By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

— It’s been an incredible week of news: starting with the killing of Osama bin Laden. We’ve got a good question about that and one asking how often moms can have their own weekend without Fishing Opener, as we hit “Reply All.”

• Is it Osama Bin Laden or Usama Bin Laden? – Deidre Mead from Woodbury and Tom Sicheneder from Hamel

Here’s the problem: there’s no universal standard in translating Arabic letters into English. So, phonetically, most people would pronounce it closer to Osama, which is why most of the media called the guy Osama.

But the U.S. government has always officially gone with Usama. Look at the “Wanted” poster from the FBI. That’s why Fox News also goes Usama.

In France, his name is sometimes spelled Ussamah Bin Ladin and Oussama Ben Laden.

• What are the giant concrete structures that look like giant chimneys in Rosemount? – Joe Snapp from Farmington

The giant structures are part of the Gopher Ammunition Plant, an old U.S. Army facility from World War II.

The main purpose of the facility was to manufacture smokeless gunpowder.

According to the University of Minnesota, which is the current landowner, the tall cement structures were part of a gunpowder loading dock system.

So they’d fill them up, and then load the smokeless gunpowder into train cars that ran right beneath.

The University of Minnesota owns all this land now and the concrete things will soon come down. The U of M’s going to recycle it, right now they mine gravel on this land.

• How often is Mothers Day not the Fishing Opener? – Michelle from Raymond

It’s a pretty unusual system, and this is one of the years. Mother’s Day is the second Sunday of the Month. Minnesota’s Walleye Fishing Opener is the second Saturday. Whenever May 1 is a Sunday, this happens.

So, if you’re planning ahead, fishers, on when you won’t be upsetting your mothers: it goes this year, 2016, 2022 and 2033. Mark your calendar!

  1. Nikki Rocco says:

    Are we going to have a brown christmas/ holiday session? Also, how often do we have brown christmases in minnesota?

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