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Let’s Watch Pee Wee Herman Read a Mpls Dating Ad to David Letterman

Plus a $9.2M crypto scam, reparations of sorts, and celebratory legalization pics in today's Flyover.

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

Today's Secret Word Is: 'Local Angle'

Here's a little something for Minnesotans mourning Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, who died of cancer this past weekend. “My first guest tonight has completed a very successful engagement at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis” is how David Letterman introduces Pee Wee on an episode from July 5, 1983. After gifting Letterman a tissue box made out of a doll's head, Pee Wee whips out what appears to be an issue of the Twin Cities Reader and reads an adult classified from the back pages. The man is looking for “someone who responds to cinema, theater, cafe sitting, dance, Tom Waits, B.B. King, neon sculpture, Dr. Who, junk shops, neon sculpture, inner cities, unusual stuff, outrageous stuff, Pee Wee Herman…” at which point Pee Wee gets excited that he’s part of this guy’s dating equation. You can watch the wholesome episode, which includes a green screen ride through the countryside and other Pee Wee antics, below.

And here's the full text from that May 25, 1983, issue of the Twin Cities Reader:

Married Man Loses Over $9M in Sexy Catfish Crypto Scam

He was promised love and massive crypto wealth. Instead, he's out $9.2 million. Eden Prairie police say it all started on LinkedIn when a random internet woman contacted the victim, asking him to leave his wife for her and invest in Coinrule-web3 cryptocurrency. And boy howdy, was he interested! According to the detective on the case, who specializes in romance and crypto scams (what an amazing gig!), this guy would go on to send money to this person 21 times over five-ish months in amounts ranging from $100K to $2.1 mil each time. "No one in the office has heard of a crypto fraud case as big," Attorney General Spokesman John Stiles tells Paul Walsh at the Strib. "In fact, their eyes popped when I told them the amount." Though the grand total is unique, this type of scam isn’t. The FBI even has a name for it: "Sha Zhu Pan" scams or "pig butchering" dating. 

Police were tipped off after the wife noticed her husband was liquidating their accounts and, when questioned, he told her to take out the rest of their funds so he could cash out on his crypto investments. But he was never investing in Coinrule-web3; he was investing in the scammer’s crypto wallet, and whoever they really were, they peaced out as soon as the jig was up.

Overpoliced Communities To Get State Grants

Communities that have been harmed by marijuana prohibition will start receiving tens of millions of dollars from the state of Minnesota in 2026, Ryan Faircloth reports in the Star Tribune. Yes, it’s yet one more underpublicized provision in a law passed during this year’s legislative session: The CanRenew grant program. Funded by taxes on cannabis sales, the program, which appears to be the first of its kind in the country, will award $15 million annually to organizations in communities that have "experienced a disproportionately large amount of cannabis enforcement," as well as communities where a large number of veterans live and those with a high poverty rate. "This is a form of reparation," said state Sen. Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville) a co-sponsor of the marijuana bill in the Senate. Some legalization advocates say it's not enough money; others question the funding source. And Republicans? Rep. Nolan West (R-Blaine), who voted for legalization, says of the grant money: "It'll be wasted. It's just a way to funnel money to [DFL] districts." You know, what they always say when communities of color get a few crumbs.

We Love These Weed Pics

Racket readers who follow me (Em) on Twitter already know about the funny spectacle at First Ave last night. On 7th Street, people were openly smoking joints to celebrate First Ave's "Legalized It" fest; meanwhile, at the Entry, there was an all-ages straight edge show going on, which made for a very delightful little juxtaposition. I wasn't there on assignment, but to catch Orthodox (listen to Orthodox!). Photographer Nicole Neri was, and she captured some incredible images for this slideshow on MPR today. Among them: U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar performing with Marijuana Deathsquads (DBA Ilhan Omar and the Music Rockers), Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey showing off a pipe he got from Legacy Glass, and everyday folks light up their dab rigs and hit massive novelty joints.

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