Reporting Heather Brown
Thank you to everyone who sent in Good Question suggestions this week! So far, I’ve counted about 75 submissions and that’s just from the emails. Please keep them coming! In the meantime, though, I wanted to answer a few that didn’t make air.
1. Harlan asked: Is it just common courtesy to turn on your headlights when it is rainy, snowy, foggy or inclement weather, or is a requirement?
It’s the law. I looked it up the Minnesota Driver’s Manual (which, by the way, is no longer a book and only available online – a fact I learned when I went in for my Minnesota drivers license last year) and found there are some specific rules.
“Your headlights must be turned on at sunset and used until sunrise,” the manual says. “They must also be used during weather conditions that include rain, snow, hail, sleet, or fog and any time you cannot clearly see the road ahead for a distance of at least 500 feet.”
2. Patty from Bird Island and Jill from Morris both wanted to know: Why were there two Miss American competitions this year?
I didn’t realize this was the case until Jill and Patty pointed it out, but The Miss America 2013 pageant was held in Las Vegas on Jan. 12, 2013; and the Miss America 2014 pageant was held in Atlantic City on Sept. 15, 2013.
Miss America officials told me when the pageant moved back to Atlantic City this September from Las Vegas, they decided it should go back to its original September Atlantic City timeline. The competition started back in 1921 to extend the summer season for tourists.
So while it means we, as viewers, get double the pageants in 2013, it also means Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan only holds her crown for eight months.
3.Harold wrote in: I think there is some confusion concerning the new law about potlucks at churches and other nonprofit organizations. Can you clarify for all the potluck lovers and haters?
Ah, yes, the Church Lady Bill of 2011. It was passed to exempt faith-based groups from Department of Health inspections as long as one volunteer gets some special training and passes the information on. I don’t think Harold is the only one who is confused because the Department of Health published a very specific outline for anyone with questions. This link lays it out in good detail, but the basic takeaway – the event has to take place in a faith-based institution.
And, as a little bonus, here’s the link for what constitutes a potluck in Minnesota. Who knew?
4. Kathy wrote us the day after the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard shootings and asked:Why are the flags at the state capital and the Minnesota Veterans Services buildings not flying at half-staff?
I’m sorry, Kathy, I didn’t see the flags this week, but according to the governor’s office, they were being flown at half-staff, at least on state property. It was the seventh time this year.
The governor’s office says, “To preserve the integrity and special significance of lowering the flag, the governor’s office will only issue proclamations to lower flags to half-staff under very limited circumstances.”