be scary. The IDF reports that people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing an assortment of serious health problems, including diseases that affect the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and teeth.

Poor diet is a common contributor to diabetes. So it’s natural that newly diagnosed diabetes patients typically want to know how they can alter their diets so they can begin to overcome their disease. That’s a good place to start, as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases notes that eating well and being physically active can help people prevent or delay problems associated with diabetes.

The NIDDK notes that eating a variety of healthy foods from all food groups is essential for people with diabetes.

• Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes are examples of nonstarchy vegetables that make great additions to everyone’s diet. These vegetables can be especially beneficial for people diagnosed with diabetes, as can starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and green peas.

• Fruits: Diabetes patients can include oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes in their daily diets.

• Grains: Whole grains should make up no less than 50 percent of diabetics’ daily grain intake. Opt for whole-grain breads, pastas, cereals, and tortillas.

• Protein: Lean cuts of meat, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, and eggs are some examples of healthy protein sources that diabetes patients can include in their diets. Nuts and peanuts; dried beans and certain peas, such as chickpeas and split peas; and meat substitutes like tofu can make for healthy protein sources as well.

• Dairy: When purchasing dairy products, stick to nonfat or low-fat milks, yogurts and cheeses.

A diabetes diagnosis can be scary. If poor diet contributed to such a diagnosis, committing to eating healthier can help people effectively manage their disease and possibly avoid some of its more negative consequences.



What can and cannot be composted

Avid gardeners know that compost can add vital nutrients to soil used in gardens, container plants and lawns. The fact that compost is so versatile and nutrient-dense may not even be its most admirable quality. Made from items used in and around the house, compost costs just about nothing to produce.

The raw materials that make up compost come from organic waste. These can be disposables from the garden and kitchen, as well as other areas around the house. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, yard trimmings and food scraps add up to 20 to 30 percent of the municipal solid waste in the United States. Turning waste into compost not only helps the landscape, but also the planet.

Compost is relatively easy to make, and there are scores of materials that can be put into compost. But it is just as essential to know which ingredients cannot be used in compost.

Okay for compost
Most organic materials, or items that were once living, can be used in compost.

Plant-based items used in cooking, such as potato peelings, carrot skins, banana peels, cocoa hulls, coffee grounds and filters, corn cobs, apple cores, egg shells, fruit peels, kelp, and nut shells, can be added to compost.

Other items from around the house, like unused kitty litter, hair, shredded newspapers and cardboard, leaves, flowers, paper, pine needles, ashes, and sawdust, can be successfully added to compost. Stick to items that are not treated heavily with chemicals.

Should not be used in compost
Inorganic and non-biodegradable materials cannot go into compost. These are items like plastic, glass, aluminum foil, and metal. Pressure-treated lumber, although a natural material, is treated with preservatives and often pesticides that can be harmful if they leech into the garden.

The small-gardening resource Balcony Garden Web indicates coated or glossy printed papers, such as those from catalogs, magazines, wrapping paper, marketing materials, and business cards, should not be added to compost piles because of the chemicals and inks used in these pages.

Planet Natural Research Center says to avoid pet droppings from dogs and cats. Animal products like bones, butter, milk, fish skins, and meat may decompose and start to smell foul. Maggots, parasites, pathogens, and other microorganisms can form in the compost. These materials also may attract flies and scavenger animals. Plus, they decompose very slowly.

Any personal hygiene products should be avoided because they are tainted by human fluids and that can pose a health risk.

While weeds are not harmful in compost piles, there is the risk that seeds can germinate and then infiltrate garden beds when the compost is used. The same can be said for tomato plants and some other hardy fruits and vegetables.

Compost is a winner in the garden and around the landscape. Learning which ingredients can and can’t be added to compost piles is useful for any gardener.



Common warning signs of arthritis

Arthritis has name recognition, even among people who are not suffering from it. But despite that recognition, arthritis is not as well understood as one might think.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is not a single disease, but rather an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. In fact, the term “arthritis” is so wide-ranging that it actually refers to more than 100 types of conditions.

Despite that complexity, arthritis often produces four important warning signs, regardless of which type of arthritis a person may have.

1. Pain
The Arthritis Foundation notes that arthritis-related pain may be constant or intermittent. One common misconception about arthritis pain is that it only occurs during or shortly after a body is at rest. However, arthritis-related pain can occur while the body is at rest and is not always triggered by an activity that incorporates a part of the body affected by arthritis. In addition, pain from arthritis can be isolated to one area of the body or affect various parts of the body.

2. Swelling
Skin over the joints affected by arthritis may become red and swollen. This skin also may feel warm to the touch. The Arthritis Foundation advises anyone who experiences this swelling for three days or longer or more than three times per month to contact a physician.

3. Stiffness
This warning sign is, along with pain, the one that is most often associated with arthritis, even by people who don’t suffer from the condition. Stiffness when waking up in the morning or after long periods of being sedentary, such as sitting at a desk during the workday or taking a long car ride, can be symptomatic of arthritis, especially if the stiffness lasts an hour or longer.

4. Difficulty moving a joint
The Arthritis Foundation notes that people should not experience difficulty moving, such as when getting out of bed. People who experience such difficulty may have arthritis.

People who recognize any of these warning signs should report them to their physicians immediately. Be as specific as possible when describing these symptoms, as specificity can help physicians design the most effective course of treatment.



How to reduce food waste

Perhaps nothing can spoil an appetite more than a crisper drawer full of fresh vegetables that have taken a turn for the worse. Spoiled food is not just unsafe to eat, but it is also very costly.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate that the average family of four throws out nearly $1,500 worth of food and beverages each year. That means that, within seven years, the average family has spent more than $10,000 on food they did not eat.

In recognition of the problems posed by food waste, the National Grange, the oldest farm and food advocacy organization in the United States, aims to create a cultural shift that reduces food waste. Individual consumers can do their part in supporting that shift by taking various steps to reduce food waste in their homes.

• Take inventory before going to the grocery store. An inventory of the refrigerator and pantry can help shoppers avoid buying items they already have. This is especially valuable at reducing food waste in regard to perishable items that can spoil before shoppers have a chance to eat them.

• Make a meal plan and grocery list. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that meal plans and accompanying grocery lists help consumers reduce food waste and save money by decreasing the likelihood that they will buy items they won’t need for the meals they plan to eat in the week ahead.

• Purchase frozen foods. Organic, fresh vegetables eaten when they are most ripe may be the healthiest way to eat vegetables. However, frozen vegetables still have ample nutritional value, and may even boast a higher nutritional value than off-season, fresh vegetables sold at the grocery store. That’s because frozen fruits and vegetables are picked when they’re ripe and then immersed in boiling water to kill bacteria and prevent enzyme activity that can spoil food. They’re then immediately flash frozen, a process that typically preserves nutrients. The long shelf life of frozen fruits and vegetables reduces the likelihood that shoppers will throw them out before eating them. That’s not the case with fresh vegetables, which the ANDF and the USDA note account for more than 30 percent of food waste each year.

• Wash berries only as you eat them. When eating fresh berries, wait to wash them until you eat them. The risk of mold forming increases when washing an entire container all at once, whereas only washing the berries as they’re eaten increases the likelihood that they won’t spoil before they’re all eaten.

Food waste is a global problem that can be fixed. And that solution can start in the kitchens of consumers willing to do their part.



Exposing myths about ultraviolet light

Ultraviolet light is all around us. UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that does anything from causing sunburns to making black-light posters glow. The sun is a notable source of ultraviolet radiation, but lamps and some items like arc welding torches also can transmit it.

UV rays fall in the middle of other types of radiation, ranging from very high-energy like X-rays and gamma rays to low-energy radiation, such as radio waves. UV rays are divided into three main groups: UVA rays, UVB rays and UVC rays, advises the American Cancer Society. Even though UV rays are so common, many people remain unaware of the dangers associated with UV exposure.

True or False: Age makes people more vulnerable to UV exposure and damage to the eyes and skin.
True. The Canadian Association of Optometrists says an estimated 50 percent of lifetime exposure to UV rays occurs before age 18. This is because youngsters tend to spend more time outdoors, have larger pupils, have clearer lenses, and are less likely to wear sunglasses or hats.

True or False: All UV rays are equally damaging.
False: UVA rays are the least powerful, but have the potential to cause premature skin damage and increase the risk of certain eye conditions. UVB rays are more damaging because they give off more energy and are responsible for most skin cancers. UVC rays do not penetrate the atmosphere, so they are not often linked to eye damage, wrinkles or skin cancer.

True or False: A base tan is healthy.
False: No tan is healthy or safe, advises Hackensack Meridian Health system. A sunburn and a suntan are the body’s response to cellular DNA damage from UV radiation. A base tan cannot prevent sunburn.

True or False: Tanning from the sun and tanning beds are equally damaging.
True. There is no such thing as safe tanning, whether from a tanning bed, a sun lamp or the sun itself. The American Academy of Dermatology says just one indoor tanning session can increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer.

True or False: The eyes are most exposed to UV radiation in early morning and late afternoon.
True. Unlike the skin, which is most susceptible to UV rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for the eyes the damage occurs early or late in the day.

Get the facts about UV exposure to stay safe all year long.



Signs of overloaded circuits in your home

The National Fire Protection Association says that home fires caused by electrical failures or malfunction result in more than 400 deaths per year and cause $1.4 billion in property damage annually. Electrical fires can often be prevented, especially if homeowners learn to identify the signs of overloaded circuits.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International notes that the following are some common signs of overloaded circuits.

• Flickering, blinking or dimming lights

• Warm or discolored wall plates

• Burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches

• Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses

• Cracking, sizzling or buzzing from receptacles

• Mild shock or tingle from appliances, receptacles or switches

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50 percent of electrical fires can be prevented by arc fault circuit interrupters, or AFCIs. AFCIs are products that are designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults in an attempt to reduce instances in which electrical systems are ignition sources of fire. Arcing is very dangerous and occurs when an electric current flows through the air between two conductors. When these currents flow through unintended paths, the result is high intensity heat that can ignite surrounding material, such as wood framing or insulation. AFCIs monitor circuits for normal or dangerous arcing conditions, serving as something of a safety net that can reduce the risk of home fires.

Recognizing the signs of overloaded circuits and using AFCIs can help homeowners significantly reduce the risk of home fires in their homes. More information about electrical fires and how to prevent them is available at and



Dubuque City Council Adopts Budget with No Tax or Rate Increase

The Dubuque City Council adopted an amended version of the City’s recommended operating and capital budgets for fiscal year (FY) 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) following a public hearing during a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 23.

The adopted City property tax rate of $10.14 per thousand dollars assessed value will give Dubuque the lowest city property tax rate of Iowa’s 11 largest cities. Other key points of the adopted budget include:

• DECREASE in the property tax rate;
• DECREASE in property taxes for the average residential, commercial, and industrial properties;
• DECREASE in refuse/trash collection fees;• NO INCREASE in City water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater rates; and
• NO INCREASE in pay for City employees.

The budget was adopted as the City is experiencing substantial revenue losses and additional expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between the current fiscal year and FY2021, the City of Dubuque could lose an estimated $16.3 million in revenue. The City has instituted a hiring freeze on most positions vacant in the current fiscal year and most new positions recommended in FY2021. Additionally, travel budgets (conferences, education and training, City business travel) for all departments have been frozen, equipment purchases are delayed, most capital improvement projects are delayed, and some maintenance projects are delayed. The City is also delaying payments to not-for-profit partners. All of these freezes and delays will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

This adopted budget addresses the current fiscal realities while continuing to provide essential City services to residents, businesses, and stakeholders while minimizing the costs of those services as those groups also experience hardships as a result of the pandemic.

City Portion of Property Taxes
The FY2021 budget provides a City property tax rate of $10.14 per thousand dollars of assessed value, a 1.8 percent decrease from the current rate of $10.33. When compared to the rates of Iowa’s 11 cities with populations over 50,000, Dubuque’s FY2021 rate is the lowest property tax rate. The highest rate (Des Moines, $18.38) is 78 percent higher than Dubuque’s rate. The average of other 10 cities ($15.15) is 47 percent higher than Dubuque.

The 1.8 percent decrease will result in a 0.14 percent property tax decrease for the average Dubuque homeowner ($146,467 home value) and a property tax decrease for commercial (-3.30 percent), and industrial (-2.81 percent). The new rate results in a 9.13 percent increase for multi-residential properties.

City Services & Fees
The adopted budget includes a decrease in the City’s refuse/trash collection fee. The new rate of $14.99 per month for basic service makes Dubuque’s rate the fourth lowest of 11 largest cities. The highest rate (Ames, $26.25) is 75 percent higher than Dubuque’s and the average of other 10 cities ($17.08) is 14 percent higher.

There is no increase in the City’s monthly water rate of $30.72 which makes it the second lowest of the seven Iowa cities with populations over 50,000 and lime softening treatment similar to Dubuque’s. The highest rate (West Des Moines, $18.38) is 20 percent higher than Dubuque’s and the average of the other cities ($33.59) is nine percent higher. Dubuque’s rate of $30.72 is average household rate based on 6,000 gallons per month which breaks down to just $0.00512 per gallon.

There is no increase to Dubuque’s monthly sanitary sewer rate of $42.24. This average household rate is also based on 6,000 gallons per month.

There is also no increase to the monthly stormwater utility fee of $8.29. This monthly rate for the majority of Dubuque households is based on usage of one single family unit. Stormwater fees are based on the amount of impervious ground coverage on a property. Fees collected are only used for stormwater management activities such as the construction, maintenance, and operation of Dubuque’s stormwater management system.

Debt Reduction
The FY2021-FY2025 debt-reduction plan meets the Mayor and City Council’s directive to retire more debt than is issued each year, with a net reduction of approximately $25 million (9.6 percent) of debt over the next five years.

General Fund and Reserve
The City’s General Fund is the general operating fund of the City for general service departments. The General Fund has an operating budget of $66.4 million and a capital budget of $2.8 million. This fund encompasses the bulk of activities that are traditionally considered basic governmental services such as public safety (42 percent), culture & recreation, health and social services, and general government.

The City maintains a General Fund reserve, or working balance, to allow for unforeseen expenses that may occur. The goal is to have at least a 20% reserve. The FY2021 budget includes a General Fund Cash Reserve Fund balance of more than $17 million, or nearly 24 percent.

The City’s total budget for fiscal FY2021 is approximately $198 million, a 3.5 percent increase from FY2020. The operating budget ($134. million) is a 2.5 percent increase from FY2020, while the capital budget ($57.2 million) represents a 3.4 percent increase from FY2020.

All FY2021 budget documents are available on the City’s website at



The City of Dubuque is extending a number of parking-related suspensions through the end of May.

Enforcement of parking meter expiration violations is suspended through May 31, 2020. During this time, parking customers are not required to feed/pay parking meters in Dubuque. All other street parking regulations will continue to be enforced in accordance with City code, including but not limited to, street storage (vehicles parked on the street longer than 24 hours without moving), disabled parking spaces, fire zone compliance, and blocking of driveways.

Additionally, all parking fees associated with City-owned parking lots and ramps are suspended through May 31, 2020. Monthly parking fees for City lots and ramps, as well as hourly and daily parking ramp and lot fees, are covered by this suspension. All monthly permit holders will retain their current parking spaces during the suspension but will not be billed. At this time, the City plans to reinstate monthly billing associated with permits on June 1, 2020.

For more information visit or contact Director of Transportation Services Renee Tyler at 563-589-4341 or



Container gardening tips

Gardening is beneficial in various ways. The AARP states that some of the health perks associated with gardening include improved mood, increased vitamin D levels (which benefits bones and immune system) and reduced risk of dementia. In addition, if gardening efforts include growing herbs, fruits and vegetables, it can be a cost-effective way to eat healthy.

For gardeners without sufficient space or for those with mobility issues, container gardening can be an ideal way to grow everything from flowers to vegetables. Better Homes & Gardens says most plants are not fussy about the containers in which they grow so long as some of their basic needs are met. This means watering correctly for the type of plant, and ensuring sufficient drainage.

The following are some other ways container gardening efforts can prove successful.

• Watch water. Planet Natural Research Center says plants with thin leaves typically need ample water, and plants with thick leaves need less. Use this as a guideline to gauge water needs.

• Size correctly. Plants should be sized to the container. Consider dwarf varieties of certain plants if your containers are small.

• Choose the right soil. Fill containers with a commercial potting soil rather than soil from the garden. Garden soil can dry into a solid mass, while commercial mixtures have amendments like peat moss, vermiculite, compost, and other ingredients to help with soil texture and moisture retention.

• Mix it up. When planting containers of flowers and other greenery, Good Housekeeping says to include “a thriller, a spiller and a filler” as a good rule of thumb. The thriller is the focal point, the spiller a trailing plant, and a filler has smaller leaves or flowers to add bulk and color.

• Poke holes. Drainage holes are essential so that soil will not become waterlogged. Holes don’t need to be large, but there should be enough of them so that excess water can drain out readily.

• Select the right container material. Container materials may be affected by gardeners’ budgets, personal taste and other factors. For those who live in hot climates, selecting a light-colored container can help prevent further soil heat absorption.

Container gardening is a healthy and enjoyable activity that can pay dividends in various ways.



How families can confront remote learning

Amid concerns of coronavirus clusters and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, and based on social distancing recommendations from medical professionals, schools across the country began to close their doors and adopt a remote learning model in March 2020.

One of the largest communities affected was New York City, which closed schools across the five boroughs. The New York City school system is vast, with 1,800 schools servicing more than one million students.

School administrators and educators quickly scrambled to find a workaround to meet children’s educational needs. Remote learning has been a part of many school curriculums for some time. While remote learning had predominantly been reserved for higher learning institutions, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it became a necessity for grades K through 12 as well. Teachers have had to design curriculums and assignments virtually on the fly in an attempt to minimize disruptions that could adversely affect students.

Remote learning requires the cooperation of school staff and also parents and guardians. Patience is necessary, and parents and educators may need to completely transform their daily schedules. The following tips can be an asset as students continue to navigate remote learning.

• Record class sessions. Teachers can consider recording or “going live” with class instruction so that students can view the video and still have access to their teachers. This helps parents who may be unfamiliar with explaining the curriculum.

• Utilize chat features. Remote education software programs likely have a chat or “hangout” feature, which enables classrooms to keep in touch and ask questions in real time.

• Keep a schedule. It’s easy to begin to sleep late and fall out of routine when not required to go to a school building. Families should make scheduling a priority, which can help students stay on top of lessons and complete their assignments on time.

• Ask questions. Everyone is learning as they go, and further clarification may be needed. Students should email or chat with teachers if they don’t understand an assignment or are unsure about instructions. Teachers may be able to clearly model a math problem or explain a concept via video chat for students who need help.

• Explore educational options. Many companies are offering free educational services while kids are home from school. is offering online courses, Nat Geo for Kids, Fun Brain, PBS Kids, and Highlight Kids are other places to turn to for activities.

Remote learning has become the new norm as the world continues to navigate COVID-19 in an effort to keep the public safe.



The relationship between fibromyalgia and pain

Fibromyalgia has long been a misunderstood medical condition. For example, in the past, people diagnosed with rheumatism may have had fibromyalgia.

Characterized by a vast array of symptoms, fibromyalgia was once only rarely diagnosed, and even then such diagnoses may only have been made after multiple doctor visits. Even members of the medical community had difficulty identifying fibromyalgia, as its symptoms mimic characteristics of many other conditions. But even though fibromyalgia is now more easily identified, more research and education is needed to keep the public in the know about this painful condition.

Widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, mood issues, and sleep or memory disturbances are some of the hallmarks of fibromyalgia, states the Mayo Clinic. Researchers surmise that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by impacting the way the brain processes pain signals. Healthline indicates this overload of pain signals may be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain or abnormality in the dorsal root ganglion, which affects central pain sensitization.

Quite often fibromyalgia causes what’s become known as “regions of pain” that affect five areas of the body. Pain is described as a dull ache. Pain, fatigue and trouble focusing or paying attention are key components of many other autoimmune diseases, which is why fibromyalgia is so challenging to diagnose. There is no specific test that can confirm fibromyalgia. Physicians tend to consider a diagnosis of fibromyalgia if a patient is experiencing musculoskeletal pain in four out of the five regions of pain.

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association states that women are diagnosed with fibromyalgia at a ratio of four to one over men. Approximately 10 million Americans are living with fibromyalgia, and it can affect people of all ages — even children.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia come and go and vary in intensity. Because there is no cure, treatments are geared toward symptom management and can include cognitive behavioral therapies, gentle exercise and medications to reduce pain.

The NFCP says that stigmatism of people with chronic pain conditions often cause people with fibromyalgia to become withdrawn from family and friends who may not understand the disorder. With support and more research into fibromyalgia, those suffering can get the help, treatment and support they need.



How to find the right bike helmet

Cycling is a great way to get necessary exercise in an environmentally friendly way, all while enjoying the great outdoors. Safety should be a priority when cycling, and helmets are an essential component of cycling safety.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons says cycling is the single largest contributor to head injuries treated in American hospital emergency rooms. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute advises that almost three-quarters of fatal crashes in 2018 involved a head injury. Nearly all cyclists who died were not wearing a helmet. The first step toward safety is selecting a helmet especially designed for cycling, as there also are helmets geared for kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, and skateboarding.

Consumer Reports suggests evaluating helmets on key features: ventilation, fit adjustments, ease of use, and of course, impact injury prevention. A helmet that is not properly fitted or comfortable cannot do its job effectively, especially if it prompts a rider not to wear it.

Riders can research Consumer Reports ratings and look for helmets that meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Helmets sold in the U.S. are typically CPSC-endorsed.

The following are some features cyclists should consider before buying bike helmets.

• Size: High-end helmets tend to come in multiple sizes that offer a secure and comfortable fit. Many other helmets have a universal sizing ring that fits a wide array of head sizes, according to Eastern Mountain Sports.

• Style: Helmets come in different shapes and styles. Experiment with helmet shapes to find a style that fits the shape of your own head well.

• Placement: The helmet should be worn horizontally on the head, and shouldn’t be tipped forward or backward. Experts say the front rim should end around an inch above the eyebrows. The helmet should not be too tight, yet not loose enough to move around easily.

• Extra safety: Doctors now know that something called rotational forces can contribute to brain injury. This means there is a violent stopping that causes the head to be interrupted out of synchrony with the movement of the neck, torso and other lower limbs. Multi-directional Impact Protection System, WaveCel and Shearing Pads Inside (SPIN) technology help address rotational forces.

Bike helmets are an important component of cycling safety that can prevent head injuries.



7 ways to dine ‘out’ when staying in

As restaurants, bars and taverns have closed their doors voluntarily or under government orders amid the public health crisis surrounding COVID-19, a population accustomed to the freedom of dining out for special occasions or as part of daily life has found they must make an assortment of changes.

However, it’s still possible to enjoy the offerings of your favorite restaurants. Restaurants have made some dramatic changes in an effort to meet the needs of their customers.

• Oven-ready meals: Some restaurants are offering oven-ready meals that fully prepared dishes that customers need only heat up at home.

• Deep discounts: Certain businesses are cutting prices on menu items in order to generate revenue. The Los Angeles-based Morrison Pub recently slashed prices to $10 or less for items that typically cost more than that. Other restaurants are shuttering dining rooms and providing discounts on take-out as incentives to customers.

• Prepaid options: The reservation service Resy has opened up its service to restaurant owners to offer take-out meals restaurant guests can book and pay for online. Other reservation businesses may soon follow suit.

• Delivered spirits: Businesses with on-premise liquor licenses might be able to deliver alcohol and offer it for takeout. Rules depend on where you live, but the New York State Liquor Authority temporarily allowed alcohol takeout beginning in March 2020.

• To-go party plans: CEC Entertainment, the parent company of the Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants, said the concepts would launch new family and birthday packages that included takeout pizza, birthday cake and goodie bags, in addition to two game apps for Chuck E. Cheese that provided virtual tickets redeemable at a later date when restaurants reopen.

• Pre-packaged favorites: Certain chain restaurants have long offered frozen selections of their popular appetizers and other dishes. When at the supermarket, check the freezer section for items from restaurants.

Check out the restaurant list the Dubuque Advertiser has published that shows the eating establishments that offer take-out, delivery or curb-side service.

Takeout has become the new norm as people are urged to stay home instead of dining out in crowds.



Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Improvements Begin Next Week

A $3.2 million improvement project at the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Plaza is scheduled to begin next week.

In preparation for construction, all existing memorials, including pavers, are being temporarily removed. All memorials will be preserved, protected, and reinstalled when the project is finished. This is being done with the utmost care and reverence. Funded entirely by the Dubuque Racing Association, the project seeks to honor all veterans by unifying and enhancing all existing nearby memorials.

The Dubuque Vietnam Veterans Memorial, currently located at Miller Riverview Park, will be relocated to and incorporated into this site. Improvements to the existing Veterans Memorial Plaza include seating, space for additional memorials and tributes, and enhancements to the pond.

The project also includes a new memorial for Chaplain Schmitt composed of a decorative swirling concrete path that transforms into an elevated boardwalk extending from the Veterans Memorial Plaza over the pond. A circular landing that contains a sculpture titled “Skyward” will be located at the end of the boardwalk. An opening in the sculpture will allow visitors to read a poem etched on the inside. At night, subtle colorful lighting will be used to honor veterans and add prominence to the memorial.

The estimated completion of the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Improvement Project is May 2021. For more information, or to order a memorial paver, call 563.589.4263 or visit



How Earth Day and environmental conciousness have evolved

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a mantra for many people. It’s difficult to imagine that just 50 years ago awareness of the state of the environment was not part of the collective consciousness.

An emerging public consciousness about the planet began amid environmental issues like increased air pollution and massive consumption of fossil fuels in the 1960s. The bestselling book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson also raised public concern for living organisms and the links between pollution and public health.

The push for environmental reform gained even more momentum on April 22, 1970, when the first Earth Day was celebrated. Then-Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin put Earth Day on the national stage following a large oil spill that struck off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. Before this disaster, recycling was not a word in the popular lexicon. But when the disaster struck, people began to reason that changes would have to be made to save the planet.

Since the first Earth Day 50 years ago, many strides have been made in the environmental movement. This grassroots initiative gave rise to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Environmental awareness has become much more mainstream and is a less polarizing issue than it was in the 1970s, although there are still debates about the reality of climate change and other risk factors.

Public demand for environmental safeguards grew in the second half of the twentieth century, and those demands have grown stronger in recent years. Legislation is continually evolving to protect the air, land and water. Sustainability has joined the buzzwords of the movement, and most industries now have a vested interest in changes that can minimize risk to human health and the environment.

Mitigating or avoiding environmental effects, proper waste disposal, reduction in water discharge, and emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling have become important components of environmental wellness. And people are being educated at earlier stages on the importance of environmental mindfulness. For example, core subjects of the environmental movement are increasingly covered in elementary schools.

Twenty million people turned out for the first Earth Day in the United States. Today, more than 190 countries are engaged and more than one billion individuals are mobilized for action every Earth Day, advises the Earth Day Network. To mark the 50th anniversary, the most pressing topic for the year is climate change. Climate Action is the 2020 Earth Day theme to engage the global public. There is still work to be done, but great progress has been made since 1970.



Tips for planting blueberries

A trip to the produce aisle at a local grocery store can unveil a host of healthy additions to anyone’s diet. Such a jaunt also can raise eyebrows, as produce, particularly organic fruits and vegetables, can be very expensive. Consumers may feel helpless to corral the cost of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, but all hope should not be lost. That’s especially so for people willing to give gardening a try.

Blueberries are one of the healthiest foods people can eat. The USDA National Nutrient Database notes that blueberries, which are low in calories and high in fiber, are great sources of the vitamins C, K and B6. However, organic blueberries can be among the most expensive foods in the produce aisle. Various factors, including where blueberries come from and whether or not they’re organic, dictate their cost. But it’s not uncommon to pay roughly $4 for a six-ounce package of organic blueberries. For some, such costs are prohibitive.

Growing blueberries in a home garden can save blueberry lovers substantial amounts of money while ensuring they reap all of the benefits of this highly nutritious and edible berry. The following are some tips novices can employ as they plant their first batch of blueberries.

• Consult a local garden center. The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council recommends consulting a local garden center before planting blueberries. The professionals at such centers can recommend the best variety of blueberry to plant. That’s an important first step, as the USHBC notes that farmers cultivate dozens of varieties of highbush blueberries across North America. Lowbush varieties also may be a gardener’s best option depending on where he or she lives. A local garden center can help you determine which variety best suits your local climate.

• Plant where there is ample sun and well-drained soil. The roots of blueberry plants should remain moist throughout the growing season, so choose an area where the soil drains well. If that’s hard to find, consider planting in raised beds or patio containers. In addition, the University of Minnesota Extension notes that blueberries require full sun, so plant in a spot where the blueberries will not be denied daily sunlight.

• Prepare the soil. Blueberries require acidic soil, so running a soil test prior to planting is a good idea. Speak with a local garden center about soil adjustments if the soil is unlikely to promote growth.

• Fertilize carefully. The USHBC notes that established blueberry plants will respond well to acid fertilizers. However, it’s important not to overdo it, as blueberries are sensitive to overfertilization. Follow fertilization instructions and speak with local garden center professionals for advice.

• Be patient. The UME notes that plants won’t bear much fruit in their first two to three years, and that harvests are bigger after five years. So patience is a virtue blueberry planters must embrace.

Planting blueberries can be a rewarding hobby that also can save gardeners money at the grocery store.



How to avoid or overcome workplace conflicts

No matter how welcoming and inclusive an office setting is, conflicts can still arise. Minor events may blow over, but there may be instances when some intervention may be needed.

Research conducted by the personality assessment consultancy OPP, in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, found that 85 percent of working professionals have to deal with conflict at some point.

Conflict shouldn’t be feared, as it can sometimes be good for a company. It’s an indicator that some are willing to step up and go to bat for their ideas, even if not everyone agrees with their particular vision. But steps can be taken to minimize blow-ups and resolve conflict in effective ways.

• Improve positive outlooks. Positive people may be better equipped to deal with adversity and stress. Boosting morale and improving on positivity in the workplace can make going to work more pleasant for all involved and potentially reduce the likelihood of serious conflicts.

• Encourage everyone to be team players. Certain people may naturally gravitate toward one another, but cliques or overly tight-knit groups at the office should be discouraged. These groups can make others feel alienated, a prime reason for arguments and conflict. If someone is trying to rally supporters for the wrong reasons, other employees should decline and say they value working with everyone.

• Don’t encourage drama. Encourage employees to share concerns openly and not through gossip.

• Address and validate people’s feelings and opinions. According to Brittany Hodak, an entrepreneur and keynote speaker, humans are emotional creatures and conflict can happen when feelings get hurt. Employees who are involved in situations should be spoken to immediately. Ensure them that their feelings are being noted and address any issues immediately and straightforwardly.

• Communicate respectfully. Draft emails and text messages carefully because tone may be implied when others are not able to hear you or read body language. Communication can be direct, but it should never be nasty.

• Avoid personality clashes. Employees should be able to work together, but some may just not prove compatible. No one needs to be best friends, but they should be civil. If personalities clash, these employees may be best suited to separate teams or projects to minimize interaction.

Conflicts can occur in the workplace. But when properly addressed, conflicts can make for a better, more inclusive workplace.



3 risk factors for oral cancer

The ill effects of smoking are widely documented. Perhaps no such side effect is more widely known than the link between smoking and cancer, particularly lung cancer. And while the Lung Cancer Foundation of America notes that smoking is thought to be responsible for 80 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses, smoking also has been linked to oral cancer.

Oral cancer is not as prevalent as lung cancer. However, the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that, in 2020, tens of thousands of people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States. Recognizing the risk factors of oral cancer can help people reduce their chance of receiving such a diagnosis.

1. Tobacco
The OCF notes that one study from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that more than eight out of 10 oral cancer patients were smokers. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, increase a person’s risk for oral cancer. The CCS even notes that exposure to secondhand smoke may increase a person’s risk for oral cancer.

2. Alcohol
Alcohol abuse is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer. The OCF notes people who smoke and also abuse alcohol are at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer. The OCF theorizes that this link may be a result of what alcohol consumption does to the mouth and how that makes it easier for tobacco carcinogens to attack. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the cell walls within the mouth, and that may make it easier for tobacco carcinogens to permeate tissues within the mouth.

Heavy alcohol consumption also has been linked with nutritional deficiencies, including lower antioxidant levels. Diets rich in antioxidants boost the immune system and make the body more capable of fighting cancer cells.

3. HPV
The human papilloma virus, or HPV, infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa. Moist epithelial surfaces are found in the interior of the mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils, among other areas. The HPV virus is transmitted when these areas come into contact with a virus, which is then transferred through epithelial cells. The HPV virus can be transferred through both conventional and oral sexual contact, though it’s important to note that many HPV infections go unnoticed and are cleared without consequence. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that up to 80 percent of Americans will have an HPV infection in their lifetimes without experiencing any adverse effects. However, one strain of the virus, known as HPV16, is strongly associated with oropharyngeal cancer.

Oral cancer poses a threat. But people can greatly reduce their risk for oral cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. More information is available at



5 outdoor projects that add value

Exterior renovations can enhance the appearance of a property and make it more enjoyable for homeowners. Certain renovations have the potential to add value to a home, while others may do the opposite. Learning which one have the largest return on investment can help homeowners select features that will have the most positive impact.

Curb appeal goes a long way toward attracting potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, first impressions of a property have a strong influence on buyers. Landscaping and external features can do much to influence such impressions.

• Lawn care program: Investing in a lawn care program that consists of fertilizer and weed control application and can be transferred over to a subsequent home owner is an attractive feature. NAR says such a care program can recover $1,000 in value of the $330 average cost, or a 303 percent ROI.

• Low-maintenance lifestyle: When choosing materials for projects, those that offer low-maintenance benefits can be preferential. These include low-maintenance patio materials, composite decking, vinyl fencing, and inorganic mulched beds.

• Fire pit: A fire pit can be used for much of the year. In the spring and summer, the firepit is a great place to congregate to roast marshmallows or sip wine and gaze into the fire. In the fall, the fire pit can make for a cozy retreat. A fire pit that has a gas burner is low-maintenance, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals says that most can recoup about $4,000 of their $6,000 average price tag.

• Softscaping: Hardscaping refers to structures like outdoor kitchens or decks. Softscaping involves the living elements of the landscape. Hiring a landscape designer to install trees, shrubs, natural edging, and rock elements can do wonders toward improving the look and value of a home.

• Pool or water feature: In certain markets, particularly hot climates, a pool or another water feature is a must-have. However, in other areas where outdoor time is limited, a pool or water feature can actually lower the value of a home. Speaking with a real estate professional can give homeowners an idea of how a pool will fare in a given neighborhood.

Outdoor improvements can improve the marketability of a home, as well as enhance its appearance and function.



The differences between organic and inorganic mulches

The benefits of mulch are widely known among lawn and garden enthusiasts. By insulating soil from extreme temperatures, helping soil to retain moisture and preventing weed growth, mulch can help plants, trees and gardens thrive, even during periods when Mother Nature can make that very difficult.

Novice gardners may find themselves a little confused when visiting a lawn and garden center to purchase mulch. That’s because there are various types of mulches. One of the ways to simplify that is to break mulches down into two main classes: organic and inorganic. Learning to distinguish between these two classes can help homeowners choose the best mulch for their properties.

Organic mulch
Organic mulches are made up of materials that decompose over time. The experts at note that, because they decompose over time, organic mulches must be replenished on a regular basis. Hardwood and softwood chips are among the most popular and recognizable organic mulches. Evergreen needles, leaves, grass clippings, and compost mixes also fall under the organic mulch umbrella. Many gardening enthusiasts prefer organic mulches because they help soil retain moisture, improve soil fertility and help to deter weed growth.

Inorganic mulches
Inorganic mulches are permanent because they do not decompose over time. Gravel, brick chips and crushed stone are examples of inorganic mulches. Homeowners who do not intend to plant after laying mulch may lean toward inorganic mulches, as they won’t require much work, if any, after being laid. However, the Chicago Botanic Garden notes that inorganic mulches do not improve soil quality. In fact, because inorganic mulches like rocks and stones absorb heat, they can be detrimental to plants in areas where weather tends to be very dry and hot.

The right mulch for a given property depends on a host of factors. Understanding the differences between organic and inorganic mulches is a great first step toward finding the right mulch for your landscape.



Murphy Park and Eagle Point Park Open Early

The City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department has opened Murphy Park and Eagle Point Park for the 2020 season.

Restrooms, pavilions, playgrounds and equipment, and sports courts at the parks will remain closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents and caretakers of children are asked to prevent children from using playground equipment. Those visiting the parks and other outdoor recreational areas are reminded of the importance of social distancing and staying 6-10 feet apart from others, as instructed by the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

“It’s important that we all stay home as much as possible but getting outside occasionally is crucial to maintaining health and well-being during these difficult times,” said City of Dubuque Park Division Manager Stephen Fehsal. “We are pleased to be able to offer these parks as additional places for people to get some fresh air and exercise, while social distancing.”

All park ordinances, including hours of operation will be enforced. Until further notice, there will be no admission fee for vehicles entering Eagle Point Park.

Future updates or changes to these policies will be announced and posted online at and via the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department’s social media. For additional information, please contact the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department at 563-589-4263.



Decor ideas to give homes a fresh look this spring

Spring is a season of rejuvenation, and that spirit of renewal can take hold inside a home.

Warm weather and longer hours of daylight make spring a perfect time to imagine a home’s interior design in a new light. The following are a handful of decor ideas that may inspire homeowners to give their homes an entirely new look this spring.

• Wallpaper: Wallpaper fell out of favor years ago, but new styles that aren’t so heavily patterned can make for wonderful additions to any room. Large-scale prints can give a room a whole new feel without giving homeowners or their guests the impression that they have stepped back in time. A simple, mural-style floral wallpaper on the walls surrounding a table in a breakfast nook can bring nature inside.

• Pastel colors: Nothing embodies the spring quite like pastel colors. If colorful, bright flowers dot the garden in the backyard, homeowners can bring those uplifting pastels inside by painting an accent wall or even adding some brightly colored accent furniture to rooms that could use a lift.

• Declutter: Clutter is often conquered during spring cleaning sessions, but homeowners who want to create more free-flowing interior spaces can downsize their furniture and/or look for multipurpose features that make it hard for clutter to take over a room. Create more open space in entertaining areas by mounting the television and getting rid of a bulky entertainment center. Create even more space by replacing rarely used end tables with a storage ottoman where books and magazines can be stored to give a room a fresh, clean look.

• Accent features: Sometimes the smallest changes to an interior space make the biggest impression. Replace dated accents like vases and table lamps with newer items that reflect the latest styles and trends. Such adjustments won’t break the bank, and they can give rooms a whole new feel.

Spring is a great time to reconsider home interiors. This spring homeowners can embrace various strategies, both big and small, to give their homes a whole new feel.



Mississippi Moon Bar Postpones Entertainment Through May 13

In taking additional precautions recommended by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque has made the decision to postpone our upcoming entertainment at Mississippi Moon Bar through May 13. These shows include the following:

All Wednesday night Laughing Moon Comedy April 3: Wheelhouse
April 4: David Victor, Formerly of Boston
April 10: Black Stone Cherry
April 11: ABBA Revisited
April 17: Rob Schneider
April 18: Dueling Pianos
April 24: Morgan Evans
April 25: Time Machine
May 1: Bob Saget Special Engagement

New performance dates will be released at a later time, and all previously purchased tickets will be honored on the new show date.

If you are no longer able to attend the show, refunds are available by calling 563-663-6462 or email Please provide your name, show name, phone number, and order number.




In partnership with Convivium Urban Farmstead, Project Rooted has served 730 no-cost lunches since the start of the Program on March 23, 2020. Lunches are available for pickup daily at the following locations: Convivium Urban Farmstead, Resources Unite, Peosta Elementary, West Dubuque High School, and Drexler Middle School. Due to high demand, Project Rooted will be increasing the number of lunches prepared in order to meet community needs.

Lunches include healthy, nutritious options and include a handmade card created by kids, for kids.

For those interested in donating toward this effort, monetary donations will be accepted through a GoFundMe page for Project Rooted at



Repair bare spots in the lawn

Caring for a lawn to keep it lush and green can require equal measures of patience and hard work. Various invaders can attack grass or contribute to its demise. One problem many homeowners face is bare spots.

Bare spots can occur for various reasons. Heavy foot traffic, grubs or other pests, fungi, pet urine, or too much or too little water can contribute to bare spots. The how-to resource The Spruce says that correcting the source of bare spots can prevent new issues, particularly if grubs or other pests are damaging the grass. Then homeowners can address existing bare areas.

It is unlikely that bare spots will just fill back in on their own. Reseeding spots or using sod to fill in bare areas can help lawns look lush.

• Begin by raking and removing any dead grass and other debris from the lawn. Check to make sure that grubs or insects are not attacking the lawn. If they are, use targeted treatment options for those pests.

• Break up and aerate any soil that is compacted in the bare spot.

• Amend the soil in the bare area with loamy soil or compost to improve on the nutritional makeup and texture so that it is amenable to grass-growing. If you notice that the entire lawn is looking a little sparse, top-dressing the rest of the lawn at this point also can help improve its vitality.

• Sprinkle seeds in the bare spot (disperse seeds over the rest of the lawn if you want to over-seed and improve the thickness of the lawn). If you prefer sod, cut a portion of the sod to fit the bare area and place on the amended soil.

• The Scotts company says to lightly water newly seeded or sodded areas daily for at least two weeks to keep the top inch of soil consistently moist but not soggy. Gradually water more as the seedlings develop and the grass begins to fill in. Deep water at least once or twice a week after the new grass reaches mowing height.

• The grass should grow slightly longer than the rest of the lawn, and wait until the color of the patched area begins to blend in with the rest of the lawn before mowing. This could take a few weeks, and the area should be avoided until then.

Eventually, and with treatment, bare spots can be remedied and become indistinguishable from other areas of the lawn.



Common home emergencies, and how to prevent them

Dorothy Gale said “there’s no place like home” in “The Wizard of Oz.” But what about when homes are no longer safe?
Household emergencies can occur at any time. When disaster strikes, knowing how to proceed effectively can make a world of difference and potentially save lives.

Fortunately it’s easy to prevent or reduce a wide range of household dangers by embracing some simple safety measures.

• Accidental falls: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that accidental falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury among nearly every age group. Roughly three million adults age 65 and older experience falls that result in emergency room visits each year in the United States. Falls can be prevented by removing tripping hazards, installing steady handrails and other supports and adding lighting in and around a home. If a fall should occur, stabilize the limb or injured area of the body and seek medical assistance.

• Kitchen fires: The potential for danger exists whenever cooking with heat or over open flames. Kitchen fires may occur, but they don’t have to spread or cause serious issues if fast action is taken. Never use water to put out a grease fire — it will only spread it and make it worse. Cover the fire with a lid to suffocate the flames, or use baking soda to douse the fire. Always have an all-purpose fire extinguisher on hand, and know how to operate it.

• Burst pipes: Burst pipes or leaking plumbing can quickly cause major damage in a home. Dwell Residential Group says to locate the water main, which is usually in the basement or garage on the “street side” near the water meter. Turn off the main to save the home and your wallet. Make the water main visible, mark which way is off, and instruct others in the house on how to use it.

• Tipping furniture: Tip-over incidents send thousands of people (especially young children) to emergency rooms each year, says the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Top-heavy items, like dressers, TV stands and televisions, bureaus, and bookcases should be anchored to the wall.

• Unintentional poisoning: People may inadvertently consume household poisons. State Farm advises calling 9-1-1 if the victim is unconscious or not breathing. If the person is alert, consult with the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 (or the Ontario Poison Centre at 1-800-268-9017) and await instructions. Keep the bottle or packaging of the assumed poison on hand and be prepared to discuss symptoms and personal information about the victim.

• Fire or other danger: No one ever thinks an emergency situation necessitating escape from the home will take place. But to play it safe, residents should designate emergency exits that are the quickest and safest ways out of every room in the house. Practice this plan and pick a specific meeting spot outside.

Safety at home involves knowing how to act fast in an emergency and how to reduce your risk of being in potentially dangerous situations.



7 things to consider when buying a shed

Backyard sheds can be useful assets. Sheds can create storage space in the garage, basement or other areas of the house that have become gathering spots for gear typically used outdoors. Sheds are ideal for housing mowers, tools and even pool-care equipment. But they can be put to other uses as well, such as being key spots to engage in hobbies or even as a child’s clubhouse.

Various factors should be considered before building or buying a shed. A storage shed can be a significant investment. Once placed, sheds may remain in their dedicated spots for years to come. That means careful thought should go into the planning process.

1. Check your local building codes first. Before you accumulate building materials or order a shed, be sure to know the ins and outs of shed codes. The codes may impact the shed’s placement, construction, the materials used, size, and numerous other factors. It’s much easier to amend plans beforehand than to face the hassle and expense after learning you did things incorrectly.

2. Choose placement wisely. Spend several days assessing the yard and thinking about the uses for the shed. If you plan to store pool floats and chemicals inside of the shed, it should be located close enough to the pool to be convenient. Look at the lay of the land. If there is a soggy patch of land that can turn swampy under the shed’s foundation, that is a poor location choice. If you need access to electricity, placing it far away from the house could necessitate running expensive wiring.

3. Consider the design. Just because a shed is for storage doesn’t mean aesthetics should be overlooked. Choose a shed style that complements your home. You may also want to match certain architectural features, like arched doorways or dormers. Design also may relate to practicality. For instance, storing a riding mower inside may necessitate dual doors that open widely.

4. Invest in quality materials. Spending a little more and using quality materials can ensure it lasts long enough to be cost-effective. The right materials will be resistant to splitting, cracking, decay, and insect damage.

5. Prepare the site well. A proper foundation for the shed is almost as important as the shed itself. You cannot just drop the shed on the lawn and leave it, as the shed can sink or structural issues may arise if it is placed on a weak base.

6. Blend into the environment. Surround the shed with shrubs or plants so that it blends into the yard and complements the space.

7. Deck out the interior. Use every storage tool at your disposal to maximize floor, wall and even rafter space for storage. Plan where items will be kept and customize the storage options around those locations.

Sheds can be an asset and improve storage capability in the backyard.



Custom-built decks can expand usable outdoor entertaining spaces. Decks can surround pools and create outdoor patio areas that make it easy to establish multitiered living spaces, improving the functionality of outdoor areas.

Certain deck trends have emerged as industry experts’ top picks for the upcoming remodeling and renovation season. For those thinking of revamping an existing deck, or building an entirely new one, these trends are on point.

• Established perimeters: “Picture framing” is not a new trend, but one that has taken greater hold in recent years. The term refers to aesthetically appealing designs that conceal the ends of deck boards for a clean finish. Some designs feature contrasting material colors on the ends for even more impact. This helps create refined perimeters for a polished look.

• Roof-top decking: Urban areas also can benefit from decking to create usable outdoor spaces. In fact, many new condominium and townhouse communities are incorporating roof-top decks into their designs, particularly in communities with water views or other impressive vistas. HGTV experts suggest roof-top decks feature light-colored materials and fixtures to help keep the area cool even in direct sunlight.

• Distressed hardwood: Builder and Developer, a management resource for professional homebuilders, says that the trend for using distressed hardwoods at home has migrated outside. Some decking manufacturers have recently introduced low-maintenance composite deck boards that mimic the look and feel of distressed, rustic hardwood flooring. This weathered appearance gives the look of age without the upkeep of real aged wood.

• Wooden walkways: Decking can be the more traditional design people envision with a patio table or outdoor furniture. But it also can consist of wooden walkways or a low-laying patio to accentuate the yard.

• Mixed materials: Homeowners may be inspired by commercial eateries, breweries and urban markets in their exterior design choices. Decks featuring composite materials and aluminum railings blend sophistication, urban appeal and comfort.

• Personal touches: Homeowners can customize their decks with personal touches. It’s not unheard of to wrap columns in stone or glass tiles for more impact. And a vast array of decking colors now enables fun interpretations for outdoor areas.

• Fire pit conversation area: Many decks can incorporate water or fire elements for visual appeal. Gas-fueled fire elements can expand the functionality of decks beyond the warm seasons, or make enjoying them practical on nights when the temperature plummets.

Emerging deck trendsDecks are reimagined in many different ways with continually evolving trends.



Make a statement with your wedding cake

Brides and grooms may pour over every detail of their weddings, but few components of the festivities may be as fun, especially for foodies, as deciding what the wedding cake will look like. Couples who want to deliver show-stopping visuals often express some measure of their creativity and personalities through statement wedding cakes.

Many couples now eschew the classic three-tiered white cake in favor of a dessert that garners instant attention. Whether the cake is brightly colored or hand-painted, a towering architectural marvel or shimmering in metallics, couples are opting to make a statement with their confections.

Apart from clever cake-toppers, here are ways to stand apart when dessert is served.

• According to the Perfect Wedding Guide, a rising trend in cakes is to cover a white or naked cake with translucent glaze tinted in the couple’s wedding colors. This artistic expression can be especially stunning in boho-chic weddings.

• Statement tiers also are popular. The cake may be traditional in nearly every way, but couples then set the cake apart by featuring an elaborate design or a different hue in one tier.

• Martha Stewart Weddings advises that more than just color can be used to make a statement. Lifelike sugar flowers can really set cakes apart. Guests may not be sure if they can consume all aspects of some cakes. But delicate sugar flowers taste as good as they look.

• Hand-painted tiles on a cake are another way to add panache. A bride and groom may be inspired by a European vacation or the stained-glass effects of religious windows and want to add that feel to the tiers of the cake.

• Sometimes a statement comes by way of texture. Even an all-white cake can be dressed up with interesting textural effects. Ruffles, lace, embossing, and 3-D rosettes are different textural components that can be incorporated in cake designs.

• Couples also may want to tell their unique stories with cake. Individual tiers designed to reflect various milestone moments from the couple’s relationship can be quite engaging.

• Capitalizing on the trend of edgier weddings, couples may opt for darker hues on their cakes — even a black tier — or nontraditional geometric shapes to the cake itself or its design elements.

Statement cakes can really say something about the couple getting married. Much like other wedding elements, cakes provide a window into the minds of happy couples.



How parents can approach raising gamers

Gaming is a popular activity across the globe. Studies have shown that more than one billion people across the globe play some type of video game every day, and the number of gamers is growing every day. In fact, the market and consumer data provider Statista estimates there will be 2.7 billion gamers by 2021.

Such prevalence can make it hard for parents to govern their youngsters’ gaming habits. As difficult as it can be to get kids to put their controllers down, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that time spent gaming can take away from the time kids spend on other pursuits, including healthy activities like exercising and reading. That’s part of the reason why the AAP recommends limiting the time kids spend gaming to no more than one hour per day.

In addition to limiting how much time kids spend gaming, parents can take these steps to make sure kids’ gaming experiences are as positive as possible.

• Familiarize yourself with a game’s content before allowing kids to play it. Parents should be concerned by how long their youngsters play video games, and also by the content of those games. First-person shooter games remain incredibly popular, but such games can have an adverse effect on young players. The AAP notes that studies have shown that children exposed to virtual violence, such as that depicted in first-person shooter games, and violent media have shown that they may become numb to violence and even imitate the violence. Parents should always vet a game before allowing their children to play it. Make sure its content is not too mature and/or violent for children.

• Confirm ESRB ratings. Parents of young children likely don’t allow their youngsters to watch R-rated films, but they might not know that a similar rating system exists for video games. ESRB ratings help parents make informed decisions about the video games and the apps their children play. The ratings, which are broken down at, are included on game packaging labels and let parents know how appropriate or inappropriate a game may be for children. Founded by the Interactive Digital Software Association in 1994, the ESRB notes that 61 percent of its ratings for physical and console downloadable video games in 208 were rated either E (Everyone) or E10+ (Everyone 10+). That means parents of children under 10 have many age-appropriate game options when buying games for their kids.

• Keep consoles in common areas. By limiting gaming to common areas in the home, parents can more closely monitor how much time their youngsters are spending playing games. The AAP recommends parents designate handheld games as “family property” as opposed to items each child “owns.” This can help parents make sure such devices are kept in common areas at all times.

• Play with children. Another way parents can monitor what their kids are playing and how long they’re playing for is to play with them. Multiple player games are very popular, and parents can use that popularity to more effectively manage their kids’ gaming habits.

Parents may face some challenges as they try to govern their kids’ gaming habits. But various strategies can help moms and dads keep tabs on those habits.



New Venture: Flatted Fifth at Dimensional Brewing Co.

Dimensional Brewing Company in Dubuque and Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ at Potter’s Mill of Bellevue, are proud to announce a collaborative venture; Flatted Fifth at Dimensional Brewing. The BBQ and southern food restaurant will open their second location at the Dubuque brewery in the Spring of 2020.

The restaurant will be serving a limited version of their current menu at Potters Mill and a few new appetizer items at Dimensional Brewing during the brewery’s normal business hours. Flatted Fifth will continue operations at their Potter’s Mill location.

It is hoped that this collaboration of regional businesses will continue to develop the community culture of Lower Main Street in Dubuque, provide the customers of Dimensional Brewing integrated food and beverage options while increasing Flatted Fifth’s brand awareness in Dubuque.

Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ at Potter’s Mill opened in August 2014 in Bellevue, Iowa and has grown into a regional destination for cajun and BBQ foodies and blues lovers. The internationally known blues venue, welcomes award-winning blues and jazz artists from around the world to their stage on a regular basis.

Dimensional Brewing Co. opened in November 2018 in Dubuque, Iowa, adding to the ever- popular craft beer scene. Known for its welcoming tap room and rotating selection of house made brews, the downtown brewery has quickly become a must-stop destination for beer enthusiasts.

For more information about Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ visit For more information about Dimensional Brewing Co. visit



Proposed waterfowl rules available for public comment

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting comments on proposed waterfowl and coot hunting seasons and bag limits, which includes 2021-22 season dates, and the proposed restructuring of the hunting zones and seasons for 2021-2025.

A copy of the proposal is available online at by clicking on the Chapter 91, Waterfowl and Coot Hunting Seasons link.

The proposal modifies waterfowl hunting zone boundaries for 2021-2025 to expand the season dates of the current Missouri River zone across southern Iowa, create a central zone with the season dates of the current south zone, and move the southern boundary of the north zone. This modification expands later season dates across southern Iowa and part of central Iowa, but maintains the season dates of the current north and south zones across much of their former area. This proposal includes waterfowl and coot season dates for 2021-22 and extends the light goose conservation order from April 15 to May 1.

The proposal includes modifying the daily bag limit for scaup, effective for the 2020 season, to one bird daily bag limit for the first 15 days of the duck season in each zone, followed by 45 days with a two-bird daily bag limit.

The DNR is accepting comments through March 3, 2020. Comments may be submitted via email to or sent via mail to Orrin Jones, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 1203 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake, Iowa, 50428.

A public hearing is scheduled from 12-1 p.m., March 3, in the Wallace State Office Building Conference Room 5E, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. Persons who wish to make oral comments will be asked to state their names for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of this proposed rulemaking.

Any person attending the public hearing and has special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments should contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or, and advise of specific needs.



Wedding planning tips and tricks

Recently engaged couples are often so swept up in the excitement surrounding their engagements that they can be forgiven for initially overlooking all the wedding planning that awaits them. Planning a wedding is no small task, but many couples very much enjoy all the hard work that goes into making their special day a success.

It’s hard for newly engaged couples who have never before planned a wedding to know what awaits them. But the following tips can help make the wedding planning process go smoothly.

• Find your organization method. Organization is the key to pulling off the wedding of your dreams. Whether your organizational style is best served by jotting details like dates and deposit deadlines down in a notebook or utilizing an online spreadsheet or smartphone app, choose your method early on. Keeping information and reminders in one place can make it easier to manage all the tasks that lie ahead.

• Take your time. There’s no rush to the altar. Feel free to extend the engagement long enough to keep stress levels down and get the location and ceremony of your dreams. Many recently engaged couples feel pressured to get married right away. Stretching out the engagement to save money or give yourself more time to plan can make for a wonderful wedding day.

• Discuss the budget openly and honestly. Did you know a New York City wedding can cost $77,000, according to Money magazine? Wedding costs can vary widely, and couples should sit down together to decide what they can afford and are willing to pay for.

• Decide on a guest list. Planning decisions are often based around the projected number of guests. You’ll need to have a ballpark figure regarding guests before you can choose a venue and make other decisions, such as where guests will stay. And if the majority of guests are coming from a certain area, such as your hometown, you may want to bring the wedding to them instead of asking them to come to you.

• Create a priorities list. Make a list of at least three things that are most important for each of you. It may be the ceremony location, the food or another factor. Knowing what is important can help you negotiate prices and understand what to look for when planning.

These are some of the considerations couples should make while planning their weddings. While it’s important to consider these factors and others, it’s also important that couples have fun when planning their nuptials.



Facts and figures about modern engagements

Getting engaged has and always will be a big deal. While marriage proposals are often steeped in tradition, some facts and figures about modern day engagements, courtesy of the 2018 Newlywed Report from WeddingWire, show just how much this special moment and all that surrounds it is changing.

• The pressure to make marriage proposals extraordinary appears to be on the rise, at least for Millennials. Of the nearly 18,000 respondents who shared their stories via WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Survey, 72 percent of Millennials said they feel pressured to make their proposals highly unique, while only 45 percent of Gen X respondents indicated feeling such pressure.

• Proposals might be changing, but getting down on one knee appears to be an enduring tradition that Millennials plan to keep in style. Eighty-two percent of Millennials indicated they got down on one knee to propose. In addition, the tradition of asking for parents’ blessing also remains popular among Millennials, 72 percent of whom sought such blessings before proposing marriage.

• The average cost of an engagement ring was $5,000.

• The pressure to pick out the right engagement ring appears to be subsiding. That’s because 50 percent of survey respondents indicated they picked out the ring together.

• Married-couples-to-be also appear to like comparison shopping in regard to engagement rings. The majority of purchasers looked at between two and seven rings before making a purchase.

• While online shopping has changed consumer behavior in myriad ways, couples still prefer brick-and-mortar stores when buying engagement rings. Thirty-one percent of purchasers bought rings online, but 63 percent made their purchases in-person at brick-and-mortar stores.

• Christmas Day is the most popular day to pop the question, followed by Valentine’s Day. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve round out the top five.

• How to spread the news of an engagement is perhaps the biggest change surrounding engagements. Engagement parties were once the go-to way to spread the good news, but just one in four couples now have engagement parties. Nowadays, 86 percent of couples spread the news via social media. In fact, 10 percent of parents find out about their children’s engagements via social media.

• The days of a short engagement seem to be a thing of the past. The average engagement now lasts 13 months, and 28 percent of couples are engaged for 16 months or longer.



How to help the homeless this winter

The problem posed by homelessness is considerable. The National Alliance to End Homelessness says that, on any given night in the United States, more than half a million people are experiencing homelessness. And the problem is not exclusive to the U.S., as the Homelessness Partnering Secretariat (HPS) estimates that between 150,000 and 300,000 individuals experience homelessness in Canada each year.
Many homeless people are single adults who have nowhere else to turn. Veterans make up approximately 9 percent of all homeless singletons.

While homelessness is challenging at any time of the year, winter is especially brutal for homeless individuals. Those who have no indoor places to sleep (shelters fill up quickly in the cold or are avoided for other reasons) typically must confront harsh winter weather, which can increase their risk for hypothermia. Art from the Streets, a nonprofit organization that strives to help the homeless, says winter weather can prove fatal for homeless communities, which is perhaps one reason why the average age of death for a homeless person is 47.

People who have the comfort of warm clothing and shelter may not realize the plight of the homeless this time of year. But with some generosity and volunteerism, anyone can help the homeless community this winter.

• Alert professionals. Many different charities help place homeless people in temporary shelters or get them a warm bed or meal. Do a quick search of homeless organizations in your area and give a call to find out if they can assist someone you may have spotted on the street.

• Donate coats, scarves and gloves. In 2017, residents of Bristol, England, tied scarves to the city’s lampposts for homeless to use. Similar concepts can be implemented in towns and cities across the globe. In addition, look for organizations that collect warm clothing for the homeless and the needy.

• Volunteer with a soup kitchen. Soup kitchens routinely provide hot meals for homeless visitors, and such facilities are often in need of volunteers.

• Partner up with an organization. The Blessing Bag Brigade is a New Jersey-based nonprofit that is dedicated to providing various items of comfort to homeless individuals. The organization routinely collects toiletries, snack foods, socks, razors, and breakfast bars and packages them up in bags to deliver to the homeless. Learn more at

• Provide hot meals or beverages to a homeless individual. Many times someone who is homeless may benefit significantly from a small token of compassion. If you do not want to give cash to panhandlers, then instead buy a hot sandwich and deliver it to someone who is homeless.

Helping homeless individuals and organizations that aim to help the homeless takes on urgency when the winter arrives. It may not require much to provide comfort and safety to someone in need.



VFW Installs Flag Disposal Box

The Dubuque VFW 9663 has installed a new flag disposal box at the New Dubuque VA Clinic at Plaza 20, 2600 Dodge St, Dubuque, Iowa, effective immediately.

This flag disposal box offers 24-hour access to drop older, faded, torn, or damaged American Flags for proper honorable disposal by military veterans.

A planned flag disposal box will be added to the Dubuque Freedom Center on Kerper Blvd in early 2020.

The Dubuque VFW 9663 meets monthly on the third Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the American Legion Post #6 Clubhouse, 1306 Delhi St, Dubuque, Iowa.

Social pages include Facebook @vfw9663dubuque

For more information, please contact VFW 9663 Commander Wayne Brown. Mail may be sent to 1306 Delhi St, Dubuque, IA 52001.



501(c)(3) NONPROFIT

Dubuque, Iowa – The Red Basket Project has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Established in 2016, the organization strives to ensure each woman’s period is met with products, despite personal or financial need.

“Because no one ever asks, we assume there is no need,” said Beth Gilbreath, co-founder of The Red Basket Project. “What we have found in our work is that the need is in fact tremendous. We were shocked to learn that we have those in our community who miss school and work when they have their period, simply because their families lack the financial means to purchase. When you are forced to choose between food and period supplies, food wins.”

Since inception, The Red Basket Project has distributed over 20,540 period packs, each consisting of period supplies for one month.

Board members include: Gilbreath, Realtor at Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, President; Amanda Munger, of Runde Auto Group, Vice President; Gabe Less, of MediRevv, Inc., Treasurer; Lynne Hemmer, of Sedgwick, Secretary; Kelley Donovan, of LPL Financial; and Lidia Bertolini, of Mario’s Italian Restaurant.

For more information, or to donate, visit



City Expo to Celebrate All-America City Award

The City of Dubuque’s City Expo 2019 event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4-7 p.m. at the Five Flags Center, 405 Main St. This event is free and open to the public.

Every day, hundreds of city staff members proudly serve the residents of Dubuque, working hard to deliver excellent customer service and create a vibrant and sustainable city. City Expo is an opportunity for residents to visit with city staff and learn about programs, services, and community resources. Information and equipment from City departments and partner organizations will be on display.

Earlier in 2019, Dubuque was named an All-America City. This year’s theme was “Creating Healthy Communities.” In celebration of the award, there will be a special All-America City exhibit showcasing the many City departments and community partners whose work was featured in the winning application

Expo attendees can win door prizes by participating in an “Expo Passport” activity. Passport forms will be provided at the event and must be completed and submitted before leaving the event. Participants need not be present to win.

The following door prizes will be available to win at City Expo this year:
• Family summer swimming pool pass
• $50 credit for leisure services programs
• Foursome of golf, plus two carts, at Bunker Hill Golf Course
• Annual yard waste decals
• Yard waste stickers
• $50 gift cards to local grocery stores
• Youth and adult Jule bus passes

Informational materials and complimentary food will be available. For additional information on City Expo, visit or call 563-589-4151.



The safest place for kids in the car

Riding in a vehicle can be an exciting prospect for children. Such rides provide a chance to see the world outside of the house, and the speed with which scenery is flying by can be exhilarating for young minds.

Children are first introduced to riding in cars as babies, when child safety seats will keep them secure. Although laws vary depending on where people are driving, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 or older.

As they get older and gain weight, children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their seats should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer, says the AAP.

When children are old enough to graduate from car seat to booster seat to sitting in the car with only a seat belt, parents may wonder about where their youngsters can sit when riding in a vehicle. One area of the car tends to be safer than others for children. Researchers from the University of Buffalo who studied crash-related fatalities in relation to seat location discovered that the backseat is 59 to 86 percent safer than the front seat. What’s more, the middle seat in the back of the car is 25 percent safer than the window seats.

The science behind the study is that the middle seat offers the most distance from impact during a collision, or what the industry calls “the crumple zone.” The outer seats will be more affected, while the middle seat remains more insulated. However, the middle seat is only the safest when used with a full seat belt, rather than just a lap harness; otherwise, children should sit in the back where a full three-point seat belt is available, advises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In addition, it can be tempting to cave under pressure and allow tweens to ride in the front of the car when they ask to do so or say that it is embarrassing to ride in back – since all of their friends are riding up front. The organization Safe Ride 4 Kids says studies show the safest place in the car for tweens is the back, until they are at least 13 years of age.

Riding in the middle seat in the back of the car is the safest place for passengers, including children. Parents and caregivers should keep safety in mind when kids are in the car.



5 ways to protect against hearing loss

A certain degree of hearing loss can be a normal part of the aging process. However, people who take steps to protect their hearing long before Father Time takes his toll can prevent the extreme hearing loss suffered by millions of seniors across the globe.

John’s Hopkins Medicine states that approximately 15 percent of adults aged 18 years and older report some difficulty hearing and up to 39 percent of adults in their sixties have hearing problems. Lost hearing cannot be restored, though hearing aids and other devices can help people with hearing loss hear better.

Hearing aids are not always an accessory people look forward to needing, so it’s good to know that a few simple strategies can protect people’s hearing over the long haul.

1. Get a baseline hearing exam. Speak with an audiologist, who can test your hearing and establish a baseline level against which future tests will be measured. This way it is easier to see if hearing loss is increasing over time.

2. Turn down the volume. Audio devices can contribute to hearing loss. Earbuds are particularly dangerous because they fit directly next to the eardrum. The World Health Organization says that 1.1 billion teens and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. Set the maximum volume on audio devices below 60 percent and wear headphones for no more than an hour a day. Keeping music low on other devices is also adviseable.

3. Wear protective gear. Protective gear includes ear plugs and protective earphones. This gear should be worn whenever you expect to encounter loud noises, such as when you mow the lawn, go hunting or shooting, attend rock concerts, or visit construction sites.

4. Limit use of cotton swabs. Ear wax is beneficial to the ears and can stop dust and other particles from entering the ear. Furthermore, using a cotton swab can potentially cause damage to sensitive organs in the ear if they are inserted too far or too roughly, advises the hearing testing service Ear-Q.

5. Avoid loud noises. Steer clear of fireworks, noisy city centers, loud performances, and other situations if you do not have hearing protection.

Remember, hearing loss often doesn’t produce immediate symptoms or pain. However, over time, hearing loss can become noticeable. A proactive approach can help people avoid significant hearing loss as they age.



Gluten intolerance is a very real issue with measurable symptoms

Gluten is not for everyone. In fact, people who have celiac disease shouldn’t eat gluten at all. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the digestive process of the small intestine by launching an immune system attack against gluten, mistakenly damaging healthy cells lining the small intestine.

Even people who do not have celiac disease may find that consumption of gluten results in similar symptoms. These individuals may want to avoid gluten as well. Also known as non-celiac gluten intolerance or sensitivity, this condition is not currently well-defined within the medical community. The Celiac Disease Foundation says some people experience symptoms found in celiac disease, like foggy mind, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, bone or joint pain, or chronic fatigue when they have gluten in their diets – despite not testing positive for celiac disease.

In July 2016, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center published a study confirming that wheat exposure to those sensitive to wheat and gluten triggered a systemic immune reaction and intestinal cell damage. Researchers previously thought that a sensitivity to wheat or gluten would not result in cell damage. But research now confirms that even without a positive celiac disease diagnosis, people can experience symptoms that mimic those of celiac disease, even in terms of severity.

Doctors are not sure if gluten triggers the immune reaction in non-celiac cases, so more research is needed. That said, removing gluten and wheat products from one’s diet provides relief for many people.

According to Schär, a company that manufacturers gluten-free foods, anyone who experiences negative symptoms after eating foods that contain gluten should speak with a doctor. A doctor will order blood tests that will look for the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies that are indicative of an autoimmune response to gluten. An endoscopy also may check for damage to the lining of the small intestines, as can a biopsy of the intestines. Other tests, such as a radioallergosorbent test, or RAST, or skin prick test can test for a wheat allergy to see if symptoms are stemming from that alone.

Treatment for gluten intolerance or celiac disease involves avoiding products that contain gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley.

A growing body of literature suggests that people who do not have celiac disease can still experience non-celiac gluten sensitivity and many of the same symptoms felt by those with the disease.



Make the most of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest dates back to 1810, when festivities commenced on October 12 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. While the Crown Prince and his bride have long since passed away, Oktoberfest celebrations continue, and the standard-bearing party in Munich is annually among the world’s most anticipated events.

Those who can’t make it to Germany this October can rest assured that there is likely an Oktoberfest celebration in close proximity to their homes. Making the most of these celebrations can help revelers feel as if they’re in Munich after all.

• Celebrate with a group. Oktoberfest celebrations are social gatherings where the notion of “the more, the merrier” certainly applies. Many Oktoberfest celebrations are held outdoors, where celebrants sit at communal picnic tables when they aren’t hoisting steins filled with German beer or dancing up a storm as live music plays.

Celebrating with a group is not just fun, but also a lot safer than partying alone. Some traditional German beers generally contain more alcohol than other beers – making intoxication occur more quickly. Groups can resolve to look out for one another to ensure no one overdoes it with regard to alcohol.

• Resolve to try new cuisine. While beer might garner the bulk of the attention at Oktoberfest celebrations, food is just as big a part of the festivities. Celebrants who want to get a true Oktoberfest experience outside of Munich can try dishes such as Weisswurst, a type of sausage that is typically made from minced veal and pork back bacon. Schweinshaxe, a roasted ham hock sometimes referred to as “pork knuckle,” is a popular Bavarian dish that can make any Oktoberfest celebration more authentic.

• Get up and dance. Even celebrants who are unlikely to be mistaken for Fred and Ginger anytime soon recognize the important role music plays in Oktoberfest celebrations. While some may mistake it for polka, the music played at Oktoberfest celebrations is actually German oompah. Those skittish about stepping in may want to wait until they (and their friends and family also in attendance) have finished a stein before taking to the dance floor.

• Get home safe. Arrange transportation home before attending an Oktoberfest celebration. Such celebrations tend to be rowdy, and the lively spirit of the festival can make it easy for revelers to lose track of how many steins they have hoisted throughout the day. To ensure everyone arrives home safely, revelers can assign a designated driver from their group or arrange for a taxi or ridesharing service to take them to and from the festival so no one feels the need to get behind the wheel.

Oktoberfest is annually one of the world’s biggest parties, but celebrants need not go all the way to Munich to enjoy a raucous celebration.



Learn How to Establish Pollinator Habitat

Tour of Pollinator Habitat Sites

Trees Forever and partners are “creating a buzz” this fall through a series of field days and tours teaching the public about the needs of pollinators and establishing high quality pollinator habitat.

Online registration:

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (registration at 3:30)
2015 100th St., Belmond IA 50421

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (registration at 2:30)
Walker Homestead Farm and Winery
3867 James Avenue Southwest, Iowa City

“It takes years to establish high quality pollinator habitat,” said Tree Forever Field Coordinator Emily Swihart. “If you plant it and forget about it, you’ll have a patch of weeds and invasive plants. We set this series up to show people what to expect every year of the process, so you can enjoy colorful and healthy pollinator habitat in a few years.”

“During each tour, we’ll show multiple plantings.” said Field Coordinator Jeff Jensen with Trees Forever. “The sites we’ve selected are a great representation of what a farmer, homeowner, or concerned citizen could expect with their own planting. We always like to have some time for native plant identification so this will be a chance to hone your skills looking at the wide variety of native plants, and a few weeds.”

For more information, contact Jeff Jensen at or via phone at 515-320-6756.



Reduce cold-weather fire risk

Plenty of things heat up when the temperature drops, including the risk for fire hazards. Fireplaces, stoves, heating systems, candles, and even electric lights are used more often during the winter than any other time of year, so it makes sense that the risk of home fires increases when the mercury drops.

The U.S. Fire Administration says 905 people die in winter home fires each year. Cooking is the leading cause of all home fires and contributes to around $2 billion in property loss each year. Understanding potential risks and exercising caution can help homeowners protect themselves, their families and their homes from fire.

Home heating fires peak between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., when many people are home preparing dinner. The following steps, courtesy of the American Red Cross, can improve safety in the kitchen and reduce the likelihood of a home fire.

• Never leave cooking food unattended, as it can take just seconds for fires to ignite.

• Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove or other appliances that generate heat.

• Clean regularly to prevent grease buildup.

• Make sure appliances are turned off before leaving the room or going to bed.

The National Fire Protection Association warns that heating is the second leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries in the United States. The NFPA offers these safety guidelines.

• Install heating appliances according to manufacturers’ instructions or have a professional do the installation.

• Fuel-burning equipment needs to vent to the outside.

• Never use an oven to heat a home.

• Keep anything that can burn away from heating equipment, including portable space heaters.

• Clean and inspect heating appliances regularly.

• Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.

The National Safety Council estimates that between 600 and 1,000 people die each year from electrocution. Electricity also can contribute to home fires. The Energy Education Council offers these safety suggestions.

• Never force plugs into outlets.

• Check that cords are not frayed or cracked. Do not run cords under carpets or place them in high-traffic areas.

• Use extension cords only on a temporary basis.

• Make sure light bulbs are the proper wattage for fixtures.

• Install ground fault circuit interrupters in kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, and elsewhere, making sure to test them regularly.

• Check periodically for loose wall receptacles and loose wires. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls.

Home fires are no joke and can be prevented with simple safety checks.



5 ways to show grandparents and other seniors how much they’re appreciated

Grandparents and seniors can share wisdom and a lifetime of experience with the young people in their lives. Expressing gratitude for such lessons is a great way to show the seniors in your life, whether it’s a grandparent, mentor or family friend, how much they’re appreciated.

Some seniors live alone, while others may be living with their adult children and grandchildren, offering care and support to help make the household function.

Whether grandparents, aunts and uncles or older friends live close by or elsewhere, there are many ways for their loved ones to show them how much they’re appreciated.

1. Become pen pals. Seniors may have limited mobility or opportunities to get out of the house. Receiving mail is one way to connect with the outside world. Regularly send letters to a grandparent or other senior, sharing tales of daily life and key moments that will bring them joy. Chances are they’ll return the favor with a letter of their own.

2. Explore technology together. Younger generations can introduce seniors to available technology that can bring them closer. This may include digital assistants that enable them to share videos, tablets to send email or access social media, mobile phones for calling and texting, and anything else families can customize to their needs.

3. Offer companionship. Spending time with younger generations can motivate seniors to stay active and engaged. Have games and activities at the ready or simply provide a listening ear.

4. Shop and run errands. Help aging loved ones perform the tasks that they may not be able to tackle on their own. This can include picking up groceries or prescriptions or taking them to appointments. Simple work around the house, like doing laundry or light clean-up, also can be a big help.

5. Start a hobby together. Develop a hobby that seniors and young people can enjoy together. Watching classic movies, painting ceramics, going to sporting events, or gardening are just a few of the many hobbies that seniors can enjoy with their young loved ones.

There are many ways to bridge the generation gap and spend meaningful time with aging loved ones.




With Fall here it’s time to take a photo of your favorite place in Iowa and enter Keep Iowa Beautiful’s 10th Photography Contest aimed at raising awareness of Iowa’s rural and urban beauty. This photo contest offers both amateur and experienced photographers an opportunity to tell Iowa’s story in a fun, engaging way during your favorite season.

“This is a great way for Iowans to share what they admire about Iowa’s beauty,” said Kevin Techau, KIB Executive Director. “First place will receive $50, second place $40 and third $30. All three will receive a one-year subscription to Our Iowa magazine.”

The deadline is December 13, 2019 and entries must be submitted as high resolution JPEG electronically to $5 entry fee, contest rules and payment can be made at

Keep Iowa Beautiful empowers Iowans to bring cultural and economic vitality into communities through improvement and enhancement programs. By working directly with Iowa communities, corporations and private citizens, KIB is building new citizen pride in caring for Iowa. KIB wants to learn what resonates with Iowans based on the photographs they share through this photography contest. Photos and winner’s names will be posted on the KIB website, Facebook and featured in the KIB Newsletter.

About Keep Iowa Beautiful
Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 by Co-Founders Robert D. Ray and Donald F. Lamberti becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods and communities in improving the vitality and cultural health of the state of Iowa. KIB is building stronger communities to develop sustainable futures. For additional information, visit



Phase One of Eagle Point Park Environmental Restoration Plan Begins

Phase one of the environmental restoration planned at Eagle Point Park will begin this month. The project involves implementation of the park’s 2017 Environmental Restoration Management Plan to address the park’s recreational and natural spaces that suffer the effects of severe erosion, invasive vegetation, and degraded natural habitats on the rolling, rugged terrain.

Phase one of the park’s environmental restoration work involves soil quality restoration and conversion of turf to native vegetation. In combination, these green infrastructure best management practices provide an effective strategy for reducing overall runoff and erosion and improving water quality downstream in the watersheds of Bee Branch Creek and the Mississippi River. They also will provide new nature-based recreation opportunities for park visitors, create habitat for wildlife, and foster sustainability.

This phase of the project will involve about 67 acres of the park and may include some vegetation clearing, invasive species removal, scrub brush removal, and tree removal. Most park facilities will remain open to public use throughout the project. Work is scheduled for completion next fall.

Phase one of the plan will be completed by Applied Ecological Services of Dubuque using state and federal funds under the guidance of the City’s consulting team led by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. All this environmental work must be done within the context of the park’s rich cultural history. State funding for the project is provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) and State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. Federal funding is provided by the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Eagle Point Park is a 164-acre community park that opened in 1909 on Dubuque’s northeast side. The park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the park division of the City’s leisure services department. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.



Interesting facts about fall

Weather is often the first indicator that the seasons are changing. For many people across the globe, the hot days of summer will soon be giving way to the more crisp days of fall.

For those who live in regions where summer only subtly gives way to fall or is seemingly gone before the end of August, the 2019 autumnal equinox occurs on September 23. That marks the official beginning of fall, also known as autumn.

In fact, that the season the follows summer seemingly goes by two different names is just one of many interesting facts about fall.

• A season by any other name … Fall is the term most often used to reference the season succeeding summer in the United States. But the season is referred to as “autumn” in other parts of the world, including Great Britain. Fall was once even known as “harvest” because of the harvest moon, which appears close to the autumnal equinox.

• The colors of fall foliage are actually present year-round. Fall is known for its colorful foliage. But the pigments responsible for those colors are actually present year-round. According to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, green, yellow and orange pigments are present year-round. However, during spring and summer, the leaves serve as factories where many foods necessary to help the tree grow are manufactured. That process takes place in the leaf in cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. This process ceases as hours of daylight decrease and temperatures drop. As a result, chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and the vivid colors of fall foliage begin to appear.

• Squirrels have a (sophisticated) plan out there. Squirrels hiding food in autumn for the upcoming winter is a familiar sight. And squirrels are more organized than many people may know. Groundbreaking research released in 1991 found that, even when squirrels bury that stash of nuts closely to one another, they will each return to the precise location of their personal cache. Recent research also has shown that squirrels bury their stash based on certain traits, such as the type of nut being buried.

• Babies born in fall are more likely to see the century mark. Researchers at the University of Chicago studied more than 1,500 centenarians born in the United States between 1880 and 1895. They then compared birth and death information with those centenarians’ siblings and spouses so they could compare their early environment and genetic background and their adult environment. Their research found that most centenarians were born between September and November.



Avoid medication errors with these tips

Prescription medications are a necessity for many people. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that, each week, four out of five adults in the United States will use prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and/or various supplements. Approximately one-third of adults take five or more medications at the same time.

The potential for adverse drug events is elevated when people are taking multiple medications at one time. For example, mixing pills has the potential to cause serious injury or even death.

Doctors, patients and pharmacies must work together to ensure that medication is taken safely. One of the best ways to prevent errors with medications is for patients to take an active role in their health care management.

• Know your dose. Children are at an especially high risk for medication errors because they require different doses than adults, offers the Mayo Clinic. Adults of different weights who share medications can run into trouble as well. It is key to follow the dosing instructions, as even a minor error in regard to dosage can potentially cause a big problem.

• Follow up with your doctor. Certain medications can cause side effects that only can be noticed by lab testing, such as an impact to the liver. Doctors also may be under an obligation to follow up with patients taking psychological drugs to ensure the efficacy of treatment. Make sure you keep all follow-up appointments.

• Maintain a current list of meds. It is up to patients to share information with prescribing doctors regarding any and all products being taken to avoid harmful interactions. Using the same pharmacy for all prescriptions also is helpful.

• Be honest about height and weight. Medication labeling and package inserts typically use metric units to correlate dose to a person’s physical attributes. Individuals should know their information in metric measurements and be honest with themselves about what they weigh.

• Use medications correctly. It is important not to chew nonchewable pills or cut pills unless the pharmacist or doctor has said it is safe to do so. Accurate dosing also requires using the right spoon or syringe, not silverware. Store certain types of medications, such as eye drops and ear drops, separately so they’re not mistaken for one another.

These are just some of the ways to prevent medication errors. People can consult with their doctors and pharmacists for more assistance in staying safe.



Easy ways to clean up leaves

Autumn is marked by colorful foliage and plummeting temperatures. Once those leaves reach peak color, they fall from the branches and collect on lawns, necessitating cleanup projects. For homeowners with big yards, such a project can be tiring and time-consuming. However, there are ways to make leaf cleanup easier.

One of the easiest ways to clean up leaves is to reach for a lawn mower rather than a rake. The mower will cut leaves down to smaller sizes, creating an effective mulch that can add nutrients back into the lawn. Davey, a lawn and landscape solutions service, says that mowed leaves also can be collected in a mower bag and added to garden beds or compost piles.

For those who prefer manual raking, select a rake with tines that will not skewer the leaves in the process. Big rakes also can make faster work of gathering leaves into piles.

The home improvement resource The Family Handyman advocates for the use of a lawn sweeper. This is a manual device that has a rotating sweeping brush that gathers up lawn debris and leaves into an attached hopper bag. Like mowed leaves, the bag can be emptied into a compost pile or distributed where needed.

Raking leaves onto a large tarp is another option. Once it’s full, the tarp can be taken to the curb where many towns will collect the leaves seasonally. Otherwise, the tarp can be used as a funnel to put leaves into a gardening bag or another appropriate receptacle.

Leaf blowers remain a fast option for cleaning up yards, but they require electricity or gas and can be noisy. Still, they are a popular choice for large landscapes or when quick work needs to be made of leaf clean-up.

Leaves will fall in autumn, but luckily homeowners have various methods at their disposal to tame the mess.



How to stay calm and collected in traffic

Commuting long distances seems to be a fact of life for many professionals. The average American spends 50 minutes commuting to work, and the average worker in the United Kingdom spends roughly an hour, according to a study from the University of West England.

Researchers in England found that adding an additional 20 minutes of commuting per day has the same negative effect on job satisfaction as receiving a 19 percent pay cut. Commuters can sometimes control their commutes to prevent such dissatisfaction, but other times factors beyond their control may be adversely affecting commuters’ quality of life.

For example, researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute determined that rush-hour commuters in the United States lose an average of 42 hours per year to traffic delays. On the nation’s 10 most gridlocked roads, that number doubles to 84 hours. That equates to three and a half days per year of sitting in traffic jams.

Spending time in traffic is no picnic, and it’s easy to get frazzled when doing so day in and day out. Following a few tips can help commuters keep their stress in check when traffic slows down.

• Leave plenty of time. Traffic can seem especially troublesome when you’re racing the clock to get somewhere on time. Feeling anxious about missing a meeting or arriving to work late only exacerbates commuting-related stress. Check traffic maps before heading out and leave ample time to get where you need to be.

• Keep audiobooks at the ready. Listening to an engaging story on the way to work can direct attention away from traffic. In fact, you may not mind traffic at all if you’re at a climactic point in the story.

• Cue up your favorite music playlists. Get lost in jams you love, as music can help soothe the stress of traffic.

• Explore alternate routes. In your spare time, figure out if there are less-traveled roads that can make a commute more predictable and enjoyable. While they may be slightly longer in mileage, moving along instead of being in stop-and-go traffic can be a relief.

• Smile even if you don’t feel like it. Psychology Today says that research suggests going through the motions of smiling may reduce the intensity of your body’s stress response, even while sitting in traffic.

• Take deep breaths. Practice mindful breathing exercises that can reduce tension.

Commuters contend with traffic jams every day, but there are various coping mechanisms that can relieve stress when stuck in gridlock.



Steps to take before leaving recyclables at the curb

Recycling will play a vital role in the future of the planet. As climate change continues to threaten the long-term health of the planet, the necessity to recycle and reuse only becomes more paramount.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, decomposing garbage, such as that which finds its way into landfills, generates methane. Methane is considerably more effective at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide and contributes heavily to climate change. By recycling items rather than discarding them, people can play an active and effective role at combatting climate change. In addition, recycling helps cut back on the release of harmful greenhouse gases that are produced during the manufacturing process.

Community recycling programs have been around for decades in many communities, and these programs are only as effective as the people who recycle. Learning how to treat common recyclables before depositing them into designated recycling bins can help people ensure their efforts are having the impact they intended.

• Rinse jars, bottles and cans. Items that are not rinsed before they’re placed in recycling cans run the risk of contaminating everything within. While each community program is different, recycling bins deemed contaminated may be redirected to landfills. Residential Waste Systems, a Connecticut-based trash and recycling removal firm, recommends rinsing all jars, bottles and cans that contain visible residue before depositing them in the recycling bin.

• Learn which items can be recycled. Contact your local recycling firm for a list of items that can and cannot be recycled. Many people unknowingly deposit items that cannot be recycled into their recycling bins, potentially contaminating their bins and rendering them more likely to end up in a landfill than a recycling center. By contacting your recycling center in advance, you can reduce the risk that all your hard recycling work will be for naught.

• Inspect paper products. If various paper products are accepted by your local recycling center, you must still inspect them before placing them in your recycling bin. For example, a pizza box may be recyclable, but likely isn’t if it’s covered in grease. Inspect each potentially recyclable paper product to make sure there’s nothing present that might lead to it being designated as contaminated.

Recycling is a simple step many people can take to promote the long-term health of the planet.



Exhibit explores the creative process of best-selling author and artist Arthur Geisert; Features new book set in Elkader, Iowa

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) will present two new exhibits this fall, highlighting the boundless imagination of celebrated children’s book author and artist Arthur Geisert and the paintings of artist Alec Egan.

Opening September 21, 2019 in the Falb Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor, Arthur Geisert: Tall and Not-So-Tall Tales will feature the original illustrations from Geisert’s latest work of fiction, “Pumpkin Island”, published by Enchanted Lion Books, along with illustrations from his 2013 book “Thunderstorm”.

The exhibit will bring the wondrous worlds of Geisert’s books to life with more than 60 hand-colored etchings – including one measuring more than 30 feet long- displayed alongside the artist’s drawings, videos, and hands-on activities for children and families. The exhibit continues through January 5, 2020.

Arthur Geisert is the author of more than two dozen books, three of which have been awarded The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, Geisert relocated to Bernard, Iowa in 2007 and today makes his home and studio in Elkader.

Through the generosity of several local families and the artist, DuMA acquired all of the artist’s prints, books and etching plates more than a decade ago-an archive that expands with each new publication.

The exhibit and related programs are sponsored by Dupaco Community Credit Union. Additional support comes from the James B. and Melita McDonough Foundation, Mosaic Lodge #125, and the Schoen Family Charitable Trust.

A variety of public programs and events are planned in conjunction with the exhibition; details about each event will be shared via the Museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages and at

Alec Egan: The Living Room opened August 10, 2019 in the Kris Mozena McNamer Gallery. A reception for the exhibition is scheduled for Friday, September 6 from 5-8 pm in conjunction with the community-wide First Fridays series. The exhibit continues through October 20.

In addition, Egan will present a gallery talk on Saturday, September 7 at 1:30 pm. Admission to the talk is free.

California-based artist Alec Egan explores nostalgia and memory in his latest series of contemporary oil paintings. Motifs including books, flowers, architectural elements, and wallpaper designs-similar to those found in his grandparents’ home-repeat throughout the group of paintings in this exhibition.

Egan completed a Millwork Residency in Dubuque in 2015 and has participated in solo and group exhibits across the U.S. His work is represented in Los Angeles by Anat Ebgi Gallery.

The exhibition is sponsored by Trappist Caskets and Cottingham & Butler.

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



The benefits of music instruction for young learners

Many children are introduced to music instruction at school. After being introduced to band, chorus and various instruments, students may be eager to explore music.

Young students are often introduced to the recorder or ukulele in the early grades and then given the opportunity to join primary bands as they move through elementary school and into middle school. Some children also may want to supplement school music lessons with private music tutors, who can provide more in-depth instruction.

Parents considering making a commitment to music instruction may find that kids benefit from being involved with music in many ways, some of which may be surprising.

• The New England Board of Higher Education says several studies show that consistent music education improves vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Emerging evidence points to an area of the brain that controls both musical ability and language comprehension as being more closely related than previously thought.

• Music education may help young children learn words and how to pronounce them, as learning to play music enables them to process the many new sounds they hear from others.

• Researchers have discovered a strong relationship between participating in school arts and academic success as demonstrated by students’ grade point averages, according to the National Association for Music Education.

• The relationship between music and academic performance has been studied for decades. As far back as 1988, studies have been conducted about the benefits of music education. An analysis of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 demonstrated a significant correlation between participation in school music groups and achievement in math and English. And a 1996 study published in Nature found first graders who participated in special music classes as part of an arts study program saw their reading skills and math proficiency increase dramatically.

• Introducing music lessons to young children can have profound effects on their social development. Music fosters greater trust and cooperation, as well as a sense of community and belonging.

• Another benefit of music education is it allows children to harness their creativity and express it in a healthy way.

• The music instruction company Music U says children with developmental disorders and mental health issues might be able to unlock their potential with music. Music therapy has been shown to affect significant change in children with autism-spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attachment disorders, cerebral palsy, and more.

Music instruction both in and out of the classroom can be a benefit to young learners.



Q Sportsbook Now Open!

Place your bets at Dubuque’s first Sportsbook!

Q Sportsbook opened August 27. The Q Sportsbook is located in the newly renovated Q Sports Bar. The 4,200 square foot area features 47 TVs including a 165″ video wall so you won’t miss a second of the action. You won’t miss a game either with the NFL Sunday Ticket package, MLB Network and more!

Indulge in your favorite game day specials from the Q Sports Bar including your favorite sports bar staples, hot wings, burgers and pizzas. Q Sports Bar also offers a selection of 20 beers on tap. The new bar gives you access to high speed internet and USB charging ports.

The Q Sportsbook will be open 7 days a week for betting. Primary hours are: Monday-Friday from noon-10pm, Saturday from 10am-10pm and Sunday from 11am-10pm. Hours of operation are subject to change to accommodate patron needs and prime sporting events. Bets can also be placed 24/7 from one of our 12 sportsbetting kiosks available throughout the casino.

Q Sportsbook will accept wagers on college and professional sports.

Q Casino offers free valet parking, outstanding customer service and all of the gaming excitement you can handle!

See for rules and additional information

Q Casino is an entertainment and gaming complex located in Dubuque, Iowa. The casino is owned by the City of Dubuque, and operated by the non-profit Dubuque Racing Association, its license holder.



Why immunizations are important

Measles is not something that garnered much attention outside the medical community in recent decades. However, in 2019 a series of measles outbreaks put the spotlight back on this highly contagious infectious disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2019, 981 individual cases of measles had been confirmed in 26 states in the United States. That marked the greatest numbers of measles cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. And the U.S. is not the only country in North America facing a measles problem, as the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that, as of mid-May, 54 cases of measles had been reported in the country in 2019. Perhaps most surprising, measles was declared eliminated in 2001, leading many to wonder what’s behind the sudden outbreaks so long after the disease had seemingly vanished.

The CDC reports that the majority of people who got measles in 2019 were unvaccinated. While measles was declared eliminated nearly 20 years ago in the United States, the CDC notes it’s still common in many parts of the world. When unvaccinated travelers visit countries where measles is still common, they can bring the disease with them, ultimately allowing it to spread in communities where large groups of people are unvaccinated.

Regardless of why people choose to avoid vaccinations, it’s important to note some of the reasons why health organizations like the CDC and the World Health Organization urge all children and adults to be immunized.

• Immunizations save lives. The CDC notes that advancements in medical science have made it possible for humans to protect themselves against more diseases than ever before. Once-fatal diseases have now been eliminated thanks to safe and effective vaccines.

• Immunizations protect loved ones. Some people cannot receive certain immunizations due to allergies, illness, weakened immune systems, or other factors. Such individuals are vulnerable to disease, and especially vulnerable if their loved ones who can be vaccinated do not receive their recommended immunizations.

• Immunizations save money. The human toll of failing to be immunized can be fatal, and the financial toll can be heavy, too. Children with vaccine-preventable diseases may not be allowed to enroll in certain schools or daycare facilities, forcing parents to make decisions that can affect their ability to earn a living. In addition, medical bills that result from long-term illnesses can be substantial. The majority of health insurance plans cover vaccines for adults and children at little or no cost, and even uninsured families can receive free or inexpensive vaccines through certain government programs.

Immunizations take only a few seconds to receive but can have a positive effect that lasts a lifetime.



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