Q: Is Bowman Gray Stadium planning to hold racing events with electric cars anytime soon? It would certainly help promote electric cars while helping car dealerships. Perhaps dealers could sponsor the events or build their own cars. It would certainly make for a great competition.
Answer: Not at this time, said Loren Pinilis, director of media relations for the racing series.
“We are a NASCAR sanctioned track. At this point, NASCAR does not race any electric cars and we have no immediate plans to incorporate electric cars. But in this rapidly changing field, maybe one day electric car racing could become a reality,” he said.
Q: I know the city of Winston-Salem accepts shredded paper in clear plastic bags for recycling, but will it accept shredded plastic credit cards, and if so, can it be mixed with the shredded paper ?
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Answer: No, do not mix plastic, such as a credit card, with paper.
“I have confirmed with Waste Management representatives that they do not currently process credit cards,” said Helen Peplowsky, director of sustainability for the City of Winston-Salem.
Q: I saw online recently that 1943 pennies are worth a lot of money, especially the bronze ones. How do you know if it’s bronze and not copper when they look so close in color?
Answer: Most 1943 coins are made of steel and were coated with zinc because the metal was needed for use in World War II.
There are only a few coins from this year that were bronze.
Sam Gelberd, a numismatics educator with the American Numismatic Association, gave us his two cents on the 1943 pennies.
“There is only one composition of bronze that was used to make wheat pennies during the World War II era,” he said. “Since copper is the main component of this alloy, some people call it bronze alloy or copper alloy, but technically copper is an element, and bronze is already an alloy (hence the term” bronze alloy” is redundant).
“It’s either ‘bronze’ or ‘copper alloy’ in that regard. This alloy is composed of 95% copper, the balance of 5% being a mixture of tin and/or zinc. They should weigh 3.1 grams according to the specs.
“That being said, ALL 1943 wheat cents should have been struck in wartime emergency steel composition. These were struck on pure steel blanks (planets, technically) coated with zinc. When the blanks were cut from the huge galvanized steel sheets, the freshly cut edges were left exposed to the environmental conditions, so the majority of them ended up with some degree of rust. Sometimes these rusty pennies are mistaken for copper due to their similar brown appearance.
“The steel cent weight spec is 2.7 grams and they are magnetic. If they get too rusty, the magnetic properties may be lost, but that still doesn’t mean the part is copper; it’s just rusty steel at the time, but wishful thinking leads many people to believe they have a copper specimen from 1943, since copper is a non-ferrous, non-magnetic metal.
“There have been estimates of approximately 20-40, 1943 cents that were accidentally struck on 1942 bronze planks that were left in hoppers/bins and mistakenly ended up in the presses. These pennies of exceptionally rare bronzes have been the subject of numerous coin hunts around the country since the first discovery in 1947. Comic book advertisements only fueled the frenzy in the 1950s and 1960s.”
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Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101