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Minnesotans Reel from Shocking $1 State Fair Admission Increase

Plus Martin Luther King Day celebrations, donations in Betty White's name, and premature ejaculation awareness in today's Flyover.

Still $3, we're pretty sure.
Minnesota State Fair

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

More Like Minnesota State Unfair

The Minnesota State Fair will cost $1 more to attend this year. You can tell it’s a slow news day here in Minnesota because every news outlet in the state is covering this announcement like it’s a presidential assassination or a declaration of war or something. We should be better than that at Racket, I know. But we’re not! People click on State Fair stories! It’s all your fault, “people”! Anyway, after posting losses of $1.3 million last year (pandemic and all) and being flat out closed the year before (pandemic and all), the Fair felt that the price bump was necessary, according to general manager Jerry “The Hammer” Hammer. Anyway, it’s a buck. Whatever. First person to say the “i” word about the price increase gets a one-way ticket back to the Ford era. The Fair will also open at 7 a.m. (an hour later) and close at 11 p.m. (an hour earlier). Personally, I am young enough to think 6 is too early and old enough to think midnight is too late to leave, so I got no problem with that. News!

WWMLKJD?

In the 36 years since Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday became a federal holiday, many have tried to cast a man hounded by the FBI, vilified (and, let’s not forget, murdered) by racists, and patronized by white liberals as a cuddly mascot for a Civil Rights Movement that’s all behind us in our blissfully colorblind era. That’s kinda just how this country rolls. And while the notion of engaging in a “Day of Service” in honor of King is admirable, it threatens to create a sort of guilt-expunging one-off exercise, like how folks only volunteer at food banks on Thanksgiving. So take today as an opportunity, if you can, to revisit King’s message and evaluate how you engage in your political and civic life. If you are looking for an event to attend, IRL or virtual, there are of course many celebrations, often featuring politicians whose commitment to racial matters and civil disobedience are dubious. In addition, some local groups are following the lead of King’s family this year and agitating for the passage of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which restores provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court gutted in 2013.   

And Speaking of Birthdays…

Today is also Betty White’s 100th, and to honor her support for animal welfare, mourning fans came up with the Betty White Challenge, encouraging people to donate $5 in her honor to an animal shelter today. So! Here’s a few local suggestions. There’s Pet Haven, which provides medical services to animals in rough shape and gives out grants to other orgs to pay for spay and neuter services. Ruff Start Rescue gets dogs, cats, and critters (Bunnies! Rats! Guinea pigs!) into foster and forever homes. Secondhand Hounds also does a lot of good work, getting animals adopted, TNR’ing (trap, neuter, release) feral cats, and partnering with local tribes to provide animal services. People and Pets Together, which merged with Secondhand Hounds last year, helps financially insecure people keep their pets happy and healthy. And, of course, there’s always the Minnesota Animal Humane Society. Do it for Betty!

“If This Is What Is Required to Drive Awareness of Premature Ejaculation (PE), Bring It On!”

The above quote comes (heh heh) from Jeff Bennett, CEO of Maple Grove-based Morari Medical. It was offered to Bring Me the News after a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! featured the host mocking the CEO and his company, which produces a bluetooth-connected crotch patch that’s intended to cure PE—a sexual performance issue of which you’re now aware. “This is an app-based device that I won’t be loading,” Kimmel said in a low-key sex brag before displaying a photo of Bennett. “This is the CEO of the company that sells this, and boy if that isn’t a photo that says ‘I’m not just the owner I’m also a client,’ I don’t know what is.” BMTN caught wind of Bennett after his company issued a press release that echoed its leader: “[Kimmel] was great exposure for the company, but the sketch was not flattering to [Bennett],” the release reads. “That being said, Jeff will take this roasting if this is what is required to drive awareness of premature ejaculation to the nation.” We’re not public relations experts, but owning the exposure is probably wise. Hell, we’re writing about the damn patch now. You can watch Kimmel roast the good-natured CEO–whose bedroom stamina is unknown, Jimmy–in the clip below.