Area Tidbits

DNR finalizes public meeting locations to recap hunting, trapping seasons, discuss possible rule changes

DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting a series of town hall-style meetings where local staff will provide updates on recently completed hunting and trapping seasons, discuss possible changes to hunting and trapping rules and regulations, and address other topics as requested.

“We want people to come out to these meetings, listen to the seasons reviews, ask questions and hear directly from our staff,” said Todd Bishop, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Wildlife Bureau. “Part of the meeting will be devoted to discussing potential rule changes and collecting feedback as we work through the rules process.”

The meetings are open to the public. Comments collected from these public meetings will be considered along with other related comments received by the Iowa DNR prior to proposing changes to hunting rules and regulations. Proposed rules will be presented to the Natural Resource Commission during a regular public meeting for consideration and additional public comment.

Meeting date, time and location

  • Algona, Feb. 22, 6 p.m., Waters Edge Nature Center, 1010 250th Street
  • Creston, Feb. 22, 6 p.m., Multi-Purpose Room, Southern Prairie YMCA, 1201 West Townline Street
  • Des Moines, Feb. 22, 6:45 p.m., Des Moines Izaak Walton League, 4343 George Flagg Parkway
  • Dubuque, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., EB Lyons Nature Center at Mines of Spain, 8991 Bellevue Heights Road
  • Jefferson, Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m., The Depot, Raccoon River Valley Trailhead, 507 E Lincoln Way
  • Okoboji, Feb. 22, 6 p.m., Maser Monarch Lodge, 22785 Nature Center Road
  • Sac City, Feb 22, 6:30 p.m., Sac County Conservation Center, Hagge Park, 2970
  • 280th Street
  • Ventura, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., Iowa DNR Wildlife Office, 15326 Balsam Avenue
  • Waverly, Feb. 22, 6 p.m., Waverly Public Library, 1500 W Bremer Avenue
  • Burlington, Feb. 23, 5 p.m., Starr’s Cave Nature Center, 11627 Starr’s Cave Road
  • Calmar, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation (Dairy Center), Room 115, 1527 Hwy. 150 South
  • Iowa City, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m., Johnson County ISU Extension Office, 3109 Old Hwy. 218 South
  • Onawa, Feb. 23, 6 p.m., Lewis and Clark State Park visitor center banquet room, 21914 Park Loop
  • Bloomfield, Feb. 24, 6 p.m., Wapello County Conservation Board Pioneer Ridge Nature Center, 1339 Hwy. 63
  • Chariton, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., Pin Oak Lodge, 45996 State Hwy. 14
  • Council Bluffs, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m., Council Bluffs Fish & Game Club, 531 Comanche St. DeWitt, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., DeWitt Community Library, 917 Fifth Avenue
  • Toledo, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m., Tama County Nature Center, 2283 Park Road

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



Dubuque Receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded the City of Dubuque the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget.

The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its leaders. A Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation was given to City of Dubuque Director of Finance and Budget Jennifer Larson to recognize her primary role in preparing the award-winning budget.
In order to receive the award, Dubuque had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as:
  • a policy document
  • a financial plan
  • an operations guide
  • a communications device
For more information on the City of Dubuque’s budget, visit



City of Dubuque Suspends In-Person Utility Billing & Parking Fine Payments

The City of Dubuque is temporarily suspending the option of in-person payment of utility bills and parking fines at City Hall, effective immediately.

This temporary closure of the utility bill payment windows in City Hall is due to COVID-related staffing shortage. In-person payments are expected to resume on Monday, Jan. 24.

Utility bill payment options during this period include:

  • Online at
  • By phone 24/7 by calling 563-589-4144 and then selecting option #1 for phone payments. E-check payments will have no fee. Credit cards will have an applicable transaction fee.
  • At the drop box outside City Hall at the 13th Street entrance (please do not put cash in the drop box).
  • Checks can be mailed to: Utility Billing, City Hall, 50 W. 13th St., Dubuque, IA 52001.
  • ACH (Automated Clearing House) and e-check automatic bill payments will continue as regularly scheduled.
  • Payments can be made at U.S. Bank, Dubuque Bank and Trust, and Fidelity Bank locations if you are a bank customer.
Parking tickets can be paid online at, dropped off at the City Hall drop box, paid by credit card over the phone, or in-person at the City’s Intermodal Center located at 950 Elm St. open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For additional information, contact Utility Billing at 563-589-4144 or



DuTrac Academic Scholarships Available

DuTrac Community Credit Union announces its Academic Scholarship applications are being accepted now through end-of-day Friday, March 25, 2022. Scholarship application forms are available at all 13 DuTrac branch office locations and online at

For 2022, up to seven, $1,000 non-renewable scholarships will be awarded to qualified students who plan to attend an accredited community college, trade school, technical college or university.  DuTrac’s Academic Scholarship Program is available to graduating seniors who are members in good standing for at least one year with DuTrac.

Scholarship applications are evaluated based on the following criteria: applicant’s involvement in curricular and extracurricular activities, scholastic achievement, as well as the grammar used and content of either a short written essay or video created in response to a question posed by DuTrac.

The question may be found by visiting

High school students should contact their high school guidance office or DuTrac with further questions or for assistance in completing the scholarship application.

Scholarship winners announced in May.



Local manufacturer looks to add 100 employees, double production

Rite-Hite Environmental Enclosures, a division of industrial products manufacturer Rite-Hite, today announced that it will add a 3rd shift at its Dubuque factory in early 2022. The company plans to hire approximately 100 manufacturing associates for assembly, industrial sewing, welding, and CNC machining to cover the new 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, as well as bolster the existing 1st and 2ndshifts. The workforce expansion is designed to help the division (which manufactures loading dock seals and shelters) double its current production levels by mid-2022.

“We are experiencing record customer demand for our loading dock seal and shelter products right now, which has led to a very healthy number of orders to produce as effectively as possible,” said Sara Everts, Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications at Rite-Hite. “Given our plant’s potential production capacity, state-of-the-art equipment and the excellent local workforce, it makes complete sense to keep growing our business in Dubuque.”

Rite-Hite’s Dubuque facility is a major local employer, with roughly 430 employees making the loading dock seal/shelter products as well as industrial doors, HVLS fans, safety barriers, fabric curtain walls, and fabric air dispersion systems. Located at 4343 Chavenelle Road, the plant was originally built in 1983 and most recently expanded in 2017. The Rite-Hite and DuctSox products manufactured in Dubuque are installed in factories, warehouses, distribution centers, and commercial facilities across the U.S. and around the world.

Rite-Hite has started hiring production supervisors, team leads and plant maintenance technicians, and is focusing on adding production associates in the new year. Third shift operations will tentatively begin in February. A Career Fair at the production facility will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 27, 2022.

“As an organization, we value all of our employees and work hard to offer a defined career path with advancement opportunities for our manufacturing associates,” added Everts.



Mark Konrardy, CRC® Joins DuTrac Financial Group

Tenured financial advisor, Mark Konrardy, CRC®, a lifelong Dubuque native, has joined the expert advisor team at DuTrac Financial Group (DFG), the wealth management, retirement, and insurance partners of DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac). He was previously employed by Empower (Prudential Financial Services).

Located within DuTrac’s main offices at 3465 Asbury Road in Dubuque and possessing over 20 years of financial services experience, Mark is eager to serve and advance the retirement, insurance, and wealth management needs of DuTrac’s membership as well as that of the general public in the Dubuque and surrounding area.

“Being local to Dubuque, with over two decades of providing advisory services to area residents, Mark innately understands the resources needed to meet, and hopefully surpass folks’ financial goals,” said Jason Norton, senior vice president of marketing and business development for DuTrac. “When his kind of talent and experience is married with the markets experience Mark possesses, I have every confidence in Mark’s ability to assist DuTrac’s members and area residents with their financial service needs.”

Reach out to Mark Konrardy to discuss questions you may have or schedule a meeting at (563) 557-5002 or



Finley Nursing Scholarships Available

UnityPoint Health® Finley Health Foundation and the Finley Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association announce 2022 scholarship applications will be available on January 17, 2022 for individuals pursuing a degree in the nursing field. Since 1986, Finley Health Foundation and the Alumni Association have been awarding scholarships annually to qualified students in the community who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing through an accredited nursing program, or who are health care professionals seeking an associates, bachelors, or master’s degree in nursing, or nurse practitioner degree.

“The Finley Health Foundation is pleased to continue their support to the field of nursing by providing scholarships to local students,” said Barbara Potts, Finley Health Foundation Executive Director. “It is both an honor and privilege to make a positive impact on the education of future health care professionals right here in our community.”

The scholarship application and eligibility requirements can be found at Applications must be postmarked by Monday, February 28, 2022 for consideration.

In 2021, Finley Health Foundation worked with donors to award $20,250 in scholarships. Scholarship award announcements for this year’s recipients will be made in May 2022.

For questions regarding the scholarships, please contact the Finley Health Foundation at (563) 589-2358.



Dubuque Receives HUD Grant for Housing Safety and Health Improvements

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it has awarded the City of Dubuque a $2 million grant to prevent home health hazards.

The grant is part of HUD’s Healthy Homes Production Grant Program which aims to identify and address health and safety hazards in low-income families’ homes. In total, HUD awarded nearly $104.7 million to 60 non-profit organizations, and state and local government agencies as part of the program.

The City of Dubuque’s Housing & Community Development Department will partner with the Dubuque Visiting Nurses Associations (VNA) to use grant funds to assist residents with fixing home hazards that cause disease and injury. An estimated 100 Dubuque homes will be improved to prevent housing-based health and safety hazards such as mold and moisture, carbon monoxide, electrical hazards, injury and safety hazards, and lead-based paint.

Details and the grant application will be available for residents soon at

For more information, contact Housing Financial Specialist Nicole Lytle at 563.690.6110 or



Volunteers Needed For Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Event Preparations

The Dubuque Museum of Art in partnership with the City of Dubuque Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs will host the 5th annual Winter Arts 2022 Snow Sculpting Competition and Festival in Dubuque’s downtown Washington Park, February 10–13, 2022.

To prepare for the event, volunteers are needed on Tuesday, February 8 to ‘stomp snow’ inside wooden boxes, forming the blocks of snow that will be carved by sculpting teams throughout the week and during Sunday’s community festival.

What Does It Mean To ‘Stomp Snow’?

A critical piece of making Winter Arts happen is creating multiple 6’x6’x8′ blocks of snow for sculpting teams to carve for the competition. We also create several smaller blocks to be carved by the public during the community portion of the event on Sunday.

To form the blocks of snow, four large wooden panels are assembled with racket straps and C-claps to make a box. Manufactured snow is dumped into the box, one skid steer bucket at a time. After each bucket load of snow, volunteers climb up a ladder and down another to get into the box. Volunteers use shovels and other tools to break up the snow and then their feet to ‘stomp’ and compress the snow inside the box.

Creating a compact, consistent block of snow is essential for providing the highest quality ‘canvas’ for sculptors to work from. It is physically demanding but invigorating work that plays a big role in bringing one of Dubuque’s most loved community art events to life.

Dates and Times Volunteers Needed

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Wednesday, February 9 will be offered as a back up snow stomping day in case of inclement weather, or if additional work day is needed.

Details About Volunteering

  • Two shifts available: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 1:00-4:00 p.m.
    • 10-12 volunteers are needed per shift.
    • ‘Groups’ of volunteers from local businesses, service agencies, etc. are welcomed.
    • If you are not able for an entire shift but are still interested in volunteering, just let us know when you are available.
  • Lunch provided onsite between 12-1 p.m..
  • An outdoor tent with a heater for breaks provided.
  • Volunteers are responsible for wearing appropriate winter clothing. Dressing in layers is recommended so you can remove or add layers to stay comfortable.
  • Volunteers must be 18 or older and will be required to sign a photo release / waiver of liability form to participate.
  • Email or call Danielle Stowell, Winter Arts Coordinator for the Dubuque Museum of Art at or 563.581.9688, with questions or to signup to volunteer.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Volunteers will be expected to follow current CDC guidelines; this volunteer opportunity is outdoors but volunteers may work in close proximity to each other. Please visit for updated guidelines.

For general information on Winter Arts, visit or contact City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant at or 563.513.5636.



Special Election Set for Ward Four City Council Vacancy

The Dubuque City Council voted at its Jan. 3 meeting to fill the Ward Four city council representative vacancy by special election on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

Only residents who live in Ward Four can file and vote in this election. Residents can view a map of Ward Four on the City’s website. Dubuque residents can also enter their address and learn which ward they live in through an interactive map.

Candidates wishing to file for this position must fill out an affidavit of candidacy and nomination papers. Candidates will also need to collect 28 signatures from Ward Four residents. All paperwork must be filed with the Dubuque County Auditor by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4. Paperwork and additional information can be downloaded from the Dubuque County Elections webpage.

If more than three or more candidates file, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 1.

Ward Four residents who wish to request mailed absentee ballots for this election may begin requesting them on Tuesday, Jan. 18, by contacting the Dubuque County Elections Office at or 563-589-4457.

For more information on filing as a candidate or voting in this special election, please visit the Dubuque County Elections webpage or call 563-589-4457.



Dubuque County Asking Residents to Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

Dubuque County is set to begin using Alert Iowa, the state’s emergency notification system, to notify residents of severe weather and other emergencies. All county residents are asked to sign up now to receive these critical emergency alerts.

The system will enable Dubuque County officials to better communicate emergency information directly to citizens via voice call, text message, email, and social media.

“Alert Iowa is a great tool that allows us to push official, real-time alerts directly to our residents during an emergency,” said Director of Dubuque County’s Emergency Management Tom Berger. “The system makes it easy for us to notify our residents when emergencies happen and allows residents to choose the best way for them to receive alerts with crucial information to remain safe.”

Individual cities within Dubuque County will also be able to utilize Alert Iowa notifications for city-specific alerts. For example, the City of Dubuque will allow residents to opt-in to be notified when the City’s odd/even snow route parking policy goes into effect.

Alert Iowa will replace CodeRED, the County’s current emergency notification tool. All residents, even those who are already registered to receive CodeRED alerts with the county’s current system, will need to sign up their cellular number to receive alerts. Landlines will automatically be registered by the state. Dubuque County is asking residents sign up now to be prepared for potential future emergencies.

Signing up for Alert Iowa is easy and can be done by:

  • Creating an account at
  • Texting “DubuqueIA” to 672-83.
  • Downloading the Smart911 app from the Apple or Google Play stores.

Smart911 is an additional, free, optional service that gives residents the opportunity to provide information to emergency responders prior to an emergency to enable faster and more informed responses to emergency situations. Smart911 is connected to Alert Iowa and signing up on the platform will allow residents to receive Alert Iowa notifications.

To learn more about Alert Iowa in Dubuque County, visit Additional information on the system is available at



City Launches Volunteer-Based Snow Shoveling Program for Senior Citizens, Residents with Disabilities

The City of Dubuque has launched DBQ Shovel Crew, a volunteer-based snow shoveling program. The program pairs volunteers with residents who are physically and financially unable to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk adjacent to their property and do not have other resources to clear it such as neighbors, friends, or a hired service.

Volunteer DBQ, a partnership between City of Dubuque AmeriCorps and the United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, is seeking volunteers to join the DBQ Shovel Crew. The commitment is to care for a particular address, or addresses, throughout the winter season. Volunteers are asked to provide their own snow-removal equipment. To volunteer as an individual or group, go to, click volunteer now, and search for DBQ Shovel Crew.

To qualify for assistance with snow and ice removal, the property must be owner-occupied, and the resident must be physically unable to remove snow and meet the income guidelines. For more information or to apply for assistance, visit or contact City of Dubuque Right-of-Way Technician Rob McDonald at 563.589.4159.

The snow removal assistance program will have limited capacity and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. The number of volunteers identified will ultimately determine the number of DBQ Shovel Crew pairings that can be made through the program. is an online portal to connect residents with volunteer opportunities in the community. Volunteer DBQ builds relationships between residents, local nonprofits, schools, local governments, and businesses to achieve organizational goals and community-wide success, changing the way the community looks at volunteering and broadening what it means to serve.

For more information about Volunteer Dubuque, contact Sarah Berna, AmeriCorps Coordinator with the City of Dubuque, at 563.580.6942 or




The Dubuque County Fair, held in Dubuque, has been awarded the 2021 ‘Blue Ribbon Fair’ Award by the Board of Directors of the Association of Iowa Fairs. The award was presented to the Fair’s Board of Directors at the Association’s 2021 Conference and Annual Meeting, which was held December 10 to 12 at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines, IA. The Dubuque County Fair was chosen to receive the award from all the Fairs in the Association’s Northeast District. 

“One member Fair in each of the Association’s six fair districts in Iowa is presented this award each year.” stated Thomas Barnes, Executive Director of the Association. “The Fair that receives this award must have shown progress in providing service to the youth programs in their community, plus show distinguished service the community in both the Fair and interim events. My wife Sue & I have visited the Dubuque County Fair many times and we found it does indeed serve very well the community as outlined in the guidelines of this award.” 

“The Board of Directors of the Association of Iowa Fairs would like to extend to its sincere appreciation to the Dubuque County Fair Board and their spouses for their commitment to their Fair, and to the fair industry in Iowa.” Barnes added. “We also would like to thank the Dubuque County Extension Service, 4-H leaders and members, area FFA Chapters and all the many other area volunteers that are involved with the Fair. They all combined make the Dubuque County Fair a ‘Blue Ribbon Fair’. 

The Association of Iowa Fairs is the organizational body of the fair industry in Iowa. It has as its members the 105 county fairs of Iowa and the Iowa State Fair, and 132 associate members such as carnivals, entertainment agencies, festivals, chambers, concessionaires, special attractions and suppliers of the industry. Together, the members of the Association work together to promote and strengthen the fair industry in Iowa. 

The 2022 officers of the Association Board are President Steve Voss of Sibley, First Vice President Danny Olson of Red Oak and Second Vice President Jon Baltes of Hampton. The immediate Past President is Randy Beckman of Sperry. Thomas and Susan Barnes of Cresco serve as the Association’s Executive Director and Executive Secretary/Treasurer respectively, and are associated with the Mighty Howard County Fair in Cresco. For further information on the Association of Iowa Fairs, visit 



Winter / Spring 2022 Activities Guide Now Available

The City of Dubuque Recreation Division has a variety of programs and activities to keep your family fit and having fun! From toddlers to seniors and karate to 3D art, there is something for everyone to enjoy! Below is a preview of just some of the programs we have planned for January – May 2022. Registration opens Monday, Dec. 27. 



Discounted Internet Service Program for Low-Income Households Extended, Transition Effective Jan. 1

Discounted internet service for low-income households will continue, but the monthly subsidy will be reduced from $50 to $30 in 2022.

The Federal Emergency Broadband (EBB) Program, a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic, was recently extended. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the program will be replaced with a long-term, $14 billion program, called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and the benefit will be reduced to a $30 monthly discount.

Households fully enrolled in the EBB program as of Dec. 31, 2021, will continue to receive their current monthly discount until Mar. 1, 2022. Internet service providers will provide information to current EBB recipients about steps they must take to continue receiving the ACP benefit after Mar. 1, 2022.

The EBB Program is still available to eligible households. To receive up to a $50 monthly discount through Mar. 1, 2022, you must be fully enrolled in the EBB program before Dec. 31, 2021. A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Meets federal poverty income guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
To see if you qualify or to enroll in EBB, visit



Breakfast with Santa

The Dubuque County Fairgrounds & Event Center presents Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, December 19th from 8am until noon. The breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, eggs, tater tots, apple sauce, orange juice, milk and coffee. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 kids 5-12 and 4 & under are FREE!

Santa will be there from 9:30am until noon to meet with the kids and get pictures taken.

It’s all happening in the Grand Ballroom at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds, 14569 Old Highway Road, Dubuque, IA. For more information go to or call 563-588-1406.



Jake Owens at the Delaware County Fair July 14

The Delaware County Fair is pleased to announce, Multiple chart-topping singer/songwriter Jake Owen’s will headline country night at their upcoming Fair. With eight #1 songs to his name, his current single Backroads is climbing the Billboard’s Top 100 Country charts and his last #1 singlce “Made For You” follows Owen’s fastest-rising career #1 single, “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” and most recent #1 single, “Homemade.” Owen’s songs have resonated with listeners and audiences everywhere with 2X PLATINUM anthem and Most Played Song of the Decade “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” PLATINUM-certified hits “Beachin,’” “Anywhere With You,” “Alone With You,” “The One That Got Away,” and GOLD-certified “American Country Love Song.” Owen’s sixth studio album, GREETINGS FROM… JAKE, produced three Top 10 singles, including two #1 singles and his current top 30 and climbing “Made For You.”

Owen is set to take the stage this year on Thursday, July 14th and the Fair is making arrangements to expect a sold out crowd. Jeannie Domeyer, Manager of the Fair said, “Jake Owen is pumping out #1 hit after #1 hit, he’s going to give a “can’t miss” concert. We will continue with the stage to the SE corner of our track to accommodate the large crowd and also continue with our Party Pit where the biggest fans can get right up to the stage front to see this show! We really recommend anyone wanting to be in the front, buy their tickets early.”

The 2022 edition of Country Night at the Delaware County Fair will be a standing room only area on the track. Tickets will be $60 in the Party Pit and $45 on the track. As always, grandstand seating is free with admission. Tickets can be purchased online at starting Saturday, December 18th at 9a.m.



Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Event to Return

Call for Snow Sculpting Teams Announced

The Dubuque Museum of Art in partnership with the City of Dubuque Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs announces a call for entries for the Winter Arts 2022 Snow Sculpting Competition, sanctioned by Winter Fun Inc., to be held February 10–13, 2022 in Washington Park in downtown Dubuque, IA.
Professional, amateur, and collegiate teams from across the state of Iowa are invited to apply to participate. Teams may elect to compete for the State of Iowa title resulting in an invitation to the 2023 U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022 via email or mailed to the Dubuque Museum of Art. Application details are available below or at
The general public is encouraged to save the following dates for additional Winter Arts activities in Washington Park:

  • Tuesday, February 8, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. or 12-4 p.m.: Volunteer to Build Snow Blocks
  • Thurs, Feb 10, 8 a.m. through Sun, Feb 13 at 12 p.m.: View Snow Sculpting In-Progress
  • Sun, Feb 13, 12-4p.m.: Winter Arts Community Activities, People’s Choice Voting

For more information on Winter Arts, visit or contact City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant at or Danielle Stowell, Winter Arts Coordinator for the Dubuque Museum of Art at or 563.581.6988.



Casey Donahew to Perform at the Jackson County Fair!


Jackson County Fair brings you a ONE-OF-A-KIND Show!  Don’t miss your chance to see TWO Red Dirt Country Bands in one night as Casey Donahew takes the stage with special guest Randall King!  Over the last 18 years, Casey Donahew has risen from a favorite on the local Texas music scene, racking up 21 #1 singles, to a nationally hot touring act who consistently sells out venues all across the country.  With over 44.2 thousand followers on Instagram and more than 48 thousand fans following him on FaceBook, Randall King and Casey Donahew are MUST SEE artists!  Stick around after the show and enjoy great music from TBA playing in Volunteer Hall starting at 10:30pm.

Randall King takes the stage at 7:30pm with Casey Donahew to follow.  Get up close and personal by purchasing a Party Pit Pass or enjoy this amazing concert from the Grandstand’s.  Party Pit Pass and Grandstand Tickets on sale NOW through Eventbrite or by calling 563-652-4282.  Check out our Website at for more information and a ticket link to Eventbrite.

Event URL:

Connect with the Jackson County Fair






Connect with Casey Donahew







Weekly Yard Waste and Food Scraps Collections Ending for the 2021 Season

The City of Dubuque’s weekly, curbside collection of yard debris and food scraps will end for the 2021 season on Saturday, Nov. 27. The city will begin its winter collection schedule for those materials on Thursday, Dec. 2.

The winter yard debris and food scrap schedule will run on Thursdays only starting on Dec. 2 until regular, weekly yard waste and food scraps collection resumes on Monday, April 4, 2022.

Current food scraps collection subscribers will automatically have their collections made every Thursday and will be charged $1 per month for this winter service. All other curbside collection customers who would like to have yard debris and/or food scraps collected must schedule an appointment for a Thursday collection by either calling the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at 563-589-4250 or submitting a request through the City’s website at Yellow yard waste stickers and/or annual yard waste decals are required for winter collections.

To receive automatic reminders about curbside collection schedule changes, recycling reminders, and other alerts, customers are encouraged to visit the ReThink Waste Dubuque site at to download the app or register their contact information to:

  • sign up for curbside collection reminders by email, automated telephone call, and
  • text message;
  • download their collection schedule into iCal, Google calendar, or Microsoft Outlook calendar; and
  • print their collection schedule.

The ReThink Waste Dubuque tool also offers a “Waste Search” feature, which allows users to type in any keywords and get disposal and recycling tips specific to Dubuque. For more information, call the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at 563-589-4250.



City Launches Pilot Program to Invest in Central Avenue Housing

The City of Dubuque has launched a pilot program to incentivize housing improvement and creation along the Central Avenue corridor.

The program will grant 10-year forgivable loans of $10,000 per unit to projects that add or improve quality, affordable residential housing choices on Central Avenue from 11th to 22nd street.
Eligible projects must:
  • Be within the Central Avenue Corridor and an urban renewal area.
  • Define a specific historic redevelopment project that includes at least one historical structure.
  • Provide significant improvement to a minimum of four affordable housing units, or the creation of a minimum of four affordable housing units.
  • Represent a total capital investment of no less than $500,000, including purchase price of the property if not already owned.
  • Increase the assessed value of the property by at least 15%.
  • Agree that all improved or created units would not discriminate based on source of tenant’s income.
“We’re looking to improve the appearance and livability of the Central Avenue corridor,” said City of Dubuque Economic Development Director Jill Connors. “Investing in housing leads to a more attractive business and residential environment that will attract and retain a quality workforce.”
The pilot program will run until June 30, 2022, or until funds are exhausted. For more information and to apply, visit or call 563.589.4393.



City Receives Iowa DNR Grant to Purchase Four Mounds Farm

The City of Dubuque has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase Four Mounds Farm.

The grant is a part of the Resource Enhancement and Preservation (REAP) program by the Iowa DNR to preserve and increase city parks and open spaces across the state. Funds will allow the City to acquire the 40.47 acres of Four Mounds Farm to extend and enhance the Four Mounds Park area through community gardens, site accessibility, and other amenities. Additional grant funding will be sought to complete the purchase.

Four Mounds Farm, currently owned by the Four Mounds Foundation, is located at 4392 Peru Road within a half-mile of the City’s Four Mounds Park. The land is currently home to 14 community garden plots part of the Dubuque Community Gardens initiative, and approximately 37 acres of undeveloped prairieland.

“The City of Dubuque is pleased to continue to enhance our successful partnership with Four Mounds Foundation,” said City of Dubuque Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware. “This addition to the City’s park system is a unique open space, adding opportunities for connection to natural wildlife, birds, and prairie areas.”




Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2:30 – 6 p.m.
MercyOne Mobile Medical Unit at Kennedy Mall, Northeast Parking Lot across from Burger King
Pediatric Pfizer clinic for CHILDREN AGES 5-11. Appointments required. See details.

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 3:40 – 6:30 p.m.
MercyOne at Marshall Elementary School, 1450 Rhomberg Ave.
Pediatric Pfizer clinic for CHILDREN AGES 5-11. Appointments required. See details.

Friday, Nov. 19, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dubuque Visiting Nurses Association, 660 Iowa St., Dubuque
Walk-in vaccinations and boosters of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson for ADULTS and pediatric Pfizer for CHILDREN AGES 5-11.

Friday, Nov. 19, 3:40 – 6:30 p.m.
MercyOne at Prescott Elementary School, 1151 White St.
Pediatric Pfizer clinic for CHILDREN AGES 5-11. Appointments required. See details.

Monday, Nov. 22, 3:40 – 6:30 p.m.
MercyOne at Audubon Elementary School, 605 Lincoln Ave.
Pediatric Pfizer clinic for CHILDREN AGES 5-11. Appointments required. See details.

Tuesday, Nov. 23, 3:40 – 6:30 p.m.
MercyOne at Fulton Elementary School, 2540 Central Ave.
Pediatric Pfizer clinic for CHILDREN AGES 5-11. Appointments required. See details.

There are multiple locations/providers in Dubuque County offering free COVID-19 vaccinations, to see the complete list with contact information for each, visit or call the SleevesUp Call Center at 563.690.6253.

For COVID-19 testing options, visit

Most local vaccination providers have Pfizer and Moderna.  Supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are currently limited so residents seeking that vaccine/booster are encouraged to first check with their provider or the Dubuque Visiting Nurses Association.



From Your Friends at
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DA Printing



New Treats And Traditions For Your Little Goblins

Apple crisp is a healthy and delicious alternative to Halloween candy.

(NAPSI)—With in-person trick-or-treating in question these days, many Washington parents are re-thinking ways for their children to celebrate Halloween.

If going door-to-door is not an option, consider these ideas by lifestyle expert Ashley Todd (@ashleyjtodd), who has teamed up with Delta Dental of Washington to offer parents some fun candy and activity alternatives to help make the day special for their little ghosts and goblins.

Instead of having kids gorge on candy, Todd recommends starting a new tradition by making one of these tooth-friendly sweet treats:

Pumpkin Pancakes

Recipe from Sugar-Free Mom 

Mix together 4 eggs, ½ cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup milk of your choice, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp pumpkin liquid Stevia, 4 tbsp coconut oil. In a separate bowl, mix together ½ cup flour, ½ tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp baking soda. Combine all ingredients then cook on a medium griddle. 

Three-Ingredient, Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies 

Recipe from All Recipes 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 2 cups smooth peanut butter, 2 eggs, and 2 cups granular sucralose sweetener. Place spoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. 

Sugar-Free Apple Crisp 

Recipe from My Planted Plate 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking dish. Peel, core and thinly slice 5 Granny Smith apples and place into a bowl. Add 1tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp cinnamon, and ½ tsp nutmeg and combine. Pour apple mixture into the baking dish and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats, ½ cup almond flour, ½ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup melted coconut oil, ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp cinnamon. Stir well and pour the crumble topping over the apple mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. 

When traditional trick-or-treating is not an option, parents can save the day by putting together a Halloween basket full of fun treats—if candy is on the menu, be sure to choose options that contain chocolate, which washes off young teeth far easier than gummy and sticky candies. Todd also suggests these fun, kid-friendly trick-or-treating alternatives:

•Boo Baskets—Pick up your kids’ favorite healthful snacks along with some sugar-free candy, some fun card games and a Halloween craft kit and bring them to your children’s friends.

•Pumpkin Volcano—Clean out the inside of a pumpkin and add equal parts dish soap, baking soda and white vinegar—and watch it foam!

•Reverse Trick-or-Treating—Put sugar-free candy, chocolate and some healthful snacks into a goodie-bag and drop them off on your neighbors’ porches.

Delta Dental reminds parents that teeth need time to rest and repair between sweets. Pause snacking to sip on water so teeth can recover from sugar overload. It’s also important to remember: Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing will do the most to protect your child’s teeth. Have them brush for two minutes, at least twice a day, and floss before bed. Stay up to date on dental visits—even during holidays, pandemics and other distractions—so hidden problems such as the start of a cavity won’t ruin those special holiday smiles.

For these and other fun treat recipes and trick-or-treating alternatives, visit



Midwestern Doctor Cares For Rural Community Amid Rise In COVID Cases

(NAPSI)—In rural Kansas, Dr. Kristina Darnauer is one of only four doctors practicing in Rice County. She is also the only family medicine doctor practicing in Sterling, where she lives with her husband and three children. Dr. Darnauer delivers local babies, visits nursing homes, maintains a clinical practice and covers the ER.

This year, her duties have expanded to talking to her fellow community members about the COVID-19 vaccines and answering their questions. Roughly 60% of local residents remain unvaccinated and Dr. Darnauer and her hospital staff have been seeing the effects firsthand.

“This is the hardest it’s been for us. Our health system is totally overwhelmed,” said Dr. Darnauer, reflecting on the difficult months since the Delta variant first took hold in the United States this past summer. She characterized the local health community as “drowning” as they strive to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Due to overburdened intensive care units in surrounding area hospitals, there have been times when Dr. Darnauer hasn’t been able to transfer patients to a larger hospital for more specialized care.

“I’ve had two COVID-19 patients die in my hospital in the last week,” she observed in late September. “My last ER weekend, I saw more COVID patients coming in sick than I have before.”

A Health Issue

COVID-19 remains a serious threat across the U.S. as we head into the pandemic’s second winter. The Delta variant, which now makes up virtually all cases in the country, spreads more easily than the common cold and has led to a dramatic increase in hospitalizations nationwide. This has been deeply felt in rural America, where case rates in September were roughly 54% higher than elsewhere, and mortality rates are now more than double that of urban areas.

What The CDC Says

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, people who have not yet been vaccinated are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications, compared to those who have already received their vaccine.

Other CDC data reveals people ages 18 to 49 are the largest demographic hospitalized for COVID-19 as of September 25. Studies also show that even for individuals who have a mild case of COVID-19 and avoid hospitalization, they remain at risk of post-COVID symptoms, often called long COVID, that may last for weeks, months or longer. Symptoms of long COVID appear to affect as many as one in three people infected with the virus.

Doctor’s Advice

Many in her close-knit community come to Dr. Darnauer with questions and concerns about being vaccinated against COVID-19 and whether it’s the right choice for their family. Dr. Darnauer’s response to her patients is clear and to the point: “I’ve recommended the vaccine for anyone I love. Period.”

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, widely available and free to everyone in the U.S. age twelve and older. Additionally, the FDA has formally approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. for those sixteen and older.

“We are not out of the woods,” says Dr. Darnauer, “but we have a really powerful tool to fight this and that’s the vaccine.”

Learn More

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, talk to a doctor or pharmacist and visit for the latest information.

COVID-19 remains a serious threat across the U.S. as we head into the pandemic’s second winter. The Delta variant, which now makes up virtually all cases in the country, spreads more easily than the common cold and has led to a dramatic increase in hospitalizations nationwide. This has been deeply felt in rural America, where case rates in September were roughly 54% higher than elsewhere, and mortality rates are now more than double that of urban areas.



Last Live Race of This Season is Sun., Oct. 31

Current Post Times: 5:30pm Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday; 1:00pm Sunday Matinee

The Twin Super and Twin Tri Carryover is a mandatory payout on the last day – Sunday, October 31st.

Don’t miss your chance to see the greyhounds in live racing action this week!

Watch for more information about the 2022 Live Racing Season.

Iowa Greyhound Park.

Gambling a problem? 1-800-BETS-OFF



UnityPoint Health – Finley Health Foundation and Visiting Nurse Association Awarded DRA Grants

UnityPoint Health – Finley Health Foundation is the recipient of two grants from the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA). One grant, in the amount of $10,000, is to provide anti-ligature risk fixtures and furniture for the Behavioral Health Department. The Foundation was also awarded a $5,000 grant for the purchase of educational materials and supplies for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Maternal Health Program.

The anti-ligature risk fixtures and furniture allows for the treatment of patients with behavioral health challenges in a safer environment. This inpatient unit provides a secure place for families to leave their loved ones during a behavioral health episode, or during a newly diagnosed condition, such as dementia.

The VNA will use their DRA grant to share educational materials and supplies with more than 400 mothers and 400 babies in the Maternal Health program. Educational materials and videos in Spanish and English, breast pumps, and other supplies will support mothers who would like to breastfeed their babies.

“We are grateful to have the DRA as a generous partner and thank them for their continued support,” said Chad Wolbers, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Dubuque. “The Geropsychiatric Unit renovation project will enable Finley to provide a safer environment to care for inpatients with behavioral health conditions, and the Maternal Health Program grant will help mothers embrace breastfeeding with the knowledge and supplies they need to be successful.”



Public Invited to Share Input on Next City Budget

Dubuque residents and stakeholders are invited to share their input on the next City budget as City of Dubuque staff prepare the City’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2023, which runs July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

The public is invited to attend a public input meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8, in the City Council Chambers at the Historic Federal Building, 350 W. Sixth St. City Manager Mike Van Milligen and Finance and Budget Department staff will provide general information on the budget process at this meeting and then meeting attendees will be asked to share their thoughts on what they would like to see funded in their neighborhoods and the community at-large.

Those unable to attend in person or who would prefer to participate remotely are encouraged to connect by computer, tablet, or smart phone at:  This option includes audio input and written “chat” input. The virtual meeting will be facilitated by City staff and additional information will be provided at the start of the meeting.

Residents can also participate by phone by calling 866-899-4679 (toll free) or 571-317-3116. After connecting, use this access code: 235-685-597

Residents and stakeholders are also encouraged to explore two online tools, available at, that provide an opportunity to visually interact with the City’s budget:

  • The “Open Budget” tool provides unprecedented access to City budget information and is designed to help make sense of the dollars and cents of city government budgeting.
  • The “Balancing Act” simulation tool allows users to learn how property tax is budgeted and tax revenues are spent and illustrates how the City’s FY2023 budget will be developed. The simulator challenges residents and stakeholders to actively balance their own version of the City’s budget, subject to the same constraints City Council members face annually when considering the City’s recommended operating and capital budgets. In addition, residents and stakeholders can provide comments in the simulator.
 Input will be reviewed by staff and will assist in the development of a recommended FY 2023 budget to be submitted to the City Council in February 2022. The City Council will then consider the recommended budget and the public will have additional opportunities to offer input during seven public meetings in February and March. A final budget must be adopted by March 31.

Written comments can also be submitted to: City Manager, City Hall, 50 West 13th Street, Dubuque, IA, 52001.   For additional information on the City’s budget process, visit or call 563-589-4398.



Dubuque Fire Department Awarded International Accredited Status

The Dubuque Fire Department has received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) for meeting the criteria established through the CFAI’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program. The announcement follows a thorough, five-year process including document review and onsite assessment.

The Dubuque Fire Department is now one of fewer than 300 fire departments in the world and just five other departments in Iowa to be accredited. This accreditation is a voluntary process and provides an agency/department with an improvement model to assess their service delivery and performance internally and then works with a team of peers from other agencies to evaluate their completed self-assessment. It shows the community that the Dubuque Fire Department continually self-assesses, looks for opportunities for improvement, and is transparent and accountable through third-party verification and validation.

“This achievement of Accredited Agency status demonstrates the commitment of the department and city organization to provide the highest quality of service to our community,” said Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines. “It’s not what you get, it’s what you become. You don’t get accredited, you become accredited, and as an accredited agency you build a culture of improvement.”

Steines said the department has been able to use the accreditation process as a proactive way to plan for the future of the department and identify areas where the department can improve on the quality of the services provided. He said the creation of a strategic plan, standards of cover, and updates to procedures have enhanced the department’s ability to better protect, assist, and educate the community and with pride, skill, and compassion.

“This is the culmination of over five years of work in preparation for this day.  I want to especially recognize the work of Fire Chief Rick Steines, Lead Accreditation Manager Assistant Chief Kevin Esser, and former Accreditation Manager and current Assistant Accreditation Manager Assistant Chief Josh Knepper,” said City Manager Mike Van Milligen.  “We are very proud of our fire department and the people who work in the department protecting property and lives every day.”

“This was never more apparent and appreciated than during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There is no working from home for our brave firefighters and medical officers,” added Van Milligen.  “As people were isolating, social distancing, and masking up, these were the people who were there when tragedy struck.  At the same time, many of them were dealing with the traumas of this pandemic in their personal lives.  We owe all of them a deep debt of gratitude that they chose public service as a career and that they do their work so well and with such compassion.”

CFAI is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities.  For more information, visit




The Dubuque Community School District is nearing the completion of their first year of their career and college readiness initiative, VERTEX.  The initiative represents the district’s strategic and intentional work to help students discover where their interests and future possibilities intersect.  VERTEX is designed around a core principle that career and college readiness is about more than one experience. In the Dubuque Community Schools, the process begins in middle school and continues through high school while providing experiences that get progressively deeper over time, moving through three key areas of awareness, exploration, and application.

Students are provided with meaningful workplace awareness, exploration and hands-on work experiences as they prepare to make informed decisions about their future. Experiences will include job shadowing, mentorship programs, services learning, and internship/work experience programs. These experiences are supported by strong academic opportunities across the curriculum including everything from career technical education and Advanced Placement courses to concurrent enrollment courses at area higher education institutions, that help prepare students for life after high school.

VERTEX also supports and aligns a variety of current programs that connect students with employers in real-world work experiences including: Work-Based Learning Program, School-to-Work Program, Summit Program, Transition Alliance Program (TAP), Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training (HEART) Program, and Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG). The initiative is uniting various offerings across the district while boosting the regional workforce pipeline with well-prepared, enthusiastic leaders of tomorrow.

FOR EMPLOYER INFORMATION: Contact David Moeller, Educational Support Leader, at or 563-552-3082




On Thursday, October 14, the City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Metropolitan Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) welcomed project partners and community members to a ribbon cutting for the Dubuque Power Producers LLC Renewable Natural Gas Project at the city landfill. Methane that was previously flared off is now collected  by approximately 60 gas wells  and then transferred to a processing facility where it is cleaned, processed, and inserted into the Black Hills Energy natural gas pipelines for consumer usage.

In regards to environmental impact, according to the DMASWA the project will annually, through direct and avoided emissions, reduce emissions equivalent to: Carbon sequestered by 104,534 acres of U.S. forests in one year; CO2 emissions from 257,687 barrels of oil consumed; CO2 emissions from 12,468,281 gallons of gasoline consumed; and Heating 2,763 homes.

In addition to reducing the environmental impact at the landfill, the project also generates revenue, where 3.5% of gas sale revenues—approximately $80,000 annually—earned through the gas processing goes to the DMASWA. Dubuque Gas Producers also pays an annual $10,000 license fee to use the site.

Dave Lyons, Sustainable Innovations Consultant for Greater Dubuque Development, has been a valuable asset on the project, helping bring public and private partners together and highlighting the value for both. This is the second methane conversion project in the city that Lyons has helped facilitate, the first being the biogas project at the Water Resource and Recovery Center completed in 2018.




On Tuesday, October 5, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation received a Bronze Award in the category of Economic Development Organization of the Year of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  The honor was presented at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Twenty-five award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year.



Brain Health Awareness Month Creates More Connections in Eastern Iowa

In order to raise awareness for brain health and brain illnesses, the local and statewide observance in October for Brain Health Awareness is active in eastern Iowa. Organizations and their leaders hope to gain traction to create more awareness for and access to brain health services and to reduce the stigma long associated with mental illnesses.

A grassroots organization in eastern Iowa, with statewide reach, is called Brain Health Now. Led by Debi Butler of Dubuque, this statewide initiative uses personal outreach, marketing, advertising and social media outreach to change the mindsets present in so many Iowans. She notes, “Words are powerful, words matter. The stigma surrounding mental illness can be as detrimental to someone’s life as the disease itself. Society has to understand that the brain is an organ and can get sick too. The stigma follows words such as mental illness and mental health which prohibit people to seek the help they need. We need to reframe the conversation from mental illness to brain health and treat it as it should be.”

Butler’s background is in psychology, and the brain health topic is near to her heart. “My passion for starting Brain Health Now is due to my brother Steve who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1985. The stigma impacted my brother in a very negative way and I watched him hide from society because he did not feel like he belonged.

It’s very important to treat brain health issues just like we treat other organs in our body that can be compromised. It’s not a choice or a character flaw to have a brain health issue. We need to normalize the lives of the one out of five people who experience a brain health issue,” she says.

Since 2014, there have been 14 mental health regions in Iowa, who receive and disperse local and state funding to provider organizations who support mental health and disability services for Iowans. Organizations like Brain Health Now seek to connect individuals and families in need with the resources in those regions that are geographically closest to them.

Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region (ECR for short) is one of those 14 regions. ECR serves people in the following counties in eastern Iowa: Benton, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Johnson, Jones and Linn.

Mae Hingtgen, CEO of the ECR, notes that the purpose of the ECR and its 13 companion regions across the state is to collaborate with disability service providers, healthcare providers, school districts, law enforcement, the judicial system, legislators, and countless direct care providers to strengthen the network of support services for adults and children with disabilities of all kinds.

“ECR and the other 13 regions in the state don’t provide the direct services to individuals and families in need, but we, as regions, provide the funding to the organizations who do provide those services. Our goal is to build an awareness that it’s okay to need help for brain health concerns and that help is available in our area. Organizations like Brain Health Now and insightful leaders like Debi Butler are an excellent example of how a grassroots group of people can step up to make a difference, become part of a larger network, and raise awareness for the needs and solutions available for brain and disability support services,” she says.

Hingtgen also notes that, “As we have all worked our way through COVID and the stressors it has brought to the world, the state of Iowa and to our communities in the ECR, we know that brain health issues and the need for services is at an all-time high. It is critical for us to get the word out even more frequently to let people know that there is help available … compassionate, immediate, and free or low-cost help for both short-term crises and long-term issues that people and families experience.”

For more information about Brain Health Now, the ECR, and resources in the nine counties of the ECR, visit these websites for more information:  and

Brain Health Now is a grassroots organization dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding the term mental illness. Over 50 million Americans have diagnosable brain health disorders each year. These disorders remain shrouded in misunderstand and stigma, which is one reason why Brain Health Now wants to reframe the conversation away from mental illness and toward brain health.

 The East Central Region (ECR) is a partnership between nine counties in eastern Iowa to provide comprehensive mental health and disability services to individuals in eastern Iowa. Iowans have a regional base of services which meet statewide standards to address their needs. Counties pool their resources and offer an array of services to improve the health of Iowans.



Public Works Department Offers Leaf Disposal Options

The City of Dubuque is reminding residents of their options for leaf and yard debris disposal this fall. The City encourages mulching, mowing, and backyard composting as economical and beneficial leaf management options but offers several other options for yard debris management.
As part of the City’s April-November collection service, leaves and other yard waste may be placed in:
  • paper yard waste bags that display a single-use yard waste sticker;
  • a rigid solid waste container with either a single-use yard waste sticker looped on the handle or a City 2021 annual yard waste decal; or
  • in City yard debris tipper carts. Brush and limbs can be bundled with a City of Dubuque brush tie or twine and an attached single-use yard waste sticker.
Bags, containers, and bundles may not exceed 35 gallons in capacity or 40 pounds in weight. Plastic bags containing yard waste will not be collected. Paper yard waste bags, single-use yard waste stickers, and brush ties are available in most grocery, hardware, and discount stores throughout the city. Single-use yard waste stickers are available at area retailers on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each.
Seasonal, regular-route yard waste collection ends Monday, Nov. 29. From December 2 through March 31, Thursday collections of yard waste may be scheduled by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at  Food scraps will also be collected on Thursday only for subscribed customers.
The Public Works Department also offers, by appointment only, leaf rake-out collections in which large, curbside leaf piles are vacuumed into a collection vehicle. Collection appointments must be scheduled in advance by calling 563-589-4250 or submitting a request at Rake-out collections are offered from Monday, Oct. 11, through Wednesday, Nov. 24, this year. Appointments must be made before raking into a gutter area. Acceptable items in the leaf rake-out include loose leaves, pine needles, and pinecones. Grass, brush, plants, and rocks are not accepted.
Rake-out collection leaf piles should be placed in the street at the curb no sooner than the day before the scheduled appointment. Crews cannot enter private property or alleys to collect a leaf rake-out. Vehicles must not be parked on the street within 10 feet of the leaf pile. Utilities such as fire hydrants, utility boxes, or storm sewer catch basins should not be covered. A $20 minimum charge is added to a customer’s utility bill for a 40-bag equivalent rake-out pickup.
Residents are reminded that burning leaves and raking or blowing your leaves into the street are prohibited and subject to fines.
For more information, please contact the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at 563-589-4250 or visit




Hotel Julien Dubuque was recently recognized by Shermans Travel in a published piece called “Best Luxury Resorts in Every U.S. State.” Hotel Julien Dubuque was named best for the state of Iowa, along with other world-wide respected hotels around the country such as the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, and Fairmont Hotels.

 “We are proud and humbled to be named with such magnificent hotels such as the Fairmont, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton Hotels from all parts of the U.S. These brands are recognized all over the world for being world class hotels,” ­­­­­said Dwight Hopfauf, General Manager at Hotel Julien Dubuque.

Shermans Travel Media is a leading publisher of top travel deals and vacation destination advice. In their recent piece “Best Luxury Resorts in Every U.S. State” published by Megan DuBois, you can find Hotel Julien Dubuque on photo slide #15  for the state of Iowa along with a short description regarding the hotel’s elegant amenities and services. Click here to read more.

 This past year has been a tough one on the hospitality industry. With travel restrictions and state mandates, hotels were among one of the hardest industries hit.  Nevertheless, Hotel Julien Dubuque and their hardworking staff have made some great achievements even during these unprecedented times.

The staff at the hotel work tirelessly hard to fulfill our #1 Vision, ‘Create the feeling for the guests that they are in the right place, at the right time, all the time’,” said Dwight Hopfauf, General Manager at Hotel Julien Dubuque.

In addition to this recent acknowledgment from Shermans Travel as the best luxury resort for the state of Iowa,  Hotel Julien Dubuque has celebrated two other wonderful recognitions throughout the pandemic, being named Trip Advisor’s 2020 and 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award-Winner.

“I cannot emphasize the pride that I have for Team Hotel Julien Dubuque. For this level of recognition during a pandemic that has crushed the hospitality and tourism industry, our team never lost their focus despite some of the most challenging times that COVID-19 has presented. This recognition of their efforts is truly deserved,” said Dwight Hopfauf, General Manager at Hotel Julien Dubuque, “I often say to myself, ‘Just stay out of the team’s way and follow them.’ They are always on the path of creating memorable and welcoming experiences! My deepest, Thanks for coming to work today, Team Hotel Julien Dubuque!” 



‘City Life’ Citizen Academy Welcoming Applicants for Next Session

The City of Dubuque is welcoming applications from residents for the next session of City Life, Dubuque’s free “citizen academy” program designed to provide residents a hands-on connection with their local government.

City Life offers residents the opportunity to interact with City staff, learn more about City services and programs, participate in tours of City facilities, and learn about different opportunities to be involved in city government. Space is limited to 25 participants. Applications are due by Friday, Oct. 22.

The City Life program consists of six sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (November 2, 4, 9, 16, 18, 23) with each session running from 6-9 p.m. Dinner is provided and accommodations can be made. The program will be offered again in the spring for those interested but unable to attend.

For more information and to apply for City Life, visit or contact City of Dubuque Community Engagement Coordinator Temwa Phiri at 563-589-4180 or



National Service Recognition Day Award Winners Announced

Mayor Roy D. Buol joined local leaders across the country in a nationwide, bipartisan initiative to highlight the impact of volunteerism and national service in tackling local problems.

The Dubuque National Service Partnership honored local volunteers, AmeriCorps Members, and AmeriCorps Senior volunteers at the National Service Recognition Day Award Ceremony that took place on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. at the Multicultural Family Center. The following individuals were nominated for their service to the community:

  • The Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals who serve as volunteers whose service have made a significant impact on the organization(s) for which they serve/served.
    • Nominees:
      • Jack Frick, Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
      • Laura Feipel, Dubuque Regional Humane Society
      • Mary Ann Conzett, Multicultural Family Center
    • Award Recipient: Laura Feipel
  • The National Service Impact Award recognizes individuals who are alumni or current National Service members whose service made a significant impact on the site for which they have served.
    • Nominees:
      • Alexis Farrall, Green Iowa AmeriCorps
      • Janet Grass, City of Dubuque AmeriCorps Program: Partners in Learning
      • Linda Sorensen, City of Dubuque AmeriCorps Program: Partners in Learning
      • Mary Kay Patters, City of Dubuque AmeriCorps Program: Partners in Learning
      • Tessie Strohm, City of Dubuque AmeriCorps Program: Creating Opportunities
    • Award Recipient: Tessie Strohm
  • The Champion of Service Award recognizes individuals or agencies that have demonstrated ongoing and sustained involvement and/or advocacy with National Service Programs.
    • Award Recipients:
      • 2021 – Mayor Roy D. Buol, City of Dubuque
      • 2020 – Kim Stickney, City of Dubuque AmeriCorps Program Assistant

The Ceremony and nominations can be viewed at

The United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States Board Members reviewed all submitted nominations and select the winners of the National Service Impact Award and the Volunteer Service Impact Award. The Dubuque National Service Partnership committee selects the recipient of the Champion of Service Award each year.



City of Dubuque Celebrating October as National Arts and Humanities Month

The City of Dubuque continues to join with thousands of organizations and communities across the nation to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month throughout October.

The Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission and our local arts, culture, and humanities institutions, is sharing this message throughout the month with outreach that seeks to raise awareness the impact access to arts, culture, and humanities experiences have on the quality of life in our community.

During the October 4 regular meeting of the Dubuque City Council, a formal proclamation was made recognizing October as Arts and Humanities Month in Dubuque. Read the full proclamation online.

The community at-large is encouraged to participate in what has become the country’s largest annual collective celebration of the arts and humanities throughout the month of October by:
  • Engaging with the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs Facebook page and Instagram account where daily themes and local activities are being highlighted;
  • Following ‘Arts and Humanities Month’ features in local media;
  • Patronizing and volunteering with local arts and humanities events and spaces, following suggested COVID-19 safety protocols when doing so in-person;
  • Contacting local, state, and federal officials to communicate support for investment in arts and humanities initiatives;
  • Sharing their individual creative talents and arts and humanities interests with family, friends, and the community.
“The arts are the lifeblood of our communities, raising morale, creating community cohesion, and providing comfort during dark times, while also delivering a huge economic footprint. The sector has suffered devastating losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is vital that we support our creative workers in the months and years to come,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “National Arts and Humanities Month gives us a chance to celebrate the values that the arts impart in our lives, and it is more important than ever that everyone take part to recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities in our communities.”
National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people. This month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, which was started in 1985 by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.
More information about National Arts and Humanities Month is available at View events across the nation and add yours to the celebration at

For more information on City arts and culture related programs, funding, and the Arts and Culture Master Plan, visit or contact City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant at or 563.690.6059.



Rosary Rally

America Needs Fatima
Rosary Rally!
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021
Place: Nativity Church Rosary Garden (inside Church if weather is poor)
1225 Alta Vista Street
Dubuque, IA 52001
2:00 pm – Introduction
2:10 pm – The Holy Rosary
3:00pm – Conclusion
Join us to pray the Holy Rosary for the Catholic Church, our nation and the conversion of all people to Jesus Christ.
Bring your lawn chairs and take up space for Christ!
Matthew 18
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Questions or comments?
Contact America Needs Fatima rosary captain
Phone: (563) 870-4665



DuTrac Community Credit Union Announces New Website

DuTrac Community Credit Union recently launched its newly designed website,

In addition to a refreshed design and updated content, the completely revamped website features a more intuitive site structure, a mobile-friendly format, and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), making it accessible to those with disabilities.

As one of the largest financial cooperatives in the Tri-State region and a staple in the Dubuque community since 1946, DuTrac continues to grow and provide its more than 49,000 members with a range of consumer and business products and services.

The website’s navigation makes it easy for DuTrac members and prospective members to find the specific product or service they are looking for, with “Bank,” “Borrow,” “Invest,” and “Connect” options. Links to online banking, current rates, and popular loan products are quickly accessible from the home page.

A responsive design automatically adjusts to different screen sizes, delivering a dynamic and seamless experience to users on all devices. The ADA compliance feature provides a pop-up menu with options to make the site content easier to read.

The website update follows DuTrac’s recent launch of its online banking platform, PC Branch and smartphone app, MobileLink.

“Our new website and launch of PC Branch and MobileLink reflect our commitment to providing superior service to our members,” said Jason Norton, Senior VP of Marketing & Business Development.

“We understand members want to be able to easily access their accounts 24/7, as well as find information about products and services. As we continue to grow and technology evolves, our goal of providing outstanding service remains, whether that’s in-person or online.”

DuTrac’s commitment to the communities it serves is also prominent on the new website, with links to news, events, and information about the DuTrac scholarship program, charitable giving, and educational opportunities.

“DuTrac is about so much more than transactions,” said Norton. “Our members and communities are what have allowed us to grow and thrive over the past 75 years. We’re elated to be able to provide a website with the information not only about our products and services, but also with news and information that can improve the lives of our members.”



Kelly Langel Receives Hospital Hero Award from the Iowa Hospital Association

Kelly Langel, RN, in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital has received one of the Iowa Hospital Association’s Hospital Hero awards for demonstrating exceptional commitment to care and service. Kelly was one of 11 employees of Iowa hospitals to receive the 2021 recognition.

Kelly was nominated for the award after seizing the opportunity to provide exceptional care to a patient in the Finley Hospital Intensive Care Unit, during her time as an ICU nurse. Faced with a critically ill patient, Kelly turned to her passion of music to help ease the patient’s pain and help the patient’s family during the grieving process. Kelly sang hymns for the patient and their family, both on her shift and off. Kelly also sang at the patient’s funeral. In the words of the patient’s wife, “I couldn’t believe someone who had never really met my husband would be touched by his life and want to do that.”

Since 2007, the Hospital Heroes program has celebrated employees who have acted courageously in a moment’s crisis or who have selflessly served their hospitals and communities throughout their careers. Hospital Heroes are nominated by their peers – more than 40 nominations were submitted this year – and award recipients are selected by other state hospital associations. Hospital Heroes are recognized during the Iowa Hospital Association’s annual meeting in October.

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government, and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are association members.



Visiting Nurse Association Receives Grant from Variety – the Children’s Charity

The Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association has received a $6,650.00 grant from Variety – the Children’s Charity to assist in funding equipment to support families in the maternal health program.

VNA is a nonprofit organization serving more than 12,000 people annually in the Tri-State area with a mission to meet public health needs one person, one family, one community at a time.

The Variety grant will assist in purchasing portable play yards and educational materials. Educational materials in conjunction with the play yards, or Pack’n’Plays, will assist Maternal Health Staff to demonstrate safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of SIDS. The educational material will contain examples of safe sleep environments translated to the Marshallese Language.

“Receiving this grant from Variety will have a positive impact on the mothers and babies the VNA serves,” said Stacey Killian, Director of the Visiting Nurse Association. “We are grateful to have Variety as a generous partner and thank them for their support.”

Variety – the Children’s Charity is dedicated to improving the lives of children who are underprivileged, at-risk, critically ill or living with special needs. Grant funding is provided to programs and initiatives that directly impact the well-being of children. For more information on Variety grants and programs please visit



Terror at the Grand Opera House Returns for 2021

Each October the Grand Opera House is transformed into a labyrinth of terror. Using 4 floors of the historic (and haunted) opera house, guests find their own way through a series of mind bending, phobia filled, scream inducing scenes.   

 Light Fright begins at 6:30pm and includes a tour through the theater with the lights on, led by a friendly tour guide. At each station in the Haunted House someone may pop out at you, but they will have treats to offer to make up for their “trick”! Bring your trick-or-treat bag with you to Light Fright, and be sure to wear your Halloween costume!

Beginning at 8pm the lights go out and ghouls come out to play. Full Fright is a self-guided walk through the building that winds its way through 4 floors of the theater, stage, and backstage areas. Visitors will be terrorized by monsters and a series of psychological frights drawing on primal fears. This tour is not for the faint of heart. Try not to get lost in the twists and turns, and whatever you do, do not get separated from your group.  Full Fright guests may go through in costume, however you may be asked to leave bags, props (including but not limited to: real and fake weapons, staffs, wands, signs, stuffed animals and etc.), or masks at the Box Office. Sneakers or closed toe flat shoes are encouraged, there is a lot of walking including up and down stairs as well as over uneven ground.

 Key Features of the Haunt include:

 The maddening maze – guests may find themselves trapped forever in the cleverly designed maze set up on stage. You may find yourself asking if you have been down this hall before, or if that wall is in the same place it was a moment ago. If you run into someone else in the maze they may help you find your way out, or they may not…

 The popular “indoor cornfield” – you turn the corner and encounter a cornfield in the middle of the theater. But do you dare to walk through it? Who knows what lurks between the stalks.

 And a rotating line up of graveyards, forests, dungeons and more!

 You may have seen shows at the Grand Opera House before, but you haven’t experienced anything like this!

 Terror At The Grand Opera House, our annual Haunted House, will take place on the following days:
Friday, October 22nd
Saturday, October 23rd
Sunday, October 24th  

Thursday, October 28th
Friday, October 29th
Saturday, October 30th
Sunday, October 31st  

Light Fright 6:30pm-7:30pm, Full Fright 8:00pm-11:00pm

Tickets are $7 for Light Fright, and $12 for Full Fright

Fog and strobe effects will be used. Not recommended for individuals with asthma, heart conditions, or seizures. This tour includes walking several stairs and is not recommended for individuals with impaired mobility.

Tickets may be purchased at the door.  For questions please contact the Box Office. Box Office hours Mon-Fri 12:00 PM-4:00 PM, 563-588-1305

The Candy and toys given away during the Light Fright Trick-or-Treat, as well as more than 60 complimentary tickets provided to local service organizations, are provided through the generosity of our volunteers and performers. For a full list of donors, please visit our website at:

Created, built, and performed by a group of volunteers – Terror at the Grand Opera House is a special event presented by the Grand Opera House.



Q Casino Creates Expanded Houlihan’s Outdoor Seating and Opens Wow Bao on Schmidt Island

Q Casino announces the creation of an expanded outdoor dining experience at Houlihan’s located next to the Hilton Garden Inn on Schmitt Island.  Alex Dixon, President and CEO states, “We are so excited to be bringing this elevated outdoor dining experience to the Island, this $700,000 project enhances our resort style amenities perfectly.”

An exhilarating space has been created that features expanded capacity with over 100 more seats, big screen TV’s; perfect for viewing the big game, a large firepit with romantic lounge seating and ceiling mounted heat lamps for the cooler season.  Houlihan’s Outdoors, looks forward to spotlighting regional acoustical music seasonally on the patio and welcoming customers to enjoy the new outdoor space.

Along with the new outdoor space, Houlihan’s has also partnered with the fast-casual Asian concept, Wow Bao, to cook and steam their menu items.   Bao is a traditional Asian street food favorite.  Bao (rymes with “wow”) also known as steamed buns or baozi is a soft, fluffy dough served with savory or sweet flavors and steamed to perfection.  Order options – Uber Eats, Grubhub, Call direct at (563)585-3006 or stop by the Pick Up Window located in the hallway between Houlihan’s and the Hilton Garden Inn.

Brian Rakestraw, Vice President and General Manager, states, “This announcement brings more options to our customers, an enhanced outdoor dining space to compliment what our customers love most about Houlihan’s, fun drinks and great food and adds in some additional variety with the availability of Asian street food from Wow Bao”




The annual Fall Clean-up will begin on Monday October 4th and run through Friday

October 8, 2021. Please remove all items and decorations you wish to save no

later than Sunday October 3, 2021. All items not removed will be discarded.

Cemetery Management requests that no decorations or plantings be placed on grave

sites until Saturday, October 9, 2021. Check Cemetery Regulations before placing

decorations to avoid losing items that do not conform.



Dubuque Mayor’s Proclamation Requires Masks in City Facilities, Encourages Masks in Public Places

Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol has updated Dubuque’s COVID-19 pandemic-related emergency proclamation to require masks and social distancing in facilities owned by the City of Dubuque and to encourage residents to wear masks in public places in Dubuque.

Buol’s proclamation cites Dubuque County’s high rate of community transmission of the virus, increasing number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team’s recommendation that residents and visitors to Dubuque County wear face coverings in public indoor settings.

Specifically, the proclamation states:

  • Every person in the city of Dubuque older than two (2) years of age is encouraged to wear a face covering that covers the person’s nose and mouth when in a public place.
  • Every person in the City of Dubuque older than two (2) years of age shall wear a face covering that covers the person’s nose and mouth when in any City of Dubuque owned facility.
City of Dubuque buildings covered by the mask requirement include Bunker Hill Golf Course (building only), Carnegie-Stout Public Library, City Hall, City Hall Annex, Historic Federal Building, Five Flags Center, Grand River Center, Jule Intermodal Transportation Center, Mystique Community Ice Center, Multicultural Family Center, and Municipal Services Center.

The following people are exempt from wearing a face covering in City of Dubuque facilities:

  • Persons younger than two (2) years of age due to the risk of suffocation
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is on oxygen therapy or a ventilator
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance
  • Anyone who has been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings
  • Anyone actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel, although a mask should be worn if possible.
The proclamation states the requirement for face coverings in City of Dubuque facilities will remain in place until the CDC changes Dubuque County’s community transmission rate to low or the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team advises otherwise based on local data and conditions.

To read the full proclamation, visit—9721.



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.



Preparing your home for the next natural disaster

We all want our homes to be safe, comforting spaces that offer refuge and protection from the outside world. The global pandemic has taught us this, as well as the importance of preparation – not just for illness — but also for natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes.

Making sure your house is a secure and resilient structure is critical no matter where you live, as global warming has altered the climates and weather events of many regions. Fortunately, thanks to advances in design and innovative materials, building a stronger, disaster-proof home is possible.

An alternative to traditional wood-framing, Nudura insulated concrete forms are an excellent option many engineers and designers are turning to. The steel-reinforced solid concrete cores range from four to 12 inches, providing far superior strength and safety compared to wood. Meanwhile the non-toxic, fire-retardant expanded polystyrene foam provides a fire protection rating of up to four hours.

Homes built with these ICFs are proven to survive natural disasters — houses that faced Hurricane Michael in Florida and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are still standing. ICFs even offer wind resistance of up to 250 mph (402 kph), equivalent to an F4 tornado.

Homes that use ICF construction have other added benefits, including enhanced insulation for lower energy bills, a reduced carbon footprint, and improved ventilation for better indoor air quality and lower susceptibility to mold. Concrete forms also require less maintenance over time, saving you the expense and effort of continuous upkeep and providing additional peace of mind.

Find more information at



Eagle Point Solar Makes Inc. 5000 List

Inc. magazine revealed that Eagle Point Solar is No. 1,911 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“This is a great achievement to be recognized on this prestigious list three years in a row. We are thankful to our staff, clients, community and legislative supporters who continue to help fuel the growth of the solar industry. Together, we’re paving the way for the future of sustainable, renewable energy generation,” stated Jim Pullen, President and CEO of Eagle Point Solar.

Not only have the companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but this year’s list also proved especially resilient and flexible given 2020’s unprecedented challenges. Among the 5,000, the average median three-year growth rate soared to 543 percent, and median revenue reached $11.1 million. Together, those companies added more than 610,000 jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at The top 500 companies are also being featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 20.

“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.”



Dubuque Fire Department Receives American Heart Association Award

Dubuque Fire Department Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award

The Dubuque Fire Department has received the American Heart Association’s 2021 Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award  for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don’t receive this prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline® seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. The Mission: Lifeline® initiative provides tools, training, and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“The Dubuque Fire Department is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Dubuque EMS Supervisor Samuel Janecke. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline®.”

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline® Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient.”

This is the second year in a row the department has received the Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award. The Dubuque Fire Department has proudly provided emergency and non-emergency ambulance service in the Dubuque community since 1914. For more information on Dubuque Fire Department EMS, visit or call 563-589-4160.



City of Dubuque Launches Website to Help Eligible Residents Enroll in the Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The City of Dubuque has launched a website to help eligible residents find and enroll in discounted or free internet service through the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a temporary Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help households struggling to afford internet service.

The $3.2 billion program provides eligible households a discount of up to:

  • $50 per month on wireless internet plans and a free phone
  • OR $50 per month on wired internet service to the home
  • One-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. A small fee will be required.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Meets federal poverty income guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Individuals approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.

To help eligible residents find and enroll in EBB discounts, the City launched Those who have a mobile or home internet provider can see a summary of the EBB discount being offered by their current provider. Those without a service provider can enter their home address to see a list of all EBB discounts in the area. Once an EBB service plan is selected, users will be taken to the internet service provider’s website where they will need to complete the National Verifier Lifeline Application form and enroll.

As part of Dubuque’s Poverty Prevention and Reduction Plan, the City and other community stakeholders have been working to develop a comprehensive “Digital Equity Plan” aimed at assuring that all Dubuque residents have access to comparable high-speed internet and have the necessary knowledge and skills to use available digital technologies as a means of improving their life circumstances.



Regulations for Placement of Political Signs within the City of Dubuque

The City of Dubuque is reminding campaigns and residents of the regulations that govern the placement of political signs as election season approaches. The City’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regulates all exterior signage on property, including political signage, within the community.

First Amendment free speech is protected; the City of Dubuque cannot regulate the content of political signs. However, the City can legally regulate the size, manner, and placement of political signs for safety and visibility.

The City of Dubuque has the following regulations on political signs:

  • Political signs cannot exceed 32 square feet in area.
  • Political signs cannot be placed in any public right-of-way or visibility triangle.
  • Political signs cannot be placed on objects in the right-of-way such as trees, utility poles, and in medians.

If a sign is inadvertently placed on the public right-of-way, the City’s Public Works Department may move the sign back on to its property and attach a green slip noting the violation. The City may follow with a notice of violation letter specifying a time frame to correct any violations. The right-of-way area varies throughout the community.

Complete details, including diagrams, are available online at For more information or questions regarding the regulations or property line locations, please contact the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or



United Way: United We Can!

(DUBUQUE, IA) – United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States is hosting its annual campaign kick-off breakfast, sponsored by the Diamond Jo Casino, and is sure to be a great way to start your morning. The event is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at the Diamond Jo Casino – Harbor Room. People are encourage to RSVP to the event by August 17 by emailing, calling 563-588-1415 or visiting

This year’s Campaign Co-Chairs are Bob Woodward from Woodward Communications and April Finnin Rink of Finnin Ford & Kia. Both community leaders are excited to spearhead efforts in engaging the community in supporting United Way, which helps impact over 55,000 local lives.

“We’ve put together a fun and informative program that will briefly showcase ways community members and local business partners can get involved to support health, education, and income locally,” shares Katie Wiedemann, Northeast Iowa Community College’s Director of External Relations, and this year’s emcee for the campaign kick-off.

“Change doesn’t happen alone, and this kick-off is one way to encourage everyone to get engaged in creating change to improve our community. Everyone plays a vital role in helping our community succeed, including our funded partners, our business partnerships, and our volunteers,” shares Danielle Peterson, President and CEO of United Way. “Our United Way has adapted to the rapidly changing community needs over this last year and a half. It’s important for the broader community to know about the great things that happen because of the passion and mission behind our work. United We Can is our theme and we truly believe that when we work collaboratively and we CAN and do make an impact in our community.”

United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States serves a 10-county service area covering parts of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. In recent years, United Way has evolved to embrace a community impact model, shifting from a traditional model of funding organizations to funding local programs that have applied for and received funding, impacting health, education and income. All United Way funded programs demonstrate how they align to meet and improve community needs and collaborate with other nonprofits, all working together to achieve community-wide outcomes.  Examples of issues impacted through United Way are brain health, poverty, food scarcity, homelessness, and more. This year, United Way funds 31 nonprofit organizations.

 United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States connects people and resources to advance the health, education and income of those in need in our community. The organization brings individuals and other groups together around innovative solutions to impact tens of thousands of lives annually. For more information, visit



Eagle Point Solar Recognized as Top U.S. Solar Installation Company

[Dubuque, Iowa, 7/20/2020]— The U.S. solar industry is on the upswing, thanks to a pro-renewables presidential administration and increased concern over climate change. Eagle Point Solar has had a front-row seat to this action, with business increasing over the last year. Solar Power World has recognized the company’s installation success by ranking Eagle Point Solar at No. 173 on the 2021 Top Solar Contractors list. Additionally, Eagle Point Solar received the ranking of 100 for the Solar Power World’s Solar+Storage Installer sub list.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed each year by Solar Power World to honor the work of solar installers in the United States. Solar firms in the utility, commercial and residential markets are ranked by number of kilowatts installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific service, markets and states.

“Not even COVID-19 closures and slowdowns could prevent the solar industry from installing fantastic numbers last year,” said Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief of Solar Power World. “The Solar Power World team is so glad to recognize over 400 companies on the 2021 Top Solar Contractors list that not only survived a pandemic but thrived in spite of it.”

The U.S. solar industry grew 43% in 2020, installing more solar panels on homes, businesses and across the country than any other year on record. The residential market saw an 11% increase, which is remarkable considering the difficulties of maneuvering home solar projects through pandemic precautions.

The federal government passed a two-year extension on the solar investment tax credit (ITC) at the end of 2020, which will further accelerate solar adoption across all market segments. After installing 19.2 GW in 2020, research firm Wood Mackenzie expects the U.S. solar market to quadruple by 2030.

In addition to persevering through this turbulent time in history, the 2021 class of Top Solar Contractors is continuing to innovate by adding energy storage to their offerings. Over one-third of this year’s contractors are also featured on the exclusive 2021 Top Solar + Storage Installers list. Eagle Point Solar received the ranking of 100 for the Solar Power World’s Solar+Storage Installer sub list.

“We are grateful to our clients who continue to support the renewable energy industry and help us advance our pursuit in providing the highest quality solar and solar+storage solutions in the tri-states. Our success as the area’s top solar installer is a testament to residents and business owners helping to make a difference in reducing their carbon footprint,” said Jim Pullen, President/CEO of Eagle Point Solar.

About Solar Power World

 Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors — including installers, developers and EPCs in all markets — grow their businesses and do their jobs better.



Dubuque City Council Candidate Filing Period Runs Aug. 9-26

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Candidates for the Dubuque city council election may begin filing nomination papers on Monday, Aug. 9.

The positions up for this year’s election are Mayor, At-Large Representative, Ward One Representative, and Ward Three Representative. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2. If more than two candidates file for a position, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Nomination papers can be downloaded from the Iowa Secretary of State’s website (, or can be obtained from the Dubuque City Clerk’s Office in person or by emailing

Completed papers must be filed in the City Clerk’s Office, located in City Hall at 50 W. 13thSt. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The deadline to file nomination papers is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26.

For more information on this election, contact the Dubuque County Elections Office at 563.589.4457 or visit



New “Helpful Place” for Peosta Coming Soon

New Steve’s Ace Hardware Store Scheduled to Open in Early 2022
Family business part of Tri-State Area since 1988

PEOSTA, Iowa – The “helpful place” will soon be part of your neighborhood.

Scheduled to open its doors in early 2022, Steve’s Ace, located at 456 Peosta St. in Peosta (at the corner of Burds Rd. and Peosta Street/Sundown Rd.), will be a curated combination of the two current Steve’s Ace locations featuring a full hardware store aimed to serve both the homeowners and the businesses in the area, a greenhouse & gift department showcasing the best sellers of Sprout and the Flower Shoppe, and outdoor lifestyle offering.

The new store will bring a “more personal kind of helpful” and best brands like EGO, Traeger, Weber, Benjamin Moore, and Scotts to local homeowners and DIYers. Steve’s Ace will provide solutions to everyday home maintenance needs through an extensive selection of products in categories such as paint, grilling, lawn and garden, and more.

This is the third Ace store opened by owners Sara & Jason Carpenter. The store will span 15,500 square feet and will feature a small outdoor garden center with annuals, perennials, and seasonal plants.

“Ace Hardware is committed to providing home maintenance solutions, neighborly advice, and resources to residents in Peosta,” said Sara Selchert Carpenter, owner of Steve’s Ace. “We’re excited to welcome Peosta to the Steve’s Ace family, and we look forward to making a positive impact for many years to come.”



Free Riverview Center 2021 Character Strong Camps

June 21 – August 13, 2021
Join us for the return of our FREE summer character camps! While participating in crafts, games, sing-a-longs and more, children will be learning the traits of PurposeFull People – courage, respect, perseverance, gratitude, honesty, kindness, empathy, responsibility, cooperation and creativity.
·        Virtual Camps so everyone can participate
·        Free Art/Craft Supply Kits for each student for pickup or drop off
·        Some of the activities include: balloon breathing for mindfulness, mini-greenhouses, “honest sunglasses,” creating fish sun visors to remember to “just keep swimming,” letters to local heroes, perseverance portraits, daily mindfulness and meditation, Rube Goldberg machines, and more!
·        Camps are 5 days and children can attend both for their grade level (different topics)
·        Pre-K: June 21st-25th
·        Pre-K: June 28th-July 2nd
·        K-2nd: July 12th-16th
·        K-2nd: July 19th-23th
·        3rd-5th: August 2nd-6th
·        3rd-5th: August 9th-13th

 Riverview Center is honored to serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their significant others through free and confidential services. Regardless of means, our clients receive high-quality, professional support, including a 24-hour crisis hotline; legal, medical, and general advocacy; arrangements for safe, temporary shelter and safety planning; one-on-one therapy/counseling and support groups; professional trainings; and violence prevention education initiatives.

 For the past twenty nine years, Riverview Center has proudly provided the healing and justice survivors of deserve, free of charge. We are a nonprofit agency committed to providing free, confidential, compassionate, client-centered care for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence in Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties in Illinois and for individuals affected by sexual violence in 14 counties in Northeast Iowa. Riverview Center is creating a community free of violence by empowering individuals, fostering empathy, and developing social skills that emphasize respect, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution.

Jo Daviess 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline: 815.777.8155
Jo Daviess 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 815.777.3680
Carroll 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline: 815.244.7772
Carroll 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 815.244.1320
Iowa 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline: (888) 557.0310



2021 Back Waters Outdoor Concert Series

Q Casino is proud to announce 2 additional performances on the Back Waters Stage; Mitchell Tenpenny along with Walker Hayes will perform on Friday, July 9th.   On Saturday, August 14, Tesla along with Wayland will take the Stage.

 Mitchell TenPenny Performing, Friday, July 9,  Since the release of his debut single, “Drunk Me,” Riser House/Columbia Nashville artist, Mitchell Tenpenny has set new standards for breakout success in country music. The 2X Platinum-certified, No. 1 hit was taken from his introductory album, Telling All My Secrets, and earned him the best first week showing for any major label country debut LP in 2018. To date, “Drunk Me” has amassed nearly 490 million on-demand streams. In the year that followed, the “winning” singer (the New York Times) was nominated for New Male Artist of the Year at the ACM Awards and Breakthrough Video (“Drunk Me”) at the CMT Music Awards and saw his “Alcohol You Later” single certify gold. He also kicked off his first headlining concert series, the “Anything She Says Tour,” with labelmates and award-winning duo Seaforth who joined as support and were also featured on the gold-selling song, “Anything She Says.”

Joining him is Walker Hayes the Monument Records recording artist, is a singer/songwriter originally from Mobile, Alabama. His recently announced forthcoming EP Country Stuff, out in June, features collaborations with Jake Owen, Carly Pearce, and Lori McKenna, and displays the full range of Hayes’ creativity. “Country Stuff is a body of work that means a lot to me, because it shows all of who I am. I’m not in the same mood or headspace every day – some days it’s all about fun, some days are harder – but I think it’s ok to share all of that, and that’s what I hope Country Stuff does” says Hayes

Tesla, Performing on Saturday, August 14 – That they are still roaring and soaring should be no surprise. That’s just how they are built. TESLA may have been born in the mid 80s eruption of leather, spandex, and big hair, but this band has never been about those things. Hardly. Their bluesy, soulful sound is strongly embedded in the roots of organic, authentic, 1970s rock and roll. The same roots that produced bands like The Allman Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Aerosmith.  2020 marks the 30th anniversary of one of TESLA’s most iconic albums, Five Man Acoustical Jam. The upcomingtour will feature performances of the most seminal tracks from this ground-breaking acoustic record. TESLA also visited the legendary London recording studio Abbey Road in June 2019 where they performed, recorded, and filmed a semi-acoustic set that will become their next live album, Five Man London Jam. The new record honors songs from the original live album combined with the wealth of hit songs they’ve crafted over their 30-year legacy.

Performing with Tesla is Wayland, whose first album debuted in 2010, since then the band has gone on to release more albums and Top 40 songs along the way.   The band is currently releasing new music independently writing, recording, and developing themselves in Los Angeles between tour dates

Tickets for these two shows go on sale Wednesday, June 9 at 10:00AM. Tickets can be purchased ONLINE ONLY at or through Event held rain or shine. Tickets are non refundable. Ticket prices and lineup subject to change.  For a complete line up follow Back Waters Stage on Facebook or check the website at for the most up to date information.



Dubuque Recycling Event Diverts 19,000 Pounds of Electronics from Landfill

On June 12, 2021, the City of Dubuque Public Works Department, in partnership with the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA), held an electronics drop-off recycling event at the Municipal Services Center in Dubuque. In total, 237 people participated, recycling over 340 televisions and other household electronics, resulting in 19,000 pounds of material diverted from the landfill.

“We are thrilled that so many took advantage of this opportunity to properly dispose of electronics safely and sustainably and want to remind residents that there are options to recycle these electronics year-round,” said DMASWA Solid Waste Agency Administrator Ken Miller.

The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (101 Airborne Rd., formerly 14501 HWY 20 West, now accessed by a frontage road) accepts unwanted electronics by drop-off appointment. For more information on this program or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 563-557-8220.

The City of Dubuque also offers residential customers the option to schedule curbside collection for a variety of electronics through the large item pick-up service. For more information on this program or to schedule a pick-up, visit or call 563-589-4250.



City of Dubuque Launches Residential Broadband Survey

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The City of Dubuque has launched a Residential Broadband Survey to gather information from residents about their current internet and cell phone services. Residents are encouraged to participate and provide feedback that will guide efforts to increase access to affordable, fast, and reliable broadband in Dubuque.

Broadband Acceleration Initiative
With the goal of universal and affordable broadband access for Dubuque residents and businesses, the City of Dubuque introduced a Dubuque Broadband Acceleration Initiative in 2016. The initiative focuses on public/private collaborations and includes a comprehensive strategy to reduce the cost and time required for broadband expansions in Dubuque. A key challenge to that initiative is the issue of broadband affordability for residents currently.

Earlier this year, the Dubuque City Council adopted the Dubuque Equitable Poverty Reduction and Prevention Plan, which includes a recommended strategy to “subsidize internet access in low-income neighborhoods and develop a digital equity plan.” Lack of access to fast, reliable, and affordable internet services contributes to negative outcomes in safety and security, health/medical, communications, education, and jobs for low-income communities. Overcoming challenges and accomplishing these objectives will require a comprehensive effort and the leveraging of data along with multiple funding sources to implement a solution.

The Dubuque Residential Broadband survey will collect anonymous baseline data on the current use, speed, bandwidth, and need for broadband services for households in Dubuque to help inform this initiative. Broadband internet is generally defined as a service having a minimum of 25 Mbps (Megabits per second. The number of bits transferred per second over an internet connection) download and 3 Mbps upload speeds.

Residential Broadband Survey Open Through June 25
The anonymous data collected from the survey will be analyzed and mapped by type of service and location, as well as demographic data such as age, race, and income. Additional publicly available data will be aggregated and incorporated. Dubuque residents are encouraged to participate by visiting and completing the survey by June 25, 2021. No personally identifiable information will be recorded or gathered.



Common carcinogens everyone should know about

A carcinogen is any substance that can be cancer-causing. Carcinogens can be found in the air, the products a person uses or even in popular foods and beverages.

Scientists continually study exposures that can contribute to the formation of cancer. The National Cancer Institute reminds the public that, while carcinogens have the potential to be harmful, not all exposure will automatically result in cancer. Many factors are involved in whether carcinogenic exposure will lead to cancer, including genetic predispositions and the duration of exposure.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health maintains a list of occupational carcinogens. Recommended exposure limits and what constitutes a carcinogen is updated as needed. In addition, some health organizations, such as cancer groups, identify other carcinogens that exist beyond occupational hazards. These may include UV rays, tobacco and alcohol. The following are some common carcinogens.

• Arsenic: Inorganic arsenic may be naturally present at high levels in groundwater and the Earth’s crust in various areas. Arsenic also may be found in the air and in tobacco smoke, advises the World Health Organization.

• Asbestos: When products containing asbestos are disturbed, fibers can be released and trapped in the lungs, says the Environmental Protection Agency. Asbestos used to be a common material found in roof shingles, ceiling tiles and car parts, although many industries have long since ceased using asbestos.

• Crispy cooked foods: Charring food on the barbecue or elsewhere may taste delicious, but when certain foods are heated to high temperatures a chemical called acrylamide can be produced. WebMD says that rats that consumed acrylamide in drinking water developed cancer, so researchers suspect humans may be vulnerable as well.

• Formaldehyde: The EPA says this product is found in certain wood products, fabrics and other household items. That’s because it is a preservative, germicide and fungicide. Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment, and is produced in cigarette smoke.

• Pollution: Outdoor air contains a mix of engine exhaust, metals and solvents that can lead to cancer. While this type of carcinogen is not easily avoided, people can stay indoors on days when air quality is poor or avoid industrial areas where pollution levels may be higher.

• Preserved meats: Salami, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, and preserved foods can increase risk for colon cancer, according to the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Limiting how much salted, fermented, cured, and smoked foods a person eats can lower cancer risk.

• Radon: The NCI indicates that radon occurs naturally from the decay of uranium, thorium and radium in rocks and soil. It can be released into the air and drinking water, eventually infiltrating homes and businesses.

Carcinogens are all around. Identifying common ones can help people take precautions that limit their exposure and potentially reduce their cancer risk.



The threat of sand cave-ins necessitates caution

Few things can top a day at the beach on a warm day. The sunshine is out in full force and crashing waves beckon when it is time to cool off.

While there is much fun to be had at the beach, some dangers lurk as well. Though rip tides or jellyfish may come to mind, the beach itself, namely the sand, also poses a threat.

Young children and even adults bring shovels and buckets to make sand castles and even to dig holes in the sand to cover friends and family members. Such holes can quickly cave in and trap unsuspecting people inside. That’s just what happened to 12-year-old Reno Ciotola in 2017 in Ocean City, Maryland. Ciotola dug a tunnel in the sand when it suddenly collapsed, trapping him underneath. Lifeguards were able to dig him free eventually, but Ciotola was unconscious with no vital signs. Luckily he was revived. It’s not the first nor the last case of beach sand cave-ins.

According to Stephen Van Ryswick, chief of the Coastal and Environmental Geology Program, holes dug in beach sand react differently than holes dug in fields. The “angle of repose” is much lower in sand. This is the maximum angle an object can rest on at an incline without sliding down. Beach sand has an angle of repose of approximately 30 degrees, according to Van Ryswick. By comparison, rock can maintain a 90-degree angle of repose.

Holes are typically dug where sand is moist. The water in the sand initially holds the sand together more firmly, but as it evaporates and the sand dries and gets disturbed, collapses can occur. Bradley Maron, a Harvard University researcher, says he’s tracked 72 sand hole collapses over the past decade. Of them, 60 have been fatal.

Lifeguards are increasingly recognizing sand digging safety as a concern. They are being trained in rescues and warning beachgoers about the risk of sand collapse. Experts warn that a good rule of thumb for digging sand holes is not to make them any deeper than the knees of the smallest person in the hole.

Danger lurks at the beach, and it isn’t always in the water. Sometimes the sand can be hazardous as well.



Make safety an important part of home cleaning

Safety may not be on the minds of people when they gather equipment and cleaning supplies to clean their homes, but even seemingly innocuous items can be dangerous. The National Safety Council warns that accidents and deaths often occur when least expected — including when doing chores around the house.

The online safety advocate SafeWise says that more than 160,000 Americans die as a result of an accident every year, and household injuries account for 75 percent of those deaths. It’s important to be careful when cleaning around the house, and part of that caution includes recognizing where hazards may be lurking. Here are ways to prevent cleaning and organizing accidents.

Never mix cleansers
Cleaning chemicals are often effective because they employ bases or acids to produce cleaning actions. By themselves, many of these products are generally safe to use provided users adhere to the usage instructions and precautions. However, when mixed together, certain cleaning products can be extremely hazardous. According to Velocity EHS, an environmental, health, safety, and sustainability advisement company, users should never mix products containing acids and bases. Common cleaning products containing acids include tub and tile cleaners, vinegar and mold removers. Products containing bases include, bleaches, glass cleaners, and drain cleaners. Mixing these products can produce toxic gases, intense heat or even explosions.

Avoid falls
Falls are a major contributor to home injuries. Be especially careful when climbing ladders, and do not lean too far to either side. If possible, have someone hold the ladder steady. Wear nonskid shoes and go slowly. Do not climb on furniture or stack items to reach high spots like top shelves, as this can create a precarious situation.

Lift with care
Moving furniture or rearranging storage boxes can strain the back and other muscles. Use proper lifting techniques, which include lifting with the legs while keeping the back straight. If the item is too heavy, wait and ask for help.

Wear masks and safety gear
Whether dusting off the ceiling fan, cleaning out the crawlspace or removing debris from gutters and downspouts, protect the eyes, hands and lungs by wearing the right gear. Safety goggles, durable gloves and a dust mask are must-have cleaning supplies.

Remove supplies promptly
The NSC says about 10 people die from drowning every day in the United States. Children between the ages of one and four are at greatest risk. Do not leave cleaning buckets filled with water unattended, and make sure to clean up any supplies used right after cleaning to prevent injuries.

Cleaning and maintenance keep homes looking great. Homeowners should always keep safety in mind when cleaning around the house.



Securing a trustworthy pet sitter

Welcoming a pet of any kind into a home can be a lesson in love as well as one in responsibility. Pet owners must take various steps to ensure the safety and well-being of a companion animal, and that includes providing for that animal while on vacation.

How long pets can remain at home alone depends on the pet, its age and its overall health. For example, an aquarium full of fish may be able to thrive for a week with the assistance of an automatic feeder. Dogs, however, will need daily bathroom breaks and feedings, says the Animal Humane Society. Adult dogs may be able to “hold it” for 10 to 12 hours, but young puppies and elderly dogs likely need more frequent breaks outside.

Feeding and cleaning up pet waste is not the only consideration. Some animals require much more socialization than others.

Pet sitters can address pets’ needs while their owners are away. But finding one that will care for a pet like he or she is a member of the family can take some time and effort. Hill’s Pet Nutrition suggests beginning the process of finding a pet sitter by making a list of needs. Considerations to include are whether the pet sitter should be in one’s home or if the pet is to be brought to a pet care facility or a private sitter’s residence. The pet may have particular health care requirements that also need to be addressed, such as a dog who requires insulin shots for diabetes.

While friends and family may be the first choices as pet sitters, there are benefits to using professional pet sitters. A professional sitter is properly trained in the care of many different animals, according to Pet Sitters International. He or she may have a local business license and be insured and bonded. Professional sitters are likely to make the pet a priority more than hobbyists or well-meaning acquaintances because caring for pets is how they earn their livings.

Personal recommendations can be an effective means to finding reliable pet sitters. Pet owners can interview candidates, asking questions about experience with this type of pet, how he or she handles the breed and temperament, and what the plan might be if the pet gets sick or injured while in the pet sitter’s care.

Pet sitters provide valuable services when pet owners are away from home. Vetting pet sitters takes a little time, but that effort is well worth it.



How to care for perennials

Perennials can add color and vibrancy to any garden. One of the more desirable components of perennials is that they come back year after year, meaning homeowners do not have to invest in a gardenful of new flowers every year. That can add up to considerable savings. Perennials often form the foundation of beautiful gardens.

Annuals only grow for one season, produce seeds and then die. However, perennials die back to the ground every autumn and their roots survive the winter. So the plants reemerge in the spring, according to The Farmer’s Almanac. Some perennials are short-lived, meaning they will come back a few consecutive years; others will last for decades.

Though planted perennials require less maintenance than annuals, they are not completely maintenance-free. Certain care is needed to help perennials thrive, and that starts with the soil. In fact, soil is the single most important factor for growing healthy plants. Penn State Extension says most perennials grow ideally in well drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. In addition, organic matter can improve soil texture and water-holding ability.

When including perennials in the garden, make sure you wait for the right time to plant them. The ideal time is during the spring or fall. Perennials come as container-grown perennials, which already have been established in the soil. Bare-root perennials are just roots that are often packed in peat moss. In order to plant bare-root perennials, soak the roots in water for several minutes before gently planting in the ground, indicates the how-to resource Tip Bulletin.

Perennials should be watered deeply, especially during the first growing season. However, the soil should never be overly dry or wet. Most perennials do not need to be fertilized heavily. A single application in the spring typically is all that’s needed.

Care along the way can include deadheading spent flowers so that plants can use their energy on seed production and reblooming. Perennials should be divided when they grow large, every three to four years when the plants are not in bloom. Perennials produce fewer flowers or may look sickly when the time has passed to divide them. Early spring often is a good time to divide perennials, advises The Farmer’s Almanac.

A thick layer of mulch can help perennials to overwinter successfully. Perennials planted in containers will need to be transplanted into the garden before it gets cold because most containers cannot thoroughly insulate perennial roots.

Apart from these strategies, perennials pretty much take care of themselves. As long as sunlight requirements match plant needs, the perennials should thrive.



Let caution reign when kids are in the kitchen

Parents go to great lengths to keep their kids safe. From the moment a woman first learns she’s pregnant to the day teenagers head off to college, parents make myriad decisions in the name of keeping their children safe.

Homes are safe havens for families, but dangers still lurk around every corner and inside every cabinet. That’s especially true in the kitchen. Real estate professionals often note the importance of kitchens. According to, kitchen remains the most mentioned room in home listings. Nearly 70 percent of listings on the home buying and selling website mentioned kitchens, while less than 50 percent mentioned bedrooms.

Families spend a lot of time in their kitchens, so it’s no surprise these gathering spaces routinely attract curious kids. Kitchen safety is essential in every home, but it’s especially important in homes with young children. The following are some areas of the kitchen where parents can direct their focus as they try to keep their children safe.

Beneath the sink
Many families store cleaning products beneath their kitchen sinks. But that can prove hazardous if parents cannot prevent kids from accessing this area. According to the National Capital Poison Center, a disproportionate percentage of the millions of poison exposures in the United States each year affect children younger than six. It might be convenient to store cleaning products beneath the kitchen sink, but such products should be kept higher up in cabinets kids cannot reach until they’re old enough to know it’s not safe to ingest these cleaners.

Stoves pose a significant safety risk to youngsters, even when they’re not in use. When the stove is being used, make sure kids do not go near electric or gas burners, where curious hands may reach up and get burned. Kids also should be taught to steer clear when their parents are cooking on the stove top, as hot oil from pans can spray out and harm youngsters who aren’t paying attention. Parents also can install knob covers that prevent curious kids from turning burners on when no one is looking.

Dishwashers may not seem threatening, but they can pose a safety risk to youngsters. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that children should not be allowed to load and unload dishwashers until they are between the ages of seven and nine. Knives and forks in dishwashers can be sharp, posing a safety risk to curious youngsters. When loading the dishwasher, make sure the blades and prongs of knives and forks are facing downward, and never preload detergent, which can be harmful to kids if ingested. Always make sure the dishwasher is securely closed when in use so kids cannot open the door and potentially suffer burns from hot water.

Cutlery sets kept in blocks on countertops should be stored away from the edge of the counter, ideally along a back wall that kids cannot reach. In addition, countertop appliances like coffee machines, toasters, blenders, and slow cookers should be kept beyond the reach of young children.

Families spend a lot of time in their kitchens, where curious kids can easily find trouble. Parents can reduce kids’ risk for kitchen accidents and injuries with some simple safety strategies.




The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Tristate Chapter (AFP Greater Tristate Chapter) has been named a 2021 Ten Star GOLD Chapter.

Every year, AFP, the largest association of professional fundraisers in the world, honors chapters for achieving goals that align with key objectives in its long-range strategic plan. Chapters receive the Ten Star GOLD Award for performing specific activities designed to increase professionalism within fundraising and public awareness of the importance of philanthropy.

Less than 20 percent of AFP’s 200 professional chapters earn the Ten Star Gold Chapter recognition, making the AFP Greater Tristate Chapter one of the association’s leading chapters around the world.

Chapter president Wendy Knight, stated: “I am thrilled that the Greater TriState AFP chapter has been honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for our work this past year. While it was a challenging one for each of us, the fundraising professionals who volunteer and engage with our local chapter worked diligently to uphold the highest standards of fundraising and support one another during the most trying times. We are blessed to have amazing philanthropists.”

Ten Star Gold Chapters are recognized at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising (ICON). Chapters also earn the privilege of displaying the Ten Star Gold logo on their website, newsletters and stationery.

Criteria for the award are determined by AFP Global Headquarters. A list of several goals is published annually, and chapters must accomplish 15 of these goals during the year and submit a nomination form for verification to be honored.

For more information on the Ten Star Award process, please visit

Since 1960, AFP has inspired global change and supported efforts that generated over $1 trillion. AFP’s more than 31,000 individual and organizational members raise over $115 billion annually, equivalent to one-third of all charitable giving in North America and millions more around the world. For more information or to join the world’s largest association of fundraising professionals, visit



The dos and don’ts of fire pits

Many homeowners relish any opportunity to retreat to their back yards, where they can put up their feet and relax in the great outdoors. That retreat-like escape is made even more relaxing when sitting around a fire pit.

Fire pits can be found in millions of suburban backyards across the globe. Fire pits have become so popular that a 2016 survey of landscape architects conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects revealed they were the most sought after outdoor design element. Fire pits remain wildly popular a half decade after that survey.

Homeowners who are only now joining the fire pit revolution can keep these dos and don’ts in mind as they plan their summer s’mores sessions.

DO keep the fire pit a safe distance away from the home. Fire pits should be located a safe distance from the home at all times, but especially when they’re in use. Home design experts recommend keeping fire pits a minimum of 10 to 20 feet away from a house or other structure, such as a shed or a detached garage. The further away the fire is from houses and other structures, the less likely those structures are to catch on fire.

DON’T place the fire pit beneath trees or next to shrubs. Though fire pits should be kept safe distances away from a house and other structures, it’s important that they’re not placed beneath trees or next to shrubs. Shrubs and low hanging branches can easily catch embers and be lit ablaze, so make sure fire pits are not placed in locations that increase that risk.

DO clean out seasonal debris. It can be tempting to let seasonal debris resting inside the fire pit burn away during the season’s first s’mores session. But burning debris poses a serious safety risk, as embers can easily be blown out of the fire pit and catch nearby trees or shrubs or even a home on fire. The National Fire Protection Association advises homeowners that embers blowing from a backyard fire pose the same threat to homes as if they are from a wildfire.

DON’T let fire pits burn near flammable materials. Store firewood piles a safe distance away from the fire pit while it’s in operation. It may be convenient to keep firewood right next to the fire pit while the fire is burning, but that increases the risk that embers will land on firewood and start a fire outside of the pit.

DO check the weather report prior to starting the fire. Windy weather increases the risk of embers blowing around and potentially landing on the house, other structures around the property or trees. If the weather report is calling for gusting winds, burn a fire on another night.

DON’T leave a fire pit fire burning. Unattended recreational fires are illegal and incredibly dangerous. Homeowners should never leave fire pit fires burning unattended or allow fires to slowly die out overnight. Always extinguish the fire before going inside and stop adding wood to the fire roughly one hour before you plan to go inside. Water or sand can be poured on ashes to extinguish the fire. Once homeowners are confident a fire has been extinguished, ashes can be spread around to ensure there are no hot spots still burning. If there are, start the extinguishing process over again.

A night around the fire pit is a summertime tradition in many households. Safety must be as much a part of such traditions as s’mores.



Creative Mother’s Day celebration and gift ideas

On Sunday, May 9, 2021, millions of people will celebrate the special women in their lives, particularly the mothers, grandmothers and stepmothers who often tirelessly care for those they love.

Created by Anna Jarvis in the early 20th century and designated an official United States holiday in 1914, Mother’s Day is a special day in many families. Apart from birthdays, primary female caregivers may not always get the recognition they deserve, nor be entitled to a day to kick back and relax and let others take the helm. Mother’s Day entitles them to something special.

Even though the way people have been living has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mother’s Day may be the first holiday on the calendar when the world can finally regain some sense of normalcy. But caution should still prevail during Mother’s Day celebrations. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative ways to celebrate mothers and mother figures this year.

• Dine truly “al fresco.” Outdoor dining has become commonplace, and even before it was a safety measure, enjoying a meal on a sun-soaked patio or overlooking a body of water was popular. If you’re worried about limited restaurant space or crowds, plan a picnic at a scenic location, such as a botanical garden or county park. Include Mom’s favorite foods and enjoy the fresh air and delicious foods together.

• Create a photo slideshow. Digital photos have eclipsed prints in many people’s hearts. But too often digital photos never get seen after they’re initially taken. That can change when you compile a slideshow of favorite photos from childhood and even present-day photos that Mom is sure to appreciate. Use sentimental music or Mom’s favorite songs as the soundtrack, and include some inspirational quotations or personal voiceovers. This is one gift that can be shared in person or over group meeting apps.

• Get involved together. An especially meaningful way to honor a mother who is always giving her time and love is to become involved in a difference-making organization. Joint volunteerism is a great way to spend more time together working toward a worthy goal.

• Enjoy her hobbies and interests. Devote a day or more to trying Mom’s interests and hobbies, whether they include hitting the links, knitting, singing in the church choir, or digging in her garden.

• Send an edible gift. If you can’t be there to celebrate with Mom in person, have a special meal delivered to her door. Then enjoy the same foods with her via Google Meet, Facetime or Zoom. Don’t forget a tasty cocktail so you can toast the special woman in your life.

Mother’s Day celebrations can be unique, heartfelt and customized based on family needs.



Community Recovery Theme for Mayor’s Spring State of the City

Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol’s Spring 2021 “State of the City” focuses on the community’s recovery from the pandemic and its strong financial position.

“The quickest path to the recovery and reopening of our community lies in vaccinations and doing our part to create herd immunity,” said Buol. “Spring is our time for renewal. When we can gather again, and reflect on the unforgettable year behind us, it is incumbent upon us as a nation to remember lessons learned that require resolution.”

In addition to reflecting on the impact of the pandemic, Buol says Dubuque is on the right path and cites the City’s growing general fund reserve (nearly $18 million), decreasing debt, low property tax rate, and expected $27 million in American Rescue Plan funding.

The text version of the Spring 2021 State of the City appears in the March/April issue of the City News newsletter currently being mailed to utility customers. A video version is airing on CityChannel Dubuque and was also distributed through the City’s social media channels.

Buol’s quarterly State of the City columns appear in City News, Dubuque’s utility bill newsletter. They are also converted into videos that air on CityChannel Dubuque (on Mediacom channels 8 and 117.2 and online at and are shared on the City of Dubuque’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn channels. Both the text version and video are also available at



Hospice of Dubuque Virtual Tree of Life Memorial Service

Join us online as we honor and remember your loved ones

Hospice of Dubuque welcomes the entire community to the Virtual Tree of Life Memorial Service on Tuesday, May 25, at 7:30 pm. This annual service, which honors and remembers loved ones, will be hosted online this year. The Tree of Life Memorial Service will include a guest speaker, reflection, music, and lighting the tree. To view the virtual event, visit You can also search for Hospice of Dubuque on YouTube or Facebook. The event recording will be available at a later date on the Hospice of Dubuque website.

To recognize someone who has touched your life with a light on the Tree of Life, please send a tax-deductible gift to Hospice of Dubuque—1670 JFK Road, Dubuque, IA, 52002. Anyone may submit a donation in honor or memory of a loved one. Donations must reach the Hospice of Dubuque office by May 20 to be listed in the program. Your gift supports the Hospice of Dubuque mission of compassionate care and makes a difference in the lives of patients and families during a vulnerable stage of life.

The Hospice of Dubuque Tree of Life, located in Dubuque Washington Park, will remain lit through Memorial Day as a way to acknowledge and honor those we love. For more information, please call 563-582-1220 or email



Shade trees that can make yards more comfortable

Various factors motivate the decisions homeowners make when designing their landscapes. Some may be motivated by the ways additions will affect the resale value of their homes, while others may be guided by a love for a particular type of plant. Comfort is yet another motivator, and shade trees can make yards more comfortable as the mercury rises.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the following are some popular shade trees that can add beauty to a landscape and make it more comfortable come the dog days of summer.

• Quaking aspen: The quaking aspen has the widest natural range of any tree in North America, spanning 47 degrees of latitude, 110 degrees of longitude (nine time zones) and elevations from sea level to timberline. That impressive range is no doubt why the United States Forest Service notes that the quaking aspen can grow in greatly diverse regions, environments and communities.

• Northern catalpa: The Arbor Day Foundation notes that the northern catalpa is easily identifiable thanks to its heart-shaped leaves and twisting trunks and branches. Nature enthusiasts, and particularly those who enjoy birdwatching, may be happy to learn that the flowers of the catalpa are frequently visited by hummingbirds.

• Red sunset maple: Its name alone makes many people think of lazy summer days spent lounging in the yard. The red sunset maple provides ample shade and comes with the added benefit of producing an awe-inspiring blend of red and orange leaves come the fall. Red sunset maples can survive in a range of habitats and their adaptable roots means they can thrive in various soil types.

• Northern red oak: The state tree of New Jersey, the northern red oak is, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, both beloved for its aesthetic appeal and valued for its adaptability and usefulness. Northern red oaks can tolerate urban conditions, but they do not do well in hot climates.

• Sawtooth oak: Another tree that produces some awe-inspiring color, the sawtooth oak is a durable, adaptable shade tree. Golden yellow leaves in the spring will give way to dark green in summer, only to turn yellow and golden brown in the fall. The Tree Center Plant Supply Co. notes that the sawtooth oak can thrive in warmer climates where shade trees that can coexist with high temperatures can be hard to find.

Shade trees can add beauty to a property and make a yard more comfortable. Homeowners are urged to discuss shade trees with a local lawn and garden professional prior to planting.



Make graduation day comfortable

Graduation day will arrive before many students have a chance to pause and reflect on their time as students. The pomp and circumstance are deeply rooted traditions passed down through academia. If only comfort was automatically built into the graduation equation.

Most graduation ceremonies occur at the end of the school year when temperatures tend to be rather warm. For schools with large student bodies, the distribution of diplomas might take place outdoors on a football field or under a tent. Some ceremonies may take place in poorly ventilated auditoriums. That can make conditions less than comfortable for graduates.

Attire also can make grads uncomfortable. Graduation caps and gowns can be cumbersome, especially the heavily robed and layered gowns that signify higher academia.

Finally, graduation ceremonies tend to be lengthy, which can only exacerbate any discomfort grads may feel.

Discomfort need not dominate come graduation day. In fact, students can take various steps to ensure graduation day is as comfortable as possible.

• Wear something lightweight. Layering a gown on top of heavy clothing can be a recipe for overheating. Dress accordingly for the weather that day and the venue. Remember, it’s always possible to add a layer.

• Stick to sensible shoes. That short trek across the stage to receive the diploma will be watched by hundreds in attendance and possibly recorded for posterity. Avoid slip-ups by wearing comfortable, flat shoes that are skid-resistant.

• Bring some tissues along. Reactions and emotions can run high on graduation day. This day is a milestone, and a few tears may be shed. Have tissues handy to catch stray tears.

• Leave ample time. Crowds will be descending on the school for the festivities. Traffic and parking issues are to be expected. Early birds will get the best parking spaces and will be around to hear their names called.

• Stay hydrated. Stuffy auditoriums or sun-baked bleachers can quickly make for an uncomfortable setting. While you shouldn’t bring along a bag, purse or too many accessories, tuck a small water bottle under your seat to help you stay refreshed throughout the ceremony.

Focus on comfort during a graduation ceremony, as the entire experience should be one to savor and enjoy.



Signs You Have a Drinking Problem

If you are worried that you may have a drinking problem, first know
that you are not alone. Whether you are exhibiting signs of binge drinking, alcohol abuse, or alcoholism, alcohol use disorder (AUD) may be more common than you think.

Nearly one-third of American adults are considered excessive drinkers, and 10 percent of them are considered alcoholics. This means that an estimated 15 million people cope with alcoholism across the country.

If you have family members with drinking problems or know anyone who struggles with substance use of any kind, you’re at a higher risk of developing a problem with alcohol. Similarly, if you or your family have a history of mental health disorders, you’re at a higher risk of developing a drinking problem.

It’s important to understand the difference between having a drinking problem, such as being a binge drinker or alcohol abuser, and suffering from alcoholism. While they are not the same, binge drinking can lead to alcohol abuse, which can ultimately lead to alcoholism. The sooner you recognize your drinking problem and take the steps to reduce your unhealthy habits or quit alcohol altogether, the easier it will be.

What is the Difference Between a Drinking Problem & Alcoholism?

Having a drinking problem could mean that you tend to binge drink. This means that you drink enough to raise your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08 g/dL.

Generally, it takes women and men about four to five drinks to reach a 0.08 g/dL BAC level. However, what you eat, how much you weigh, any medications you take, your overall health, your hydration level, and other factors can all impact the effects of alcohol. For example, if you haven’t eaten much on a day that you drink alcohol, your BAC level may rise quicker than if you had eaten more.

While binge drinking is certainly not safe, heavy drinking every once in a while does not necessarily mean you abuse alcohol. Unlike heavy drinkers, those who struggle with alcohol misuse still continue to drink despite negative consequences, like the following:

  • Recurrent health problems from alcohol
  • Social penalization
  • Occupational issues
  • Legal complications

Still, alcohol abusers have an easier time breaking their bad drinking habits than alcoholics. People with alcoholism have become dependent on alcohol, even despite the consequences. This is because alcoholism is defined as an addiction to alcohol, and people who have gotten to this point may suffer from withdrawals when they’re not drinking. Of course, alcohol withdrawal symptoms make quitting difficult and sometimes dangerous, even if they’re ready and wanting to stop drinking.

Stages of Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction doesn’t just happen overnight. There are stages of alcoholism that turn someone with unhealthy habits into a problem drinker. And, eventually into someone with full-blown alcohol dependence.

Alcoholics may start out as binge drinkers who notice unwanted effects on their well-being when they drink too much. However, since they haven’t developed a noticeable drinking pattern yet, they aren’t too concerned. Maybe they’ve had blackouts here and there, but letting loose with their friends doesn’t seem like an issue. Until their drinking becomes an issue.

Again, binge drinking can lead to alcohol abuse, which starts to have consequences beyond some nasty hangovers. But if you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms, those are warning signs that you may have crossed into alcoholism.

There are five stages of alcoholism:

  1. Pre-alcoholics consume standard drinks to feel better, dull pain, escape reality, alleviate anxiety, etc.
  2. Early alcoholics start blacking out from drinking excessively, thinking excessively about drinking, and lying about their drinking habits.
  3. Middle alcoholics are those who are facing the consequences of their actions. Socially, they may be missing work and falling short on family obligations. Physically and mentally, they may be experiencing changes in weight, sleep, energy, mood, and more.
  4. Late alcoholics are very clearly struggling. They continue to drink even at the expense of their deteriorating health and failing relationships. Any attempts to stop drinking typically result in unpleasant and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
  5. Recovering alcoholics are those who are actively on a journey of detoxing, getting treatment, and then maintaining sobriety. Recovering alcoholics have often sought professional help to quit drinking safely.

Consequences of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can take a toll on you in many ways, including physically, mentally, socially, and financially.

Excessive alcohol consumption can have physical consequences that include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Unhealthy weight gain or loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Liver damage
  • Heart complications
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low libido
  • Central nervous system issues
  • Weakened immune system
  • Some cancers
  • Accidents due to impaired judgement

Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to mental consequences that include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Personality changes
  • Mood swings
  • Compulsive behaviors

Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to social consequences that include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Detachment from family and friends
  • Skipping school or work (which can also lead to financial loss)
  • Dropping once-enjoyable activities

You may experience some or all of these consequences, as well as other consequences of excessive drinking.

What to Do If Someone You Know Has a Drinking Problem

If you, a loved one, or someone else you know has a drinking problem, reach out for professional help or call Addiction Group for more information on top rehabilitation and treatment resources.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Treatment for AUD is available. This includes outpatient and inpatient rehab centers, support groups, traditional talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), holistic healing programs, religious organizations, and more.

Find Help For Your Addiction

You don’t have to overcome your addiction alone. Professional guidance and support is available. Begin a life of recovery by reaching out to a specialist today. Addiction Group helps those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD), Substance Use Disorders (SUD), and/or Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders find treatment for addiction. Phone (855) 217-2693 or visit



How heartworm affects household pets

Pets are beloved members of many families. So it’s no surprise that so many pet owners place such a great emphasis on raising healthy pets, often going to great lengths to provide nutritious foods for their furry friends and protecting them from a host of dangers, including heartworm.

What is heartworm?
The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by a parasite that primarily infects dogs, cats and ferrets. According to the American Heartworm Society, the heartworm is one foot in length and lives in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of affected pets.

What happens if a pet is infected with heartworms?
Heartworms can cause severe lung disease, heart failure and organ damage.

Where do heartworms pose a threat?
Geography is not a factor that affects heartworms. The AVMA says heartworms pose a threat to pets in every state in the United States and various countries across the globe.

Are all cats and dogs vulnerable to heartworms?
According to the AVMA, all dogs are susceptible to heartworm infection. Indoor and outdoor cats also are vulnerable to heartworm infection. The AVMA notes that heartworm is spread from animal to animal via mosquitoes, which can easily get into homes, potentially biting pets, including indoor house cats.

Do cats and dogs infected with heartworm react differently?
The AHS notes that heartworm manifests itself very differently in cats than it does in dogs. In fact, dogs with heartworms whose conditions have not yet been treated may have several worms in their bodies, while cats with heartworms typically have three or fewer worms and may not have any adult heartworms.

What are signs of heartworm in cats?
The AVMA notes that diagnosing heartworm in cats is more difficult than diagnosing it in dogs, perhaps due to the smaller number of worms in infected cats than in infected dogs. Various tests may be needed to determine the likelihood of heartworm infection in cats, but such tests are not always conclusive. But potential warning signs of heartworm in cats include coughing, respiratory distress and vomiting.

What are signs of heartworm in dogs?
The AVMA indicates that dogs may show no signs of illness if they were recently or mildly infected with heartworms. Signs may only develop when the worms reach adulthood. Dogs may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetites, or experience difficulty breathing. In addition, the AVMA indicates that dogs with heartworm infections may tire rapidly after only moderate exercise.

Is heartworm preventable?
The good news for pet owners and their pets is that heartworm is entirely preventable. Various preventive medicines are available, and pet owners can speak with their veterinarians to determine which product is best for their pets.

Heartworm is a serious yet preventable disease. Pet owners who suspect their pets are infected with heartworm should report those suspicions to their veterinarians immediately.



Exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Various studies have shown that people who find time to exercise regularly have a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease and also experience greater life satisfaction than people who do not exercise.

Though exercise should be a routine part of everyone’s life, it’s important that people who are physically active recognize the risk for injury that comes with such activity. Such recognition can encourage the kind of balance that can make active men and women less susceptible to injury. It’s also important for active adults to recognize that they may be susceptible to certain types of injuries based on a host of factors, including gender.

According to the Geisinger Health System, a regional health care provider servicing parts of the United States, the differences in body composition and hormone levels between men and women can make women more susceptible to certain injuries than men. For example, Harvard Medical School notes that women have higher estrogen levels and less muscle and fat than men, and these factors and others can contribute to higher incidences of certain injuries among female athletes than male athletes. Though that’s unfortunate, recognition of this gender gap has, according to Harvard Medical School, inspired some innovative efforts designed to prevent injuries in female athletes.

Female athletes and exercise enthusiasts can do their part by recognizing which injuries they may be more susceptible to. Once that recognition has been made, women can speak with their physicians about what they might be able to do to reduce their injury risk.

• Knee injuries: Harvard Medical School notes that knee injuries are especially common among women who play soccer and basketball. Geisinger notes that tears of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, are more common for active women than active men because women have wider pelvises than men, which places increased strain on their ACLs. In addition, the muscles in women’s hips are typically weaker than men’s, which results in reduced leg control when jumping or landing. That can put extra strain on the ACL, increasing the likelihood that it will tear when turning quickly or accidentally falling. Certain muscle strengthening exercises can greatly reduce risk for ACL injuries, and active women are urged to discuss such exercises with their physicians.

• Stress fractures: Women who participate in high-impact sports and activities may be especially vulnerable to stress fractures. That’s even more so for women suffering from what’s known as the “female athlete triad,” which the Harvard Medical School characterizes as a combination of inadequate calorie and nutrition intake, irregular menstrual periods and bone loss. Consuming a nutritious diet that includes adequate calcium and vitamin D can help reduce risk for stress fractures. Rest also reduces that risk, especially for female athletes who engage in high-impact sports.

• Plantar fasciitis: Sports fans are familiar with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation in the thick band of tissue that supports the arch on the bottom of the foot. Many a professional athlete has experienced plantar fasciitis, and women who engage in certain physical activities may be susceptible to it. Geisinger notes that women are not necessarily more susceptible to plantar fasciitis than men, though they might be more likely to engage in the kinds of activities, such as ballet and aerobic dance, that increase their risk.

Physical activity is important for people of all ages and backgrounds. Women who are physically active and recognize their susceptibility to certain injuries can take steps to reduce their risk for such issues.



Great gifts for today’s grads

By the time students reach graduation day, many have taken hundreds of tests, written scores of essays, worked through thousands of pencils, and made dozens of friends along the way. Such realities only underscore the notion that graduation is worthy of celebration.

Though not everyone may be able to gather this year for a blow-out graduation party, thoughtful gifts can show graduates their accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. The following are nine graduation gift ideas.

• Keepsake blanket: A blanket featuring school colors that’s woven with photos or data about the graduate and graduating class makes a great keepsake.

• Engraved compass: Finding one’s new direction will take time, and a symbolic compass with inspirational words can help guide graduates on their future quests.

• Jewelry: Gift-givers may want to offer to pay for a school ring or can opt for different jewelry. For example, a necklace with the infinity symbol can represent infinite possibilities ahead. Those who collect charms for bracelets or necklaces can be gifted a graduation-themed charm.

• Dorm room essentials: Graduates going on to college will need a starter pack of essentials. A personalized tote bag filled with toiletries, linens and more will help graduates outfit their dorm rooms in style.

• Inspirational art: Graduates may want to revamp their bedrooms or decorate new dorm rooms. Framed inspirational verses, sayings or images can make ideal gifts.

• Blue-blocking eyeglasses: Blue-blocking lenses protect eyes from the harsh effects of blue light emitted from screens, a big benefit in an era when students and professionals spend ample time with their devices.

• Meal subscription service: In addition to gifting a cooking appliance like a slow cooker or air fryer, giving grads a subscription to a meal delivery service may help them transition to life without mom’s cooking or the dining hall.

• Streaming service: Graduates can benefit from any number of streaming television and movie services to stay entertained while commuting or relaxing around the dorm with friends.

• Luggage: Whether students intend to take a gap year before college or enjoy a summer break before looking for their first job out of school, young adults will always get use out of a set of luggage or a carry-on bag.

Gifts for grads evolve throughout the years, but many gifts have withstood the test of time.



Local Scouts to Launch Food Drive

“Scouting for Food” Effort Feeds Growing Number of Food Insecure Iowans

In the spirit of the Scout promise to do a good turn daily and “to help other people at all times,” the Northeast Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America will be holding their annual “Scouting for Food” donation drive on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The Scouting for Food drive kicks off the Scouts Summer of Service.

Scouting for Food is the Boy Scouts of America’s nationwide service project to help stop hunger. It began as one Scout’s service project in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1985, and was adopted by the Boy Scout National Organization in 1988.

“There is no better way to show our Scout spirit than by participating in the Scouting for Food drive. It is a great way to provide cheerful service to our community through the Scouting values of being helpful and kind,” says Anna Hudak, Northeast Iowa Council Scout Executive.

In Dubuque, local Scouts will be collecting food donations at any of the three Hy-Vee Food Stores between 9 AM through 2 PM. Non-perishable food or monetary donations will be taken in a drive-through area in the parking lot, or at the doors.

In East Dubuque, residents are asked to place their donated items in a bag on your doorstep by 9 AM. Scouts will blanket the town to pick up donations. If your donated items have not been picked up by noon, please call Joe Kingsley at 563.590.3278. Donations can also be dropped off at the East Dubuque Food Pantry.

In Epworth, Scouts will be distributing door hangers and picking up donations from doorsteps. Donations may also be dropped at Silker’s Grocery on Saturday, April 17. In Farley, Scouts will be distributing door hangers and picking up donations from doorsteps. Donations may also be dropped at Greenwood’s Grocery on Saturday, April 17. In Peosta, Scouts will be distributing door hangers and picking up donations from doorsteps. Donations may also be dropped at Fareway Food Store.

According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 people may experience food insecurity in 2021. There are food insecure families in every community – even in seemingly affluent neighborhoods here in Northeast Iowa.

The Boy Scouts, Northeast Iowa Council serves 2,083 youth in Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque counties in Iowa and parts of Jackson and Jo Daviess County in Illinois. The Council, supported by 1,048 volunteers, is headquartered in Dubuque, IA.




Dyersville, IA | Team of Dreams, held annually at the Field of Dreams Movie Site, will not be held in 2021 due to concerns over portions of the event that have been hampered by the COVID pandemic. Team of Dreams is anticipated to be held again in 2022 with dates to be announced next year.

“Understandably, many of the players, talent, and entertainment we bring in for Team of Dreams are holding off booking events like ours over concerns of the ongoing COVID pandemic,” stated Keith Rahe, President & CEO of Travel Dubuque. “However, there are things we can do safely and responsibly to allow people to enjoy the rich baseball traditions we have in the area. One of those is hosting Beyond the Game this August surrounding the excitement of the August 12, 2021 Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. We believe we can host a safe event that takes COVID policies and safety practices into account as we move ahead.”

Beyond the Game, an Iowa baseball experience presented by Travel Iowa & Midwest One Bank, is going forward with a line-up of events to take place August 11-12, 2021 in Dyersville, Iowa and throughout Dubuque County. A movie night, outdoor concert, and more is being planned with input from area health professionals and leaders to develop a COVID conscious environment. More details and information on these events will be announced as planning progresses at

Visitors and community members are also invited to explore the “If You Build It Exhibit” dedicated to the making of the movie that put Dyersville on a worldwide stage. The exhibit, located in Dyersville, will be opening for its second year starting May 1, 2021. More details can be found at



How to celebrate grads despite unique circumstances

The end of a school year has traditionally been a time of celebration. Students may celebrate because summer vacation has arrived, and families typically gather to celebrate students who have earned their diplomas and degrees. But just as it’s compromised many other traditional celebrations, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how families can safely celebrate graduation.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of medical researchers, a handful of COVID-19 vaccinations have been developed and approved since the end of 2020. As more and more people become vaccinated, the world is gradually emerging from the pandemic. However, members of the class of 2021 will likely have to celebrate in unique circumstances. Such celebrations may not be traditional, but they can still be fun. Families may even enjoy finding new and unique ways to celebrate graduation this spring.

• Create a school-themed “movie” where grads are the stars. Students’ academic careers are filled with milestones, and the emergence of various technologies over the past two decades has made it easier than ever for families to document those milestones. Parents can pore through the many photos and videos they’ve created through the years and create a “This Is Your Life” video montage documenting all the special school-related moments students have had on their way to earning their diplomas and degrees. Parents can share the video with relatives if they still can’t gather en masse come graduation season.

• Plan a special dinner. Graduation dinners are one tradition that need not fall by the wayside, even if meals might not resemble traditional meals. Families comfortable dining out can book a reservation at the grad’s favorite restaurant, while those who prefer to avoid dining out can order takeout from that establishment. But families also can gather and prepare a special meal together. Even if dining at home, everyone can get dressed up and go the extra mile by creating a restaurant-like atmosphere at home. Fête the guest of honor with a toast before the meal, and reserve a special surprise for the graduate that’s only revealed during the meal. For example, parents can uncork a special bottle of wine to commemorate college grads who can legally drink. Parents of newly minted high school graduates can present a special video with well wishes from all the relatives who would normally attend the dinner but cannot due to the pandemic.

• Organize a ceremony at home. A lighthearted graduation ceremony in the living room or the backyard can ensure graduates don’t miss out on their chance to stride across the stage and receive their diploma. Invite a favorite teacher over to give out the diploma or present it yourself while doing your best school principal/president impersonation. This can be a fun way to add some levity to celebrations and will be a fun memory for grads to look back on in the years to come.

Graduation celebrations will be different in 2021, but families can still make the most of their chances to honor grads in these unique circumstances.



How some famous comedians got their starts

Pranks and jokes are on full display come April 1st, when the world celebrates April Fool’s Day, a date on the calendar that began when certain countries, particularly France, switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

In the Julian calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1, according to However, upon the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the new year was celebrated on January 1. People who failed to recognize the change were the butt of hoaxes and called fools.
While people today recognize the start of the new year as January 1, the tradition to tell jokes and engage in sometimes elaborate hoaxes has continued. People often become comedians for the day. In fact, the weeks around April Fool’s Day can be an ideal time to reflect on some of the popular comics who have entertained throughout the years and how they got their starts in the industry.

• Roseanne Barr: Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Barr turned her experiences as a wife and mother into a stand-up comedy routine at local clubs. Bigger gigs and increased attention came in the mid-1980s, leading to a television series that earned Barr three Emmy Award nominations.

• Lenny Bruce: Lenny Bruce, born Leonard Alfred Schneider, was a stand-up comedian and satirist. He was a target for prosecutors due to his use of obscenities and controversial subject matter during performances and ultimately became an advocate for free speech. He began doing stand-up at age 22 before joining the Navy during WWII. After his discharge, he resumed his stand-up career and gave edgier performances until his untimely death at age 41.

• George Carlin: Born and raised in New York City, Carlin became known for his dark comedy and reflections on politics, language, taboo subjects, and much more. Carlin got his start as a disc jockey while in the United States Air Force. He met Jack Burns, a fellow DJ, in 1959 and they formed a comedy team. Eventually the duo parted ways, and Carlin went on to have a successful solo career in stand-up.

• Rodney Dangerfield: Dangerfield certainly earned respect in the comedy industry even though he often lamented about not getting any during his acts. Born Jacob Rodney Cohen, he began his career working as a comic in resorts around the Catskill Mountains region and later became a mainstay on late-night TV shows. He appeared in a few films in the 1970s before a breakout film role in the comedy “Caddyshack.”

• Ellen DeGeneres: Hailing from Metairie, Louisiana, DeGeneres dreamed of becoming a veterinarian but claimed she was “not book smart.” During one public speaking event, she used humor to get over her nerves and was a hit. Her successful stand-up work transformed into a sitcom deal and later a long-running talk show.

• Jerry Seinfeld: Jerome Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York, and harbored aspirations to be a comedian by the time he was eight years old. He made his stand-up debut in 1976. By the late 1980s, he was one of the highest profile comics in the United States, and developed a sitcom with fellow comic Larry David.

Comedy takes center stage in April, due to April Fool’s Day, making it a great month to watch a favorite comedian.



Some baseball fans can return

Sports fans have been anxiously awaiting a return to normalcy for professional athletics. In 2020, professional sporting events were played in largely empty stadiums and arenas. In instances when fans were allowed in stadiums, capacity was often limited to very small crowds.

As bleak as 2020 might have been for sports fans, good news is on the horizon. Spring heralds the return of many things, including Major League Baseball, which begins its season on April 1. But it may be May before many fans feel comfortable returning to the stands to cheer on their favorite teams.

State and local governments will continue to have major input in regard to determining how many fans will be able to attend live sporting events. In addition, the percentage of fans allowed inside stadiums is likely to change based on fluctuations in COVID-19 cases and regional vaccination rates.

As of early March 2021, a handful of the 30 MLB teams had yet to release their attendance plans. However, the number of fans who will be allowed to attend games is predicted to range from 10 percent to 30 percent capacity in various stadiums. For example, the state of New York is allowing stadiums to open at 10 percent capacity. That means the Yankees and Mets can seat 5,400 and 4,200 fans, respectively. The Kansas City Royals will start the season with 30 percent capacity and Kauffman Stadium has been reconfigured for pod-style seating. The Miami Marlins and Marlins Park are allowing 25 percent capacity to begin the season, or approximately 9,200 fans.

Baseball fans who find they are unable to get tickets to games or still want to wait a while before attending in person can indulge their love of baseball in other ways.

• Continue to watch games on television and create virtual game watches with fellow fans via Zoom.

• Support local minor league baseball. Check to see what restrictions, if any, local stadiums may have regarding attendance.

• Plan a road trip to a state that has a large stadium or high capacity volumes for fans.

• Make a pilgrimage to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Visits may be governed by certain restrictions, which can be found at

• Volunteer as a coach for a youth baseball team or attend a high school baseball game.

Baseball fans have reason to rejoice as the opportunity to enjoy their favorite sport in person is once again possible in many areas.



4 tips for backyard barbecue success

When the weather warms up, the opportunities to enjoy more time outdoors increase. For many people that means firing up the grill to cook dinners in the backyard and also to host friends and family for outdoor gatherings around the patio.

Barbecuing is enjoyed around the world and is especially popular in the United States, where even presidents have touted the virtues of cooking outside. Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter and even Ronald Reagan hosted barbecues with tasty grilled or smoked food during their terms.

Barbecues are especially popular in spring and summer. Memorial Day often marks the unofficial kickoff to the summer barbecue season. After Memorial Day weekend, the smell of barbecue often can be detected on a nightly basis in suburban neighborhoods.

Follow these tips to make backyard barbecues even more successful this year.

1. Make food safety a priority. A successful barbecue is one in which everyone goes home sated and stuffed with delicious foods. However, ensuring people don’t fall ill also is vital. Keep in mind that the temperature outdoors impacts the rate of spoilage for raw and cooked foods. Always keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold (place items on ice or in coolers). The Food and Drug Administration advises moving leftovers indoors promptly and discarding any items that have been sitting outside for longer than two hours at room temperature. Items should be moved indoors or discarded even more quickly in especially hot conditions.

2. Learn how to smoke. Grilling is one skill, and smoking is another. As the popularity of food smokers has increased, prices have come down. Novices can visit barbecue competitions and talk to professionals about their tips for smoking foods, or learn more by watching tutorials online. Smoked foods take a lot of time to cook, allowing hosts an opportunity to mingle with guests.

3. Keep things simple. Serve only a handful of items to cut down on the amount of preparation required. Two main proteins and maybe three side dishes is adequate. Chips or other pre-made snacks can fit the bill. Condensing options also reduces how much you have to manage. Be sure to have options for those with food allergies or intolerances when planning the menu.

4. Set up clusters of seating. Grouping sets of chairs at tables around the yard encourages guests to mingle. Also, it helps space out people for social distancing and avoids a bottleneck around the food.

Make the most of barbecue season by embracing strategies to be successful hosts and hostesses.



New Rent, Utility Bill, and Mortgage Assistance Available for Iowans

The Iowa Finance Authority is now accepting applications for the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program and the Iowa Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Program to help Iowans facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program can help eligible renters impacted by COVID-19 receive rent assistance, utility bill assistance, or both rent and utility bill assistance. To be eligible, renters must:
•Meet income qualifications.
• Face the risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
• Have qualified for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic; or have experienced a reduction in household income, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Iowa Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Program can assist eligible homeowners impacted by COVID-19 with mortgage assistance. To be eligible, homeowners must:
• Meet income qualifications.
• Face the risk of foreclosure due to a documented COVID-19-related loss of income.

To learn more about these programs and to apply, visit Iowans can also call 515-348-8813 or 855-300-5885 for application assistance. For a full list of support and recovery programs available to Dubuque residents, visit



Cracking the tradition of hiding Easter eggs

Come Easter Sunday, eager children wake up to see if the Easter Bunny has visited their homes. For many families, Easter would not be the same without an annual egg hunt. From chocolate confections to money-filled plastic shells to colorful, hand-decorated hard-boiled eggs, the Easter Bunny (and his parental helpers) hide eggs all around.

As with many traditions, people may engage in the festivities without really understanding the origins behind the fun. It can be interesting to unearth just how such egg hunts were hatched.

As with many religious traditions, Easter egg coloring and hunts trace their origins to pre-Christian societies. These societies developed rituals surrounding nature, the seasons and more. Some traditions were adapted to link them to the Christian faith. Eggs held associations with new life and spring. However, early Christians turned the egg into a symbol of the Resurrection and the empty shell became a representation of Christ’s tomb. Eggs also were important components of the Easter holiday, as they were prohibited (like meat) during Lent. But on Easter, fasting ended and eggs were a part of Easter celebrations, particularly for the poor who couldn’t afford meat.

There are two widely known accounts of the origins of Easter egg hunts. The religious version has Protestant reformer Martin Luther organizing hunts for his congregation. The men would hide the eggs for women and children to find, which mirrors Resurrection accounts in the Bible in which women discovered Christ’s empty tomb. Another account traces the tradition to the Dutch tale of the “Oschter Haws” (“Osterhase” in German), which was a hare that laid eggs in the grass. Children would build and decorate nests for the eggs and wait to see if they would be populated, according to This tradition became popular in America with the arrival of Dutch and German settlers in Pennsylvania in the 1700s.

By the 20th century, decorated Easter nests were replaced with baskets, and Osterhase was more affectionately known as the Easter Bunny, who chose to leave eggs as well as treats and candy. Easter celebrations continued to marry both the religious and secular to form many of the customs that are known widely today.

Easter egg hunts are enjoyed by the young and old on Easter. They’re a key part of celebrations. Just remember to find all those hard-boiled eggs in a timely fashion.



Easter centerpiece ideas to beautify the table

Easter is a springtime holiday that marks a prime opportunity to cast off the remnants of winter weather and dress a home in bright, colorful hues.

Come Easter, tulips and daffodils may be sprouting, lilies are on display in churches and many other spring touches are incorporated into home decor. Celebrants who will be hosting their families or more intimate Easter gatherings can extend the eye-catching improvements to the dining table. Easter centerpieces are a prime way to add color and ambiance to interior designs.

Here’s a look at various ways to decorate the table for Easter celebrations.

• Carrot-filled container: Embrace an Easter bunny theme by hanging a bundle of carrots inside a glass vase or bowl and topping with orange, yellow and other spring-themed flowers and greenery.

• Pussy willow basket: Weave pussy willow stems into a basket shape or braid them together to make a ring. Then fill with colored Easter eggs or flower petals.

• Nested flowers: Purchase a wooden or wicker basket and weave or glue small twigs onto it. This will give it the look of a natural bird’s nest, which is one of the markers of the spring season. The nest can cradle spring blooms, such as tulips, or hold Easter eggs.

• Easter bunny garden: Fill a shallow ceramic bowl with floral design moss or another green filler. Place a gold-foil chocolate bunny or a ceramic rabbit in the center and put small tealight candles and a small glass canister of pastel-colored candy eggs to complete the picture.

• Take a ‘peep’: Marshmallow Peeps® are an Easter staple and they can have a place outside of Easter baskets. Line a small vase with Peeps. Place cut flowers inside for a festive centerpiece.

• Rainy day decor: April showers bring May flowers. Put that sentiment on display by purchasing an inexpensive pair of brightly colored rubber rain boots. Place cut fresh tulips into narrow glass vases and then slip the vases inside of the boots for a festive and funny table conversation piece.

• Floating flowers: Poke the stem of a flower into a square of bubble wrap. Place into a small fishbowl filled with water and watch the flowers float on top. Tint the water a pastel hue if desired.

• Painted pinecone bouquet: If you have pine cones left over from Christmas decorations or a pile that the kids may have collected from the yard, paint them in bright colors for an Easter makeover. Place in the container of your choice and add some faux or real greenery to complete the bouquet picture.

Dining tables can be incorporated into Easter decor. There are many different creative options for crafting centerpieces guests will adore.



Sod vs. seed: Which is your best option?

A pristine lawn can be the finishing touch to a landscape and add significant value to a home. According to a joint study by the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington, homes with high curb appeal sell for an average of 7 percent more than similar houses without inviting exteriors.

When it comes to establishing a lawn, homeowners have two key options: starting from seed or installing sod. Each comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages. Which option makes the most sense for a given lawn will boil down to various factors, including homeowners’ budgets.

Seed is the first thing homeowners may think of when planning a lawn. Seed is an inexpensive, easily installed option. Plus, garden centers sell a variety of seeds specific to particular regions and climates. The home improvement resource Fixr says seed will cost an average of 24 cents per square foot installed compared to $1.29 for sod. That affordability compels many homeowners to turn to seed. However, seed can take up to two years to produce a lush lawn and it requires high maintenance in the initial months to establish the grass.

Seed also requires greater soil preparation, including tilling to loosen soil and keeping the lawn well watered until the grass is hardy. Weeds also may mix in with seed more readily, meaning weed prevention becomes an additional task.

One of the advantages to sod is that it can produce an instant lawn. When time is of the essence, sod will produce a complete lawn nearly as soon as the sod is laid. Sod can be used to mitigate soil erosion, as it works faster than seed, which needs to establish a root system to keep soil in check. Also, sod does not require as much soil preparation as seed.

The potential disadvantages to sod are its cost and the time it takes to install it, particularly on a large property. In addition, sod will require careful maintenance for at least the first two weeks until the sod takes stronger roots. It can be an expensive mistake if sod doesn’t thrive and new pieces need to be installed. The Family Handyman says sod tends to be sun-loving and may not work in shadier areas of a property.

Sod and seed are the two main options for lush lawns. Each has its perks, and homeowners can speak with a local lawn specialist to determine which option is best for their lawn.



Stay safe when working in the yard this spring and summer

A day spent working in the yard is an ideal way to pass the time on spring and summer afternoons. A pristine landscape can add value to a property and instill pride in homeowners who put a lot of thought and effort into their lawns and gardens.

A sun-soaked day can make it easy to overlook potential threats when working in a lawn or garden. But safety precautions are of the utmost necessity when working in the yard, where the risk for serious injury is considerable. For example, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that, in 2016, more than 90,000 patients, including nearly 5,000 children, were treated in hospital emergency rooms for lawn mower-related injuries.

Lawn- and garden-related injuries can be prevented without going to great lengths.

• Know your terrain before mowing. Knowing the terrain in your own yard can reduce the risk for accident or injury. This can be especially important when mowing the lawn with a riding mower. Adhere to manufacturers’ recommendations regarding inclines to reduce tip-over accidents that can pin riders beneath the mower. Study hilly areas of the yard prior to mowing so you know which areas are safe to mow with a riding mower and which areas are best mowed with a walk-behind mower. For greater control when using a walk-behind mower on an incline, mow parallel to the slope.

• Apply and reapply sunscreen. Sunburns may not require trips to the emergency room, but they can still be serious. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that sunburn is a leading cause in the majority of cases of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. The SCF recommends applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside to allow the sunscreen to bond to your skin. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and more often if you’re sweating excessively. The SCF recommends broad spectrum sunscreens, which protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Though a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 is acceptable when walking the dog or driving to work, the SCF advises using a product with an SPF of 30 or higher when engaging in extended outdoor activities like gardening or mowing.

• Employ the buddy system. Use the buddy system when pruning tall trees or performing any tasks that require a ladder. The Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania reports that more than 164,000 people are injured each year falling off a ladder. Ask a significant other or neighbor to hold the ladder in place while you climb up to reduce your risk of falling. If cutting large branches, cut them piecemeal to reduce the risk of being injured by heavy falling branches.

• Inspect the property for insect hives. The OIP notes that the most common insect stings in spring come from bees, wasps and hornets. Homeowners who are not careful can inadvertently come across hives when doing spring cleanup, making them vulnerable to bites and stings. That can be very dangerous for anyone, and especially so for people with a history of allergic reactions to insect bites or stings. Inspect areas where you’ll be working to make sure insects haven’t put down roots in your property. If you discover any hives and are hesitant to remove them on your own, contact a local landscaping firm.

Lawn and garden accidents and injuries can be serious. Thankfully, accidents and injuries are easily prevented when homeowners take a few simple safety precautions while tending to their lawns and gardens.



Food Giveaway scheduled for March 27

Lord of Life Lutheran Church is hosting a Drive-thru Food Giveaway on Saturday, March 27, from 9:00 am to 11 am (or until food runs out) at 2899 Hales Mill Road.

Those interested in picking up groceries should line up on Springreen Drive. Stay in your vehicle while groceries are placed in your trunk. The operation will continue until groceries are gone.



Apply Now for City of Dubuque Neighborhood Grants

The City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Community Development Advisory Commission have announced that funding is still available for the Neighborhood Grant Program.

The online application must be submitted by the first business day of every month. Grant applications will be reviewed by the Community Development Advisory Commission at their meeting on the third Wednesday of the month. The maximum grant award is $3,000. Information on how to apply, guidelines, and applications are available at under the “Funding Resources for Neighborhood Groups” tab.

The Neighborhood Grant Programs are designed to support projects undertaken by neighborhood associations and other non-profit organizations to support the empowerment of residents to address needs and opportunities to make their neighborhoods more livable. It is intended to support neighborhood development and provide a direct benefit to low/moderate income individuals or neighborhoods. Funding priorities are for projects which identify and/or build on neighborhood strengths and assets, address needs of low-and-moderate income residents, support neighborhood development and improve quality of life and projects that support efforts to make Dubuque a more equitable and inclusive community.

For additional information, contact Assistant City Manager Cori Burbach at, Sustainable Community Coordinator Gina Bell at, or call 563.589.4110.



How to respond to pesticide poisoning

Tending to a lawn and garden can be a great way to spend time in the great outdoors. It’s also an enjoyable way to improve a home’s curb appeal.

Though many homeowners prefer a wholly organic approach to lawn care and gardening, sometimes pests and other problems force people to apply pesticides around their properties. The application of pesticides can make homeowners, and anyone who spends time on their properties, including children, vulnerable to pesticide poisoning.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people exposed to pesticides may exhibit a host of symptoms. External irritants that come into contact with the skin can cause redness, itching or pimples, and such substances also may contribute to allergic reactions marked by redness, swelling or blistering. Stinging and swelling in the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat also may occur after being exposed to pesticides.

Pesticides also can cause internal injuries to a person’s organs, potentially leading to significant issues. The EPA notes that the lungs, stomach and nervous system all can be affected when pesticides are swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. People experiencing lung injuries after exposure to pesticides may experience shortness of breath, heavy salivation (drooling) or rapid breathing. Injuries to the stomach may lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea. If the nervous system is affected by pesticide exposure, people may experience excessive fatigue, sleepiness, headache, muscle twitching, and numbness.

If pesticide poisoning is suspected, it’s imperative that someone, be it the person who was poisoned, the parent of a child who may have been exposed or a medical professional treating the affected person, identify the type of poisoning that has occurred. That’s because the EPA notes that the appropriate treatment will depend on the kind of poisoning that has occurred.

• Chemical burn on skin: If treating a chemical burn on the skin, the EPA advises drenching the skin with water for at least 15 minutes. All contaminated clothing should be removed and then skin and hair should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water.

• Inhaled poison: The response to an inhaled poison will depend on where the person is at the time of exposure. If outside, move the person away from any area recently treated with pesticide. If inside, move the person to fresh air immediately (doors and windows should ultimately be opened to reduce the risk of others being exposed). Contact the local fire department if you think you need a respirator prior to helping the victim. If the victim is wearing tight clothing, loosen that clothing. Give artificial respiration to a victim whose skin is blue or if the victim has stopped breathing.

• Substance in the eye: If a poison has entered the eye, wash the eye quickly and gently with cool running water for 15 minutes or more. Use only water and do not use eye drops, chemicals or drugs. It’s imperative that people act quickly if a substance has gotten into the eye, as membranes in the eyes act faster than in any other external part of the body, and eye damage can occur within minutes of exposure.

• Substance on the skin: Drench the skin with water for at least 15 minutes and then wash skin and hair thoroughly. Discard contaminated clothing or thoroughly wash it separate from other laundry.

• Swallowed pesticide: If a pesticide has been swallowed and the victim is still conscious, he or she should drink a small amount of water to dilute the pesticide. Only induce vomiting on the advice of a poison control center or physician.

Pesticide exposure can be very dangerous. It’s imperative that people who plan to apply pesticides in their lawns and gardens learn how to respond if they or someone on their property is exposed to pesticides.



Recognizing and reporting child abuse

No one wants to imagine a scenario in which a child is threatened or unsafe. Unfortunately, children find themselves confronting abusive situations every day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines child abuse as any emotional, physical mistreatment, neglect or sexual abuse perpetrated by an adult in a role of responsibility on someone who is under the age of 18. Everyone, whether they have children of their own or work with children or even those people who do not routinely interact with children, can do their part to protect children by learning to recognize the warning signs of child abuse.

For the last year-plus, people all over the world have been told to stay close to home to curb the spread of COVID-19. But home may not be the safest place for children who suffer at the hands of their guardians. Furthermore, job loss, grief and unprecedented stress resulting from the pandemic may exacerbate abusive situations or even precipitate them in homes where violence has never been an issue.

According to Josie Serrata, Ph.D., a co-owner of Prickly Pear Therapy and Training, stress and social isolation can increase the risk of domestic violence. Dr. Jamye Coffman, who serves as medical director of the Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, fears growing numbers of abuse cases as the nation continues to reel from the effects of the pandemic and the stresses brought on by illness, unemployment and even food insecurity.

There is an additional component in the mix as well. In many instances, school officials and teachers are some of the first people to recognize potentially abusive situations in children’s homes. But with many school districts opting for all-virtual instruction, school staff may not be in position to spot signs of abuse. Plus, children who may normally go to their teachers or principals for help no longer have that secure option away from home.

These factors make it even more important for the general public to educate themselves about possible signs of child abuse; they may be a hurting child’s only advocates. Here are some signs of potential physical and emotional abuse.

• Unexplained injuries, such as bruises.
• Depression or excessive crying.
• Sudden changes in the child’s behavior or demeanor.
• Poor hygiene and unsuitable clothing.
• Lack of energy or constant hunger.
• Increase in attention-seeking behaviors.
• Increased absences from school.
• Witnessing an adult excessively pinching, slapping or tripping a child.
• Knowledge of an adult withholding sleep, food or medication from a child.
• Seeing a child flinch when touched.
• A child wearing inappropriate clothing for the season to cover up injuries.

Individuals are urged to take action if they suspect a child is being abused. People should contact their local child protective services agency and file a report. Those unsure of how to proceed can contact law enforcement or a school guidance counselor as well.



How ergonomic tools can help gardeners

)Gardening is a rewarding activity that has been found to provide a host of benefits beyond ensuring readily available access to fresh fruits, vegetables and awe-inspiring blooms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many gardening tasks qualify as light to moderate exercise, which means raking the leaves and cutting the grass can be just as beneficial as cardiovascular activities like brisk walking or jogging. In addition, a 2017 study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports found that gardening can help aging men and women offset age-related weight gain. And the health benefits of gardening go beyond the physical. In 2014, a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine concluded that horticultural therapy may be an effective treatment for people with dementia.

Gardeners have a host of tools at their disposal to help turn their lawns and gardens into awe-inspiring landscapes. Among those options are ergonomic tools. Ergonomic tools can benefit gardeners of all ages, but they may prove especially valuable for aging men and women.

How ergonomic tools differ from traditional gardening tools
Ergonomic gardening tools are designed to ensure that using them has as little effect on the body as possible. Ergonomic tools align with how a person naturally moves his or her body, which can reduce the likelihood that gardeners will suffer any strains or sprains while gardening or experience any aches and pains after a day spent tending to their landscapes.

Choosing the right tools
The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVUCED) notes that gardeners will know they have chosen the right ergonomic gardening tool for the job when they do not have to adapt the tool. Ergonomic tools should match gardeners’ heights, fit their grip and feel comfortable when in use.

Specific benefits of ergonomic tools
Ergonomic gardening tools are designed in a way that can reduce stress on the body while performing various tasks. Gardeners know that aches and pains can add up after a day spent kneeling in the garden, raking soil and carrying supplies from a shed or garage around the property. But the WVUCED notes that ergonomic tools do more than just reduce gardeners’ risk of injury.

• Ergonomic tools increase efficiency. Wasted motions are less likely when using ergonomic tools. That can improve efficiency in the garden, allowing gardeners to get more done in the same amount of time. And because ergonomic tools are designed to work with the body, gardeners likely won’t need to take breaks due to aches and pains, which also makes it easier to be more efficient when working in the garden.

• Ergonomic tools increase gardeners’ capabilities. The WVUCED notes that principles behind ergonomics keep gardeners using the tools in natural positions. That means gardeners won’t lose power to bending and twisting, enabling them to do more in the garden than they might be able to do when using non-ergonomic tools.

Gardening is a rewarding and beneficial activity. The right ergonomic tools for the job can enhance those benefits and make gardening even more enjoyable.



Eggs are eggceptional

Eggs are a topic of conversation each spring, largely because of their relationship to the Christian celebration of Easter. Brightly colored Easter eggs are on display, chocolate eggs line store shelves and egg-lined birds nests in trees and bushes dot spring landscapes.

Eggs take center stage in early spring, but they’re more than just novelties to include in Easter celebrations.

• Eggs are nutritious. Eggs are loaded with vitamins A, D and B12 and the nutrient choline. They’re also an excellent protein source in a small package. At 72 calories and packing six grams of protein, eggs can make for a great, filling meal at any time of day.

• Eggs boost brain health. The choline in eggs is a crucial nutrient for memory, mood and muscle control, according to the University of Missouri Health Care system. Choline also is essential in fetal brain development and can help prevent birth defects.

• Eggs don’t always have to be refrigerated. In countries outside of the United States and Canada, eggs may not be refrigerated and do not have to be chilled. Also, outside of North America eggs are not washed prior to commercial production. However, according to the food resource TheKichn, power-washing eggs removes a protective coating and makes the eggs porous and vulnerable to contamination. A synthetic coating is put on washed eggs.

• Shell color does not matter. The color of the eggshell doesn’t indicate taste, nutritional value or even egg quality. The color of the eggshell reflects the breed of hen that laid the egg. Red-feathered hens tend to lay brown eggs, while hens with white features lay white eggs. Similarly, the shade of yolk is representative of what the chicken is eating. A dark, yellow yolk means the hen was probably fed green vegetables. Lighter yolks coordinate to corn and grain diets.

• All eggs are “hormone-free.” The term “hormone-free” on egg cartons does not signify anything special. It’s like advertising that snow is cold. The United States Food & Drug Administration banned the use of hormones in all poultry production in the 1950s. All eggs are hormone-free.

• Size and eggshell thickness indicates the age of the hen. Eggs come in different sizes, such as medium, large and jumbo. The age of the chicken determines the size, with older hens producing larger eggs. Age also affects shell thickness, with younger hens laying thicker-shelled eggs, says Eat This, Not That!

• Eggs won’t hatch. Eggs sold for consumption are not fertilized. Hens that have laid them haven’t mated.

• Many birds lay eggs. Kiwis lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world. However, the ostrich, emu and cassowary lay the biggest eggs.

• The sink or swim test can say a lot about an egg. Eggs become more porous as they age. You can tell if an egg is old by putting it in a glass of water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it floats, it is an older egg.

Eggs get a lot of fanfare around Easter, and there’s more than meets the eye to that carton of eggs in the refrigerator.



Many St. Patrick’s Day traditions are not from Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day is made special by various traditions. Everything from dyeing major cities’ rivers green to parades to enjoying green foods has become part of the pageantry of St. Patrick’s Day.

The next time you raise a green beer to your lips, you may wonder which traditions are authentically Irish and which ones were created by regions with an abundance of Irish emigrants. Surprisingly, many seemingly Irish traditions likely began elsewhere.

First parade
It would be accurate to assume that various elements associated with St. Patrick’s Day began where St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, once resided, including the first St. Patrick’s Day parade. However, some of the first parades held in St. Patrick’s honor took place in two North American cities, New York and Boston, that had high numbers of Irish immigrants. But historians say the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually held in St. Augustine, Florida in 1601, a year after gunfire blasts were used to honor the saint. The parade may have been at the request of an Irish priest living there at the time.

Corned beef and cabbage
What would St. Patrick’s Day be without an authentic meal of corned beef and cabbage? This dish is not so authentic after all, and actually is an American innovation. Ham and cabbage was widely eaten in Ireland, but corned beef was a cheaper alternative found in America by immigrants. Therefore, corned beef became a staple of poor Irish immigrants living in lower Manhattan. The salted meat was boiled three times to remove some of the brine and make it palatable.

Green beer
Green beer is not an Irish custom, but an American one. The most common beer consumed in Ireland is Guinness, which is dark brown to black in color, making green dye useless in Irish pubs since it would be largely invisible in the stout.

Golf tournaments
One would not associate golf with St. Patrick’s Day unless they reside in Nome, Alaska. Golf is a popular Irish pastime, and each year the Bering Sea Ice Classic Golf Tournament takes place right around St. Patrick’s Day. Bright green golf balls are used, and breaks are factored in between holes to warm up at local bars.

Wearing green
According to The Christian Science Monitor, individuals in the United States started wearing green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the early 1700s. They believed it “made one invisible to leprechauns.” The official color for the holiday used to be a sky blue known as “St. Patrick’s Day Blue,” established during the reign of King George III.

In addition to these traditions, specialty items, such as coffees and shakes, also are very popular. However, most of these do not have origins on the Emerald Isle, either. Yet, no matter where traditions began, there’s no denying St. Patrick’s Day has long inspired celebration.



Irish beers to try when visiting the Emerald Isle

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are steeped in tradition. From parades to green clothing to corned beef and cabbage dinners, St. Patrick’s Day is not short on tradition.

A pint of Guinness is another tradition many celebrants can simply not go without on St. Patrick’s Day. Many fans of the beloved stout may insist that Guinness is among Ireland’s greatest exports, but visitors to the Emerald Isle may want to expand their horizons and try a local beer or stop in for a pint at any of the many breweries and brew pubs on the tiny island in western Europe.

• Dungarvan Brewery: Located in southeastern Ireland, Dungarvan Brewery opened in 2010. All Dungarvan beers are brewed in small batches, and each beer is guaranteed to be produced on-site in the Dungarvan Brewery, County Waterford.

• Black’s Brewery: Located along the idyllic Wild Atlantic Way, Black’s Brewery in Kinsale has something for both beer lovers and whiskey drinkers. The brewery was opened by a husband-and-wife team in 2013 and the distillery, which produces gin and rum in addition to whiskey, followed two years later.

• Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company: Established in 2014, Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company has an on-site brewhouse situated just south of Dublin in Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow. Beer lovers interested in the brewing process may be interested to learn that Wicklow Wolf has its very own 10-acre hop farm in Roundwood, County Wicklow.

• Franciscan Well Brewery: Franciscan Well is among the oldest craft breweries in Ireland, having been established in 1998 in Cork City, County Cork. A covered and heated beer garden in the Brew Pub of Franciscan Well, which is based on the site of an ancient Franciscan monastery, makes for an ideal place to sample some beers.

• The White Hag Irish Brewing Company: Located in County Sligo along the Wild Atlantic Way, the White Hag Irish Brewing Company offers a range of beers that should appeal to beer lovers regardless of what their favorite style is. Visitors to Ireland may also be interested in the White Hag’s Hagstravaganza, an annual international brewery festival that features beer brewed all over the globe. Though the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourists may want to take note of the event for future reference.

Ireland is home to many tourist attractions, not the least of which are its many craft breweries that are guaranteed to make any trip to the Emerald Isle that much more enjoyable.



Invisibility, leprechauns and national pride tied to wearing green

Part of what makes celebrating St. Patrick’s Day so enjoyable is the scores of traditions surrounding the holiday. The month of March ushers in parades, festive foods, lively music, and as much green attire as a person can handle.

As ubiquitous as it is each March, green attire has not always been symbolic of St. Patrick’s Day or Ireland. In fact, earlier depictions of St. Patrick had him royally clothed in a rich shade of blue. Some ancient Irish flags even sported the color blue. According to National Geographic, the color green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day in the 18th century, when the shamrock became a national symbol of Ireland. The color of the shamrock and Ireland’s natural landscape forever linked green to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the Emerald Isle.

There are reasons for donning green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day. If a person isn’t in green, he or she just may get pinched. According to Irish folklore, leprechauns wore green, and if anyone else wore the color that individual would be invisible to leprechauns. Leprechauns are ornery sorts who like to pinch anyone they can see. Therefore, by wearing green clothing, a person is sure to avoid a painful tweak. It’s not only the leprechauns who might do the pinching. Celebrants are inclined to pinch people who don’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns might sneak up on them at any time.

Beyond shamrocks and leprechauns, other people are inclined to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day as a symbol of good luck and to honor their Irish ancestry. According to Brian Witt, the cultural exhibits coordinator for Milwaukee Irish fest, Irish Americans would wear green as a reminder that they are nationalists first and foremost. The Irish flag colors are green, white and orange. The green symbolizes Irish nationalism, the orange represents the “Orangemen” of Northern Ireland, which is an Irish Protestant political society, and the white symbolizes peace.

Green is an integral color during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and it is tied to many different traditions.



Lesser known Irish foods

Chances are many people have heard of Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage, both of which are especially popular on St. Patrick’s Day (although the latter isn’t entirely authentic Irish cuisine). But there are many different traditional Irish dishes that may not be as well-known and enjoyed outside of Ireland. Irish cuisine is loaded with rich meat and potatoes dishes, and there are some delicious delicacies to be discovered along the way.

Many different cultures have boxty-like dishes in their culinary repertoires. Boxty is similar to latkes or German kartoffelpuffer. It is made from both grated raw potatoes and mashed potatoes. Historians believe it originated during the potato famine of the mid-19th century.

Being frugal with leftovers means finding delicious ways to reimagine ingredients into new meals. Coddle is a byproduct of that line of thinking. A coddle is a one-pot meal made from leftover sausage, potatoes, onions, and even bacon. The name comes from “coddling” or simmering the stew.

Individuals outside of Ireland may not immediately associate shellfish with the Emerald Isle, but shellfish are plentiful in the waters around Ireland. Dublin Bay prawns, cockles, mussels, and clams all can be scooped out of the waters. Galway even has an Oyster festival each year in September.

Irish stew
Irish stew is a dish made with potatoes, onions and mutton. Mutton is meat from a sheep that is more than 1 year old and ideally 3 years old, according to The Spruce: Eats. The flavor is very strong and it contains a considerable amount of fat. Mutton is more popular in Europe and the Middle East due to its gamey flavor. It is best for slow-cooking methods, which is why it is the perfect addition in a stew that should be simmered for hours.

Fans of mashed potatoes are likely to take to champ, a very similar dish. It is made with potatoes, milk, butter, and scallions. It is customary to make a well of melted butter in the center of a serving.

Mashed potatoes shine once again in this dish that also includes cabbage. Colcannon is typically served with boiled ham in Ireland.

Irish pudding is not a dessert but a savory sausage dish. The “black” variety includes pork, fat and blood and is mixed with barley, oatmeal and suet. White pudding is similar, but it doesn’t include the pork blood. A slice of both black and white pudding is traditionally served in a complete Irish breakfast

Usually shortened to “brack,” this dish is an Irish fruitcake that features fruit, raisins and spices. Most people soak it in tea and whiskey overnight.

Traditional Irish cooking will include one of the delicious foods mentioned above.



City Life Citizen Academy Welcoming Applicants for Next Session

The City of Dubuque is welcoming applications from residents for the next session of City Life, Dubuque’s free “citizen academy” program designed to provide residents a hands-on connection with their local government.

This session will be held virtually and offers residents the opportunity to interact with City staff, learn more about City services and programs, and learn about different opportunities to be involved in city government all from the comfort of their home. There is no cost to participate. Space is limited to 35 participants. Applications are due by Friday, March 19.

The City Life program consists of six virtual sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (April 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29) with each session running from 6-8 p.m. The program will be offered again in the fall for those interested but unable to attend.

For more information and to apply for City Life, visit or contact City of Dubuque Community Engagement Coordinator Temwa Phiri at 563-589-4180 or



The effects of caffeine on the body

Indulging in a morning cup of coffee is a beloved ritual for millions of people across the globe. The rich, bold flavor of coffee has created devotees in all corners of the world, all the while laying the foundation for a lucrative market.

In its recent “Global Coffee Market – By Product: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast 2020-2026” report, Zion Market Research estimated that the global coffee market is expected to reach $155.64 billion in annual revenue by 2026. Though the flavor of coffee is what compels many people to pour that morning cup o’ Joe, others crave coffee in the mornings because of the jolt it can provide at the dawn of a new day. Caffeine is responsible for that jolt, and devoted coffee drinkers, and individuals who prefer other caffeinated beverages, may have come to rely on the boost caffeine provides to kickstart their day.

Researchers have studied the effects of caffeine on the human body to great extent. Many studies have concluded that modest consumption of caffeine is safe for healthy adults. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is just about the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, appears to be safe. But adults may want to learn more about the effects of caffeine on their bodies as they try to determine just how much they should consume each day.

• Caffeine and the heart: According to the Heart Foundation NZ, most studies that examined the potential correlation between heart disease and coffee intake found no association between the two. In fact, the Heart Foundation NZ points out that plant sources of caffeine like coffee provide a host of other compounds and nutrients, including antioxidants, that can positively affect heart health. However, the online medical resource Verywell Mind notes that the stimulant effect of caffeine speeds up the heart rate. Healthy adults who drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages in moderation likely won’t have to worry about their heart rates after consuming caffeine, but people who are prone to anxiety may be vulnerable to panic reactions if they consume caffeine.

• Caffeine and sleep: Caffeine consumed during certain times of day may interfere with a person’s ability to get a good night’s rest. The Mayo Clinic notes that even small amounts of sleep loss can disturb daytime alertness and performance.

• Caffeine and medications: Adults currently taking certain medications or supplements should speak with their physicians about any potential interactions between those substances and caffeine. For example, the Mayo Clinic notes that mixing caffeine with the herbal supplement echinacea can increase the concentration of caffeine in the blood, potentially exacerbating the unpleasant effects of caffeine intake.

Adults who consume caffeine should always do so in moderation and only after giving due consideration to the many ways that caffeine can affect their bodies.



The connection between music and learning

Parents often go to great lengths to help youngsters do their best in school. Though there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to help kids realize their academic potential, incorporating music education into school curricula can benefit students in myriad ways.

According to the New England Board of Higher Education, music can benefit students of all ages. Young children who listen to music may have an improved ability to learn words and speak them correctly, helping them to develop larger vocabularies that can pay significant dividends when kids enter the classroom. In addition, a 2011 study published in the journal Neuropsychologia found that musicians performed better in auditory, visual and memory tests than non-musicians.

Students may even benefit in ways that surprise the most devoted music fans. For example, the NEBHE notes that playing a musical instrument, even one as simple as the triangle, has been proven to enhance dexterity and hand-eye coordination. That can help young children develop their motor skills more quickly than they otherwise might if they are not encouraged to play a musical instrument.



How to prepare for tax season

April is synonymous with many things. Many people get their first glimpse of spring blooms in April, while families of faith look forward to gathering for Passover and Easter. Sports fans may welcome the return of professional baseball in April, while scholastic athletes may associate April with the return of spring sports. Though each of those things tends to be welcomed with open arms, one day in mid-April may not be greeted so warmly.

Each year in the United States, April 15 marks the official deadline for taxpayers to file their tax returns. Taxpayers in the United States must file their returns by this day or face penalties. Though the filing deadline may be in mid-April, it’s wise for taxpayers to begin preparing to submit their returns much earlier than that. For those who have not done so in the first two months of the year, March is a great time to begin preparations to ensure returns are accurate and filed on time.

The Internal Revenue Service offers the following advice to taxpayers who want to get a head start on their returns so they make sure they file on time in 2021.

• Gather and organize your records. Many people rely on a professional to work on their returns, and April is such professionals’ busiest time of year. As a result, it’s imperative that taxpayers have all their necessary documents ready prior to their appointments. Any delays could force appointments to be rescheduled, and there’s no guarantee tax professionals will have any open dates on their calendar as the filing deadline draws closer. The IRS notes taxpayers will need their W-2s from employers, forms 1099 from banks and other payers and other income documents and records of virtual currency transactions. In addition, people who received an Economic Impact Payment in 2020 should make sure they have Notice 1444, which includes the amount of the payment and how it was received, as they will need that to file their returns. It’s also important that people who received unemployment income recognize that such income is taxable, so they will need a record of that income, especially if they did not pay taxes on it when it was received.

• Where applicable, confirm your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number has not expired. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number from the Social Security Administration. The IRS notes that all ITINs not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years expired on December 31, 2020. In addition, all ITINs issued prior to 2013 with middle digits of 88 expired at the end of 2020. ITINs with middle digits 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 or 99 that were assigned before 2013 and have not already been renewed also expired at the end of 2020. Visit to learn more about ITINs.

• Contact your tax professional. 2020 was a complicated year, and that figures to create some unique challenges as people file their 2020 tax returns. So it pays to contact your tax preparation professional with any questions you have well in advance of April 15. That’s true for all taxpayers, but especially so for anyone who filed for unemployment, received an Economic Impact Payment or dealt with any other abnormal circumstances in 2020 that could affect their tax returns.

Taxpayers may face unique challenges as they begin to work on their 2020 tax returns. More information is available at



Clever and quirky crafts to try today

Being forced to spend more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has led enterprising individuals to seek ways to pass the time. Is it any wonder that creative pursuits have become so popular over the last year?

Crafting can help people fill their time, reduce stress, inspire new relationships, and serve as a source of pride when an item is handmade from start to finish.

In an online study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy that surveyed 3,500 knitters, respondents felt there was a relationship between knitting frequency and feeling calm. Experts surmise that the rhythmic, repetitive movements and focused attention of certain crafts might produce a calming effect not unlike meditation. Crafting helps exercise several areas of the brain, including those responsible for problem solving, creativity and concentration, states Craft Courses, an online crafting course company.

The following are some unique crafts for those looking for something new.

• Quilling: This craft also goes by the name paper filigree. It involves twisting, rolling or looping thin strips of paper and then gluing them together to make designs. They can adorn the outside of homemade cards, or be attached to stock and then framed.

• Decoupage: Another paper craft, this one involves sticking small pieces of paper of any kind to another item and then coating the object with varnish. Just about anything can be improved and customized with decoupage.

• Marquetry: Marquetry involves applying pieces of wood veneer to a structure to form a decorative pattern or picture. Think of it as paint-by-number but with wood veneer. The technique often is applied to small objects or furniture.

• Bead crochet: Crochet artists may want to take their crafting up a notch with bead crochet, which incorporates beaded string or yarn into a crocheted item.

• Water marbling: Water marbling is a unique craft that produces a different result each time it is done. The crafter fills a tub roughly two-thirds full of water, adds a special chemical to allow oils to float on the water’s surface, then drops different colors of oil-based paint onto the water. The colors can be swirled and manipulated. A paper or piece of canvas is then placed on the surface of the water so that the design can transfer onto the material.

• Pyrography: Pyrography involves using a heating source and burning designs into a piece of wood. The term literally means “writing with fire.”

These lesser-known crafts can be good diversions and help individuals learn new skills.