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A Day Inside the ‘Eviction Factory’

Plus meet a January 6ther, 3rd Precinct news, a new team to root for in today's Flyover news roundup.

4:59 PM CDT on July 18, 2023

Friscocali via Flickr|

Hennepin County Government Center, seen here symbolizing the sinking feeling felt by many inside its Housing Court.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Housing Court in Action

For Southwest Voices, Anna Koenning spent a day observing the goings-on at Hennepin County Housing Court. Her report, as you might expect, is pretty bleak. Koenning notes that evictions, which came to a stop almost completely thanks to pandemic moratoriums, are now occurring at a higher rate than they had been pre-pandemic. The result is nonstop days like the one she experienced, where the cases are heard back to back to back to back, many of them beginning and ending in as little as 90 seconds. "Each eviction moved so quickly that it sometimes didn’t register until after I’d made a tally in my notes that somebody had just lost their home," Koenning writes. "There were no outbursts like in the legal shows and movies, just solemn faces walking out of the courtroom."

Hate Group Leader to Train GOP-ers at Racist Roadhouse

Scott Presler is a man who Trumps hard. He’s served as chairman of Gays for Trump, an oxymoronic org that’s more concerned with stolen elections than LGBTQ+ rights; he’s worked as a strategist for ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as an anti-Muslim hate group; and yes, he was at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This Saturday, he’ll be visiting Rollie’s Rednecks & Longnecks, a Sauk Rapids roadhouse bar and restaurant known for its MAGA vibes and Confederate memorabilia décor. (The owner, Roland Hogrefe, was convicted in 2011 of a hit-and-run after yelling slurs at a group of Black men and running down a pedestrian with his Ford Bronco; his establishment performatively closed for 72 hours during the height Covid to protest "government overreach.") According to this informative Minnesota Reformer piece from Deena Winter, the MN GOP had no hand in organizing the event, though chair David Hann wrote in a recent newsletter that Presler is a “nationally recognized speaker and activist, widely considered to be an expert in grassroots organizing.”

3rd Precinct Finds New Home—Outside of the 3rd Precinct

After months of public input on where to build a new headquarters for the MPD’s 3rd Precinct, the city of Minneapolis has decided… to wait. There are no plans to rebuild the station at the old site on Lake and Minnehaha or at a second proposed site at 26th & Hiawatha, MPR News reports. Instead, the 3rd Precinct will be temporarily headquartered in Century Plaza downtown, a sort of compromise/sidestep proposed by Council President Andrea Jenkins. The thinking is that this will allow easy access to I-35W and allow police to reach south Minneapolis sooner than they can from their current location in the 1st Precinct station. All we know is, resistance to a new precinct HQ must have been pretty fierce at the community level for the city to not just bypass public opinion and do whatever it pleased. “Under no circumstances should the city of Minneapolis rebuild the 3rd precinct station at the former Lake and Minnehaha location,” said Ward 9 Councilmember Jason Chavez, who represents the area in question. 

New Sports Franchise Coming 

Children of the ‘90s surely remember the Arena Football League, which debuted back in 1987. Hall of Famer QB Kurt Warner championed the league after it launched him to eventual NFL superstardom, resulting in a brief flirtation with the mainstream that included video games and games televised on network TV. But the AFL would go bust and bankrupt two separate times. The dream remains alive however, as plans for AFL 3.0 were leaked earlier today by TMZ. And guess what? Minnesota will be part of the 16-team league. Details are slim: Our squad will play in St. Paul, and commissioner Lee A. Hutton III promises that “fans in each community will have the opportunity to come together and create new identities, new traditions, and new memories to help catapult our league to thrilling heights.” And that’s about all we know! Feel free to begin rooting aimlessly right now, but more details should emerge ahead of the 10-game season that’s scheduled to kick off in April.

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