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Q: How can we stop our neighbor’s creeping Charlie from coming into our yard?

A: This is a common problem and one where you should start with a conversation with your neighbor on their interest in killing this invasive weed; if they have no interest you’ll have a tougher battle, according to Black Hawk County Extension.

Creeping Charlie is difficult to get rid of without herbicides, but you can pull all of the weeds and their vines manually. Successful use of herbicide has been found when you apply it in the fall and then again two-three weeks after your first application. Seek a herbicide that specifically identifies success against creeping Charlie.

Q: In the U.S., according to our Constitution, if the president has to leave office for any reason does his vice president also have to leave office?

A: No. If the president leaves office, the vice president becomes president.

Q: In early 2016, Anthony Scalia, a member of the Supreme Court died, and President Obama nominated Merrick Garland shortly after. What happened to that nomination?

A: The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings for Garland, scuttling his nomination.

Q: Is there a maximum number of terms a senator can serve?

A: No.

Q: Will Social Security recipients be receiving a raise in 2019? If so, how much?

A: As of the day this was received, a raise hadn’t been announced yet. But financial analysts are predicting about a 2.8 percent increase, according to a CNBC report.

Q: Why didn’t The Courier run an article about the young man rescued from Indonesia on a house boat who hadn’t eaten for 49 days?

A: We have limited space for national and international stories, and sometimes a good one slips by us. Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, survived 49 days adrift at sea in a fishing hut before he was rescued in early September by a Panamanian-flagged vessel near Guam. He worked as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap, known locally as a rompong, before it snapped its moorings.

The teenager survived by catching fish and drinking seawater that he filtered through his shirt.

Q: How many foreign languages does the Waterloo School District offer for students?

A: Spokeswoman Tara Thomas said the district offers three world languages — French, German and Spanish — in addition to two dual immersion programs starting in kindergarten, one French and one Spanish. District students also can take American Sign Language at the University of Northern Iowa as an option.

Q: The signage on many public buildings in Waterloo is not being maintained, for example, the arts center and the Five Sullivan Brothers Center. Is there a budget to fix those?

A: The city of Waterloo sells bonds annually for building repairs and maintenance. Like every service the city provides, needs are prioritized based on available funding with the knowledge many residents don’t like higher tax bills.

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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