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Strib Ed Board Boldly Calls for Law That Would Financially Benefit Strib

Plus the BLB and the Black Keys, some winning Peeps, and celebrating pianocycling in today's Flyover news roundup.

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Is this Las Vegas or future Minnesota? (It’s Las Vegas.)

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Strib Betting Big on Betting

Earlier this year Steve Grove, the newish CEO/publisher of the Star Tribune, outlined a series of ways he's guiding the hometown newspaper through the apocalyptically choppy economic waters of journalism. "You'll continue to see us try new things," he wrote, "like the exciting sports-betting effort we launched in February." In practice, the exciting effort appears to be this spammy collection of apparently sponsored links to ubiquitous online bookies like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. With us so far? OK, good, because it's worth noting Grove's responsibilities include regularly meeting with the Strib Editorial Board and advising those professional opinion-havers on their various opinions.

So forgive our skyward-tilted eyebrows when that Ed Board, which is not exactly a hotbed of ambitious declarations, declared Thursday that Minnesota must legalize sports betting. (Routine disclaimer, as noted yesterday by Strib reporter Rochelle Olson: Reporters have nothing to do the paper's opinion section.) The pro-gambling editorial pays lip service to "those most vulnerable to gambling's addictive lure," but mostly encourages lawmakers to "join the club" of legalized sports betting this legislative session. Why? The word "benefits" is referenced five times, though specifics are in short supply. (For much more on the downsides of sports betting, consult this expansive, deeply reported New York Times feature or, if you're short on time, this gross tweet from the Yankees.) The piece does "acknowledge that the Star Tribune stands to realize some of the benefits of sports gambling," suggesting those rewards will mostly be reaped by those who've monetized gambling infrastructure.

The richest line comes toward the end: "It is not the job of the Star Tribune Editorial Board to advance the company's business objectives." Hmm! Keen media observers will surely recall the Vikings stadium debate of the early '10s, in which the Strib Ed Board lobbied hard for the eventual U.S. Bank Stadium to be erected at the Metrodome location... which happened to include land owned by the newspaper, and adjacent Strib-owned parcels whose value skyrocketed when the downtown site was selected; those five blocks were unloaded for a reported $38.5 million in 2014.

What are the odds that history is repeating itself?

Minnesota Reps Ohio On New Black Keys’ Album

When Akron, Ohio-formed rock duo the Black Keys wanted to use an old photo of a lady bowling for their new album art, they couldn’t find who owned the rights. So they decided to recreate the pic using a model and the lanes at... Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis! Any regular of the Lyn-Lake restaurant/theater/bowling alley would be forgiven for not recognizing the venue as one of ours: The image appears to have been altered to have more lanes, the white boards up high are edited out, and the alley’s unmistakable signage has been swapped the album title, Ohio Players (presumably in reference to the Dayton, Ohio, funk group of the same name), though it’s still in that familiar BLB font. "We think it's pretty awesome they used our lanes for the cover," owner Erica Gilbert tells Tommy Wiita at Bring Me the News.

Peep This!

Peeps were clearly not made to be eaten, so the good lord musta put them on Earth for some other reason. And that’s where the Pioneer Press’s annual Peeps Diorama Contest comes in. Since 2004, the newspaper has been asking readers young and old to set the stale marshmallow creatures in an artsy setting, and the results are typically cute and charming and extremely pun-heavy. This year’s grand prize goes to “Lake Supeepior!” by Ratanas King, featuring bunnies and chicks out camping by the lake. The winner in the Peep-ager category (ages 13 to 17) was “Peep Crocheting” by Abby Mewis, 13. while the Little Peeple crown (ages 7 to 12) went to 10-year-old Callum England’s “Peeps Skiing at Hip-Hop Hill.” And from the Chicks (under 6) “Solar Eclipse” by Gloria Foley, 6, of Mounds View and “Kiss Kiss Fish” by Cecelia Gutzmann, 4, and June Gutzmann, 5, of Bloomington won. Cluck through for some cute pictures. (That was a typo but I left it because it seemed seasonally appropriate.) Happy Easter, if that’s your thing!

TGIF, Stop Working and Learn About Pianocycling (Full Story Here)

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