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Strib Loses Top Cops Reporter

Plus big Vikings furniture news, Centro goes south, and the DMV plays catchup in today's Flyover.

Libor Jany
Star Tribune staff bio

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

Jany Leaves Strib, Putz Leaves MinnPost

Libor Jany, the Star Tribune’s award-winning Minneapolis public safety reporter, is leaving for the L.A. Times, according to a leaked internal memo to staffers. The St. Paul native spent eight years at the paper covering cops, crime, and, often, the crimes committed by cops. Jany drove much of the reporting on George Floyd’s murder that’d win the Strib a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news; last year he was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It’s a major personnel loss for the Strib, and the paper is already scrambling to fill Jany’s shoes. Jany’s last day is March 1. In other local media news: Andy Putz, the editor of MinnPost since 2016, is leaving the nonprofit newsroom. “It’s time for me to do something new,” Putz told readers. “The organization is as strong as it’s ever been, which is one of the reasons why this felt like the right time to do this—to get out of the way and let somebody else lead the newsroom.” Under Putz’s command, MinnPost saw record growth in traffic and membership, MinnPost reports. Putz did not reveal his future plans.

Update: Hours later, another giant staffing L for the Strib. Great pickup by Sahan Journal, though:

Vikings Officially Select New Couch

Not sure why this story is getting so much traction, but apparently the Minnesota Vikings have announced their choice for a new couch, and it’s all anyone can talk about. With the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, there has been an increased emphasis on the luxury fan experience, and presumably, the new couch will go into the Norseman Suites‘ “private shared space.” This is just the 10th couch in Vikings history—a new couch every six years on average, which isn’t excessive, I suppose. Still I hope none of our tax money is going to purchase high-end stadium furnishings.

Oh, wait, a new coach. OK, that makes a lot more sense.

You Get a Centro! And You Get a Centro!

Some nice news on Eat Street: Centro is heading south. The Wedge Table space on Nicollet, which has been empty since the summer, will soon house the first in a multi-location expansion for the northeast taqueria. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine reports that this Centro will be bigger than the original and will include a version of their bakery and market, Vivir, an expanded patio, and another yet-to-be-named concept that’s still in the works. The Nicollet restaurant is slated to open this summer, with a St. Paul outpost following in the fall. And Mpls.St.Paul hints that more neighborhoods around the area might get a Centro of their own one of these days.

New DMV Pilot Program Boldly Brings MN into the ’90s

Imagine a future where you can go to a DMV, fill out the form to renew your license, and then walk out with your ID in hand. Crazy, right? In some states, this has been a reality for decades. Soon, at two outstate DMVs, Minnesota will also offer this luxury. Starting in October, the DMV in Moorhead and Lakeville will be offering same-day turnaround for folks looking for a standard Minnesota driver’s license, learner permit, or state ID. “We love our folks at the DMV, but sometimes we wonder, ‘Could this process be made easier? Could it be made more efficient?'” Sen. Zach Duckworth, co-author of the pilot’s legislation, told the Star Tribune. About $2.4 million will be spent on the machinery and additional security, and, if successful, we may see same-day printing offered state-wide. Oh, but if you’re someone who needs one of those fancy Real IDs or enhanced IDs? You’re still going to be waiting 4 to 6 weeks for your card to come in the mail, and will have to suffer the wary/weary looks from bartenders, bouncers, and liquor store clerks when you whip out a clipped ID with paperwork. But those types of IDs aren’t really offered same-day anywhere else across the nation, either.