Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
No Spice Please, We're Edina
Are your children… eating chips? Because of the internet? You might be surprised! Until today, Racket was unaware of the Paqui “One Chip Challenge,” which dares participants to eat, yes, “one chip” seasoned with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers, and to then document their suffering. TikTok has amplified the challenge, and, because of the innate need for kids to constantly find new, ingeniously dumb ways to punish their bodies, now school districts nationwide have to ban Paquis. That includes Edina Public Schools, which sent an email to parents informing them that some students at South View had suffered "significant eye pain" because of chip dust and while others had difficulty breathing after participating in the challenge. The district made clear that no one was hospitalized and pledged that illicit chip possessors will be punished accordingly.
But the danger isn’t limited to Edina! An anonymous tipster (and clearly a proud Justice Page Middle School parent) passed along a warning about the One Chip Challenge received from Minneapolis Public Schools, along with the comment “My bet is the JPMS kids can handle it MUCH better than the Edina lads and lasses.” (That sounds like… dare we say… a challenge.) That email quotes the Poison Control Center as saying that the chip could cause multiple horrific gastral symptoms, including "up to seven days" of diarrhea. Kids these days! Why, back in the ’80s we just huffed nitrous out of Reddi Whip cans behind the gym. (Then again, there’s a possibility this whole “challenge” is a false flag created by the rainbow fentanyl dealers to distract us as Halloween approaches.) In any case, obviously the fact that children are in pain because they're participating in a dumb internet stunt is not something we should be laughing about. But that doesn’t mean we’re not laughing.
More like Martha "Hold On..." Dimick
Here's a thing about Minnesota state law: It requires candidates to provide proof they have an active law license when they file to run for county attorney. Here's the thing about Martha Holton Dimick: She sure didn't show an active law license when she filed to run for Hennepin County attorney in May. Did she have an active license at the time? Unclear, but it's sure fishy. In her filing, Dimick, who's running against former Hennepin County chief public defender Mary Moriarty on November 8, presented a license that expired in April 2019, and activists have been all over it on Twitter for the last week. A few days ago, Dimick's campaign spokesman Jacob Hill responded that Dimick may have been using an active license to "save money."
Despite Hill's above protestations that "no one else really cares," people actually have cared. In fact, the Reformer got ahold of Hill for a story today in which he said Dimick accidentally pulled out an old card instead of her current one. Hm! For what it's worth, Moriarty told the Reformer that her law license has been active since 1989: “I made sure my fees were paid, CLEs were up to date, and that everything was in order according to state statute." Incredibly, she managed to scan the up-to-date one when she filed. That's the kind of attention to detail you'd expect from a county attorney candidate.
Local Arsonists Fail to Destroy Stevens House Three Times
Historic Stevens House in Minnehaha Park & Falls has been intentionally set ablaze three times over the past 33 days, reports park officials. The structure, which was built in 1849, served as a meeting spot for early settlers. Someone—or someones—in the present time has it in for the small building, however, as it keeps getting set ablaze. While the police and the park board believe all three incidents were arson, so far Fire Chief Melanie Rucker has only confirmed that the September 20 fire was intentional. "Fire patterns and a positive indication for accelerant indicate that this was [an] intentionally set fire of the exterior of the structure," she said via statement.
The first fire took place on August 30 while the most recent one occurred October 1. Although the house has been gutted, the roof damaged, and the interiors scorched, there is hope for the historic house that just won’t die. “The preliminary report following the first fire as well as the third fire has been that the sections that were damaged can be rebuilt,” parks spokesperson Dawn Sommers tells MPR. “So we've already been in there to shore it up to stabilize it. And the plan would be that we would rebuild in 2023.”
Minnesota Gave Birth to The Simpsons… In a Way
Inescapable meme dude Eric Alper unearthed a bit of local-angle lore yesterday: The fact that Margaret "Marge" Ruth Groening, the mother of Simpsons creator Matt Groening, is One of Us. It’s true! Ruth was born in 1919 in Chisolm, per her 2013 obituary that occasionally makes the viral rounds. To foolish outsiders, her birthplace is of minimal intrigue; they tend to gravitate toward the other neato trivia the obit presents, including Marge’s first and maiden (Wiggum) names and the names of her husband (Homer), sister (Patty), and children (Lisa, Maggie... also Mark and Matt). To quote Homer: Now that’s interesting! Predictably, Matt Groening’s alleged foot-freak involvement with mega-predator Jeffrey Epstein isn’t referenced in the obit, for reasons related to both taste and the linear nature of time. To quote Carl: It’s best to not think about it. Anyway, TGIF! Spend the weekend re-watching Seasons 2-10, perhaps the greatest TV eps to ever grace the screen.