Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Cops Cling to Strange Fentanyl Myths
Two St. Paul police officers suffered a “medical emergency” Monday morning when, during a “routine testing,” they were “exposed” to fentanyl, according to an SPPD spokesperson. One officer used Narcan on himself while waiting for medics to transport him and his fallen comrade to Regions Hospital, where they were treated for… being near fentanyl, I guess? Police HQ was partially evacuated while SPFD hazmat experts monitored the building’s air quality; the heating and air system and non-evacuated staff were required to remain in place.
There problem with all this? Well, passive “fentanyl exposure,” as medical authorities keep telling police, is just not a thing. Fentanyl does not enter the bloodstream through your skin, and even if you breathed highly concentrated fentanyl for more than three hours you’d only receive a therapeutic dose of the stuff. If there is a reasonable explanation for these precautions, and if the officers’ lives were truly in danger, St. Paul police should have let us know. Instead, they’re perpetuating myths about fentanyl that, experts fear, will cause delays in responding to overdoses. After all, this shit is out on the street, and it’s dangerous.
Fox 9 (linked above) and the Pioneer Press provided disclaimers about the myth of fentanyl exposure in their stories on this incident. The Star Tribune and KSTP are apparently willing to take the police at their word that they are risking their lives by touching scary drugs, or something.
First Urban Outfitters Closes, Now This???
Be nice to your mom today—she’s suffering. Yes, the unthinkable must be thought: Jason DeRusha is stepping down from his role on WCCO This Morning, a post he’s held since 2013. During his tenure, DeRusha has become one of the area’s most recognizable and popular TV personalities—and, honestly, nine years is longer than I’ve ever done anything that wasn’t biologically necessary for survival. So why leave now? “There’s been a stirring in my soul,” DeRusha posted in his Facebook announcement. “What if I tried something different?” DeRusha, who also writes about food for Minnesota Monthly, will continue on at CCO as an occasional special correspondent. But what other roles will JDR take on? Crypto influencer? MMA welterweight? Alpha News cartoonist? Racket has lots of good ideas like this, and we’re sure Jason will consult us soon.
Free Fair Music Lineup Just Dropped
With the Grandstand lineup complete, we turn our focus to the Minnesota State Fair music that’s meant for the masses. The fair’s annual sprawling list of free entertainment arrived earlier today, totaling 100+ acts over 12 days. Among them: Durry (first profiled here by Racket), top-billed Cannon Falls native Caitlyn Smith, a Dire Straits offshoot going by the eyebrow-raising acronym DSL (Dire Straits Legacy), Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Sly-less funk heroes the Family Stone, Minnesota alt-country greats the Jayhawks, 89.3 the Current obsession Low Cut Connie, and local rock standouts Gully Boys (profiled, not first, here by Racket). Click here to see the whole list, which includes non-musical traditions like the Amateur Talent Contest and those dogs that jump into the pool.
Mental Health Workers Take a Strike Day
More than 400 M Health Fairview and Allina Health workers walked off the job at 6 a.m. today to address “workplace violence, safe staffing, patient care and increasing the respect and pay for these essential workers,” according to their union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The union has filed an Unfair Labor Practices claim, charging that the company has “been delaying negotiations and using every tactic to intimidate, confuse, and frustrate the workers” as contract talks have dragged on since last year, Bring Me the News reports. The company, in keeping with what companies do, issued a statement about its “unwavering commitment to our patients and employees” and a contract that “provides us with the flexibility we need to provide top-quality care to our patients.”