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Just Give the Nurses What They Want, Dammit

Plus election board nuisances, North High principal confusion, and free (Magpie shrike) birds in today's Flyover.

Keith Ellison via Flickr

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

MN Nurses Welcome You to Striketember

The Minnesota Nurses Association announced today that 15,000 nurses, in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, will strike for three days against 16 hospitals beginning September 12. Staffing issues are central to the nurses’ demands. “There is no nursing shortage in Minnesota,” Children's Minnesota nurse Tracey Dittrich told MPR News. “Just a shortage of nurses willing to work in this unsafe environment where we cannot give the quality care that we know our patients deserve.” Other union concerns include wage increases and nurse retention are concerns. Nurses have been working without a contract since early summer, and while a last minute agreement could avert the strike, the parties involved don’t seem optimistic that will happen. A spokesperson for Allina Health, which operates some of the hospitals that will be affected by the strike, said they were “disappointed” by the announcement, along with some other boilerplate blah blah blah.

Crow County Caves to Crybaby Cranks

Election deniers in Crow County have browbeaten officials into hand-counting the 2020 election results in twice as many precincts as state law requires, the Minnesota Reformer reports. In addition the county will “cast vote records,” which show how election software reads cast ballots. This is a victory for My Pillow huckster Mike Lindell, who is encouraging paranoid flakes nationwide to pester their election officials about imaginary electoral irregularities. Of course, this concession is not enough for the conspiracy-minded, who view every Democratic win as fraud. They want every precinct hand counted, and non-randomized cast vote records, even though machines cannot produce these. Their reason for the latter: “an erroneous belief that the votes should come in in an essentially random sequence, so any variations—a late swing for, say, Joe Biden—are taken as tampering,” according to the Reformer. The lesson here: Nothing will satisfy these people, and nothing is exactly what they deserve.

North High Principal Is Back—Or Is She?

North Community High School Principal Mauri Friestleben is back at her post after a tumultuous employment ordeal this spring. In May, the school district placed the popular principal on leave through the end of the school year. Friestleben told families this was retribution for participating in a student sit-in at City Hall to protest the police killing of Amir Locke. The response from teachers and parents pressured the district into reinstating her for the rest of the school year; according to the district she is now “acting principal” and “an investigation involving her is active," the Star Tribune reports. "She is always showing us how to be leaders and she stands up for us," said student council president Ramiyah Jackson told the Strib, which seems like the kind of response a principal should elicit from her students, no?

Minnesota Zoo: No “Freebird,” Please

Birders! Your moment has come: It’s time for you to become the bird police, because three African long-tailed shrikes (aka Magpie shrikes) are as free as a bird now, and the Minnesota Zoo needs to find them before summer ends. The four shrikes, all female, managed to escape through an emergency exit about two months ago. Since then, one has been captured and returned, and several bird enthusiasts have spotted the others out and about nearby. While the birds don’t pose any threats to our ecosystem, our ecosystem poses a threat to them–these tiny creatures are typically found in the savanna and shrubland habitat of Africa, and cannot survive our famously brutal winters. These birds you cannot change, man. The zoo is asking bird watchers to report sightings, but do not engage or try to capture these guys. If you spot one, you can report them to the zoo’s bird hotline at 952-431-9200.

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