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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Holiday Show In Minnesota

‘Tis the season to watch your favorite Christmas classic – “A Christmas Story.” Now imagine bringing those memories to life with song and dance. You voted “A Christmas Story, The Musical” the best holiday show in Minnesota. Sharon Hailey is the show’s director and choreographer.

12/04/2014

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Good Question: How Much Sick Time Do We Take?

It’s the time of year when the sick list can get long. The common cold, the flu and strep throat can leave businesses a bit understaffed. So over the course of the year, how much sick time do we take? The average American worker is given about eight to 10 days of sick leave a year, but most people only take between 3 and 6.

12/04/2014

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Good Question: What Makes A Baby Name Popular?

BabyCenter.com announced Tuesday the most popular baby names of 2014. The most popular girls’ name was Sophia for the fifth year in a row. Jackson topped the boys’ list for the second year in a row. Behind every name there’s a story. For 2-month-old Davis, it’s pretty straightforward.

12/02/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Pedaling & Caroling Around Stillwater

It seems like people don’t go Christmas caroling as much anymore. Whether they’re tired of the old traditions or don’t have the time anymore, there’s now a caroling option in Stillwater that’s newer and faster.

11/30/2014

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Good Questions: Gopher Trophies, Runny Noses & Bell Ringers

Dick from Stillwater asked: When was the last time the Gophers had possession of the Pig, Jug and Axe? Earlier this season, Minnesota beat Michigan to take the Little Brown Jug and Iowa for Floyd of Rosedale. If the Gophers beat the Badgers on Saturday, they will also be in possession of Paul Bunyan’s Axe. The last time that happened was 1967.

11/28/2014

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Reality Check: Why Are Gas Prices So Low?

AAA is forecasting more travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving than at any time since 2007.

11/26/2014

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Good Question: When Can Planes Fly In Bad Weather?

This Thanksgiving holiday, Mother Nature apparently didn’t consult the calendar. Wednesday will be one of the busiest travel days of the year. That makes for particularly bad timing because a Nor’easter capable of dropping many as 13 inches along the East Coast is set to hit Wednesday morning.

11/25/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Cruising Down Memory Lane At Spomer Classics

A former Minnesota auto dealer used to be in the business of selling cars. Now, he’s dealing in something a little more personal: memories.

11/23/2014

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Good Questions: College Vs. University, Black Friday, & Pool Tables

Every Friday, Heather Brown takes a look at some of the random Good Questions viewers have asked her recently. Here are this week’s short takes.

11/21/2014

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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Taproom In Minnesota

Like every other business in Excelsior, John Klick is preparing to open for the day. But there’s none like this in the area. It’s not just a brewery, and not just a bar. It’s a taproom! “It’s an awesome environment that a brewery can create all their own beers, they can only serve their own beers, you can’t serve hard alcohol, you can’t serve anybody else’s beer,” Klick said.

11/20/2014

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Good Question: Why Do We Still Have Catalogs?

This holiday season, retailers are expected to send us nearly 13 billion catalogs. According to the American Catalog Mailers Association, that’s down from the peak in 2007 — 20 billion — but it’s still 41 catalogs for every man, woman and child in the U.S. every year.

11/20/2014

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Good Question: How Do Assessors Determine Our Homes’ Worth?

Earlier this week, cities and counties began sending out 2015 proposed property tax notices, including the estimated market value of your home. In Ramsey County, the assessments increased by an average of 10.4 percent. In Hennepin County, there was an average increase of 8.4 percent and in Anoka County, the average jump was 18.7 percent. So, how do cities and counties figure out how much our homes are worth?

11/19/2014

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Good Question: What Is The Keystone XL Pipeline?

Earlier Tuesday evening, the U.S. Senate failed to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline by a vote of 59 – 41. Immediately after the vote, Republicans said they’d bring up the issue again in January. The fight over this pipeline has been a long, contentious battle that began in 2008 when TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, applied for a construction permit.

11/18/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Art Of Michael Birawer

We all have different perceptions of how a place looks and feels. Through the whimsical art of Michael Birawer, Minnesota has a decidedly fun look and feel. “Our eyes are more used to seeing things in 90-degree angles and straight lines,” Birawer said. “What I want to offer is just another perspective of that, another impression of how we look at things.”

11/16/2014

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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Dry Cleaner In Minn.

Derek Engler is in the third generation of the family that started Pilgrim Dry Cleaners in Brooklyn Park. “Pilgrim started in 1940 with my grandfather. It continued with his daughter, my mother, Bonnie Engler. I came on in 2009,” Derek said. He says clothes are cleaned in a solvent-based method that’s green, organic and environmentally friendly.

11/13/2014

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Good Questions: Campaign Signs, Dogs In Cars & Acorns

Craig from Richfield and Beverly from Prior Lake asked: Who is responsible for removing campaign yard signs after the election? State law says yard signs must be removed 10 days after the state’s general election, but doesn’t stipulate who is responsible for taking them down.

11/07/2014

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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Sausage In Minnesota

Back in the day, every town had to have a meat market. They were a necessity, says Ryan Schmidt, owner of Schmidt’s Meat Market in Nicollet. “Meat markets, butcher shops in small towns used to service a 10-mile area of the farmers that surrounded that,” Schmidt said. “They didn’t have a cold storage, so they would rent lockers from butcher shops and meat markets.” Nowadays, only some towns are lucky enough to still have one.

11/06/2014

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Good Question: What Are Those Blue Traffic Lights?

You may have noticed new blue lights popping up near traffic signals all over the metro. They are small, generally tucked out of the way so they don’t distract drivers. Over the past two weeks, they’ve been going up all over Ramsey County.

11/06/2014

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Good Question: Why Do We Vote For Judges In Minn.?

When you voted Tuesday, you probably noticed a lot of judges on the ballot. This puzzled Kirk from Oak Park Heights because he knows the governor also appoints them. On Washington County’s sample ballot, there were 28 judge seats. Twenty-four were unopposed.

11/05/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Faribault Woolen Mill — Providing Warmth Since 1800s

The story of Faribault Woolen Mill is nearly as old as the state itself. It’s a company that specializes in keeping people warm. Donnie Morrissey has been working at the mill since 1968.

11/02/2014

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Good Questions: Smart Gloves, Voting On The Clock, & A Fresh Tree

Starting tomorrow, an 88-foot white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest will make stops in 30 cities over 19 days on its way to Washington, D.C. It’s going to spend part of November and all of December as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.

10/31/2014

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Reality Check: Guns And 8th District Candidates

The hotly contested 8th Congressional District campaign took another turn this week, over guns. The National Rifle Association is pouring nearly $750,000 into a negative ad which mocks incumbent Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan. The ad features an actor in a suit and a goofy hat, posing for election-year photos. “Nolan doesn’t get basic gun safety, and doesn’t know how many shells go in a duck gun,” the ad says.

10/30/2014

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Good Question: How Much Halloween Candy Should Kids Eat?

We know two bad things about candy for sure: it’s basically sugar, which causes tooth decay, and its empty calories can lead to obesity. But really, how bad is it for kids to chow down on their bounty of Halloween candy? Deb Sheats is the director of the dietetic program at St. Catherine’s University.

10/29/2014

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Good Question: Will We Ever Be Wallet Free?

Owners of the iPhone 6 registered more than 1 million credit cards on Apple Pay in the first three days the service was offered. The app lets people pay for goods with their phone. In theory, when enough stores sign up, you won’t have to carry a credit card. For many people, cash has already been replaced by credit.

10/28/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Rough Riders Of Cyclocross

Minnesota is home to many cyclists who compete in road bike or mountain bike races throughout the year. Now that fall is here, we’re in the heart of cyclocross season. It’s an intense off-road sport that combines high speeds and rugged terrain into one grueling event.

10/26/2014

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Spring In Bloom On The WCCO Rooftop Studio

We celebrated our first 70-degree day in six months on the rooftop studio — a brand new feature you’ll be seeing a lot of this summer.

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Boathouses At Latsch Island

Finding Minnesota checked out some of the floating houses Latsch Island in the middle of the Mississippi River near Winona.

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Finding MN: WWII Museum At Granite Falls Airport

Ron Fagen and his family have a passion for all things related to World War II. And because of this passion, aircraft that went on raids over Germany and France now come and go from Granite Falls.

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Finding Minnesota: North Shore Waterfalls

Mike Binkley went to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state, along the North Shore. Check out a few of the places he visited in our gallery.

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