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Q: In the Dec. 12 Courier regarding the Ward 5 council seat election it’s stated $13,000 was spent by the winning candidate. Has Waterloo ever had a vote where they spent so much money for one seat or $13,000 for a candidate? Is this a record?

A: That is not a record for a single Waterloo City Council race nor an individual candidate for Waterloo city office. For example, combined spending for the Ward 1 City Council race in November 2017 was greater than the combined spending of both candidates in the Dec. 11 Ward 5 special election. Larger amounts have been spent by individual candidates in the past, primarily in mayoral elections.

Q: Waterloo is spending $350,000 with AECOM to beautify University Avenue. Where is AECOM located?

A: Waterloo is planning to spend up to $315,000 to have AECOM Technical Services Inc. design the amenities to beautify University Avenue as the road is rebuilt. AECOM Technical Services is a subsidiary of AECOM, a global corporation with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. AECOM has an office in downtown Waterloo that has been there for decades. AECOM acquired Earth Tech Inc., which was the successor to Rust Environment and Infrastructure, which came after Brice, Petrides-Donohue in Waterloo.

Q: Does Al Roker have a special needs son?

A: Roker and wife Deborah Roberts have a teenage son, Nicholas, who has what they have described as developmental delays.

Q: In the Ken Burns “Civil War” 25th anniversary edition, when reciting the Gettysburg Address, there is a violin playing. What is that piece of music called?

A: It’s called “Ashokan Farewell.” It was composed by fiddler Jay Ungar in the early 1980s in the style of an old Scottish lament and then chosen by Burns for the documentary.

Q: How can I find a CD of the song “Hallelujah” by the Pentatonix?

A: It’s from their album “A Pentatonix Christmas.” If you can’t find the CD locally, it’s widely available online.

Q: In the movie “Carrie” in 1976 did Michael Talbott of Waverly appear in the movie?

A: Yes — he played Freddy.

Q: I heard the Russia investigation brought in more money than what it cost. What is the figure brought in from collective taxes due?

A: The Mueller probe has cost upwards of $20 million and as much as $30 million, according to varying sources. President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s plea agreement calls for Manafort to forfeit assets estimated to be worth up to $42 million. Mueller’s team late last month told a federal judge Manafort had breached the agreement by lying to investigators. What that means for those forfeitures is unclear, but legal experts say they are likely to stand.

Q: Why have you stopped printing celebrity birthdays?

A: We haven’t. You’ll find them most days on page A2. Occasionally, the “jumps” of articles from page A1 take up so much space on A2 that Birthdays get bumped.

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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