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'SERVING HER COUNTRY'

On Sunday, The Journal begins a special series called "Serving Her Country: Women in the Military."

For the series, Journal staff writers and photographers will tell the stories of 20 female veterans from our tri-state region.

Like The Journal's 2015 series of profiles on veterans of the Vietnam war, "Vietnam: Service With Honor," and its 2016 series of profiles on veterans of the Korean war, "Forgotten War: Korea Remembered," "Serving Her Country" will publish each day through Veterans Day itself.

The portraits and text from "Serving Her Country" will be featured in an exhibit at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. The exhibit opens on Sunday, Nov. 12, with a 2 p.m. program honoring the veterans profiled for the series.

NEW PARK DEDICATED

Pearl Street Park - a unique, half-acre addition to downtown at 620 Pearl Street, offering visitors a mixture of green space, trees, seating and tables - was dedicated on Thursday.

A donation to the city by local business leader Regina Roth provided $500,000 of the $517,500 park cost; a grant covered the rest.

"I do hope this will be the first of many pocket parks," Roth said in a front-page Journal story on Oct. 21, 2016. "When you think about young people coming with their families to look, where do I want to settle, they look at things like bike trails and parks and green space."

We commend Roth for a wonderful contribution of generosity and civic spirit in support of this key community goal - in particular, as it relates to downtown.

As even casual observers of our Opinion page know, we believe in the importance of a thriving downtown. We have written before of our support for green space as a natural next step in downtown evolution.

MURALS MAKE PROGRESS

Speaking of a boost for downtown, a three-story mural of a bison is under creation by Martin Ron, an Argentina artist, on an exterior wall of the Goosmann Law Firm building at 501 Fifth Street. The mural will be finished later this month.

Ron's work joins downtown mural work under way by artist Jenna Brownlee of Des Moines on the side of M's on 4th at 1021 Fourth Street. Brownlee's floral design will incorporate several Sioux City landmarks.

Both projects contribute to the aesthetics of downtown.

SHELBY'S RUN

A stretch of Lincoln Way near East High School was dedicated "Houlihan Run" last Friday after Shelby Houlihan, the East graduate and track standout who represented the United States in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.

Renaming part of the street strikes us as a fitting way to provide a high-profile, lasting tribute for Houlihan in honor of her significant athletic achievements.

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OBESITY NUMBERS RISE

According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 40 percent of American adults and 18.5 percent of American children are obese, The Associated Press reported in last Saturday's Journal. The CDC report was for the years 2015 and 2016.

The rate for adults was up 2 percent from the last such report, for 2013 and 2014; for those age 12 to 19, the rate was the same, 21 percent; for children ages 6 to 11, the rate rose from 17 to 18 percent; for children ages 2 to 5, the rate climbed from 9 to 14 percent.

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