Q: What has happened to Bree Smith, the meteorologist at KSDK-TV, Channel 5?
Dennis Greathouse, of Madison, and Bob, of Belleville
A: Well, she’s still at NewsChannel 5. Unfortunately for us Bree fans, it’s now at WTVF-TV, Channel 5, the CBS affiliate in Nashville, Tenn.
The Danville, Calif., native bade morning viewers a tearful farewell during the closing moments of “Today in St. Louis” on New Year’s Eve. She is slated to be replaced in March by Jessica Quick, who has been doing forecasts for KMIZ-TV, Channel 17, in Jefferson City-Columbia, Mo., since February 2014.
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“You guys make me cry,” Smith said after Pat McGonigle handed her a wrapped going-away gift on her final morning show. “I have been so grateful to have been here for the last four-and-a-half years. I will keep my eye on St. Louis. I love St. Louis and I am just so eternally grateful to the viewers for welcoming me in to your homes.
“So thank you so much. We will be back. Quite frankly, we left our cat with our in-laws, so we have to come back to get Jack in at least two months. So we will be back and I look forward to seeing the viewers at Cardinals games, at the Muny, and I will always be with you in weather.”
According to the KLOU-FM website, her middle name really is Sunshine, and viewers quickly warmed to her bubbly radiance and unpredictable patter.
“My favorite one was when they were doing a story about people living on farms being less adverse to pollen due to the environment of the farm,” one viewer recalled of the Florida State and Florida International University graduate. “Bree said, ‘I wouldn’t mind sticking my nose in some manure to alleviate my suffering from pollen right now!’”
The move to Nashville will advance her up the TV ladder. Apparently, the chief meteorologist there is retiring soon, and Bree reportedly will take over the department. If you’re still having withdrawal pains, go to her Facebook page, where you can watch her final morning appearance on Dec. 31 along with countless way-too-cute pictures of her 2-year-old son.
Now, a final favorite thought from Bree:
“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain. But he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.”
Q: On the TV show “Gold Rush,” one of the top miners has a goal of 3,000 ounces and another has a goal of 2,700 ounces. After considerable expenses what are their profits?
H.F.M., of Fairview Heights
A: If they meet their goals, I doubt whether they’d have to worry about expenses, no matter how “considerable” they might be.
At the close of trade on Monday, the price of gold was hovering around $1,131 an ounce. So if he meets his quota, the most ambitious of the two could cash in for just shy of $3.4 million while the also-ran would have to settle for a measly $3,053,700.
I can’t think of many expenses that would cut into those figures substantially, unless they suddenly get a hankering for a Learjet or a yacht. In that case, they might want to wait to see whether the gold bugs, who have been predicting gold prices of $2,000 an ounce, are correct. Then, they could rake in $5.4 to $6 million.
You might remember last season when the crew led by Parker Schnabel (who turned 21 just last July) piled up 2,538 ounces worth just under $3 million. You can read more about him at www.inquisitr.com/2649291/parker-schnabel-from-gold-rush-turns-21. The show airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on the Discovery channel.
Q: How do I clean my flat-screen TV besides dusting with a Swifter duster every few days? There seems to be tiny little specks of something on the screen. I understand fingers and water are not allowed. It does not interfere with viewing, so if there is nothing I can do, it’s not a big problem. Also, does anyone repair VCRs? Or could I still buy a new one? I have a lot of VHS tapes, and my VCR is broken.
Betty Cathers, of Belleville
A: You’d think cleaning a TV screen would be as easy as a picture window in your home. Spray a little Windex and wipe clean with a paper towel just like those monster TVs of yore.
Warning: Don’t even think about it. Most modern HDTV screens have a special coating that can be ruined with strong cleaners.
That said, my recommendation would be to look in the manual that came with your TV. According to cnet.com, each manufacturer apparently offers slightly different regimens.
For example, my Panasonic says that if my screen gets “particularly dirty” I can use a lintfree cloth that has been soaked in a solution of 1 part liquid detergent and 100 parts water and then wrung out vigorously. I would then wipe the screen and immediately go over it with a dry cloth until the surface is dry. But, as I said, it’s best to consult your own manual, or, for general tips, go to www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-clean-a-tv-screen
As for your ailing VCR, I’d recommend contacting Gene Kim at his electronics repair shop at 7303 Old St. Louis Road in Belleville, across from Kmart. He’s been in the business 40 years and says he loves those old dinosaurs as much as your newfangled high tech. If you’re interested, give him a call at 618-213-6667.
As with many such gadgets, it might be cheaper to buy a new one. Nowadays, you have to buy a combination VCR-DVD player, which starts at about $100 (unless you feel brave enough to buy a used VCR on Amazon). Better yet, do as I did and buy a machine on which you can transfer your non-commercial (copyrighted) VCR tapes to DVDs. They appear to start about $250. Try Best Buy, hhgregg or Amazon.
He didn’t win an Oscar, but why will Fred Ott nevertheless be remembered in motion picture history?
Answer to Sunday’s trivia: I’m not sure how much fun it is, but if your child tells you he wants to be a funambulist, you might want to have a long talk. It means he or she wants to be like Philippe Petit, the tightrope walker who darted back and forth between the twin towers of the World Trade Center some 1,350 feet above the ground in New York on Aug. 7, 1974. Funambulist is a combination of the Latin “funis” for “rope” and “ambulare” for “to walk.” By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie “The Walk,” it’s quite a rush — but you really do need to see it on the big screen for the full effect.