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A Rocky way to end the year

December didn't bring us snow for Christmas, but it brought us Rocky Balboa. Again. Rocky is now so old that he didn't train for the boxing match on the heavy bag nor the speed bag. Instead, he trained on his intravenous-drip bag. The Minnesota V...

December didn't bring us snow for Christmas, but it brought us Rocky Balboa. Again.

Rocky is now so old that he didn't train for the boxing match on the heavy bag nor the speed bag. Instead, he trained on his intravenous-drip bag.

The Minnesota Vikings completed a season that left their fans yearning for Denny Green to return as coach. Instead, the Vikings were stuck with a coach that had a fogged-up, laminated play sheet for a head. Not that anyone could tell that the Vikings offense had actual plays.

To refresh your memory of what else happened last month, please proceed with the December News Quiz. Relax, you can't get E. coli from taking the quiz.

1. What is the biggest reason that the average property tax bill in Grand Forks is going up 7.6 percent?

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A) The average home value went up 9.4 percent.

B) The tax rate dropped only 1.7 percent overall.

C) The county raised its mill levy.

D) Not enough Marines on the County Board.

2. A consultant's top recommendation for the beleaguered East Grand Forks Riverwalk Centre is:

A) Convert it to specialty shops.

B) Convert it to entertainment/tourism center.

C) Convert it to office space.

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D) Convert its name from Riverwalk Centre to the less hoity-toity Riverwalk Center.

3. Census figures showed North Dakota's population increased by 1,262 last year. Why?

A) State had more births than deaths.

B) State had more jobs, especially from the oil boom.

C) State had more international immigrants.

D) Vacationing motorists grew frustrated with I-29 road construction delays in Fargo, gave up and decided to live there.

4. The leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President is:

A) Hilary Clinton, because voters know her from when her husband was president.

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B) John Kerry, because voters know him from his 2004 presidential bid.

C) John Edwards, because voters know him from his 2004 vice-presidential bid.

D) Barack Obama, because voters don't know him.

5. A North Dakota legislator wants the state to pay the college tuition for in-state students. Why?

A) It will create highly educated work force.

B) It will keep young families in the state.

C) It will attract young families to the state.

D) Otherwise, college graduates will be making their final student loan payments with their Social Security checks.

6. Minnesota's surplus is $2.2 billion, quadruple that of North Dakota's. Where will the biggest chunk of money go?

A) Salary raises for state workers.

B) Rebate checks.

C) Reserves.

D) To buy out taverns that will close because of smoking ban.

7. The percentage of teenage smokers declined from 40 percent to 22 percent since 1999. Why?

A) Antismoking education efforts.

B) Cost of cigarettes soared.

C) Restrictions on smoking.

D) Their hands are too occupied playing computer games to hold butts.

8. The North Dakota Legislature will consider a proposal to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over a three-year period. The main opposition to the proposal is:

A) The federal government should decide the minimum wage.

B) The market should determine the minimum wage.

C) The reality is that most employers already pay more than the minimum wage.

D) "Those greedy laborers. They just received a minimum wage raise 10 years ago."

9. A Home Place Thrift Store employee found $7,000 hidden in a belt that was part of box of donated clothing. The most notable reaction to this event was:

A) Shock by the employee.

B) Interest by local police.

C) Respect for the employee's honesty.

D) A flood of job applicants at the thrift store.

10. In the Herald/WDAZ Salvation Army challenge, the winner was:

A) The Herald.

B) WDAZ.

C) The Salvation Army.

D) All the kiddies who were able to meet the Herald's adorable Santa Claus.

Bakken reports on local news and writes a column. Reach him at 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 125; or rbakken@gfherald.com .

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