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Q: Is Joni Ernst a millionaire yet?

A: Ernst’s net worth is estimated at slightly more than $1 million, according to research by the Lee Enterprises Des Moines Bureau.

Q: Who wrote the words to the old song “John Brown’s Body Lies A-Mouldering in the Grave”?

A: The tune started out as a religious meeting song in the 1850s that began with “Say, brothers, will you meet us?” A number of people over the years claimed to have written the “John Brown” lyrics, but the most credible explanation seems to be the song spread as soldiers used it as a marching song, and Union soldiers came up with the new words after John Brown was killed.

Q: What was the estimated cost of the Olympic Games facilities in South Korea this winter? How were they financed? And what was the estimated operational cost?

A: The total cost was almost $13 billion, according to a CNN report. Around $9.5 billion of that was for infrastructure and facilities. The South Korean government financed most of it, with hopes of recouping some of the costs in increased tourism and international business.

Q: When a contestant wins a new automobile on “Let’s Make a Deal,” do they pay tax before they take it home?

A: Yes. People who are not California residents have to pay California state taxes before they can claim prizes from shows filmed in the state. The amount will depend on what the list price of the car is. Andrea Schwartz, a woman who won $33,000 in prizes — a pool table, a shuffleboard table and a red Mazda — on “The Price is Right” a few years ago, said in an interview, “Yeah, you don’t just drive off the back lot with the car. After the show, you fill out some paperwork and basically sign your life away. You say that you’re going to pay the taxes on it. If you win in California, you have to actually pay the California state income tax ahead of time.” Schwartz had to pay $2,500 in taxes before she could leave.

Q: Did the former Johnson’s Bakery start out on Falls Avenue? Was it called the Dixie Cream?

A: You’ve got a good memory. Herb and Marie Johnson opened the bakery in 1950 as the Dixie Cream Doughnut Shop, according to a story we did when the business was closing. A 1957 Courier article said the business was planning to move from 2341 Falls Ave. to the West Fifth location.

Q: Is there a fireworks ban in Elk Run Heights?

A: Fireworks were allowed to be used in Elk Run Heights from noon to 11 p.m. July 4. They are otherwise banned by city ordinance.

Q: Did Jimmy Fallon graduate from high school?

A: Fallon graduated from Saugerties High School in Saugerties, N.Y., and later from the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y.

Q: What happened to Edd China on the Velocity Channel’s “Wheeler Dealers”?

A: He left the show last year, saying the channel wanted to cut the time spent in the garage. He recently released the pilot of a new show on Youtube, “Edd China’s Garage Revival.”

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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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