Linn County Coalition for Safe & Healthy Communities is a collaborative group of community members and organizations working together to bring substance abuse prevention efforts to light.
The coalition is made up of members of sub-committees working on the specific topics of Tobacco Prevention, Underage Drinking Prevention, Binge Drinking Prevention, Prescription Drug Prevention, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Prevention, and Marijuana Prevention.
These sub-committees visit schools and organizations to educate the public and raise awareness about the effect drugs, alcohol, and tobacco have on the entire community, as well as offer resources and ideas about how to live a better quality of life.
The coalition meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 9:30 am at Ladd Library on Williams Blvd. SW. Members of the community, as well as business leaders, are encouraged to attend.
If you would like more information about how to join the coalition, or if you would like a representative to speak to your group or organization, contact Jeff Meyers, ASAC Certified Prevention Specialist, at email@example.com or 319-390-4611 ext. 188.
The Friends of the Hiawatha Library are a group of people who meet monthly to brainstorm about how to raise funds for the the library's excellent children and adult programming. Many of the programs can be attended free of charge because of the group's fundraising efforts.
Fundraisers include tickets to the Play Station for $5 each. (That's a savings of $3 for each child!) The tickets can be used at any time.
Hy-Vee coupon booklets can also be purchased for $10 each. The book contains valuable, money-saving coupons. You can pay for the price of the booklet in your first shopping trip!
The tickets and coupon books are available at the library, 150 W. Willman Street.
Books, CDs, and DVDs can be purchased at the book sale room inside the library. Items are sold for a fraction of what they cost on Amazon, and all proceeds go to the friends of the Library to help offset the cost of the programming at the library.
A Book Sale event, hosted by the "Friends," is scheduled for Aug. 22-24 in the Glenn Schminke Room of the Hiawatha Library.
Iowa summers are known for the high humidity, and when mixed with temperatures in the 90s, it can cause problems for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), summer is a time to schedule outdoor activities carefully. Limit your activities to when it’s the coolest, such as morning and evening hours. You should also rest often in shady areas, so that your body has a chance to recover from the heat. Pace yourself and cut down on exercise during the heat.
Be sure to drink plenty of water, regardless of how active you are. And don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Be sure to keep your pets hydrated, too.
Be sure to wear sunscreen. (Look for sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels. According to the CDC, these products work best.) Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
It’s common sense, but do not leave children or pets in the car. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver. When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
Avoid hot and heavy meals during periods of high heat and humidity, too. They add heat to your body. Summer is a good time to take advantage of the plentiful fresh fruits and vegetables you can find at local farmers markets. However, be sure to eat something before you venture out for outdoor activities.
The uncomfortable temperatures can be a bit overwhelming for everyone. However, it’s good to remember that the heat and humidity won’t last forever. Just think; in six short months we will be experiencing cold, snow, and ice, so try to enjoy the heat while you can!
It's springtime in Iowa, which means the conditions are favorable for any kind of weather, no matter how bizarre. It's also a good time to revisit some of the things we, as Iowans, learned growing up, as well as educate those who may not be used to Iowa's extreme weather.
A storm, flood, or tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in thunderstorms. While no immediate action is required, you should be aware that a storm could develop and be prepared to seek shelter if necessary.
A warning means that a storm or tornado has been sighted on the weather Doppler radar and you should take shelter now.
According to the National Weather Service, a severe storm refers to hail greater than or equal to 1" in diameter and/or wind gusts that meet or exceed 58 mph. Although these storms can also be associated with dangerous cloud to ground lightning or heavy rainfall that is capable of causing flash flooding.
A tornado warning is something to be taken very seriously. Many people are killed each year because they are not aware that a storm is developing and are caught without proper shelter.
What you should do if a tornado warning has been issued or a tornado is sighted:
If you are in a house:
Representatives from MSA, a planning and development company from Ankeny, met with Hiawatha residents April 1 to talk about a new park in Hiawatha.
Shawn O'Shea, manger for the project, said the park will be located off of Fitzroy Road, north of Hiawatha, and west of Interstate 380, on this side of County Home Road. Though the park is not yet named, the development company is calling it, "Taylor Park," after the family, who sold the land to Hiawatha.
Residents were asked to list their ideas for the park on boards provided by the company, which included a recreation center, a swimming pool, a bike park, and trails that connect to the other parks in Hiawatha, as well as the Cedar Valley trail system. Other ideas included a skating rink and pickle ball courts.
O'Shea presented a power-point depicting the time-line for the project, which could take several years to design, and even more to complete.
Parks & Recreation director, Kelly Willadsen, reporting on the progress of the dog park, said because of the bad weather, water, and other issues, the construction may take longer than they thought. However, she said she would share more information as it becomes available.
The public is invited to participate in the Mary’s Meal’s 5K Run/Walk, Saturday, May 11, at 9 am, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 1350 Lyndhurst Drive in Hiawatha, to help raise funds for Mary's Meals.
Mary’s Meals is a nonprofit that raises funds to provide students in 18 developing countries with school lunches. For less than $20, one student can eat a nutritious school lunch for an entire school year.
According to race coordinator, Chelsea Schultz, not only do the funds allow a young person to eat a nutritious meal, it also gives them the opportunity to learn, too.
“Most families in these countries are so poor they have a difficult time feeding their children. With the help of Mary’s Meals, they can send their children to school to learn, and to eat.”
Mary's Meals buys most of the crops in the community where they are feeding children, which in turn helps their economy, according to Schultz. Many of the workers who grow the crops and prepare the meals are members of the communities, as well.
Schultz, along with her sister Annie Meyer, and a neighbor, Angie Hadley, organized the run last year. It was such a success they wanted to make it an annual event. Schultz said she got the idea when she heard Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals, speak at an event three years ago.
“I was inspired by his passion for the children,” she said. “For Lent that year, I decided to donate $20 to Mary’s Meal so a student could eat for a year. I told my friends and family about it, and they wanted to donate, too. That’s when I got the idea for a 5K.”
For more information on Mary’s Meals, visit marysmealsusa.org or the event’s Facebook page.
Winter may not be over, but we are already entering into tornado season, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which states that March through June to be the most active months for tornadoes.
Not only is it a good time to refresh yourself with storm safety, but it’s also imperative to come up with a plan of action in case you are faced with a dangerous storm.
The level of storms can be confusing. Severe thunderstorms are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph. Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph. Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.
According to the NWS, a watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning means that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar. A warning requires you to take shelter and brace for a potential tornado.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has actually been sighted or has been picked up on radar in your area. This means that you need to take shelter immediately.
Things you can do to prepare for a storm according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Watch the skies and check the forecast for severe weather: Listen to local news or a Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
Sign Up for Notification Apps: Sirens are meant for those who are outside. You can’t always hear sirens when you are inside. Sign up to receive weather notifications on your phone.
Create a Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Hold Drills: Conduct periodic family drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a severe storm occurs. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
Prepare Your Home : Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.
At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.
For more information about storm safety, visit www.cdc.gov.
Below are a few renderings of what the library might look like after it is complete. According to Library Director, Jeaneal Weeks, the completed look may vary slightly, because of rising costs of materials. However, the expansion, which includes a lower level with a storm shelter, will enhance the quality of patrons' library experience overall.
Spring is still 3 weeks away, and though we will experience colder than normal temperatures the the next couple of weeks, we will eventually get our spring.
However, the worst is over, and just the fact that February is over makes everything better. When most people think of March, they think of warmer days, budding trees and flowers, and the shedding of winter coats.
But if that's not enough to get excited, here are a few more reasons to love March, courtesy of Reader's Digest.
March 1: As the saying goes, March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” That was certainly true on March 1st, 2007, when a detachment of 170 Swiss infantrymen accidentally invaded neighboring Liechtenstein when they got lost on a training mission.
March 2: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned from space after one full year, setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted trip to space.
March 5: Thirsty bros observe Cinco De Marcho, initiating a 12-day drinking regimen for anyone who wishes to “train one’s liver for the closing ceremonies on St. Patrick’s Day.” By the way, this is why we wear green for St. Patrick’s Day.
March 6: The Day of The Dude encourages participants to honor The Big Lebowski by takin’er easy all day, man.
March 10: Daylight saving time begins, freeing American city-dwellers from the constant refrain of “it’s dark before I even leave work.” Don’t miss these other daylight saving time facts you probably didn’t know.
March 14: Pi Day celebrates the annual occurrence of 3/14 (3.14) with math jokes, pi-reciting competitions, and (of course) freshly baked pie.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day turns the Chicago River green, and too many livers cirrhosis-damage-brown. (You’ll want to check out these St. Patrick’s Day “facts” that are actually false.) And on this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon” first hits the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 95. A mere 14 years later (736 chart weeks, to be exact), it finally leaves the top 200 for the first time, setting a still-unbroken world record. (You’ve got a long way to go, Adele.)
March 20: The sun shines on the equator for the Vernal Equinox, giving us a near 50-50 split of day and night.
March 21: The 13th anniversary (2006) Twitter founder Jack Dorsey inaugurates the social media site with its profound first tweet: “just setting up my twttr”