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Hark! That siren you hear is the sound of summer

Dear Answer Man, have the summer siren checks begun in Rochester yet? If so, the one in my neck of the woods is not working. I think they're supposed to happen at 10 o'clock every Wednesday. — Concerned

By the time Concerned reads this, he or she will no longer be concerned, if all goes according to plan: The seasonal siren checks started today at 10 a.m. If you have questions about sirens, check with Mike Bromberg, Olmsted County emergency management, at 328-6102.

Since that was so easy and I'm on a coffee jag, I'll make this a lightning round and dispense with a few other quick questions.

Is there a big road project coming up on Olmsted County Road 139? It looks like something's about to happen and I use that road every day.

What's your definition of big? That road about four miles southeast of Simpson isn't big to begin with, but yes, there's a project coming up on Monday that will close the road for one day. They're replacing a culvert about a mile north of County Road 140 and you'll need to find a work-around for that day, presuming the project goes as planned. For more details, call Olmsted County Public Works at 328-7070.


Dear Answer Man, is Hobby Lobby a Minnesota chain? I've never seen them anywhere else.

Then you haven't lived, my friend, because there are 499 of them and they're all over the place. The 500th will open this month in Las Vegas, which doesn't seem like the most arts-and-crafty type of place in the world, but I'm sure Hobby Lobby has that all figured out. The privately owned chain is based in Oklahoma City and in the past year added stores in California, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

Dear Answer Man, when did Mazeppa move to Goodhue County? I thought you knew everything.

Congratulations to this Mazeppa reader, who passed the test I posed on Monday with flying colors. In my dazzling report on "socialist" city-owned liquor stores, I listed Mazeppa among the Goodhue County towns as a test of my readers' knowledge of geography. Only one reader passed the test and correctly noted that Mazeppa is in Wabasha County.

It's very, very close to Goodhue County — "across the Zumbro River and two giant steps," as this reader says — but close isn't good enough. Sorry about that. Congratulations on the profitable liquor store, though.

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