Over the past month, people trying to apply for health insurance through the federal exchange encountered major problems on the healthcare.gov website. On Tuesday, President Obama addressed the situation, saying, “No one is more frustrated about that than I am.”

So, that had John from Minneapolis wondering: Is the healthcare website the only way to sign up?

According to healthcare.gov, there are four ways to sign up for the new federal exchange health insurance: 1) Website. 2) Paper application available on the website. 3) By phone 4) In-person with someone found in a local area through the website. The website does point out that the best way to compare the plans is online.

Due to Minnesota’s state healthcare exchange, MNsure, Minnesota residents are not eligible for the federally run program. MNsure, which hasn’t experienced the same level of online problems as healthcare.gov, said people can apply with a paper application, but they must finish their enrollment online. MNSure also has a phone number people can contact looking for help.

Late last week, JP Morgan Chase and the U.S. Justice Department settled a civil suit about the company’s questionable mortgage packages for $13 billion – the largest settlement ever between a corporation and the government.

So, Tina from Coon Rapids asked: Where does that money go?

According to CBS News, the deal is still tentative, but $9 billion of it will be in the form of fines that will go to the government. The other $4 billion is expected to go to homeowners struggling with their mortgages. At this point, all details haven’t been entirely worked out, so it’s not clear exactly where that money will go.

Bruce from Blaine asked: What happens to all the extra pumpkins after Halloween?

According to three different pumpkin patches: all different things. Pinehaven Farms in Wyoming said they put their extra pumpkins out in the cow pastures and let the cows chomp on them. The cows must like the pumpkins because they are gone in a week.

At Lendt’s pumpkin patch in Wyoming, some of the pumpkins are cut up and used as fertilizer for the fields.  Others (the sweeter ones) are given away to Second Harvest Heartland to be used for seeds and pie.

At Peter’s Pumpkins in Shakopee, some of the pumpkins are given to local pig farmers to be used as feed, while others are put into the woods for the deer and squirrels to eat. Every spring, the pumpkins are always gone.


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