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Feds to Toxic Mining Companies Near the BWCA: Take a Hike!

Plus bad B.A.D. Wingz newz, a doughnut-involved bear killing, and localized Elvis scarves in today's Flyover

A pleasant scene from the Boundary Waters, courtesy of some guy who goes by WinoDave.
WinoDave via BWCA.com

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

Report: Toxic Mines Incompatible with Irreplaceable Wilderness

Anti-mining group Friends of the Boundary Waters likes to point out two rather persuasive facts: There has never been copper or nickel mining in Minnesota; and copper-sulfide mines have polluted everywhere else they do exist. To allow two proposed northern Minnesota mines⁠—Swiss-owned PolyMet and Chilean-owned Twin Metals⁠—to start that toxic extraction process, all in the name of around 1,000 jobs? Madness. To do so on the fringes of the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area? Utter madness! Thankfully, a long-awaited environmental impact study from the U.S. Forest Service seems to agree, MPR News reported earlier today.

“Existing literature suggests that hardrock minerals mining of sulfide-bearing rock, no matter how it is conducted, poses a risk of environmental contamination due to the potential failure over time of engineered mitigation technology,” concludes the report, which will be used in deciding whether to implement a 20-year, 350-square-mile moratorium on copper-nickel mines, including Twin Metals. (PolyMet’s proposed mine is located outside of that zone.) In the coming months, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will make the final call. Today’s report is “reason to both celebrate and believe that science, the law, and the popular will, can prevail,” says Chris Knopf with FotBW.

B.A.D. Wingz is Clozing 

B.A.D. news for fans of B.A.D. Wingz: Chef Gerard Klass’s customizable wing joint is closing in northeast Minneapolis. The Black-owned restaurant got its start as a pop-up at Glam Doll Donuts before moving into Graze Provisions + Libations food hall in 2020, and it was a lot of fun, with more than a dozen sauces and rubs and a half-dozen kinds of loaded fries. The news ain’t all bad, though—Klass & Co. say they’re closing the wing shop so they can spend more time focusing on Soul Bowl, the Southern-style build-it-yourself bowl spot that also has an outpost at Graze (along with one in Richfield). “We had a crazy dream to open a restaurant during the pandemic to bring bold and delicious wings to Minneapolis with some amazing sauces from around the nation and we did that,” their farewell Instagram post reads. “Thank you for believing in us.” Their last day will be June 30.

Man Attempts to Kill Bear with Trans Fats, Ultimately Opts for Gun

In “what an asshole” news, a Minnesota man has been charged with six hunting related misdemeanors for luring a trophy-size bear to his yard with doughnuts and killing it with a gun. According to Morrison County District Court, authorities were tipped off via anonymous informants. The bear killer claims he took 50-60 pounds of meat off before leaving the bear’s skull outside in his yard, then threw the rest of the body in an offsite dumpster. The remaining hide alone weighs 80 pounds. It’s unclear whether this person is just a lazy hunter with a dumb idea or if he had some sort of personal vendetta against this bear, but his recounting of what he did and how he did it is real gross. Read all about it over at Bring Me the News

Reporter Tracks Down Local Elvis Scarf Expert

While at 89.3 the Current, our buddy Jay Gabler would reliably churn out some of the best local angles in town. His headline about Sisqó living in Maple Grove—“Sisqó lives in Maple Grove: ‘No thongs out here!’”—exists on a loop inside my head. So it’s no surprise that Gabler, who recently took his talents to the North Shore, is already sniffing out killer local connections for the Duluth News Tribune. Just consider today’s column, wherein he tracked down an area man who historically preserved some of the scarfs Elvis tossed to crowds during 1976 and 1977 Duluth Arena shows. (Baz Luhrmann’s atrocious-looking Elvis movie comes out this week, making the story both localized and timely.) “There could be several more… There were times he could throw 20 scarves in one song,” says Maple Grove collector Robert Foley, who Gabler describes as “the world’s leading expert on the King’s 1970s scarves.” Click here to learn much, much more about Elvis’ relationship with Duluth and scarves.