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Dispatch to Stop Publishing—For Now

Plus Richfield likely to OK edibles, Wedge LIVE! vs. the courts, and a little news about us in today's Flyover news roundup.


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

Grab a Dispatch While You Still Can

Well, shit. It’s never fun to report on a publication closing shop, but local A&E paper and website Dispatch recently sent out an email to subscribers letting them know that the August 1 issue would be its last… at least for the time being. “The publication has done really well,” the announcement states, “but also has hit a place where we’ll need to scale up to overcome myriad challenges–with sales, with distribution, with staffing, and more–and that’s going to take some time to figure out.” 

“Yes, I'm heartbroken to confirm it's true,” Managing Editor Katie Dohman tells Racket via email. “It's been a creatively fulfilling and exciting year since I've been on board and I hope for a future reboot.” Dispatch launched in April 2022 as a free arts and culture print publication that grew out of Secrets of the City, a mid-aughts column that ran in The Rake and Minneapolis.St.Paul Magazine. When Secrets of the City moved online in 2013, it morphed into a popular hangout spot for gossipy journalists, and eventually transitioned into a newsletter. More recently, Dispatch helped bring Taste of Minnesota to downtown Minneapolis, and hosted Mary Lucia's column, Popular Creeps.

Richfield Reexamines Its Stance on THC Sales

Back in October 2022, the city of Richfield agreed to ban cannabinoid products for a year, citing licensing and safety concerns. Now, as Minnesota begins its THC renaissance/gold rush, city officials are ready to make bank and end that moratorium early. "We wanted to make sure children were not getting ahold of edibles, and make sure the products were for adults," Mayor Mary Supple tells the Strib. Since new state legislature expressly requires sellers to ID customers, Richfield is reconsidering its stance on sales. Edibles and drinkables aren't legal there yet, but it’s likely to pass: This Tuesday, city council voted 5-0 on getting the ball rollin’ on removing the ban. 

Listen to the Recording That Hennepin County Courts Don’t Want You to Hear

Honestly, we weren’t planning on listening to Wedge LIVE!’s full 87-minute recording of a July 12 listening session with Hennepin County juvenile court judges. After all, life is short, and WL did a great job of summing up the highlights in his tweet thread. But when he shared this email from the 4th Judicial District asking him to take the recording down, well, our interest was piqued. “When the Hennepin County District Court gave permission to two local media outlets to film and report the event through their respective news channels, the District Court did not give permission for the listening session to be recorded, livestreamed, or broadcasted as has been done in your YouTube post,” the email reads.

The situation attracted the attention of journalist Tony Webster, who doesn't even live here anymore but loves hassling politicians and courts. Jael McLemore at Hennepin County District Court told Webster that there were "miscommunications," saying “There will be no legal consequences to [Wedge LIVE!] if he does not take the video down. I don’t think the email was threatening in any way because it didn’t come from our legal services.” So, we're guessing the audio will stay up.

You’re Reading the Third Best Website in Minnesota

At the risk of coming off a little self-involved (who, us?), let’s close with a quick recap of how Racket did at the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalism awards last night. First off, may we just say that there’s no Best Readers category, or you folks would have won hands down. (OK, daily sucking up accomplished.) When it came to winning, Racket did a lot of running-up. We came in third in the Best Website category. Em placed second in the Best Arts & Entertainment Reporting (Less Than 50,000 Circulation) category, while Jay placed second in the Enterprise/In-Depth Reporting (Less Than 50,000 circulation) category for his story on MPR’s brain drain. But no one did as well as everyone’s favorite Racket writer, Roy Boller, who took home a first place plaque for Arts & Entertainment Reporting (Less Than 50,000 Circulation) for this story on Minnesota musicians and music streaming. If you see Roy, tell him congratulations and tell him we’re trying to get the award to him. That guy never comes into the office. 

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