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Author Marlon James Gave an Entire Interview on Bob Dylan

Plus eviction day at Camp Nenookaasi, CPR saves a marten, and ice doing cool stuff in today's Flyover news roundup.

4:16 PM CST on January 4, 2024

Bob Dylan, ‘Bob Dylan’; Mark Seliger/Penguin Random House

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

Whew! Marlon James Digs Bob Dylan

It’s a question most famous people with any connection to Minnesota will have to endure at some point in their career: How do you feel about Bob Dylan? Griffin Ondaatje chatted with Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James about the very Minnesotan musician for Literary Hub, and it turns out the Jamaican-born, New York-residing, Macalester College professor had a lot to say about the pride of Hibbing, Minnesota. Highlights include hearing Dylan covers on the radio (“I thought ‘I Shall Be Released’ was a Jamaican song, you know?”), his first Dylan album (1989's Oh Mercy), and his thoughts on the uproar of Dylan winning the Nobel Prize (“I found very few, if any, black writers who had a problem with Dylan winning the prize… I don’t think we rank art”). Yep, it really is an interview exclusively about what Bob Dylan means to James; you can read it all here.

Police, City Council Members, Emergency Outreach Arrive at Camp Nenookaasi

After two eviction delays, pleas from the community, and a last-minute lawsuit against Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the razing of Camp Nenookaasi, the large homeless encampment at 23rd St. and 13th Ave. S., began earlier today. Organizers at the site are live tweeting, sharing images of drum circles and posting videos of this morning’s news conference, which included Red Lake Tribal Secretary Samuel Strong and City Council Member Jason Chavez. Both called for support from the city and Frey in establishing a cultural healing center. Sahan Journal’s Katelyn Vue has been at the scene since 6 a.m., and says that camp organizers are working to transport tents, supplies, and people’s belongings to a nearby encampment; so far about 20 yurts have been relocated. Around 160 people currently live at Nenookaasi, and some, including Council Member Robin Wonsley, are questioning whether enough available beds exist to keep them all warm. Vue reports that, so far, outreach workers at Avivo have managed to fill 14 of its 20 open beds. While police have not started active evictions, over 15 cop cars are at the scene and a perimeter has been taped off.

Hero Revives Precious Marten Caught in Trap via CPR

A man out in northern Minnesota was hoping to catch bobcats in his traps. Instead, he snagged a pine marten—a small, carnivorous, weasel-type creature known for its plush fur and cute, ferret-like appearance. Martens are an illegal catch in Minnesota, so, believing the creature was dead, he called the DNR to report the incident. But when the marten opened its eyes, the man went into life-saving mode. “He described to me in great detail how he actually put his lips on the nose of the pine marten and blew air into it,” conservation officer Nicholas Prachar, who made his way to northern Beltrami County to help the man release the very confused, very angry wild animal, tells MPR. Prachar reports the man was so shaken up that he vowed no longer sets traps in the woods.

Cool Ice Style Alert: Pancake Ice

Under the right conditions, ice can do some pretty neat stuff. Take 2013’s chandelier ice incident, dubbed the “Minnesota tsunami,” where shards of ice made their way up from Lake Mille Lacs onto neighboring lawns. Or the time cold water flow caused a lake near Brainerd to develop a spinning circle of ice on the water surface—very metal! This year we’ve got pancake ice, a phenomenon where chunks of ice bang up against each other as they ride along a current, forming smooth edges that some say look like lily pads. (I say they look like red blood cells making their way along a vein.) Carol Bauer, a self-described “Grandma with a camera,” managed to catch the phenomenon in west-central Wheaton, Minnesota, using a drone. Check it out below: 

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