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Is the Grape Ape the Ultimate MN Cocktail? Outsiders Investigate.

Plus an island you can rent, a lawsuit requesting more cops, and a new editor at MinnPost in today's Flyover.

Grape Ape, an iconic Minnesota drink?
Chinh le Duc via Unsplash

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

Come My Children, Gather Round, and Hear Tell of the Glorious Grape Ape

I’ve wanted to write about this in the Flyover since Tuesday—there’s just been a lot of other capital-n News happening—so today, it’s my great delight to bring you the story of the Grape Ape. “What’s a Grape Ape?” you may be asking, especially if you’re Racket staffer Jay Boller, who maintains no Minnesotan knows the answer. If you’re Racket contributor Jerard Fagerberg, you know the Grape Ape is a purply cocktail invented at the Loon Cafe in Minneapolis, made with equal parts citrus vodka and sour mix and topped with Buddy’s Grape Soda. Fagerberg went long on the booze-heavy bev for the Takeout earlier this week, tracking down those who were there at its inception and modern ape aficionados like Jon Ledo, who serves up a slightly different take on the drink at the new Wrecktangle in Uptown. “It’s basically a Minneapolis grape version of a Mind Eraser,” Ledo told him. “Most bartenders, servers, and cooks will order when stopping in to say hi to friends because it’s easy, fun, and quick. It’s one of those drinks that, once you make two, you end up making 10.”

You Can Rent a MN State Parks Cabin on Its Own Island

File this under: neat! Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, the newest addition to our lovely constellation of Minnesota State Parks, just debuted a special cabin that’s situated on a dang island. The Blue Heron Island Cabin is only accessible by boat, it doesn’t have running water, but damn, it looks cool as hell. For just $220 per night, up to six campers can enjoy the prive-island lifestyle on public land. Amenities include: a deck with lake views, snazzy/updated kitchen, wood-burning stove (wood included!), and an outhouse. We contacted DNR for more details, but didn’t hear back sooo…. you got yourself a Flyover blurb instead of a proper article. Find reservation info and photos here

Do We Have Too Many Cops or Not Enough?

It depends on who you ask, and when you ask it. But the City’s legal obligation to maintain a certain number of employees is to be determined via the Minnesota court system… again. Shortly after the killing of George Floyd, eight North Side residents filed a lawsuit against Minneapolis, citing a charter requirement of 731 police officers based on census data–staff was at 120 less at the time. They argued that the City failed to honor the charter, City Attorney Gregory Sautter blamed Mayor Jacob Frey. A judge sided with the lawsuit, but an appeals court overturned that ruling. Now, two years later, with about 280 less cops, the case has worked its way up to the State Supreme Court. Meanwhile, crime is on the rise, as are cops’ paychecks. And we might want to hold off on hiring more cops anyway, as recent studies have found that the City’s training process is toxic bullshit.

MinnPost Hires a New Editor

News sites: We’re always in a state of change. Case in point: MinnPost has hired a new editor, Elizabeth Dunbar. The online news source, now celebrating its 15th year, made the announcement yesterday via Twitter and a blog post. (Presumably one of her first changes as staff editor will be to change her social media handles.)

The U of M journalism grad is coming to MinnPost with over a decade of experience, including 12 years at MPR, where she covered local politics, social justice, and other topics. Folks might be familiar with “Feeding our Future,” a series where she explored agriculture in the Midwest (not to be confused with the nonprofit of the same name that is currently being investigated by the FBI for fraud).

Dunbar starts her new gig in July.