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Hennepin County Attorney Candidate Outraged by ‘Little Pigs That Go ‘Oink, Oink”

Plus mysterious killer real estate, open-air drug markets, and weed bevs in today's Flyover.

3:31 PM CDT on September 16, 2022


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

Martha Holton Dimick Has No Chill

Martha Holton Dimick ain’t playing nice in this campaign, that’s for sure. At the first debate between the two leading Hennepin County Attorney candidates, the former prosecutor and judge launched some scattershot attacks on her opponent, former Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty, as Jon Collins at MPR reports. “My experience is a lot stronger than an experiment from someone who has just done defense attorney work and has just worked with criminals,” Dimick said of Moriarty. (Her apparent belief that everyone represented by a public defender is a “criminal” certainly says something of her prosecutorial approach.) She also alleged that Moriarty is supported by “some of the strongest ‘defund the police’” supporters and accused her campaign of employing “police abolitionists.”

Apparently, Dimick is referring to a recent Open Streets festival in north Minneapolis where she freaked out at certain police abolition activists who, as police abolitionists, really aren’t likely to support anyone for county attorney. They had illustrated the three candidates being considered for chief of the Minneapolis Police Department as pigs, which infuriated Dimick, as did the fact that they were “handing out these little pigs that go ‘oink, oink.’” (What sound are little pigs supposed to make?) Dimick went on to declare of the activists, “They don’t belong in my neighborhood,” and denied spitting on them.

Mysterious Killer’s Extremely Expensive House for Sale

Almost nothing is known about James Blue except that he is “an Orono man.” That description has been in wide use since the 52-year-old crashed his speeding Bentley Flying Spur along North Shore Drive last September, killing passengers Mack Motzko, 20, and Sam Schuneman, 24. Blue, who owns a murky company known as Blue Holdings LLC, registered a .22 blood alcohol level after the July 2021 crash, and “crushed up white pills and green capsules” and weed gummies were discovered on him. He pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide this past April in Hennepin County District Court. This week, Blue’s almost-new Orono mansion at 3017 North Shore Dr. became one of the most expensive homes for sale in the state at $8.9 million. (It was listed and later removed earlier this year, sans interior photos, for a full million more.) The 10,077-square-footer boasts your standard rich-guy amenities—wine cellar, sports court, movie theater, gym, sauna, billiards room—and was built in 2020, apparently over these three lots with then-existing homes. Blue bought the property for $4 million in 2016, according to county records; he sold the other property listed under his name for $1.3 million in 2020. Bring your ideas… and new vibes!

Open Air Drug Bazaar is Under Investigation

The North Side's corner of West Broadway and North Lyndale Avenue is usually hopping with activity. At that intersection there’s a grocery store, a gas station, a liquor store, and a Walgreens. It’s also a popular site for drug dealing and gun violence. Following last week’s drive-by shooting, attorney general Keith Ellison has announced that he is opening a civil probe into Merwin Liquor Store and Winner Gas Station’s efforts to report crime, stop rumored gambling, and keep the area safe. “Companies or properties that turn a blind eye to gun violence and other threats to public safety happening on their premises need to know we are watching and will act,” says Ellison via statement. Merwin owner Stuart Tapper says he'll be moving staff to other store locations while the North Side spot is manned by We Push For Peace, a nonprofit that works on community engagement and transformation in volatile areas of the city. Regardless, if the probe finds that either business is a public nuisance, they may be forced to close.

Local Weed Bevs Get National Love

“That doesn’t legalize marijuana… we didn’t just do that, did we?” This week, Vice readers got to hear that famous and/or infamous line from Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) in an excellent deep-dive story headlined "Oops, Minnesota Accidentally Legalized THC-Spiked Seltzer." Who's responsible for this locally angled peek inside the craft THC boom? None other than Racket beer columnist Jerard Fagerberg. “It’s like it’s the Wild West,” Modist Brewing co-owner Dan Wellendorf tells Fagerberg. “We can sell as much as we want to whoever we want.” You should can (and should!) read the entire piece here. In related "oops" news: A new UMD study found that Minnesota might miss out on $46 million by not having applied a special tax to our accidentally legalized THC products. Whoops!

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