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3M Health Care Spinoff Debuts Dumb Name

Plus Bemidji postal workers fume, Red Wing is actually Native burial ground, and shirtless downtown turkey guy explained in today's Flyover news roundup.

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3M HQ in Maplewood.

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

Creation of New, Outrageously Dumb Brand Name Presumably Costly

You may know 3M as the mega-conglomerate that poisons the east metro and deafens our soldiers. But did you know the Minnesota-based Fortune 500 is also comically inept at naming stuff? Look no further than the just-debuted brand name for its new health-care spinoff... Solventum. Now, you might be asking yourself: Is that parody-ass-sounding word really a portmanteau of "solving” and “momentum.” Unfortunately, yes! That's according to Fred Melo at the Pioneer Press, who reports that the $8.4 billion in health care sales (see this semi-related study) 3M is funneling into this new, independent company will qualify it as a Fortune 500 right out of the gate.

In total, Solventum will employ 20,000 workers, 1,180 of whom will remain stationed locally, a company rep tells the PiPress. (The company announced 1,100 layoffs at its Maplewood HQ earlier this year.) Melo didn't press Danette Andley, 3M's senior VP/chief marketing officer, on exactly how many monkeys stationed at how many typewriters divined the name, though a press release offers the following inane intel: "The new logo will take inspiration from the company’s future drive to never stop solving and transforms the ‘S’ from the name into an expressive symbol of limitlessness." We're guessing it'll look a little something like this. Solventum—which honestly rings more like "slow" and "momentum"... or a sleepy robot-type Pokémon—is expected to become an honest-to-god thing early next year.

Bemidji Postal Workers Protest Brutal Working Conditions, Bowing to Bezos

Rural postal carriers picketed outside of the Bemidji Post Office earlier this week, citing a host of serious-sounding grievances: being overworked, underpaid, and unable to strike. One of the main culprits, per The Bemidji Pioneer? Having to haul ass all over Paul Bunyan territory delivering Amazon packages, which the workers say are prioritized over regular mail. In 2013, USPS inked a deal with Amazon to handle some of its packages, and the rollout of that agreement began in Bemidji earlier this month. Postal carriers say they're already overwhelmed. “They’re telling [carriers] not to deliver your mail until the Amazon packages are delivered,” Eric Cerroni, whose wife is a mail carrier, tells The Pioneer. Adds 20-year USPS vet Dennis Nelson: “Mail isn’t being delivered on many routes because we’re spending 12 hours a day just delivering Amazon packages... If you were to look [in the post office] right now, there’s probably five or six routes where mail wasn’t delivered yesterday because the packages had to go out.”

Making matters worse, carriers say they're paid by the route instead of by the hour, so busting their butts for Amazon has resulted in unpaid labor. Sound like something the union workers could strike over? Well, they can't. That's because of a federal law that prohibits most federal workers from striking, thus denying them the leverage exercised by their UPS buddies who used the threat of a strike to win a contract this past summer. The Bemidji Post Office is a "hostile, toxic work environment," workers allege, one where managers threaten jobs while denying sick leave and vacations. “We need the public to get behind us on this,” Nelson concludes. “We’re the face of the post office to the public, we’re the ones out in all kinds of weather doing our jobs. We’re not going to put up with the hostility and the threats anymore.”

Red Wing Learns Its Dog Park Is an Indigenous Cemetery

Red Wing dogs and their people recently received a startling notice: The A.P. Anderson dog park has been closed due to its location being located over an Indigenous cemetery. "We don’t let dogs in our cemeteries," Red Wing Mayor Mark Wilson tells the Rochester Post Bulletin. "But we didn’t know." Noah White, a tribal historic preservation officer with the Prairie Island Indian Community, says the city was notified of the cemetery in August. A follow-up letter from PIIC explained that historical records of effigy mounds inside the park date back to 1885, and that while many of the mounds have been destroyed over the years, the cite still holds great significance. "[The city] agreed to immediately plan for removal of the dog park," White says. To the mayor's credit, he seems eager to make things right, telling the Post Bulletin, "They were here and we moved in, everyone needs to be educated on their histories and culture." A temporary dog park will be established while the city scouts for a new, hopefully non-sacred location.

Uh, What's Up with Peta's Downtown Minneapolis Turkey Guy?

Minnesota is the nation's top turkey-producing state; en route to Tummy Town, 37 million birds meet their maker here each year. As such, animal-rights group PETA took to downtown Thursday to dissuade Minneapolitans from gorging on turkeys this Thanksgiving. Its spectacle approached performance-art territory when Downtown Voices spotted... uh... this half-naked turkey guy all coiled up, turkey-like, atop the protest table. (Racket reader Taylor Dahlin reports his tabletop time was short-lived—not unlike a young, meaty Minnesota turkey.)

Seeking clarity, we reached out to PETA for more information on the turkey man, specifically. Spokesperson Sara Groves informed us that her group's "turkey guy" is named Luis Correal, and that he performed a similar protest/stunt earlier this week in Des Moines, Iowa. Groves directed us to the quote Correal gave to the Des Moines Register.

"It is a little uncomfortable, but it’s nothing in comparison to what all the turkeys go through during Thanksgiving," he said. "I get to be here for an hour being uncomfortable and feeling a little bit cold, but I get a break and the turkeys don’t... Hopefully we can change a lot of minds and hearts.”

There you have it.

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