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Honk! Honk! Does Wridz Beat Uber and Lyft?

Plus cops being cops, local TikToker makes bad, mysterious late night classical music, and Racket makes the Strib in today's Flyover news roundup.

Jessica Armbruster|

Look at all those Wridz!

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Another Rideshare Option Heard From

Here’s a question we haven't heard enough amid the seemingly endless rideshare minimum wage fight: What if some other tech bros could do the same bullshit middleman job as Uber and Lyft, but in a slightly less asshole-ish fashion that benefits drivers? Well, we’re finally getting some answers on that.

The freshly approved, unfortunately named Wridz (pronounced “rides”) debuted Thursday in Minneapolis, and others will soon follow. (In fairness to Texas-based Wridz—which operates in 10 states and charges drivers via a $100/month subscription—these types of companies must be difficult to name.) “Unlike Uber or Lyft, we have heard from these rideshare alternatives that they have no problem with the policy that we have passed,” City Council Member Robin Wonsley told reporters yesterday outside of City Hall. Wridz driver Jason Loss chimed in with: “If everything were to work out and Wridz were actually to become successful here, I would end up making more.” Loss added that while he's not dissatisfied with the money he makes with Uber and Lyft, those two companies do run “shady business[es].”

But, crucially, how much do these Wridz rides cost you, the ride-hungry rider? Fox 9's Bill Keller conducted a side-by-side-by-side Thursday, hailing three rides from Target Center to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. His findings may or may not shock you: Wridz charged $20.26, while Uber came in at $25.93 and Lyft trailed everyone at $29.99. Seems promising! For the latest on the Uber/Lyft regulatory drama, which seems to be inching toward a harmonious conclusion, see Max Nesterak’s latest at Minnesota Reformer.

Cop Sued for Warrantless Entry Had Appeared on Fox News Segment

Have you heard about the three cops who were sued for busting into a home without a warrant? Yolanda Mays and Tommy Holmes claim the officers (two from Minneapolis, one from Brooklyn Center) unlawfully entered their home on March 21, 2023, using a doll they saw through the window as an excuse to make up a "baby in distress" call. And according to the suit, the cops also busted in the door despite having the code to open it. As Tommy Wita at Bring Me the News reports, neither Mays, Holmes, nor their home were connected to any ongoing investigations. 

Here’s a nice little postscript to that “cops being cops” anecdote. One of the officers who was “involved,” as they say, was a TV star. OK, maybe not a star, but if Andrew Schroeder’s name sounds familiar, you may remember him as one of the two MPD officers who accompanied Laura Ingraham on her notorious walk past the burned out Third Precinct in the summer of 2022. Ingraham was in town to confirm to her viewers what she and her fellow propagandists at Fox News had been telling them for over a year—that Minneapolis was an uninhabitable hellhole—and Schroeder was on hand to confirm that. While the segment was being taped, he threatened to arrest someone for taking video footage. (Not sure which part of his job that was—protecting with courage or serving with compassion?)

According to the complaint, Schroeder has had about 20 disciplinary matters since 2015, and he had falsely justified a search and entry of a different home in 2022. "It makes it tough for us to actually do our jobs without being harassed,” according to MPD Lt. Jeff Waite, the other officer who spoke with Ingraham in 2022, said of the climate in Minneapolis. “You constantly have people questioning how we do things." Yeah! When a cop says he thinks a doll is an endangered infant, you just gotta take him at his word.

TikToker is One Of Us

So, how many of you are familiar with a TikToker who goes by the name haleyybaylee?

No, no, no, that's fine, that's fine. So haleyybaylee (real name Haley Kalil) is a former model and current wildly popular influencer, with 9.9 million followers on TikTok and another 6.1 million subscribers on YouTube. Earlier this month, she got in some hot water for a video she posted shortly after the Met Gala in which, dressed in an extravagant Marie Antoinette-esque outfit, she lip-synced a video with the quote “let them eat cake." It didn't go over well. As a result, she found herself at the center of the Blockout 2024 movement, with TikTokers calling the post "tone-deaf" and "dystopian" given the ongoing war in Gaza. She eventually shared a long and winding nine-minute apology, and the whole ordeal even made it to... Forbes, for some reason.

It's all pretty stupid and honestly, having written it out, I regret bringing it up in the first place. But, Flyover blurb half written, we shall soldier on. Why did we bring this up in the first place?

Because we're always thirsty for a local angle, and it turns out ol' haleyybaylee is from right here in Excelsior, Minnesota. She was crowned Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2010 and then Miss Minnesota USA 2014 (watch her Drop Dead Gorgeous-y crowning here), and she attended St. Cloud State University. And for those who care, the backlash appears to have no impact on her whatsoever—she's posted 17 TikToks since the apology video.

Classical Music Ghost Haunts St. Paul?

It sounds like a Scooby Doo mystery but without any meddling kids. This week, folks in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul have been haunted by a blasting of classical music each night, playing from an unknown source from dusk until the wee hours of the morning. Pioneer Press reporter Frederick Melo, who lives in the area, has been live-tweeting the disturbances, which have included Mozart, opera, and other things you don’t want to hear in the middle of the night. 

Bring Me the News got to the bottom of the mystery. Turns out it’s not a ghost or a shady business dealer trying to screw up a property sale. It’s actually just a malfunctioning security system at the old Herberger’s. The cops are aware of it, but are pleading with residents to send their complaints elsewhere. "Officers could not shut it off and people will need to make a complaint with the owner of the building since its private property or with the Saint Paul Department of Safety and Inspections to see if there is a way to get the music turned off or down," St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster told BMTN via email.

Racket Piece Countering Strib Op-Ed Becomes Strib Op-Ed

Look, we here at Racket are tired of reading essays from people about why they’re moving away from Minneapolis. You’re old and moneyed enough? You’re scared of crime? You don’t like City Council? Fine! Move! We get it. But the latest iteration of this kind of story in town really hit a nerve with Em, so she decided to take the topic and turn it on its head, explaining why she’s staying right where she is. We loved it, our readers loved it, and, it turns out, so did the editors of the Opinion section at the Star Tribune, because they ran it as a counterpoint to their piece this week online and in print. Pretty neat-o! Predictably, the 228 comments it attracted span the spectrum of...

"ONLY reason I remain is family. I hate this town. Hate: intense or passionate dislike. Expensive, 'edgy', a narcissist magnet with a city government that is truly out of control."


"Well said! As a S Mpls resident of 40+ years (the last 30 in the Powderhorn neighborhood), I agree. I'm not going anywhere! Minneapolis is beautifully imperfect."

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