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This Just In: Giving Poor People Money Makes Them Less Poor

Plus no more First Ave for Nur-D, the fate of Minneapolis's mountain lion, and more melting ice drama up at Upper Red Lake in today's Flyover.

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

St. Paul's Basic Income Program: It Works!

A few days ago, the Los Angeles Times published a story that was Making The Rounds on Twitter/X. The short version: Researchers had given homeless people $750 a month to spend on whatever they wanted, which ended up mostly being food, housing, transportation, clothing, health care—basic human needs. After six months, researchers found that only 12% of the unhoused folks who received funds were still homeless.

St. Paul's story hasn't gone viral yet, but the findings of its basic income program are similarly impressive. Bring Me the News reports that the People's Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot (PPP), one of the first programs of its kind in the U.S., helped many of the 150 participating families deal with financial stress from October 2020 to April of this year. The pilot program, which gave low-income families with newborns $500 a month, also led to an increase in employment among those households, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Guaranteed Income Research. And the Penn study found that 7% of families transitioned into "better quality homes" during the PPP period. “A guaranteed income addresses the basic cause of poverty—a lack of money,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said in a statement. 

Nur-D Cuts Ties With First Ave

"I, Nur-D, will not be performing at First Avenue venues for the foreseeable future," the local rapper tells followers in a TikTok posted Tuesday. That may come as a surprise to the fans who've seen him at the Mainroom and many other First Avenue-owned spaces over the years, and it's not a short story—Nur-D says as much. In summary, the rapper was made aware that an artist in the Twin Cities music community committed sexual assault. Nur-D does not name the alleged perpetrator here, but explains that they were booked to host a Halloween show at First Ave alongside them this October. He raised concerns about this person being promoted on First Avenue's stages, and what followed, he says, was a series of emails and meetings and un-acted-upon action items that ultimately left him unsatisfied. Nur-D says severing this connection is not a decision he takes lightly, but he can't perform at their venues "until major changes are made."

"This is the type of video that you, as a person, as an artist... you hope you never have to make," he says, addressing the camera in the first of five TikTok videos on the subject. His story is long and nuanced, and we can't possibly capture all of that here; you can watch the first clip in full below and find more on TikTok at @nurdrocks.

@nurdrocks

I think being a performer is a privilage not a right. Part of the responsibility of that privilege is to speak out when things happen in yojr community and around the world. These thing are never easy, often messy, and at the same time are absolutely essential for creating better environments for us all to enjoy our music and art in. This story is in 5 parts. This is Part 1. #mi#minnesotai#firstavenueu#nurdu#musiciansoftiktokh#change

♬ original sound - Nur-D

The Minneapolis Mountain Lion is Getting Stuffed

Earlier this month, a bunch of backyard security cameras in Linden Hills captured footage of a mountain lion wandering through the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the big kitty died a few days later when an SUV truck struck him on Interstate 394. Although large cat sightings are rare in the Twin Cities metro, animal experts later determined that he had traveled from Nebraska, probably in search of a mate. 

So, what does one do with a giant cat carcass? If you’re the MN Department of Natural Resources, you make big-cat lemons into stuffed-cat lemonade. Or, in nature biz speak, you call up a taxidermy friend and make an educational display. The DNR announced today that it's teaming up with Minneapolis Parks & Rec to raise funds so they can have their own bad-ass cat diorama (shout out to the Bell Museum’s special kitty). “Many of us were captivated by the prospect of such a majestic animal living among us, and were saddened to hear how it met its end,” says MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura via release. “Now, there is an opportunity to give the story a happier ending.”

Welp, Now There’s a Freakin’ Plane in Upper Red Lake

This weekend, a group of beer drinkin’ ice fishers on Upper Red Lake found themselves trapped on an ice floe that dislodged itself from land amid high winds and unstable temps. Now we’ve learned that yesterday, two folks in a Cessna 172 Sky Hawk thought it would be a good idea to land on the Beltrami area waters for a little ice fishing jaunt. It did not go well. 

"After conducting a flyover, the pilot identified what was believed to be a safe landing area. Upon landing, the absence of snow resulted in the plane having difficulty slowing down,” writes Sheriff Jason Riggs via the office’s Facebook account. When the plane hit a patch of two-inch-thick ice, the vehicle tipped, nose first, into the ice cold lake. Thankfully, no one was hurt; the occupants were just "wet from the waist down,” the sheriff continues. Hey everybody—this is MN's warmest winter on record to date, alright? Maybe cool it on the ice stuff for a few weeks?

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