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Q: What percentage of the money donated is kept by the GoFundMe organization? When the totals are listed, how much does the individual or group get to keep?

A: In the U.S. and Canada, GoFundMe has a payment processing fee of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per donation. According to GoFundMe, “The amount raised that is displayed on your campaign will always reflect the total amount of donations made before fees are deducted.”

Q: Illinois doesn’t recognize Iowa concealed carry permits. Who can Iowa gun owners contact about getting that changed?

A: There was a bill introduced in the Illinois General Assembly last year to do that in April it was sent back to the Assignments Committee. We don’t see any upcoming hearing set. Illinois lawmakers don’t have any particular reason to try to make Iowa voters happy.

Q: What was the location of the Top Hat in Waterloo on the east side back in the 1940s and ’50s?

A: It’s listed at 1229 E. Fourth St. in the old directories.

Q: What was the name of the neighborhood grocery store that used to be on Waterloo Road in Cedar Falls near Grand Boulevard?

A: The old city directories list the Drive-In Grocery at 1603 Waterloo Road in the 1930s; it’s called Bernie’s Drive-In Mart by 1954. Names from the late ’50s to early ’80s are Bernie’s Super Market and B & D Grocery.

Q: Cedar Falls had two golf courses, Washington Park and College Hill Golf Course. When did they open and close?

A: According to information the Cedar Falls and Waterloo public libraries found, the Washington Park course opened in 1912 and closed after the 2008 floods. The College Hill course was first used in 1902 on land owned by the Rownd family, but it also did double duty as a cow pasture for several years. The family donated it to the college in 1925. The land was sold to the state in 1991 for the relocated IowaHighway 58 project.

Q: What’s the origin of Groundhog Day? Why was Punxsutawney, Pa., selected?

A: Here’s how Parade magazine explained it this year: “The Feb. 2 holiday can be traced back to the ancient Christian celebration of Candlemas Day, the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. ... Germany added something extra to these festivities: They used a hedgehog to predict the weather, saying if the hedgehog saw its shadow, they’d endure six more weeks of bad weather. Between 1725 and 1775, a swath of Germans made their way to the United States, many of them settling in Pennsylvania. They kept their Candlemas tradition, replacing the hedgehog with a groundhog, which were plentiful in the area. The Punxsutawney Spirit published a story about the groundhog festivities in 1886, and the next year, the city embraced the celebration and held the first Groundhog Day at Gobbler’s Knob. The newspaper’s editor (who belonged to a group of groundhog hunters) declared that Phil, Punxsutawney’s groundhog, was the nation’s only weather-forecasting rodent.”

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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