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Ilhan Omar’s Cool with Unionized Staff

Plus a BBQ reprieve, a horrifying dead body discovery, and our very own meteor in today's Flyover.

Ilhan Omar poses with staff

Rep. Omar’s Office Just Unionized 

Earlier this year, as workers inside Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office began mobilizing a union, they encountered something rare in most labor fights: support from the boss. “As a former union member, I’m incredibly proud of the staffers in my congressional office who took steps to start the process of unionization," Omar said in July. "Solidarity forever!” Today those workers became the second-ever unionized congressional staff in U.S. history, following the history-making union formed earlier this week by staffers of Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.). The office of Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), whose boss is perhaps the most financially conflicted member of congress, quickly became the third to join the Congressional Workers Union on Friday. So far, the yes-no margin in those three union elections is 29-1—find and expose the scab! (JK.) What’s it like to unionize your job on Capitol Hill? We asked Rep. Omar’s comms team to chat with one of those workers, but never heard back. (Teen Vogue admittedly has more clout than Racket.) A handful of other congressional staffs are currently unionizing, which became possible when a bill introduced by Levin allowed such activity for the first time 233 years of U.S. law-makin'.

Beamin' BBQ, More Like

Great news! The city of Minneapolis isn't running Animales and Boomin BBQ outta town. Over the last week, we collectively learned about city ordinances regarding food trucks and offset smokers—namely, that it's illegal to have them. The issue is that Animales and Boomin, both of which are outdoor trailers without their own brick-and-mortar restaurants, rely on said smokers to make the business work. (The former said losing offset smokers would cut production capacity by 70%.) Over the weekend, the two meaty operations asked fans for their support in badgering the powers that be, and last night, Animales had an update: The city is letting the popular trailers keep running their smokers through November, after which point they'll collaborate "to change the ordinances around smokers and permanent food trucks at breweries." That is some smokin' news indeed.

How MPD Failed Kathleen “Katie” Norton

For decades, near north resident Kathleen “Katie” Norton was a friendly figure who was frequently spotted walking about and chatting with people. So, when she was suddenly nowhere to be seen–Norton was 76-years-old, lived alone, and a hoarder–folks worried. In March of 2021, neighbors called the cops asking for a welfare check. The responding officer entered the home, deemed it a hazard, and assured the callers that Norton couldn’t be in there. He then boarded up the entrance. Next her mailman, a church acquaintance, and a pantry shelf worker called into the MPD, but the police didn’t follow up. Then, five months later, after the building had been condemned, city workers found her body. As highlighted in this heartbreaking KSTP story, neighbors and friends are now left with questions about why city housing wasn’t notified when the cop saw she was a hoarder, why the other calls went neglected, and how things could have ended differently. “When the first police officer entered the home, maybe she was alive, and maybe something could have been done to help her,” a neighbor told KSTP. “I don’t know that. But that’s the question I’m left [with]. And that troubles me.”

It Came out of the Sky

A meteor landed in Inver Grove Heights—a long time ago, that is. If it happened yesterday you wouldn't be alive to read this. Researchers with the U of M’s Minnesota Geological Survey found a crater, the 191st in the world, several hundred feet underground, Bring Me the News reports. The crater covers an area of about four square miles, with a depression outside of the central area that may be closer to 10 square miles. Researchers estimate that the meteorite size was anywhere between 150 and 600 meters, big enough to seriously fuck things up. Should we be terrified of future meteors? Absolutely. Does Wisconsin have a meteor impact crater? We didn’t think so. (We actually don’t know but we’ll assume they don’t for the sake of state superiority.)

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