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The Biggest News Story of the Day, Is, of Course… This Giant Turtle

Plus Powerball delays, making takeout green, and Minneapolis's historical contempt for the homeless in today's Flyover.

r/minnesota

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

Look at This Goddamn Turtle

Snapping turtles can become certified big boys. On average, the freshwater beasts grow to around 35 pounds and live 40-year lives that include lots of mud-burying and titular snapping on omnivorous buffets of organisms living and dead, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The largest one ever recorded in our state tipped the scale at 65 pounds, the Minnesota Zoo tells us, adding that the species was removed from the DNR’s endangered, threatened, and special concern list in 2013.

Now that you’re ostensibly a snapping turtle expert, you might be asking yourself: Any Gamera-sized snappers lurking in the waters of central Minnesota? We’re happy (and a lil terrified) to report that, yes, one example recently floated to the surface in Brainerd, per this Redditor:

Jeez! We’ll not risk gilding any lilies and simply parrot the top-voted reply: “Wow! It has to be so freaking old!! That’s awesome!” (Bring Me the News has more intel on the mother-daughter duo that encountered the snapper.)

Now that you’re satiated with locally angled freak reptile content, get out there and vote! It’s what this turtle would want, we’re sure of it. Dumbfounded by obscure down-ballot races? As always, we can’t recommend Naomi Kritzer’s hyper-local lefty voter’s guide enough.

Minnesota was the Cause of Last Night’s Powerball Delay

Just like a neck-and-neck election campaign, billionaire hopefuls went to bed last night not knowing who won the lottery. “Tonight’s Powerball drawing has been delayed due to a participating lottery needing extra time to complete the required security protocols,” the California Lottery explained via Twitter. The source of that holdup? Minnesota. “Minnesota’s lottery sales verification system caused a processing delay on Monday, Nov. 7,” Minnesota Lottery’s statement reads. “The delay was necessary to confirm the Powerball drawing could be conducted securely and accurately. At no time was the integrity of the process compromised.” Whew! Be gone, lottery conspiracy truthers! (We know you’re out there.)

The numbers were announced this morning, with a mind boggling $2.04 billion jackpot at stake. Though details are still sparse, we do know that a winning ticket is somewhere out in California. The odds of winning were 1 in 292.2 million.

Takeout Containers That Don’t Take Out the Planet

Bad news about takeout containers: Most of them aren’t recyclable. Coated paper boxes, soiled cardboard clamshells, any black plastics… none of the above can be recycled, even if it’s got the little triangular arrows on it. What if it didn’t have to be this way? The Strib has a biz feature today on Forever Ware, which is trying to make takeout more environmentally friendly with reusable stainless steel takeout containers. The company was founded by the Twin Cities trio of Nolan Singroy, Natasha Gaffer, and Nick Krumholz in 2020, and the model is straightforward enough: Restaurants and coffee shops pay between $25 and $200 a month to license FW’s software (plus a 5-cent fee per transaction), which lets ’em check out and track stainless steel containers and mugs outfitted with trackable ID tags. Customers pony up a refundable $5 fee to start using the containers, which can be returned anywhere that also uses Forever Ware. Currently, local restaurants using the software include Namaste Cafe and Roots Roasting, and they hope grant money will help expand the network.

Minneapolis: Decades of Not Caring About the Homeless

Remember the Hank Scorpio episode of The Simpsons, the one where the Cypress Creek promotional video shows a homeless man transforming into a mailbox, thus rendering it the ideal city? That’s more or less been the de facto policy in Minneapolis for almost a century. As the clearing of homeless encampments (gross euphemism, but whatever) ramps up, Fox 9’s reliably great Tom Lyden took the opportunity to explore one of the widest-scale example of such displacements in town history: The Gateway District. In the 1950s, as civic leaders fussed about rising crime and fleeing businesses, decisions were made to bulldoze 40% of downtown, all in the name of Urban Renewal and to extreme detriment of the poor folks living in the rough ‘n’ tumble 20-block stretch. (While the human toll is more important, the historical architecture loss is not insignificant.)

“It’s not necessarily about the safety of the city, it was about what does this say about our city, our image,” Molly Jessup, a program specialist with the Mill City Museum, tells Lyden. “I think it’s a cautionary tale for what it did for affordable housing… In some cases, people really disappeared from the historical record.” Gateway residents who couldn’t secure new housing were allotted $5 from the city which, honestly, seems more generous than our current policy of “good fuckin’ luck.” Read Lyden’s entire piece for much, much more, including incredible details about the “vibrant but sketchy” chunk of downtown that we traded for parking lots and lifeless towers.