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How Many Cops Does It Take to Stop a Shooting at the Fair?

The answer is always "more." Plus deadly drivers, Tilt's plans for Lyle's, and the northern lights in today's Flyover.

The Midway was a site of mayhem.
Courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

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

Not Fair

There were two shootings at or near the most cop-ridden site in the Twin Cities metro this long weekend (as well as some cookie-related mayhem we’ll come to in a bit), leaving us to ask, yet again: What is it exactly that the police do? According to the governor, “dozens” of police were in the area when a shot was fired on Saturday night, but the shooter easily slipped away from them. Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Ron Knafla said the officers “did an outstanding job,” while MN commissioner of public safety John Harrington promised that police presence would be doubled. So we can only assume that nearly a hundred police were nearby when there was shooting near the fair gates on Monday night.

In response to the incidents, Gov. Walz also called for harsher sentences on shooters, as is all but required in an election year, I guess. Never mind that the shooters are young, possibly juveniles, and effective diversion programs exist. Incidentally, I’m no expert on violent crime, but one thing I’ve noticed that all shootings have in common is that guns are involved. Hard to shoot someone without a gun! Walz did address the “gun epidemic,” but in the context of harsher penalties, which will somehow “deter” gun violence, despite the fact that that is not how crime prevention works.

Which brings us to the (fortunately, gunless) Martha’s Cookies fracas on Saturday. When a Martha’s stand near the Midway shut down after the shooting out of concern for its workers, angry customers took out their frustration on the people, flinging objects at them. “This included unhappy customers reaching in and grabbing our cones to throw and another hurling their beverages into our building,” a Martha’s rep told Bring Me the News. This is just fuckin’ gross. Don’t throw ice cream cones at working people, you jackasses. You. Are. Rioting. Over. A. Fucking. Cookie.

Slow Down!

In other things the cops aren’t doing these days: Traffic enforcement is apparently down, and deaths caused by speeding motorists are definitely up. The Star Tribune reports that speed-related traffic fatalities rose by 45% last year, reaching their highest levels since 2007. “Drivers are driving like crazy and it’s literally killing people,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. If you don’t pull drivers over, they speed. One reason, the story suggests, is that police are needed for “more pressing law enforcement work” like stopping “violent crime.” Which is all fine, as far as it goes, but a death is a death, you know? Meanwhile, Edina police have diverted officers from traffic enforcement to “deter auto and catalytic converter thefts.”

What Will Lyle’s Look Like When Tilt Takes Over?

Last year, Racket had the scoop that the ol’ Liquor Lyle’s space at 2021 Hennepin Ave. was listed for sale; “You could have it up and operating in less than a week,” broker Jeff Salzbrun told us, rather optimistically. In July, Racket had the scoop that Tilt Pinball Bar had acquired the historic dive bar; “We certainly plan to keep an element or two of Lyle’s in there,” co-owner John Galvin told us. The Tilt team revealed just how many elements would be preserved Saturday, when they dropped architectural renderings of the ongoing remodel. (Check ’em out here.) While I’m of the “nothing good and cool should ever change” school of design thought, I’ll acknowledge that the new Tilt, soon to be known as Litt, seems sleek and fun, and the general Lyle’s layout remains intact. Drop ceilings? Outta there. DJ booth? Added. Forty pinball machines? Better believe they’re coming. Some view the addition of windows, which Lyle’s never boasted, as sacrilege, but there’s nothing wrong with light, even inside a former/beloved dive. Gone forever: the iconic red booths and stools, though the Tilt social team says those’ll be offered for sale in the coming weeks. Your she shed can look like Lyle’s!

Northern Lights Looked Sick

The aurora borealis: They’re not just localized entirely inside Principal Skinner’s kitchen. In fact, the northern lights were fanned out majestically across Upper Midwest skis on Saturday, and lucky photogs posted proof all over our social feeds. Here’s a glimpse of the cosmic ballet, beginning with snapshots from Racket’s Winnipeg correspondent: