Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
[Alice Cooper Voice] School's Out for COVID
We’re hearing a lot of “what’s best for students” in the Omicron Era from pundits, school administrators, and parents. Ever wonder what the students themselves think? Well, public school students across St. Paul are set to walk out of class at 1 p.m. today to draw attention to their Covid-related demands. Organized by Minnesota Teen Activists, the protest is set to occur at all St. Paul public high schools and several middle schools. The students' demands include free KN95 masks and PCR tests for staff and students, opening discussions about a short online learning period, the creation of a hybrid learning option, and support for their teachers’ union, the St Paul Federation of Educators. They've got a petition here, and they presented their case at a press conference at Harding High prior to the walkout. I’m no public school administrator, parent, or student, and I’m barely a pundit, but those seem like some demands worth discussing.
Yo Dawg, We Heard You Like Local Angles…
A sitcom where American Pie’s Stifler and a fictional Strib reporter move from Minnesota to Ohio? Damn, this Neal Justin story has more local angles than an octagon. On Welcome to Flatch, coming to Fox in March, Seann William Scott (the Stifler in question, who grew up in Cottage Grove) plays a Minnesotan pastor and Aya Cash (The Boys, You’re the Worst) plays the journalist. While Cash regrettably was not born in Minnesota, she did attend the U in 2004 as part of the Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program and spent two summers with Winona's Great River Shakespeare Festival. We’ll claim her, especially since she knows how to say all those vague positive things about us we love to hear. "I still love Minneapolis so much," she told the Strib. "It was fun to be able to use what I know of that city." May they become the most famous MN émigrés on TV since the Walsh family moved to 90210.
3 Ex-Cops Who Watched Chauvin Murder Floyd Go on Trial
The federal civil rights case against three ex-cops who watched Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd on a Minneapolis street in 2020 begins Thursday. At the core of the trial: Did J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao violate Floyd’s constitutional rights by not intervening as they watched their colleague kneel Floyd’s neck into the ground for over nine minutes? (Chauvin is currently serving a 22.5-year sentence at the Oak Park Heights state prison; he’ll soon face additional federal charges.) These things are complicated, a fact that’s not lost on the Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix and Matt DeLong. So they just published this helpful explainer that addresses questions such as “What potential sentence are the former officers facing in the federal trial?" (varies greatly), “How often are police officers tried on federal civil rights charges?” (infrequently), and "Will the trial be televised?" (no). Related: Lawyers representing the Strib and a handful of other media outlets are asking U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson to reconsider the "unconstitutional closure" of the courtroom to the press.
Get Yourself Some Free At-Home Covid Tests
Starting today, the US Postal Service is taking orders for free at-home Covid-19 tests. Each household is entitled to the pandemic goodie bag, which includes four rapid antigen tests and begins shipping later this month. Simply click here and feel like you’re in a functioning country, if ever so briefly. Don’t let the checkout total, subtotal, shipping calculator fool ya: Unlike almost everything else healthcare-related in this country, the tests are indeed free. How accurate are the tests? Like almost everything healthcare-related in this country, that answer is needlessly complicated, as Vox explains here, though they’re certainly a helpful tool against the invisible enemy. Covid cases in Minnesota are up 159% over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times, while deaths, thankfully, are down 3% over that span.