Hearken story roundup

Every week, our partner newsrooms use the Hearken framework to publish great stories that were initiated by audience questions. Check back for updates every other Monday for a glimpse at what matters to audiences around the country and the world!

Want to learn how to better engage the public? Download our free engagement checklist guide.

Sometimes you’ll find a few highlighted stories at the top, put together by Hearken’s team of engagement consultants. Go back in time for the archive of stories published from 2015-March 2018.

August 18–August 31


Julia Haslanger: The Philadelphia Inquirer featured a question-asker who got jury notices twice within just a few weeks. After talking with her and the city’s jury commissioner, they uncovered the likely cause: When people have their names slightly different on their drivers license than on their voter registration, it causes them to be added to the potential juror list twice. The question-asker became the perfect anecdotal lead (and photo subject).

Also: The Idaho Statesman has been doing a commendable job keeping their audience in the loop about what’s winning the voting rounds, and which reporters are taking on the stories (and why). Check it out.

Krystina Martinez: Boise State Public Radio’s Wanna Know Idaho series recently took listener questions about wildfires. The winner of the voting round accompanied the reporter to find out what’s in the fire retardant that’s used to fight fires, how its dispensed, and even toured a 1958 plane converted for firefighting.

Stephanie Snyder: After collecting hundreds of questions about homelessness in Seattle earlier this summer, The Evergrey produced a nuanced and multimedia-heavy piece answering the latest voting round-winning question: “How do the unhoused think we should address our housing challenges? What would they tell homeowners? Renters? Politicians? Businesses?” The reporter talked to 13 people dealing with homelessness, including “women, men, people of color, veterans, people of different abilities, and queer and trans folks,” and shared their stories and suggested solutions. You can even hear pieces of the interviews through shareable audio files.

Summer Fields: Dallas Morning News just launched a series of office hours at local libraries around North Texas in partnership with the library system! It’s an extension of their Hearken-powered Curious Texas, and they note that the office hours are aimed at giving folks more paths to be in touch however they’re most comfortable. We love seeing newsrooms go out to encounter their communities and to reach new people IRL. Plus, we’ve already seen evidence that libraries are great partners in curiosity: Check out WBEZ’s Curious City lessons in reaching missed communities from an experiment they ran, which supports this finding.

Here are some other great examples of Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

WFIU Inquire Indiana: WHEN Did Salt Creek Get Its Name?

ABC Curious Darwin: Why do NT public servants work from 8:00am to 4:21pm instead of 9:00am to 5:00pm ‘like normal people’?

WBEZ Curious City: This Synagogue’s Story Mirrors The History Of Jewish Migration Across Chicago Wildfires?

KQED Bay Curious: The Mystery of the ‘East Bay Walls’

KCRW Curious Coast: Tea parties, skateboarders and wildfires: The story of Montecito’s Mar y Cel

Panama City News Herald: Bay Asked, We Answered: Bay Asked: How does the Tourist Development Council spend its money?

GH — Spartanburg Herald-Journal Upstate Lowdown: What’s next for all these abandoned grocery stores?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Honkin’ Mad: Why Texas is allowing motorists to drive on the shoulder of this highway

The Ledger Only in Polk: Unveiling the secrets of the Frances Langford Promenade loggia at Lake Mirror in Lakeland

Panama City News Herald Bay Asked, We Answered: Bay Asked: Whatever happened to the accused Sunny Hills Nazi?

August 3-August 17


Janine Anderson: Radio station WESA’s Good Question series gets questions about Pittsburgh history. Reporter Katie Blackley put together pieces on the city’s inclines — rail cars that carried people and supplies up and down the steep hillsides that surround the city — for radio and the web. The web presentation of The Rise and Fall of Pittsburgh’s Inclines includes several interactive elements, like a map of the inclines that includes the years in which they operated, and sliders that let you see the historic inclines and what the areas look like today.

BONUS: Mother Jones is using Hearken to collect examples of disinformation, which it’s then going to investigate. Check it out here: Want to Help Combat Disinformation? Show Us What You’re Seeing.

Julia Haslanger: The Miami Herald did a nice job tackling an audience question that stemmed from an inaccurate premise. Someone asked the newsroom’s Influencers project “Why do we still dump sewage onto our beaches?” The story gently explains how South Florida counties don’t dump sewage onto beaches, but do dump treated waste offshore in some places. The reporter addressed the concern of the question-asker (about the sewage situation being bad for the tourism economy) and showed the complexity of the issue without dismissing the question on a technicality.

Krystina Martinez: Marfa Public Radio received a question from a listener wondering about the many vacancies in her local school district. Marfa tapped a citizen investigator already looking into the issue to get to the bottom of it! The result is a rich story getting into the many layers of teacher turnover — and a great example of working with the public in multiple ways to find an answer.

Stephanie Snyder: After launching less than a month ago, KJZZ in Phoenix has already answered three audience-asked questions for Q&AZ, including a two-part piece on an American Indian boarding school that opened in central Phoenix in 1891 and its history of forced assimilation. After the school closed in 1990, there were years of negotiations on what to do with the school’s 110 acres of land.

Summer Fields: KCBX received a question about the origin story of a strange giant pyramid in their area to their series Central Coast Curious. It didn’t win, but reporter Tyler Pratt liked it and wanted to report it anyway. But, before he was finished, he saw that a reporter at the local paper had published the same story! So, KCBX decided to collaborate and asked him to come on their weekly news magazine show, Issues & Ideas, to talk all about what he had found. Leveraging the coincidence this way was not only a nice moment for collaboration between the newsrooms. (Curiosity isn’t a finite resource!) The live segment was also a smart, lower-bandwidth way for KCBX to answer an audience member’s question.

Here are some other great examples of Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

July 23-Aug. 3


Bridget Thoreson: KQED knocked it out of the park with stories focused on San Francisco’s weird weather. Not only did they create a cartoon illustrating why it’s foggy and windy in the summer, but they also asked listeners to share their vocal interpretations of the popular Twitter account Karl the Fog.

Janine Anderson: Ask Alabama (Reckon by AL.com) is back in action with a piece on the Southern summer classic, the mayo and tomato sandwich. In addition to the fun story Abbey Crain put together, the comments thread on this piece is pure gold. Tapping into feelings of nostalgia and pride of place can be a great way to spark interest (this question won a recent voting round) and discussion (40 comments on the story, and 171 on Facebook). And Jonathan Sobolewski answered the runner-up in that voting round, on the Alabama men who fought for the Union in the Civil War, in a video piece you can find on Reckon’s Facebook page.

Julia Haslanger: Sometimes the best person to answer a question is right inside your newsroom! Dutch broadcaster RTV Drenthe received several questions about how a geopark influences the local weather. The reporter didn’t have to go far to get the answer: she asked the station’s weatherman for his insight. (She also spoke with an archeologist who could speak more specifically to the features of the geopark.)

Krystina Martinez: Marfa Public Radio had a big week! They published their first story from their recently-launched West Texas Wonders series, exploring the mystery behind the infamous Marfa Lights. It’s a delightful, sound-rich feature with a King of the Hills cameo. Marfa also wrapped up their first voting round, which garnered almost as many votes as there were questions. Needless to say, it was a success! We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for the next story.

Stephanie Snyder: New use-case for Hearken alert! Swiss Info used our technology’s voting rounds to develop a 10-question, multiple-choice quiz to allow readers to test their knowledge on global governance in Geneva. Participants choose a reply for each question, then the correct answer is revealed with some background and a link to more information, as well as how other quiz participants fared. Stay tuned for a step-by-step guide on how to replicate the process!

Summer Fields: The Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., has been gathering questions for Time to Educate, its series looking to point the way toward solutions to end educational inequity in their community. Their first winning question came from longtime educator and local anti-racism advocate Howard Eagle. D+C reporter Justin Murphy deeply involved Howard throughout the reporting process. The finished pieces (a profile of Howard and the story taking on his question) incorporated Howard’s history working on these entrenched issues, his long-standing frustration of how things have gone, and his tentative hope for change.

Here’s the rest of the Hearken-powered stories published in the past few weeks:

July 9–23


Summer: Marfa Public Radio launched West Texas Wonders a couple weeks ago to gather “questions from a wide range.” Last week, Reporter Sally Beauvais and General Manager Elise Pepple went on a road trip across West Texas to spread the word and collect folks’ questions in person! Marfa is posting delightful updates from the road on its Instagram, including profiles of the curious folks the staff are meeting. Other newsrooms with local audiences, take note of this genius outreach strategy.

Julia: Chicago Tribune advice columnist Anna Pulley received a question from a woman who wants to leave her husband but is scared for her safety. Anna addressed the question with compassion and several resources for the woman to consider. Not only does the answer hopefully help the woman who wrote in, it likely will benefit others who are reading it who may be in need of those domestic violence and PTSD resources now or in the future.

Stephanie: The Evergrey had an incredibly successful collaborative launch with eight (!!) total news organizations publishing the same call for questions on Seattle’s homeless awareness day last week. (They even got a shoutout from Pearl Jam!) The Evergrey and GeekWire have already answered several questions, and it look like many more will be answered in the following weeks. This was an overall great lesson in how newsrooms can collaborate to serve the public in the most effective way possible.

Janine: The Panama City News Herald produced a podcast to answer a handful of questions that came in through its Bay Asked, We Answered series that didn’t quite warrant full stories. At the end of the podcast, they make a great call-out for listeners to submit their own questions to the series, including the possibility that if their submission is chosen, they could come along with the reporter. The body of the story includes links to short answers they produced and published separately to serve readers who want only that information.

And here’s the larger rundown of the Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

June 9–22

Stephanie: RED/ACCIÓN in Argentina has been using Hearken to collect submissions for their “100 Mujeres” (100 Women) series that is dedicated to telling the “stories of 100 women unknown to most of society, to make them visible and so their stories can inspire others.” Reader Clara Salvadores recently nominated Gabriela Terminielli, a local psychologist and businesswoman.

Janine: Two of our Hearken partners took on questions about local environmental concerns, and helped their communities better understand air quality and beach bacteria. Lancaster Online’s Ad Crable wrote about the bad air in Lancaster and what leads to the pollution that hangs around. The Virginian-Pilot looked into bacteria at local beaches, discovering that while the water is tested, the sand is not.

Summer: Building off Janine’s highlight: A couple more partners recently reported on issues of environmental contamination and its effects on local residents. Alison asked ABC Darwin’s Curious Darwin why there’s so much asbestos in the beaches in their area and what’s being done to get rid of it, and they did a good job involving her throughout the story. WBEZ’s Curious City received several questions about how pollution has affected people in the mostly Black and Latino area of East Chicago, and talked with five residents about how their homes, health and livelihood have been affected by the contamination in a beautiful interactive story. These stories are a great testament to how question askers can send serious questions even through a general assignment prompt about your region.

Julia: Omroep West received a question about why a street sign intending to honor scientist Marie Curie was misspelled in such a way that instead referred to her as a “whore.” The newsroom looked into it, and in the end, the question-asker and the alderman got to pose for a photo together as the sign was being replaced.

Here’s the full list of the Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

May 26-June 8

Stephanie: The latest Hearken-powered stories from KUER in Salt Lake City are both wonderful examples of working with your question-asker to deepen the story. KUER tackled an important story about access to mental health services through the lens of a woman trying to find a long-term therapist for her brother who had been struggling with depression for years. Plus, they also reported how Utah’s 600,000 registered unaffiliated voters can participate in the state’s primary elections.

Summer: Judy asked this month’s winning question to Vermont Public Radio’s Brave Little State: “Where are all the aging hippies that moved to Vermont during the ’60s and ’70s, and what are they doing now?” Why does she ask? She’s one herself! Not only did they dig into Judy’s backstory: they also put out a call for stories to the other “aging hippies” across the state, and created beautiful profiles of folks who submitted to create a rich oral history.

Janine: WFAE’s latest episode of FAQ City is a stellar example of taking on a sensitive topic in a respectful and helpful way. Nick De La Canal involved the question asker, Margaret Peeples, who wanted to know about a large number of rape kits that had been destroyed. The episode is a tie-in with a new investigative podcast from the station, She Says, which “looks at one sexual assault survivor’s search for justice and healing.” The FAQ City episode features extensive interviews with Margaret, detailed explanations and reporting from sources to help understand what happened and what happens next, and some very human reactions from Margaret.

BONUS: Current put out a story recently letting its audience know what’s on deck. The story includes lots of good information from the question asker, and does a great job teeing up the story that’s going to come in the future. Especially when an answer might take longer than expected to report, this kind of an update keeps your series and the question in your audience members’ minds.

Julia: Ahead of the California primary last week, CALmatters was collecting questions from people who were reading their voters guide about other questions they have about voting. The newsroom rounded up answers to several of the questions people sent in, including “If I am registered to vote already will I get a vote by mail for the primary — or do I need to register for that by itself” and “What if I make a mistake on my ballot?”

Bridget: The Virginian-Pilot’s update on jewel thief “Murf the Surf” is a great example of how reader questions give newsrooms a reason to revisit stories that otherwise would not have a clear news peg. In answering the question about whatever happened to the surfer and convicted criminal, Tim Eberly gave a fascinating overview of his life since he was released from prison.

And here’s the rest of the Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

May 12–25, 2018

Stephanie Snyder: KUT had an incredibly thoughtful post calling for questions about guns and schools following the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. The way they prompted questions “to find a common set of facts to move the debate forward” is one that could be emulated around any particularly polarized issue. On a lighter note, they also recently mapped out all of the stories they’ve reported through their ATXplained series.

BONUS KUDOS: Congrats to Denverite on launching their Hearken-powered series! They moved through their onboarding process in record time (about a week!) to do a soft launch of the new feature with readers who belong to their membership program. Plus, they’ve already reported their first story answering a question (chosen through a voting round) about why some Denver neighborhood associations are more effective than others.

Summer Fields: Sixth grader JJ Nnawuchi sent WBEZ’s Curious City a question about Chicago’s proposal for LED street lights. As an astronomy fan and stargazer, he worries about light pollution getting even worse with this change. (We learn he persistently called up Mayor Rahm Emanuel until he got through to him about the issue!) As this tweet shows, Curious City “checked these concerns with international scientists and it turns out that JJ’s mostly right.” JJ has since become beloved in BEZ’s Twitter community and by us. It’s worth a listen.

Janine Anderson: Katie Blackley, the reporter who runs WESA’s Good Question series, put out a great piece this month on Pittsburgh’s frustrating on-ramps. She knew this topic would resonate, and the number of voices included in the piece shows that quite clearly. This is an excellent example of how involving your audience — the question asker and other folks interested in the topic — can enrich your finished product.

Julia Haslanger: Michigan Radio tackled a series of intense, personal questions from its listeners about nursing homes and assisted care facilities. They solicited the questions in March and April, and then answered several during one segment in mid-May. On the web, they broke out each question alongside the relevant audio clip. It’s a topic their audience clearly had a lot of concern and questions about, and the station did a nice job addressing that need.

And here’s the rest of the Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

April 28-May 11, 2018

Janine Anderson: A new Hearken partner, South African magazine Destiny, answered its first two questions this month. Dear Destiny asks for questions about advancing your career. The magazine focuses on women and business, and they’ve been getting some great engagement from their audience. The first two questions they answered are about marketing a startup with little to no budget and how suing your employer can affect your working relationship.

Summer Fields: Each year, WFPL in Louisville faces the challenge of how to cover the Kentucky Derby in a fresh way, when everyone already knows all about it. This year, they decided to flip the model by getting their audience’s questions in what they call Curious Derby. From men’s fashion to the fate of retired horses to the history of black jockeys, WFPL answered questions every single day of Derby Week, and rounded them all up here.

They’ve also been busy gathering questions for the city’s candidates for mayor in English and Spanish, and about a controversial education audit.

Julia Haslanger: The amazing aerial photography of The Columbian again helps answer an audience question as part of the paper’s “Clark Asks” series. From the story: “For the last 30 years, Ronelle Tibbits has passed by a nondescript building that spans almost an entire city block and wondered what it was.” The story answers the question thoroughly through text, aerial photos, and locator maps.

(This isn’t the first time aerial photography has lifted a Clark Asks story to new heights: The very first answer they published involved taking the question-askers up in the plane along with the photographer!)

Stephanie Snyder: We’ve been excited to see one of our newest partners, ABP News, launch their Hearken-powered work with their audience in India! They’ve been collecting hundreds of questions every week since launching Hearken on their website and have already answered dozens of questions related to trending stories and breaking news that their audience has a demonstrated interest in, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to China.

BONUS: Curious North Coast in Australia has a delightful story about the history of crocodiles living in the region, which includes this video of a musician singing a song he wrote about a legendary crocodile named Hector.

And here’s the rest of the Hearken-powered stories published over the last couple of weeks:

April 14–27, 2018

Janine Anderson: The Dallas Morning News took on a big topic with one of its Curious Texas answers this month after someone asked “Why does Texas seem to have so many loose dogs? While at first read this may not seem to be a serious issue, in Dallas, stray and loose dogs are running in packs, and are in some cases attacking people. This question won a voting round, and in answering it they did new reporting, as well as turned to some of the excellent work already done by their staff on this topic (including some great data visualizations).

Summer Fields: St. Louis Public Radio’s Curious Louis is back, this time with a beat-focused flair! They put out two stories this past week: Shahla Farzan, a recent transplant to the city, will be taking on questions through the lens of her “New to St. Louis” beat. In her first Curious story she tackles what happens when zoo animals die. She did a great job bringing the question asker’s involvement and curiosity to the foreground. Ashley Lisenby of the race and culture beat’s first Curious story digs into how an area known as the Olive Link came to be the city’s “unofficial Chinatown.”

Julia Haslanger: Omroep West, a broadcaster in the Netherlands, answered a question about why highway mile-markers don’t start at zero. The newsroom had the question-asker and the key source go out to the mile-marker in question together. Their conversation made for interesting video. (In Dutch)

Stephanie Snyder: RED/ACCION, a startup news organization that launched in Buenos Aires earlier this month, is focused on solutions journalism, curation, building relationships with their supporting members and involving the public in their editorial process. After working with Hearken leading up to their launch, RED/ACCION has incorporated public-powered journalism throughout their editorial model, including collecting general questions, nominations for their “100 Women” series, and giving their audience the opportunity to ask questions about specific topics, like Argentina’s immigrant communities. They’re off to a great start and we can’t wait to see the amazing work they’ll accomplish with help from their readers!

And now for the stories:

A traditional Milwaukee fish fry. Learn more in the WUWM Bubbler Talk story linked below. Image courtesy Bonnie North| WUWM

NHPR‘s Only in NH: What’s The Story Behind Manchester’s Cat Alley?

Texas Tribune‘s Texplainer: Is the top vote-getter in a Texas primary election most likely to win their runoff? Usually, but not always.

WUWM‘s Bubbler Talk: Before #FearTheDeer, What Was Pro Basketball Like in Milwaukee?

Dallas Morning News‘s Curious Texas: Why does Texas seem to have so many loose dogs? Curious Texas has the answer

WESA‘s Good Question: People Were Afraid To Come Downtown’ When Pittsburgh Had A Red Light District

Bruzz‘s Big City: YOUR QUESTION. Why do people sometimes hang bags of bread on fences and trees?

WFPL‘s Curious Louisville: Curious Derby: What’s Up With Men’s Derby Fashion?

KQED‘s Bay Curious: Does Anyone Play Polo at the Golden Gate Park Polo Field Anymore?

Dallas Morning News‘s Curious Texas: What are those blue Texas wildflowers that are not bluebonnets? Curious Texas gets to the root of it

ABC‘s Curious Brisbane: Curious Brisbane: Where did hangings and executions happen in Brisbane?

WFPL‘s Curious Louisville: Curious Derby: How Many Planes Fly In During Derby Weekend?

WPLN‘s Curious Nashville: Glimpses Of The Forgotten Zoo In Suburban Green Hills

RTV Drenthe‘s Zoek het uit!: Why is there a chapel at the Pelinckhuis in Assen?

KUT‘s ATXplained: This Tiny Austin Cemetery Has Been Here For 162 Years. Will Construction Force It Out?

KCRW‘s Curious Coast: Grit, endurance and a lot of pull-ups: Inside LA’s Women’s Fire Prep Academy

WFAE‘s FAQ City: FAQ City: What Is The 287g Program? And Other Questions Answered

ABC‘s Curious Darwin: Why is rent in Darwin so high when there’s an excess of vacant properties?

St. Louis Public Radio‘s Curious Louis: Curious Louis: The future of St. Louis’ ‘unofficial’ Chinatown

WUWM‘s Beats Me: Wauwatosa: One Of Many Wisconsin Communities Grappling With Lead In Water

ABC‘s Curious Canberra: How many little street libraries are there in Canberra, and where are they?

Austin American-Statesman‘s Austin Answered: Does clothing recycling keep textiles from landfills?

WBEZ‘s Curious City: Which Historical Monuments Have Sparked Controversy In Chicago?

Austin American-Statesman‘s Austin Answered: The Continental Club in the 1960s had a different dress code


The Columbian‘s Clark Asks: What’s planned at parcel on N.E. 117th, Hwy. 99?

EdNC / NCCPPR‘s AskNC: AskNC: What percentage of lottery money goes to education?

Texas Tribune‘s Texplainer: How do employment benefits for Texas educators compare to those in other states?

KUT‘s ATXplained: What’s The Story Behind The Different Tags On Trees Around Austin?

Dallas Morning News‘s Curious Texas: Why do cities, counties and school districts have wacky boundaries? Curious Texas brings the history

AL.com (Reckon)‘s Ask Alabama: Check out all the candidates’ answers at the Reckon GOP governor’s debate

KQED‘s Bay Curious: 420 Started in the Bay Area. Meet the Guys Who Invented It

WUWM‘s Bubbler Talk: Friday Night Fish Fry: The Story Behind A Milwaukee Tradition

The Columbian‘s Clark Asks: Why is there so much trash along Clark County’s roads?

St. Louis Public Radio‘s Curious Louis: Curious Louis answers: What happens when an animal at the St. Louis Zoo dies?

Omroep West‘s Rake Vragen: Kilometers of highway seem to have disappeared, how is that possible?

Bruzz‘s Big City: YOUR QUESTION. Has the world hit ‘Kili Watch’ originated with the scouts of Evere?

KALW‘s Hey Area: Hey Area: What help is there for Oakland businesses impacted by bus rapid transit?

Dallas Morning News‘s Curious Texas: Who made sure Texas roadsides are covered in wildflowers? Curious Texas has the answer

WESA’s Good Question: Star Light Star Bright, Cities With ‘Star’ Names Having Little To Do With The Night

Current‘s Currently Curious: Why hasn’t pubmedia held one big pledge drive?

Metroland York Region‘s Connect: When will East Gwillimbury get a high school?

Kenosha News‘s Curious Kenosha: Is Highway 158 the shortest state highway?

KCPT‘s curiousKC: What’s In Our Tap Water?

Virginian-Pilot‘s Glad You Asked: Here’s what happened to the Post Office on North Colley that closed

2SER / UTS‘s Seeking Sydney: Why is the Basement Closing?

March 31-April 13, 2018

Julia Haslanger: “Where’s the city limit?” is a complicated question for any growing city, especially one growing as fast as Austin. The Austin American-Statesman tackled the question from an Austin resident, who noticed the city limits sign she passed for years recently disappeared. The story gets into how the state department of transportation, not the city, actually handles the city limits signs. But the gem of this story is the kicker, from the question-asker: “My suspicion is that any sign that says ‘Austin City Limits’ is going to be stolen by somebody, because of the festival and the TV show. College students, you know. Heck, I had a stop sign in my college dorm room.” Read the story.

Janine Anderson: The Dallas Morning News did a deep dive into teacher pay following a question from a reader who wanted to know which high schools in the state offered the highest salaries. An interview with the question-asker (who happened to be a retired journalist who had worked for a nearby daily paper) gave context to the query, which reporter Eva-Marie Ayala used in focusing the answer in on why these teachers are paid well, and what motivates them to do their jobs. Read the story.

Stephanie Snyder: As Sydney is working to rebuild its tram system, many of the new tracks are being placed along the same path used for the city’s original tram network that was ripped out in the 1960s. To answer an audience member’s question about why Sydney got rid of its trams in the first place, ABC Sydney’s Curious Sydney series not only did a deep dive into the city’s transportation history, but also brought the question-asker and his children to the Sydney Tramway Museum, where part of the story was reported. Read the story.

Summer Fields: WBEZ listener and “self-proclaimed map nerd” Judy Pollock was reading a Curious City story about about how Native Americans shaped Chicago’s history when she spotted an odd detail on one of the maps, which depicted the Native American villages and trade ways of a not-yet-incorporated Chicago. She saw a reptilian-looking shape labelled the “Effigy Mound Lizard” in what’s now the Lakeview neighborhood. She asked Curious City if they could tell her more about it. Reporter Jesse Dukes and his team dug into the archives to see if it had existed in Lakeview, who built it, and why it disappeared. He did a great job reporting truthfully that there’s very little information about the mound thanks to racism among early archaeologists, unsurprising erasure in keeping with much of the country’s recording of history. See the interactive story.

And, now, the stories:

Metroland York Region’s Connect: Will Metrolinx demolish the Tannery Mall GO station on Davis Drive?

WUWM’s Bubbler Talk: If You Like Listening to WUWM, You Just Might Appreciate This Huge Metal Tower

UNC-TV’s Carolina Query: Carolina Query: What Are The Odds Of Finding Significant Gold Deposits In Catawba County?

Metroland York Region’s Connect: Why was the Aurora GO express bus discontinued?

NHPR’s Only in NH: Why Do People Move To N.H. To Join The Free State Project?

NHPR’s Only in NH: What Is The Free State Project?

KQED’s Bay Curious: Have Ride-Hailing Apps Made Traffic Worse?

KUT’s ATXplained: Why Do So Many Self-Storage Places Keep Popping Up In Austin?

Australian Broadcast Company’s Curious Melbourne: Melbourne gangster Squizzy Taylor died after a shootout in Carlton. What happened to the house?

Australian Broadcast Company’s Curious Sydney: Sydney once had the biggest tram system in the southern hemisphere

WFAE’s FAQ City: FAQ City: The Forgotten Cold-War Bunker Buried Outside Charlotte

WPLN’s Curious Nashville: Even More Answers To Your Transit Referendum Questions

Australian Broadcast Company’s Curious Canberra: Do Canberra’s first triplets still live in the city?

Australian Broadcast Company’s Curious Darwin: Urban legend, Asian myth, or historical figure: Who was the ghostly Poinciana Woman?

Lancaster Online’s We the People: What happens to all the paper, cans and plastic after you put out those green bins for recycling? [We the People]

Dallas Morning News’ Curious Texas: Which high schools in the state have the best teacher pay? Curious Texas investigates

VPR’s Brave Little State: Is Vermont Really Losing Young People?

WFDD’s Carolina Curious: Carolina Curious: Who Put The ‘Cackalacky’ In North Carolina?

Austin American-Statesman’s Austin Answered: What happened to the Austin city limits sign?

WUWM’s Bubbler Talk: Were Visitors Really Allowed To Feed Polar Bears Marshmallows At The Milwaukee County Zoo?

Kenosha News’ Curious Kenosha: Sex offender registration rules vary by offender and by community

NHPR’s Only in NH: What’s the Smallest Hamlet in New Hampshire?

WFPL’s Curious Louisville: Curious Louisville: Was Colonial Gardens The City’s First Zoo?

KQED’s Bay Curious: Oil Beneath San Mateo County? You Betcha

KUT’s ATXplained: Do Drivers Get A Refund If The MoPac Toll Lanes Are Slow?

WOSU’s Curious Cbus: Curious Cbus: What’s The History Of Catholics In Columbus?

CALmatters: Data dig: Big investment firms have stopped gobbling up California homes

Swiss Info: Your questions about the cost of living in Switzerland — answered!

Metroland York Region’s Connect: Are there any plans for King Township to get 2nd high school?

Australian Broadcast Company’s Curious Hobart: Commonwealth Games: Matilda enjoys the quiet life after shining in spotlight as 1982 mascot

Chicago Tribune’s Ask Rick: Do you remember Chicago’s Bermuda Triangle? Asking Rick Kogan about the tavern route, the ’26 game’ and Capone’s house

Metroland York Region’s Connect: Will Holland Landing homes on septic connect to sanitary line?

WPLN’s Curious Nashville: Curious Nashville Answers Your Transit Referendum Questions

KCPT’s curiousKC: Where Are Those 20-Somethings Living?

Kenosha News’ Curious Kenosha: Future of former Earl’s Club property remains a mystery

Austin American-Statesman’s Austin Answered: When Billy Graham preached at the Texas Capitol

March 17–30, 2018

Janine Anderson: WFAE’s FAQ City podcast went underground to find the answer to a question about a giant vault of money buried beneath the city. Listening to this piece is the way to go, because host Nick de la Canal left in his very real reactions to his look at the Federal Reserve’s vault beneath Charlotte, N.C.

And a shout-out to NPR Training which answered a question in a Twitter thread.ABC Curious Darwin: Cyclone Marcus: Curious Darwin answers your weird and wonderful questions about the storm

Image courtesy Gabe Rosenberg | WOSU

Summer Fields: A random, super-realistic kangaroo sign once stood in a neighborhood of Columbus, Clintonville. Everyone had different theories about why it existed, so Gabe Rosenberg of WOSU’s Curious Cbus tried to track down its origins. But in an unfortunate turn of events, his digging led to the sign being taken down! Backlash from the community was swift on Facebook and beyond. Gabe owned up to it, and went back to the neighborhood to explain — They were all very understanding. They made ‘never forget’ signs with the kangaroo, and stickers featuring it.

In his follow-up, Gabe reports that after “a full-force campaign to return the sign to its rightful place,” the sign was back in the community’s hands, and they were making moves to get it back up! “It’s sad that it came down,” a resident said, but the aftermath has been so much more humorous and fun, with the way that Clintonville’s been responding to it.”

Stephanie Snyder: Not only has KUT continued to closely cover new developments in the recent serial bombings in Austin, but the public radio station also hosted a community forum last week that was broadcast live, focused on the impact of the bombings on communities of color and what it revealed about the city’s racial climate.

ABC10 in Sacramento also used Hearken in a different breaking news scenario — following the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot outside of his grandparents’ home. Ask ABC10 collected audience questions and started answering them for the public in an FAQ format.

Julia Haslanger: KQED’s Bay Curious combined two answers about sports teams’ names into one sports episode of the podcast. Online, each answer has its own web post, as well as the combined one, for maximum sharability and SEO. They also timed the stories nicely to publish during the seasons of the two sports (basketball and hockey).

Boise State Public Radio Wanna Know Idaho: How Do The Bands For Boise’s Treefort Music Fest Get Picked?

KALW Hey Area/Sights and Sounds: Sights & Sounds of East Oakland: A teen activist makes a difference in his neighborhood

ABC Curious Brisbane: Brisbane trams: Why we no longer take them to work, and where to go for a ride today

Texas Tribune Texplainer: Texas’ gambling rules explained: You can play bingo or the lottery, but no sports betting

WESA Good Question: Why Does The Armstrong Tunnel Have A Curve?

Chicago Tribune Ask Anna: Ask Anna: Having sex with another couple, being friends with exes

KCPT curiousKC: What’s The Oldest House In The Kansas City Area?

Michigan Radio MI Curious: How does MDOT decide which roads to fix first?

RTV Drenthe Zoek het uit!: How did Bartje become the figurehead of Drenthe?

Virginian-Pilot Glad You Asked: New Kroger planned for Chesapeake is now on hold indefinitely

WUWM Beats Me: Health Risk or Nuisance? Questions Surround Oak Creek Power Plant’s Impact on Neighbors

ABC Curious Canberra: Why is carrying or holding under 50g of marijuana not a criminal offence in the ACT?

Metroland York Region Connect: Why were pedestrians ignored during build of Richmond Hill terminal?

Reckon by AL.com Ask Alabama: Why can Alabama police take your money without charging you with a crime?

Reckon by AL.com Ask Alabama: How much does Alabama lose when y’all buy your booze across state lines?

ABC Curious Campaign: SA Votes: Election Results Live

ABC Curious Campaign: SA election: Liberal leader Steven Marshall claims victory in SA election

NHPR Only in NH: Only in NH’ Best Of: Liquor Laws, House of Pizza, & Income Tax

Star Tribune: Minnesota students on why they did or didn’t walk out of school