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Q: What is author of the soup/salad column, Christinia Crippes, doing now? Will she continue to write the column?

A: Crippes has moved to Ames with her husband and is working at Iowa State. She won’t be writing for The Courier anymore, unfortunately, but she is still cooking and writing about it on her own site at

Q: Where is Gary Venzke of Independence, who killed his wife 20 years ago, serving his sentence?

A: He’s at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center, Oakdale, near Coralville.

Q: Is Callahan Productions going to have a UNI Craft show in 2018?

A: There’s no show on the UNI-Dome schedule. Staff there did not return a request for information.

Q: When will the Hawkeye Community College’s dean’s list be printed in the paper?

A: We’ll print it as soon as we receive it. It may not be until February.

Q: In Cedar Falls is the fire department crew cross-trained as policemen like the policemen are cross-trained to be firefighters?

A: “Yes,” Cedar Falls Public Safety Director Jeff Olson said. “There are some firefighters that are cross trained to the reserve police officer level.”

Q: How do you soften brown sugar?

A: Try putting a damp paper towel on top of some and microwaving it for about 20 seconds; if that doesn’t do it try another 10-20 seconds. You also can put it in a sealed bag with a slice of bread or a few apple slices and let it sit overnight; it will pick up some of that moisture.

Q: What’s the difference between a breezy and a windy day?

A: The American Meteorological Society’s “Glossary of Meteorology” defines a breeze as a light wind, while the National Weather Service says winds from 15 to 25 mph are considered “breezy” and those above 25 mph are considered “windy.”

Q: On “Big Bang Theory,” is the laughter we hear real or canned laughter?

A: That’s been the matter of some debate. The show is filmed in front of a live studio audience, so you do hear real laughter. But it also seems clear the audience reactions are sometimes enhanced with recorded laughter.

Q: What can you tell us about actress Lindy Booth of the “Librarians” on TNT, such as age and some of the other work she’s done?

A: Booth, 38, is a native of Canada. She’s been on a lot of other shows — “A Nero Wolfe Mystery,” “CSI: NY,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “October Road” and “The Philanthropist” — as well as several TV movies, “Rocky Mountain Christmas, “Eyewitness” and “Sound of Christmas.”

Q: There recently was an article in the paper for Medicare and there was a meeting place at Covenant the first Wednesday of each month that included a phone number to call. Can you print this phone number?

A: Call the RSVP program at 272-2250.

Q: I see in the paper Wells company is coming to town and there is a job fair in Le Mars. Is Wells going to produce ice cream in Black Hawk County?

A: An ad in the Jan. 7 Courier says the company will hold a job fair for its LeMars plant from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Hampton Inn in Waterloo.

Questions 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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