Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Minnesota College Grads Go Nowhere
Geographically, that is. In the latest edition of Andrew Van Dam’s reliably amusing Department of Data column for WaPo, we get to see which states retain the highest percentage of their college grads. Minnesota (go Gophs!) ranks fourth in the nation with a rate of over 75% retention, following biggies California, Texas, and Florida. Interestingly, the chart also reveals to which locales departing grads flee. In our case, the Wisconsin moochers (boo Badgers!) who lap up our generous tuition reciprocity head back home with the greatest frequency. (Speculation mine, not Van Dam’s.) At the bottom of the list? Vermont, West Virginia, and Rhode Island.
In a separate graph, we see that Minnesota is the ninth-highest beneficiary of gaining college-educated residents, receiving a 7.8% boost in big, bulky, book-fed brains. But! Is college a massive ripoff, one that eventually leads four degree-holders to launch a local news website they could’ve formed without mountains of debt? That’s a chart for another day.
Jury Awards $56M in Horrific Summit Scalding
In 2014, as DeWarren Harris cleaned the canning room floor at Summit Brewing Co.’s St. Paul facility, 180-degree water was unintentionally released when his power-washing hose became disconnected and latched onto his belt. The scalding water “burned over 40%” of his body, including some places “down to the bone,” the Star Tribune reports. On Wednesday a Ramsey County jury found three defendants negligent for their roles in the horrific accident—Summit, the hose maker, and the maker of the hose connector. Harris, now 33, will be awarded $35+ million in damages.
“He just lives in incredible pain,” his lawyer, Bruce Rivers, said Thursday. “The kid just went through hell, and it’s so amazing to be able to give him respite. He had nightmares for over a year [afterward].” The jurors found Continental ContiTech and Campbell Fittings 85% responsible; Summit received the other 15% blame. On Friday, Summit CEO Mark Stutrud told the Strib that his company—the country’s 22nd biggest craft brewer—is considering appealing the decision, adding: “I am extremely disappointed in the jury’s decision, which I view as unbalanced and excessive.” For additional details about Harris’s agonizing journey back from his injuries, as well as specifics about the claims of negligence, we recommend reading Paul Walsh’s full report.
Polars Honor Deshaun Hill in Opening Game
Over at MPR News today, a moving look from Grace Birnstengel at the first North High football game since the shooting death of 15-year-old North Polars quarterback Deshaun Hill last February. “It’s hard to wrap your mind around it,” said Hill’s friend junior linebacker Khalil Brown, who carried his teammate’s number nine jersey on to the field as part of the opening ceremonies. That number is being retired to honor Hill. “Day to day I get better and better with dealing with it. I say to myself, ‘I have to keep going and keep going for him.’” Birnstengel observes, “Many in the crowd wore shirts and pins that commemorated Deshaun and denounced gun violence. Juniors wore green in his memory.” Incidentally, the Polars beat St. Paul’s Johnson Senior High, 48-6.
St. Paul Businesses Don’t Want Homeless Center Nearby
This summer, the Listening House scored a $1.4 million loan from the city of St. Paul to open a day shelter in the old Red’s Savoy Pizza space at 421 E. Seventh St. This week, nearby businesses filed a lawsuit in hopes of stopping renovations, as well as requesting over $50,000 in damages for, among other things, “anticipatory nuisance.” “They welcome those under the influence,” attorney Patrick O’Neill Jr. tells the Strib. “They will close their door each night at 8 p.m. and people will wander back out onto the street and in the neighborhood.”
Day shelters are typically smaller, open door places where people can get a meal, take a shower, or just take a simple break from being outdoors. Plaintiffs include Heppner’s Auto Body, Bulldog Lowertown, Dark Horse Bar & Eatery, Gopher Bar, Schurmeier Lofts, Dacotah Properties, Saramar Enterprises, Kay-Key’s Lock & Safe, Earl & Wilson Event Center, MB Properties, and Barrel Theory Beer Co. This isn’t the first time the org and the city have faced lawsuits over day center; last year a group of businesses filed a suit against Freedom House, another day shelter on West Seventh run by the group that was eventually forced to close. Businesses suing over that project included Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, Art Farm Advertising, and 262 Fort Road.