Heather Brown loves to put her innate curiosity to work to answer your Good Questions on WCCO 4 News at 10.
She returned to WCCO in October of 2012 after two years of reporting at WNYW, a Fox affiliate in New York City. In the Big Apple, she primarily covered New York City public schools, but had the opportunity to report on breaking news, Hurricane Sandy and the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.
Heather had been at WCCO from 2006 through 2010. Some of her most memorable stories included the destructive forest fires in the Boundary Waters, the Republican National Convention in St. Paul and the 35W bridge collapse. She also reported for CBS News on the historic flooding in Fargo and tornadoes in western Minnesota.
Before her journey to Minnesota, Heather worked at WIS in Columbia, S.C. There, she covered the 2004 S.C. Democratic presidential primary, reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from Biloxi and produced an award-winning education series that helped students get school supplies needed in many South Carolina classrooms.
Heather is a born-and-raised Philadelphia gal. She graduated with honors from Colgate University, so cold winters are nothing new! After college, Heather worked at CNBC in Los Angeles producing business news stories. She spent almost two years on the west coast before heading to Boston. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
She’s proud of her Department of Natural Resources firefighting certification, participation in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program and nine marathons. (The 2010 Twin Cities race was her PR!)
There’s a good chance you’ll find Heather and her husband running the Chain of Lakes or hitting up fun restaurants around town. But, give her a good book in front a warm fireplace and she’ll disappear for hours.
At more than 5,500 miles, it’s the longest-continuous international border. Three-hundred-thousand people cross it legally every day at more than 100 checkpoints. But just how secure is the border? Dr. William Beeman is a professor of Middle East anthropology at the University of Minnesota.
Starting next year, Social Security benefits will rise 1.7 percent — or about $20 a month based on an average monthly Social Security payment of $1,192. That increase, or cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), has been pegged to the consumer price index (CPI) since 1975. It’s one of several ways to measure inflation. So, how do we measure the CPI?
Ever get a prescription filled and find the bottle only half full? After that happened to WCCO viewer Angela a few times, she wrote to us wanting to know: Why is there so much extra space in pill bottles? “There are several reasons,” said pharmacist John Hoeschen. He owns St. Paul Corner Drug on the corner of Snelling and St. Clair avenues.
The CDC reports the newest life expectancy numbers in the United States are at an all-time record high – 78.8 years. The authors of the study also found the life expectancy was 81.2 years for women but just 76.4 years for men – a gap of 4.8 years, the same as 2011.
Joann from Arden Hills asked: What’s the difference between partly sunny and partly cloudy? “This is kind of a gray area,” said WCCO-TV Meteorologist Matt Brickman. “I think meteorologists give themselves a little leeway. I always think in terms of percentages.”
If you’ve been in the market for a new television, you’ve likely seen all of the new 4K displays at the stores. The major television manufacturers have come out with their own versions of the ultra-high definition sets even as the broadcast networks are still working to broadcast in 4K.
HBO just announced that, starting next year, it’s cutting the cable cord. Fans of shows like “Veep” and “Game of Thrones” will no longer have to subscribe to the premium channel through their cable TV provider, but rather will be allowed to stream shows on the Internet.
If you’ve been listening to the political ads over the past few weeks, you’ve heard the term “middle class” mentioned over and over. This had Barbara from Mound wondering: Who’s in the middle class? Pew Research says 44 percent of people identify as solidly middle class. That’s down from 53 percent back in 2008.
Angela from Minneapolis asked: What is the most popular license plate for a cause in Minnesota? There are almost 4.5 million passenger license plates in Minnesota. According to the Department of Public Safety, the DNR Critical Habitat plates are the most popular at 101,412.
If you’re feeling a little sluggish this time of year, you’re not alone. Karina from St. Paul has been feeling more sleepy than usual. And when she’s brought it up to her parents, they’ve always told her it’s the change in the weather.
A 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer has decided to end her own life on Nov. 1, two days after her husband’s birthday. Brittany Maynard’s doctors told her she only has months to live and that her natural death would be very painful.
Ivy and Kelley in Mrs. Neppl’s class at Tremont Elementary are learning about rivers. They want to know: What is the longest river in the U.S.? The Missouri River, at 2,541 miles, beats out the mighty Mississippi at 2,230 miles. But here’s the thing: the Missouri is a tributary of the Mississippi.
This coming Monday, you might see a few of your co-workers limping around the office after almost 12,000 people lace up for this Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon — 26.2 miles that circle around Minneapolis and St. Paul. As one marathoner who’s competed in the past put it, “My muscles, my legs, my calves … felt like crap.”
With all of the media available to us via television, smartphones and the Internet these days, reading books is still a favorite pastime. According to surveys, how much we read books has remained constant over the years and, in some cases, increased. In the 1950s, Gallup surveys show around 20 percent of Americans were presently reading a book. By the early 90s, the percentage jumped to 37 percent.
On Tuesday, California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags like the ones used in Target and grocery stores across the country. The plastic bags will be phased out over the next two years, but people can still use them for vegetables and meats. Paper bags will cost 10 cents while reusable bags will be free to use.