Heather Brown

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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 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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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

The Best Things About Thanksgiving

Good Question: Why Do We Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving?

Almost 90 percent of Americans will eat turkey for Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. The average turkey will weigh 16 pounds.

11/24/2014

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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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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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Good Question: Does Hunching Over Smartphones Hurt Our Spines?

According to one study, people spend an average of 2-4 hours a day hunched over their smartphones, which puts a lot of stress on the spine.

11/17/2014

Donations

Good Question: How Much Do Minnesotans Donate?

On Thursday, charities across the state will be asking for donations during Minnesota’s sixth annual Give to the Max Day. Last year, more than 52,000 people gave $17 million in 24 hours, which is part of the $4 billion dollars Minnesotans give away every year.

11/12/2014

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Good Question: When Is The Best Time For Holiday Shopping?

On Tuesday, Best Buy announced it is joining other stores in opening even earlier on Thanksgiving Day. The retailer announced this year stores will open at 5 p.m. This follows Target’s Monday announcement that it will open Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m.

11/11/2014

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Good Question: Does Early Snow Mean A Long Winter?

Could this year’s early snowfall tell us anything about the rest of the winter?

11/10/2014

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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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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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Good Question: Do We Get Enough Vitamin D From The Minnesota Sun?

Good Question: Can we get enough Vitamin D from the Minnesota sun?

11/03/2014

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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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Good Question: When Did Political Advertising On TV Start?

Many of you have written us to share your, let’s call it, distaste for all of the political ads on television. They’re nothing new. So, Cheri from McGregor wanted to know: When did television political advertising start?

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 Questions: Metrodome Signs, DFL Party Name And Halloween Traditions

Brandon from Plymouth, Minn. has been thinking about the old Metrodome sign on Interstate 394. He wants to know: when are the signs coming down? The short answer is those signs will come down when they have new ones to put up.

10/24/2014

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Good Question: How Secure Is Our Border With Canada?

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.

10/23/2014

money, cash, 1s, ones, dollar bills, generic

Good Question: How Do We Measure Inflation?

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?

10/22/2014

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Good Question: Why So Much Extra Space In Pill Bottles?

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.

10/21/2014

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Good Question: Why Do Women Outlive Men?

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.

10/20/2014

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Good Questions: Partly Sunny, License Plates & Top 10 Weather Days

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.”

10/17/2014

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