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Heroic St. Paul Teens Pull Off Classic Senior Prank

Plus the loneliness of Covid baseball, our outstanding credit, and Taylor transit in today's Flyover.

3:30 PM CDT on June 14, 2023

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

Teens! Is There Anything They Can’t Do?

“Imagine seeing 20+ kids hauling what’s left of a car walking down the street in the middle of the night.” That’s the nightmare scenario that Tim “CrazyTim” Heldman, the owner of Absolute Towing & Recovery, described on Facebook last Friday. A particularly brazen and horrific case of teen carjacking? Not exactly. Seems some ambitious students at St. Paul Central High pulled off a major senior prank last week. The car in question came from the school's automotive program, and the kids hauled it two full blocks and then up two flights of stairs, depositing it at the school’s entrance. That’s where it was discovered last week. (How have we not heard about this before now?) It was up to Heldman and his crew to get the vehicle out of there. Anyway, time to step up your game, Kia Boys. (Racket does not condone car theft, even if the manufacturer makes it really easy, and even if the keys are in the ignition.) Thanks to Bring Me the News for bringing us this prank news.

Let's Local Angle This Fun/Depressing MLB Story

For Defector today, Richard Staff writes about the 29 MLB athletes who only played during the truncated 2020 Covid season—an isolating experience that meant they never had a major league at bat in front of live fans. The lead-off source? None other than current St. Paul Saint Elliot Soto. “My life pretty much consisted of just being in the hotel, going to the empty stadium, doing our thing, and going right back to the hotel,” Soto tells Staff. Here's a bit that'll make you tear up in a melancholy kind of way:

In most cases, stadium placement wasn’t as convenient and families had to watch from afar. Soto, who was a 10-year minor league veteran when 2020 got off to its belated start, played three games for the Angels that September. He recorded two hits in his second game; when it was over, he received a video that he has kept to this day. His wife and in-laws had recorded their live reaction to his first at-bat and his first hit. “It’s a different memory for a first hit,” Soto told me prior to a St. Paul Saints game. “I still love it, though. It’s my favorite video.” 

The whole story is worth a read, even if you've tried to block all memories of those bleak Covid times. Soto now plays shortstop for the Saints; check out this tremendous catch he made last season against the Rochester, New York, Red Wings.

Ceaseless Sports Misery for MN, But G.O.A.T. Credit Score Status

Americans love to gawk in horror at China’s “social credit scores,” but guess what: We’ve got our own shitty system for assigning value to individual citizens—credit scores! Instead of being determined by the state, credit scores are ginned up by major credit bureaus like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian and, at the risk of delegitimizing our previous griping, a new report from Experian says Minnesota is the best, baby! With a top-ranked average score of 742, Minnesota is the only state in the U.S. to achieve “very good” designation, the U.K. Daily Mail reports.

Other top-ranked states include Vermont (736), Wisconsin (booo... 735), Washington (735), and South Dakota (734). (That latter state's governor just accused Minneapolis-based Target of indirectly supporting the literal destruction of Mount Rushmore via wokeness.) The bottom-ranked average credit scores belong to Mississippi (680), Louisiana (689), Alabama (691), Oklahoma (693), and Texas (693). Experian bestowed the top honor upon our credit dynastic state last year as well, but that wasn’t enough flattery to stop Attorney General Keith Ellison from joining a 40-state, $16 million settlement over the company’s various data-breach whoopsies in November.

Taylor Swift Reveals Our City’s Transportation Flaws. Thank You, Taylor.

If Taylor Swift’s Eras tour could be mapped out like a weather cycle, we’d be seeing a giant purple cloud coming at us from Pittsburgh. Folks would be frantically shopping at the grocery store, restocking their liquor cabinets, and planning for a cozy weekend at home. Instead, 120,000+ people are heading downtown next Friday and Saturday, and getting home after the show will probably be a clusterfuck. That's in part because the last light rail stop outside U.S. Bank Stadium is at the (relatively) early hour of 11:30 p.m., and the show will likely run past that time. According to local news sources, Swiftie “fury” is growing; while Boston and Atlanta beefed up transportation when the show came to their towns, Metro Transit has said it doesn't plan to extend services.

That’s an odd choice for a downtown desperately trying to come across as a legit destination. Strong mayor Jacob Frey even gave T-Swift a shout out during his State of the City address, saying that they expected “Super Bowl-sized" crowds—and the Met Council did extend bus and light rail services for Super Bowl LII. Transportation reps say it comes down to staff shortages. "Trains can't operate without operators," Metro Transit's Drew Kerr helpfully tells WCCO.

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