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EV Invasion Hits Twin Cities

Plus a new opportunity for prisoners, another payout from the cops, and a really good rapper is coming to St. Paul in today's Flyover.

City of Minneapolis

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

Do Electric Cars Go “Vroom”?

Minneapolis and St. Paul made history Friday as possessors of the country’s “first 100% renewable-powered, municipally owned carshare network,” KSTP reports. All these qualifiers notwithstanding… not bad! Mayors Frey and Carter pulled up alongside Sen. Tina Smith in whips from the EV Spot Network to announce the program, which will feature 170 Evie Carshare cars and 70 renewably powered charging stations spanning both towns. Around 3,000 members have already signed up at the $0-$30 monthly rate, Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports, and 90% of the charging stations will be placed in “areas of concern for environmental justice.” (If you’ve paid attention to global warming over the past, say, four decades, that could mean literally the whole map.) Anyway! The EV ride share program is a public-private partnership between the Twin Cities, electricity salespeople Xcel Energy, rental car salespeople HOURCAR, the American Lung Association, East Metro Strong, and the federal government. Click here for more info, including the cost breakdown. 

Prison Tatts Go Legit 

If you’re serving time in our state, you have access to training for careers in computer technology, plumbing, electrical work, and drywall. Now Minnesota is adding a new program: tattooing. The pilot program, set to open in Stillwater, will be led by a state-paid supervisor. There are quite a few potential perks to this new offering, both for inmates and for the state. Not only will it provide training, experience, and licensure for folks who will be looking for a job once their sentence is served, but officials also hope that hosting a safe, clean environment to get ink will prevent or lower cases of blood-borne illnesses. “It is in the state’s best interest for the people who come out of our correctional system to do better, to do well,” corrections commissioner Paul Schnell told the Star Tribune. What a concept! There are between 80 and 100 cases of hep C in local prisons each year, a disease that wrecks the liver and can be contracted through dirty needles used for impromptu prison tatts. The Star Tribune piece points out, horrifically, that at one point the state delayed hep C treatment for inmates until the patient showed signs of damage. Prisoners sued for a policy change, and won.

You Can’t Spell Cop$ Without $

Oh well, the Minneapolis Police Department just cost the city another $200,000, thanks to two new settlements with former employees who claimed they were discriminated against. Former officer Colleen Ryan, who is an openly gay, is getting $133,600; she argued management retaliated against her for speaking out about the homophobic and misogynist culture of her fellow officers, who are openly fascist. And former Deputy Chief Art Knight, who got bumped after he criticized how the department’s hiring practices bring in “the same old white boys” (where is the lie?), gets $70K. Good for both of ’em—just too bad the cops don’t pay out of pocket. Of course, $200K, while real money to you or me, is just a drop in the bucket as far as the MPD is concerned. Millions have already been coughed up in recent years for police brutality claims, in addition to the $191 million regular ol’ MPD budget. Sometimes you look at these numbers and wonder if Minneapolis is just a shitty police department with a city attached to it.

Kendrick’s Coming to Xcel

Happy Kendrick Lamar Day! The L.A. rapper’s long-awaited fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, dropped today, as did news of a massive tour in support of it. Lamar, who’s very much in contention for the Best Rapper Alive crown, will visit St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center on August 20 alongside 21-year-old Vegas MC Baby Keem. You should absolutely check out the bonkers video for funky, lyrically dense lead Steppers single “The Heart Part 5,” wherein Lamar shape shifts into Kanye West, O.J. Simpson, Jussie Smollett, and Will Smith. We last saw Lamar in these parts way back in 2017, when he visited the X as part of the DAMN Tour. All he did in the interim was win a freaking Pulitzer. Tickets to this upcoming tour go on sale next Friday at noon via Ticketmaster and the Xcel box office. Annoyingly, prices were not made immediately available, which is just how things work these days in the concert industry. 

Did Fox 9 Know? 

We applied the principles of journalism and asked verbatim: Did your weather team absolutely know what it was doing? Haven’t heard back yet, but can confirm they saw our DM. Anyway, you decide! TGIF.