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Q: Where is the nearest Sears store in Iowa?

A: Sears has stores in Burlington, Carroll, Clarinda, Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Marshalltown, Mason City, Oskaloosa, Spencer and Waukee.

Q: What year did Cedar Valley Catholic Schools form in Waterloo? And what year did St. Nicholas, St. John’s and St. Mary’s schools all close in Waterloo?

A: Cedar Valley Catholic Schools started in 2003. That fall, St. Nicholas and St. John’s schools closed. St. Mary’s School was renamed Queen of Peace, in line with a change in the parish name that included multiple church buildings. Queen of Peace School (formerly St. Mary’s) closed after classes ended in the spring of 2006.

Q: When did the trolley go from Waterloo to Waverly? And did it go any further north than Waverly?

A: The trolley line started running in December 1910 and had its last run in August 1955, according to the book “Iowa Trolleys.” That trolley line didn’t go any further than Waverly, but the WCF & N did run a bus line between Waterloo and Mason City for a time, starting in 1927.

Q: Is there a place nearby that is similar to the Gable Museum, but instead has baseball memorabilia? If so, can you print the name and their phone number?

A: A couple of suggestions: The Bob Feller Museum is located in the city hall at Van Meter, (515) 996-2644; and the Iowa Baseball Museum of Norway is at 112 E. Railroad St. in Norway, (319) 227-2044. If you’re willing to travel a little further, the Chicago Sports Museum is at Water Tower Place, 838 N. Michigan Ave., (312) 202-0500. Another idea: Living History Farms in Urbandale is hosting “historic baseball” games this summer: “Watch the origins of ‘America’s Greatest Pastime’ by catching a Walnut Hill Bluestockings 1875-rules baseball game. The teams, made up of LHF volunteers, follow gentlemen’s rules, which include no mitts allowed; the batter, or ‘striker,’ gets to call the pitch; and no cussin’ or spittin.’

Q: Is it legal for gift certificates or gift cards to have expiration dates?

A: According to the state of Iowa: “Retail gift cards must clearly disclose their expiration dates, and the card or packaging must clearly disclose any fees. You cannot be charged inactivity or service fees (for cards purchased after Aug. 22, 2010) unless the card has not been used for at least a year, and then you can be charged only once per month. Cards cannot expire for at least five years from the purchase date, or from the last date any additional funds were added to the card (for cards purchased after Aug. 22, 2010). If the expiration date listed on the card is earlier than these dates, the money can be transferred to a replacement card at no cost. You may be charged a fee to buy the card and to replace one that has been lost or stolen.”


A question in the July 29 paper asked about a former elementary school on Main Street in Cedar Falls. Readers let us know the school was also called the Manual Arts School at one point.

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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