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Remember When the Army Wanted to Irradiate Minneapolis?

Plus Asia Chow Mein closes after 50 years, a fed official stole pricey luggage from our airport, and a real-time trail plowing map in today's Flyover.

Photo by Vladyslav Cherkasenko on Unsplash

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

This Is Just Fucked Up

Well, this is news to us. In a detailed and horrific story for Protean, Devin Thomas O’Shea takes a look back at the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex, built in St. Louis in the 1950s as a high profile new form of public housing. Turns out the U.S. Army was dosing the community’s Black residents with radioactive material as part of a series of secret tests. A curious side note in the story is that the army tried the same nonsense in Minneapolis in 1952. Residents were told they would be encased in an experimental fog that “would hide the city from Russian bombers, sparing it from nuclear attack.” In fact, they released a cadmium-zinc mixture to test how quickly particulates would disperse after the Russkies dropped the big one on us. Fortunately, our characteristic Minnesotan suspicion saved the day: “Field personnel encountered a considerable number of refusals to cooperate with requests for permission to locate sampling equipment in homes.”

Asia Chow Mein To Close After 50 Years

For the past five decades, husband-and-wife team Tim and Winnie Ng have served up Chinese eats at Asia Chow Mein, located in Columbia Heights on Central Ave. NE. Last weekend, however, the duo announced that this month would be the final one for the enduring spot. “The world has changed so much and we have finally decided to retire from our place of love that we called home,” the Facebook announcement begins. “It is very sad for us to hang up our aprons to face the fact that we are getting too old to handle it with short staff, high food costs, and, for the last 3 years, we’ve worked 3 X’s harder than ever before.” 

Since the pandemic, Asia Chow Mein had pivoted from dine-in to drive-thru take out, but it sounds like customers were being fussy. “Through a lot of complaints of not opening dine-in, long lines, and wait times at the drive thru,” the post continues. “Winnie has been so emotionally saying😢sorry to them!” How dare you! Be nice to Winnie!

The Facebook announcement post features over 400 comments from kind customers and folks reflecting on their love for the restaurant, including a few thanks from former employees. Asia Chow Mein, which opened in 1972, will close on December 24. 

Fed Official Steals Baggage at MSP?

Here’s an odd one. According to Bring Me the News, Sam Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, allegedly stole a Vera Bradley bag with more than $2,000 in women’s clothing inside from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in September. If convicted of felony theft, Brinton faces up to five years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Brinton is non-binary, a fact irrelevant to the case but immediately seized upon and given prominent headline placement by the gender-policing rightwing media creeps who are obsessing over this story. Because as we all know, no one who identifies as male or female has ever stolen anything ever.

MPLS Parks & Rec Launch a Trail Plowing Status Map

Are you a year-round cyclist? Enjoy walking along lake paths in the winter? Now you can check online to see how rough your ride might be thanks to Minneapolis Parks and Rec’s trail map featuring real-time updates–just in time for our first snow emergency of the season! The site updates based on last plow service, which can range from within the last hour to over 12 hours ago. According to the map right now, quite a few trails have been plowed within the last three hours, with one spot near Lake Harriet plowed less than an hour ago. Pretty neat! We haven’t tested its accuracy yet here at Racket, but there’s also a page on the site that allows you to report back if you find the map to be full of lies.