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Q: Why are they ending Steve Harvey’s show and replacing him with Kelly Clarkson?

A: They apparently think the ratings will be better. There’s also been bad blood between the network and Harvey since a change in ownership of the show a couple of years ago, evidently.

Q: At one time there was a Robinson Heating and Appliance located at Commercial and 18th streets. When did that company start, and when did it close?

A: It’s listed in Waterloo city directories in the 1940s; a 1949 Courier article details a 1948 bankruptcy case and asset sale for John A: Robinson, who ran the company.

Q: Some toothpaste commercials say you can’t replace tooth enamel, and some say you can. Which is right?

A: According to the American Dental Association, “Because it contains no living cells, tooth enamel cannot repair damage from decay or from wear. Only a dentist can correct these conditions.” But some of those toothpastes can strengthen and harden the enamel that’s left, apparently.

Q: Who is the contact person with the Lions Club and their phone number to call if we have books to donate to their book sale?

A: The contact for the Waterloo Lions Club Book Sale donations pick-up is Jeff Fitzpatrick at (319) 269-7458.

Q: At the two-hour debate, how many actual minutes did John Delaney get to speak?

A: During the June 26 debate, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney spoke for 6 minutes and 45 seconds, according to the New York Times.

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Q: Is there an Indian reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon?

A: Yes. The Havasupai tribe has a reservation in Havasu Canyon, a portion of the Grand Canyon outside the boundaries of the national park.

Q: Do any states still sentence convicts to hard labor?

A: At least one state, Louisiana, does. We should note that inmates at most correctional facilities are expected to do some kind of labor. In California, for example, inmates help fight the wildfires that are unfortunately common there recently.

Q: Is there any place in Iowa that allows tiny homes to be built according to city code?

A: A number of cities are considering changes to city building ordinances to allow them, according to news reports, but we couldn’t find any communities currently allowing them. If we missed any, please let us know and we’ll print an update.

Q: On the news they mentioned you can use vanilla to keep mosquitoes away. How do you use it, dab it on, mix it with water or use straight vanilla in a spray bottle?

A: The advice we found: Get pure vanilla extract, not the kind mixed with sugar or alcohol. Mix a tablespoon of vanilla with a tablespoon of water. Other ingredients like lemongrass oil and peppermint oil can also be effective. Apply it to exposed skin with a cotton ball, or put it in a spray bottle to use. It’s usually effective for 30-45 minutes; you may need to re-apply after that.

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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