Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
We’ve Heard of New School, but Flu School?
Our sick kiddos are a prevailing theme in the news these days. The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting 97 new flu outbreaks last week, which brings the annual total up to 324. (When 5% of a school’s enrolled students, or more than three students in a classroom, are out with flu symptoms, that’s an “outbreak.”) It’s highly unusual for the flu to spike before Thanksgiving. The Hinckley-Finlayson School District says nearly 20% of its students are out sick and has shifted to distance learning today. “People aren’t just out for a day or two,” Phalen Lake Elementary nurse Michelle Mauder told KARE 11. “When they’re getting this, they’re out for three to five days minimum.” This surge, along with an increase in RSV patients, that pesky Covid that won’t go away no matter how often we officially proclaim it has, and just maybe hospital mismanagement, are all leading to a shortage of pediatric ICU beds statewide.
New Twins Jerseys: They Stink!
The return of pinstripes is pleasant. That’s the only praise you’ll hear from us on the new Twins uniforms, which debuted to great fanfare this morning inside the Mall of America rotunda. Self-appointed sport aestheticists are bending over backwards to praise the “clean” unis, regurgitated PR language from a team that has little else to trumpet. An unavoidable fact remains: The epically fucked up the “M” on the caps. The boring, sans-serif letter is rotten in isolate, but, as many have pointed out, it carries the added indignity of being a Miami Marlins ripoff. Worse yet? We’ve got an immaculate throwback “M” just sitting there, waiting to recall the last era this squad resembled anything approaching competitive in the postseason. (Fun fact: An HVAC repairman recently found one such vintage Twins cap—inside my furnace!) The new “Twin Cities” chest embroidery stinks; the banishment of the Minnie and Paul patch stinks. Stinks!!!
Overdue MN Library Book Makes National Headlines
Typically, the New York Post provides hit pieces on Democratic politicians and/or delivers headlines so trashy, so weird that they demand attention. It’s never boring. And, earlier today, it was even locally angled. Somehow, the Post stumbled onto a report from United Press International who, somehow, stumbled onto a Facebook post from the Washington County Library System. Thus, the New York City headline that scooped all local reporters: “Minnesota library patron returns car repair book—47 years late.” It’s a sweet little human interest story about a person who checked out a book—Chilton’s Foreign Car Repair Manual: German, Swedish, Italian Cars, Vol. 1—from a Lake Elmo library in 1975. Earlier this week, the individual finally returned the car manual, complete with a signed apology note. “It’s a little overdue, but I thought you might want it back,” the gearhead wrote via unsigned loose leaf. “My apologies to anyone in Lake Elmo who was working on an old Benz in the last 47 years.” The library wasn’t even mad. “The writer was also concerned about any overdue fees, but since we don’t charge those it’s no problem, we’re just glad to have the book back!” its Facebook post concludes.
The Star Tribune has a pretty cool feature today on the “fall and rise” of wild turkeys in Minnesota. Seasonal! Because turkeys show up all over the place now, you might not know that the humble, huge, delicious bird very nearly went extinct. By the 1930s, there were just 30,000 left nationwide; today, there are more than 70,000 in Minnesota alone. Absolutely worth clicking through if only for the photos!