AP-Iowa stories for Aug. 11 and Aug. 12. Members using Exchange stories should retain bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the desk at 515-243-3281.

For use Saturday, Aug. 11, and thereafter.

EXCHANGE-MURAL PROJECT

DUBUQUE, Iowa — After her husband's death, Cynthia Nelms-Byrne realized she had lost something. An artist by trade — or calling — she found that putting brush to canvas wasn't working. But inspiration came not like lightning, but as an evolving process. It ultimately resulted in the mural that now adorns her lower Main Street home, near Vinny Vanucchi's Little Italy. By Anthony Frenzel, The Telegraph Herald. SENT IN ADVANCE: 675 words.

EXCHANGE-COMFORT HOMES

OELWEIN, Iowa — Shelly Gebert started up the Penelope Project, a nonprofit organization that finds "comfort homes" for dogs who are dying or who would have been put down at shelters — a "dog hospice" of sorts. She's seeking volunteers willing to be "comfort homes" for a dog's final weeks, months or years. Her organization pays for all food and medical needs, and volunteers don't need any experience caring for special-needs animals. By Amie Steffen, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. SENT IN ADVANCE: 570 words.

For use Sunday, Aug. 12, and thereafter.

EXCHANGE-CRUISERS RETIRING

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — For years, the sight of an oncoming Ford Crown Victoria has prompted drivers on Sioux City streets to steal a quick glance at their speedometers. The iconic sedan, which served as the Sioux City Police Department's prominent vehicle in the late 1990s and early 2000s, became synonymous with law enforcement here and around the country. Now, the last Crown Victorias in the department's fleet are expected to rev their engines for the final time later this year. By Ian Richardson, Sioux City Journal. SENT IN ADVANCE: 768 words.

EXCHANGE-PET HAVEN FOR HOMELESS

MUSCATINE, Iowa — On any given day, the Muscatine Center for Social Action has at least three individuals or families in need of a place to put their pet. Worries about pets were keeping people from seeking a place to stay at the homeless shelter, since it couldn't accommodate the animals. Beth Van Zandt decided to do something about it last year. She began Safe Harbor Pets, an attempt to foster the animals of people coming to the shelter until they found stable housing. By Zachary Oren Smith, The Muscatine Journal. SENT IN ADVANCE: 732 words.