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The Libs Are Comin’ for Your Leaf Blowers, Patriots

Plus Texas-style DQ, another new veggie burger, and the Strib's new boss suggests a digital future in today's Flyover.

Jeff Vincent via Flickr

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

Reasonable DFL Bill Likely to Panic Your Weird Older Relatives

Two DFL reps have introduced a bill in the Minnesota House that would ban the sale of gas-powered lawn mowers, weed wackers, and leaf blowers by 2025, according to the Minnesota Reformer. At that point, if the bill becomes law, you’d only have electric-powered devices available. Seems these gassy items of equipment contain a two-stroke engine, which spews out an incredible amount of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons—one leaf blower pukes out as great an amount of pollutants as a pick up. California has already banned these pollution-generators, and other state legislatures are considering it. The law would not apply to snowblowers, but would cover ice resurfacing machines, as the trademark-protective folks at Zamboni insist you call all Zamboni-like devices that they don’t manufacture. We expect news of this bill to lead to media-stoked rumors of Walz’s shock troops stealing grandpa’s lawn mower and a defiant spike in gas mower sales before the freedom-hating libs get their way.

Let a New Minnesota-Texas Rivalry Commence

Hey Dairy Queen fans, ever tried The Dude? How about a Hungr-Buster? You sure haven’t up here in Minnesota, where DQ Corporate is based, and where the franchised ice cream sheds have a loyal following. (This ranking, for instance, sparked a whole lotta debate.) But according to this Texas Monthly story about how DQ began a long process of Tex-ification 50 years ago, the state’s Dairy Queens serve up a steak-finger country basket, the aforementioned Dude (a chicken-fried-steak sandwich), and a whole series of Buster burgers, including the Belt-Buster and the Triple-Buster. They’ve even got their own slogan down there: “That’s what I like about Texas.” The story explains how the Texas Dairy Queen Operators Council (TDQOC) began an effort to adapt franchises to local tastes in 1973, emphasizing sandwiches as much as ice cream. That was largely a success, though over the past 40-some years DQs in Texas have declined from 1000 to 600.

Sheridan Room is Out, AltBurger is In

When the Sheridan Room announced that it was closing last June, people were super bummed. But now we have new news about what will be going into the spot right next to 331 Club on 13th Ave. NE: AltBurger. The “Alt,” which stands for “All Love This,” will be helmed by executive chef Derik Moran, formerly at the Dakota and Augustine, and owner Martina Priadica. According to this article over at Minneapolis/St. Paul business Journal, the food will be quick and casual, and will feature a veggie-friendly (not vegan) menu. There’s also a liquor license application in the works, with plans to open sometime mid-March. 

This news comes in the middle of a Twin Cities veggie burger boom, and we’re lovin’ it. Last month we were delighted by Francis, a new vegan burger joint that makes a tasty plant-based Jucy Lucy. J. Selby’s and Reveries have great no-meat takes on the Big Mac, and the Bulldog has an excellent homemade veggie burger (be sure to add some house-made American cheese!). 

Star Tribune Moves on to ‘00-era Digital Strategies with New CEO

This morning the Star Tribune announced that Steve Grove will be taking over Mike Klingensmith’s CEO/publisher gig when he retires in April. The new guy will be tasked with ushering the Minneapolis daily into a modern(ish) online era. "It was clear to me that [owner Glen Taylor] and Mike and the whole team know that a pretty significant transformation is needed so there is a long-term growth model that's going to work," Grove tells his employee in an interview. "You have to build a digital-first company if you want to survive in today's ecosystem." A Northfield native, Grove is currently at Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development; before that he was an executive at Google and a founder of YouTube's news and politics team. "If you asked an AI to draw up a resume for a Star Tribune publisher job, I don't think they could do any better than Steve Grove," said Klingensmith, possibly dreaming of a Buzzfeed-like end goal of a newsroom made up of robots.

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