Heather Brown

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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.

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Good Question: Could HBO Change How We Pay For TV?

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.

10/15/2014

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Good Question: Who’s In The Middle Class?

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.

10/14/2014

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Good Questions: License Plates, Flu Shots & Supper Vs. Dinner

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.

10/10/2014

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Good Question: Why Do We Feel More Tired When The Seasons Change?

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.

10/09/2014

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Good Question: How Does Doctor-Assisted Suicide Work?

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.

10/08/2014

Mall of America (credit: Timo Gans/AFP/Getty Images)

Good Questions: Rivers, Maple Trees & MOA Visitors

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.

10/03/2014

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Good Question: Are Marathons Bad For Our Health?

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.”

10/02/2014

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Good Question: Why Are We Reading More Books?

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.

10/01/2014

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Good Question: Why Do We Use So Much Plastic?

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.

09/30/2014

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Good Questions: Dish Water, Dog Colds & Traffic Times

Amanda from Golden Valley and her husband have a standing argument. They asked for our help in resolving this important issue: Should you rinse your dishes in warm or cold water? According to University of St. Thomas nutrition expert Jeannemarie Beiseigel, hot water (110 degrees or higher) is recommended because it helps remove dirt and debris. It also speeds the drying of dishes.

09/26/2014

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Good Question: What Are The Best Ways To Handle Emails?

On average, we send and receive more than 100 emails every day. One study found 28 percent of our work time is spent on emails. Even with all of that time, those messages can quickly pile up.

09/25/2014

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Good Question: Why Are Fewer People Getting Married?

A new report suggests more and more people will never tie the knot. Pew Research found a record 20 percent of adults over the age of 25 have never been married. That’s up from 9 percent back in 1960. The authors of the study also predict 25 percent of millennials will never say “I do,” even though about half of them say they’d eventually like to get married.

09/24/2014

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Good Question: What Happened To The 9-To-5 Job?

With longer workweeks and busy kids’ schedules, some of us feel like we aren’t spending as much quality time with our families as we’d like. That’s how Eric from Mounds View felt when he wrote to WCCO. He wanted to know: What happened to the 9-to-5 job? “It has changed dramatically,” said Dr. Ernest Owens, a management professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Business.

09/23/2014

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Good Question: What Is I.Q.?

Scorpion,” a new television show based 0n a real person with an IQ of 197, made its debut on CBS Monday evening. That’s the fourth highest IQ ever recorded.
So, what is IQ?

09/22/2014

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Good Question: What’s The Best Way To Discipline Kids?

The Adrian Peterson case has opened up a national conversation about how to respond when a child misbehaves. On Monday, Peterson released a statement saying in part, “I’m not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser.”

09/17/2014

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Good Question: How Do Grounds Crews Flip A Field?

Now that the Vikings and Gophers both play at TCF Bank Stadium, grounds crews are working hard to make sure the turf is painted properly for the right game. Over the course of the season, they’ll have to flip the field 17 times. Several people have emailed WCCO wondering how this even happens.

09/16/2014

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Good Question: Why Do People Want To Buy Things First?

Why do so many people want to be first when buying luxury goods like the new iPhone?

09/15/2014

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Good Questions: Chip Bags, Mushrooms & Cutting Onions

James from Apple Valley asked: Why are potato chip bags so full of air? Frito-Lay, the largest of the chip makers, says the following: “Our chips are packaged by weight depending on bag size. Prior to sealing, we add air to the bags to cushion the chips and help prevent breakage.”

09/12/2014

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Good Question: How Long Should Car Seats And Bike Helmets Last?

We all know why food has expiration dates, but did you know car seats and bike helmets do as well? After Heather from Richmond had a baby, she saw the date on her car seat and wanted to know what it means.

09/11/2014

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Good Question: Is It ISIS, ISIL, Or The Islamic State?

Throughout his speech Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama referred to the militant terror group as ISIL. But, often, the media refers to that same group as ISIS or the Islamic State.

09/10/2014

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Good Question: What Are The Laws On Domestic Violence?

Back in May, Ray Rice pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault. As a first time offender, he avoided jail time, but was ordered by the court to undergo counseling.

09/09/2014

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Good Question: How Often Do We Go Out To Eat?

It only took 45 minutes this afternoon for Olive Garden to sell out of its $100 passes for all-you-can eat pasta and Coke for seven weeks. The Italian chain says it’s a way to get attention at a restaurant whose business is trying to keep up with fast casuals, like Chipotle and Panera. So, how often do we go out to eat?

09/08/2014

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Good Questions: Ragweed, Snoring & Building Stories

Each Friday, we like to answer some of the Good Questions you’ve emailed us. Joanne from Woodbury has family allergic to ragweed. So, she wanted to know: What does it look like?

09/05/2014

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Good Question: What Is The Cloud?

On Sunday, naked photos of some big-time female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, were leaked online. They were reportedly stolen after someone targeted into the stars’ individual iCloud accounts. These incidents have opened up a debate about whether what we put on the cloud is safe.

09/02/2014

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Good Question: Why Do Baseball Players Still Spit So Much?

In 2011, Major League Baseball and the players’ union came to an agreement: For the most part, players wouldn’t use chewing tobacco where fans can see them. So, while some players still dip, many have turned to sunflower seeds and chewing gum. Outfielder Chris Colabello estimated 70 percent of Twins players chew seeds or gum during the games.

09/01/2014

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