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Ghost Mall Documentarian Declares Burnsville Center a Ghost Mall

Plus Dangerous Man exits Nordeast, more unchecked vehicle violence, and Duluth critter history in today's Flyover news roundup.

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

G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-Ghost Mall?!

Burnsville Center isn't technically dead—it's on life support, with the latest hail Mary attempt to revive the 46-year-old, 1.1-million-square-foot space involving a petting zoo. But that's not stopping video production company Northern Films from classifying it as a ghost mall. They did so last month with the latest installment of their Dead Malls series, which drew 75,000 viewers to a nicely executed 35-minute history of Burnsville Center. You get tons of eerie original footage of the lonely shopping center's empty halls and mostly vacant shops. You get a well-researched look back at its more prosperous past. You get the grim observation that, at least during the filming session, the building's air conditioning had apparently been cut for weeks. The so-called mallpocalypse has claimed many victims as shopping habits shift to the internet but not our state's mighty Mall of America, which is cast as something of a Burnsville Center killer in the video below. Enjoy it at work as we approach quittin' time on this lovely fall Friday.

Dangerous Man Is on the Move

Northeast Minneapolis is getting a little less dangerous—and not necessarily a good way. In a social media statement today, Dangerous Man Brewing Co., one of the first microbreweries to open a taproom a decade ago, announced that its space will close on Oct. 21. "We opened our doors in 2013 with a vision to make great craft beer, create a space for friends and families to gather, and contribute to the betterment of our neighborhood,” owners Sarah Bonvallet and Rob Miller wrote. “Over the years, we have been humbled by the overwhelming support and loyalty from our patrons, who have become more than customers; you are part of our extended family.” The space the brewery rented for its taproom has been sold, though Bonvallet and Miller promise that the "beloved space is in good hands and will continue to be a community gathering place" under the new ownership. They also hinted at some new ventures for Dangerous Man to come, which will feature “more outdoor space, more animals, more plants, just as much sense of community, and, as always, more innovation to strive for.”

RIP, Penelope Wender Thompson

Seven-year-old Penelope Wender Thompson was killed by an SUV driver on Labor Day as she rode her bike in front of her family's home on the 5600 block of Second Ave. S. It's an absolute tragedy, and our hearts go out to her family and friends. "Penny was a fun-loving and spirited young girl who touched the hearts of everyone she met," her Girl Scout troop leaders write on a GoFundMe to help her family. "Her smile could brighten up the darkest days, and her love for her friends was boundless. Penny was a beacon of joy in our lives." As for the 39-year-old driver who hit Thompson—what will happen to him? If history is any indication... absolutely nothing. As noted by the New York Times in 2013, and by Next City in 2014, and by a number of other publications, including Outside magazine just last year, drivers who kill cyclists rarely ever face any legal consequences. Yes, even if they're speeding, distracted, or on their phone. Yes, even as the number of cyclists killed by cars each year reaches all-time highs. Starting to understand what's radicalized the cyclists in your life yet?

This Day in History: Mel the Kangaroo's Duluth Vacay

Some teenagers love trying to sneak out at night. Same goes for animals. Thanks to this gem of a tweet from MPR’s Gretchen Brown, we learned that on this day, 25 years ago, a three-year-old (teen) kangaroo named Mel managed to hop an eight-foot fence and escape not only his enclosure inside Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo, but the zoo itself. During his moments of freedom, Mel got up to a bunch of shenanigans, going for a run on a bike trail, hopping about on some railroad tracks, and dodging a few tranq darts before he was caught, thankfully without a dog run-in or car incident. (“Certainly kangaroos aren’t traffic savvy,” a veterinarian noted at the time.) Sadly, according to the Duluth News Tribune, Mel died less than a year later after a fight broke out in his enclosure. Nature is cruel, man. Shout out to the zoo’s other famous escapee, Feisty the seal, who managed to surprise a few late-night drivers in 2012 after escaping the zoo during a massive flood. Feisty re-located to New Mexico in 2015; we wish him well.

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