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Lowertown Sounds Brings Free Music Back to St. Paul

Plus Senate debates sin, creeps abound in the First District, and Hutch goes on leave in today's Flyover.

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

It’s Going Down In Lowertown (Musically Speaking)

It used to be called Music in Mears. Now it’s called Lowertown Sounds. But a free downtown St. Paul summertime music series by any other name would rock just as sweetly, so we welcome Friday’s reveal of the 2022 schedule. True to its name, Lowertown Sounds will begin bringing sounds to 221 5th St. E. every Thursday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Will there be a rotating cast of food trucks and drinks from Number 12 Cider, Wabasha Brewing Company, Utepils Brewing, and Alexis Bailly Vineyard? Count on it. As far as tunes are concerned,  this year’s lineup includes rocker Monica LaPlante, St. Paul hip-hop greats Heiruspecs, throwback new-wave act the Flamin’ Oh’s, and whole lotta others performing through August 25.

  • June 9: Monica LaPlante, Annie and the Bang Bang, D’Lakes
  • June 16: Matt Wilson and his Orchestra, Little Fevers
  • June 23: The New Standards, Small Screens
  • July 14: Heiruspecs, Longshot & Lazerbeak
  • July 21: Jillian Rae, Farewell Milwaukee
  • July 28: We are the Willows, Folios
  • August 4: Flamin Oh’s, Scarlet Goodbye
  • August 11: Mayda, Becky Kapell
  • August 18: Malamanya, Jaedyn James
  • August 25: Joyann Parker Band, Beau Baker Band

Minnesota Vice

Do we want godless degenerates reading Racket? Not necessarily, but we know you are and, hell, you deserve to be informed about Satan’s latest societal tinkering.

On the gambling front, Minnesota state senators are attempting a “hail mary” (football term) in the waning hours of the legislative session to legalize sports betting, the Star Tribune reports. The Senate Finance Committee narrowly advanced a bill Thursday, though details around one major point—placing bets at racetracks—remain unsettled within the legislature. Minnesota’s racetracks, Native American tribes, and charitable gambling organizations need to find some sort of compromise between the House and Senate bills before the session ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Its odds (gambling term) of passing appear “slim,” according to the Strib. Sports betting is fully legalized in neighboring states Iowa and Illinois, while South Dakota and Wisconsin have partially legalized arrangements. The current sports-betting gold rush is evident to anyone who’s been baraged by ads during a game in the past couple years. 

Still with us, those of impure hearts and souls? Alright here’s the latest booze news from the Capital: The growler has likely been freed! Breweries that grew too large to sell growlers and crowlers from their taprooms—Surly, Summit, Fulton, Castle Danger, Schells—will soon regain that right, MinnPost reports. It’ll represent a historic shakeup of Minnesota’s weird, antiquated production/distribution/retail scheme, though the white whale of modernized state liquor laws—grocery store sales—continues to be elusive. “For the first time in two years, the brewers of Minnesota are wearing a smile,” Bob Galligan of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild tells MinnPost’s Peter Callaghan. Jesus, meanwhile? Better believe He’s weeping.  

It’s So Hard to Get Good Libertarian Help These Days

To be the unmessy alternative to Jen Carnahan in the race for MN-CD1, all state rep Jeremy Munson has to do is smile, talk about “freedom,” and not scuffle with his in-laws after funerals. Oh, and not hire any sex creeps—Walker Orenstein at MinnPost reports that Munson may be running into some trouble on that front. The candidate has distanced himself from libertarian activist Cliff Maloney Jr., who was charged in April with a 2013 rape; while he hired a firm at which Maloney may have worked, Munson says, Maloney is not part of his campaign. However, Justin Greiss, who Munson has hired to organize door-knocking, has some issues too. He was placed on administrative leave, along with Maloney, when the two headed up the group Young Americans for Liberty, following accusations of sexist behavior and sexual assault. Carnahan, who jumped/was pushed from her role as state GOP chair after major party donor Anton Lazzaro was indicted for child sex trafficking, calls Munson’s connections to Maloney “highly disturbing.”

Get Well Soon, Hutch!

There’s a new sheriff in town. Well, a new acting sheriff. Chief Deputy Tracey Martin is stepping up for a spell because embattled (or is that beleaguered?) Hennepin County Sheriff David “Hutch” Hutchinson is taking an “indefinite” “health-related” leave of absence. Hutchinson, of course, rolled his car over near Alexandria last December while driving drunk and over 126 mph, after leaving a Minnesota Sheriff’s Association conference. Hutchinson announced in February that he would not seek re-election, but also that he would not resign—though this may be something of a “soft resignation.” Hennepin County gets to (or, you could say, “has to”) elect a new sheriff this fall. Candidates include Minneapolis Police Lt. Mark Klukow, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Major Dawanna Witt, Suwana Kirkland, director of Community Corrections in Dakota County, and former police officer Jai Hanson.