Q: What was the name of the Maynard girls basketball coach who had those great teams in the 1950s?

A: You’re thinking of Coach Mel Kupferschmid, the first coach in Iowa to win state championships in both six-on-six and later in five-on-five girls basketball. His Maynard teams won state championships in 1956 and 1958 and finished as runner-up in 1957. The 1959 team took a 58-game winning streak to the state tournament but lost in the title game. Kupferschmid, who died in 2013, later coached at Waterloo’s Columbus High School, also winning a state championship with the Sailors.

Q: I was watching a documentary about David Koresh in Waco. A long time ago there was a cult leader who made people poison themselves or drink something — who was that?

A: Jim Jones, leader of a church he founded called the Peoples Temple, persuaded nearly a thousand followers to move with him in the 1970s to a remote jungle in Guyana, along the Atlantic coast of South America. In November 1978, he ordered his followers to drink punch or Kool-Aid spiked with cyanide. More than 900 people died, about 300 of them children.

Q: Can you print some information on our new tax laws? How will that change things for us next year?

A: The law includes tax cuts for businesses and corporations and most for individual taxpayers. The tax rates for individual filers:

  • 10%: $0 to $9,525 of taxable income
  • 12%: $9,526 to $38,700
  • 22%: $38,701 to $82,500
  • 24%: $82,501 to $157,500
  • 32%: $157,501 to $200,000
  • 35%: $200,001 to $500,000
  • 37%: over $500,001
  • For married joint filers:
  • 10%: $0 to $19,050
  • 12%: $19,051 to $77,400
  • 22%: $77,401 to $165,000
  • 24%: $165,001 to $315,000
  • 32%: $315,001 to $400,000
  • 35%: $400,001 to $600,000
  • 37%: Over $600,000

In 2017, the standard deduction for a single taxpayer was $6,350, plus one personal exemption of $4,050. The new law combines those into one larger standard deduction for 2018: $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers.

The tax bill went into effect Jan. 1, so the new tax brackets will not affect taxes until you file in 2019.

Q: How many trees have been taken down in Cedar Falls for the sewer construction between University and South Main?

A: Cedar Falls Community Development Director Stephanie Houk Sheetz replies: “The Dry Run Creek Sanitary Sewer, Phase 2 construction project has removed 63 trees between University Avenue and South Main Street. Additional trees will be removed when construction progresses to the west side of South Main Street. Trees that are in conflict with construction will be removed and replaced. The current contract will replace approximately 105 new trees, after construction is completed.”

Q: Can you print background information of Brooke Baldwin of CNN, such as her age, where she grew up, previous jobs, etc.?

A: Baldwin, 38, grew up in Atlanta and earned degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked at local stations in Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., before joining CNN in 2008.

Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.

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