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COVID’s Creeping Through Minnesota Schools

Plus storm damage, early voting, and a real load of garbage.

CDC

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

School’s Outbreak

More than 400 COVID infections have been linked to Minnesota pre-K-12 schools for the week ending September 4, with state epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield telling the Star Tribune that infections really “shot up this week” in schools and youth programs. Uh oh! The numbers, reported Thursday, have health officials concerned that school buildings and unvaccinated students might increase the spread of COVID-19. All of this just a few short weeks into the 2021 school year.

Early Voting

It starts today! And my, what an election season it will be. In Minneapolis, not only are all 13 City Council seats on the ballot, along with the mayor, but voters will also decide on three big ballot questions. The bureaucratic shitshow around thrice-rewritten ballot question 2 has made it the most talked-about issue; only last night did the state Supreme Court say the question would count. Voters will also tackle the “strong mayor” question (should executive authority over city departments sit with the mayor rather than the City Council?) and rent control (should City Council write up a rent control policy that residents would vote on in 2022?). In St. Paul, Mayor Melvin Carter is up against a field of challengers, and voters will also have a say on rent control.

What a Load of Garbage! 

How does trash work? Some claim it litters these very Racket pages, though the haters have to cough up subscription bucks to voice that opinion here. (Do it, we dare you!) The Strib’s Curious Minnesota series recently dug into why, despite a 47% boost in recycling rates, Twin Cities landfills are stuffed to the gills with garbage. Spoiler: Because we’re not incinerating as much trash as we used to. But there’s a lot more to the story, including maps that detail where your waste goes and neat photography of it being processed. Want more dirt on recycling? The fascinating 2020 Frontline doc Plastic Wars explores the roots of recycling programs in the U.S., which are unsettlingly connected to the PR wings of plastics manufacturers. 

Last Night’s Thunderstorm was a Real Jerk

Night storms can be a soothing sound to sleep to, but last night’s sky rager had more in common with the apocalypse than with ASMR. This asshole rolled into town around 3 a.m., bringing the worst havok to Bloomington, Savage, and Hudson, Wisconsin. Over 60,000 folks woke up without power this morning, including areas of south Minneapolis and the southwest metro. The high winds smashed a few parked planes together at the airport, lifted up concrete on sidewalks and tennis courts, blew out windows at the Hudson Area Library, and fucked up a lot of trees. Bring Me the News has a slideshow of the carnage. What did we do to displease you, sky gods?