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Toyota Dealer Refuses to Talk About 100-lb Bag of Rice Offer

Plus cop chase deaths, so long to the future of pizza, and the littlest rally of them all in today's Flyover news roundup.

Toyota; Pierre Bamin via Unsplash

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

What Would You Do With a 100-lb Bag of Rice?

Personally, I have no idea. I mean, I’m not even sure where I’d put it. But maybe I could store it in the trunk of a brand new used car that I bought from Toyota of Burnsville. Because (and I apologize for taking such a roundabout route to get here) that suburban dealership is offering a unique deal: Buy a car and you’ll take away a full 100 pounds of everyone’s favorite starch.

Reddit via u/supercharged_autism

Now that’s a good deal—or at least a clever one, because here we are treating it like an actual news story. Wanna know more? We sure did. How had this dealership amassed such a storehouse of rice to give away? But if you’re seeking the answer to that question, it looks like you’ll have to buy a car, or at least go shopping for one. We reached out to Burnsville Toyota and were told by sales manager Michelle Leick, “Thank you for your interest in our current promotion. At this time we are not doing any additional advertising or interviews.” A follow-up email went ignored. Mysterious!

Cops—Is There Any Way They Won’t Kill You? 

One reason it’s hard to pin down exactly how dangerous the police can be to their communities is a lack of statistics. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s traffic death database leaves out some kinds of deaths resulting from police chases, and it only includes those that police departments report (which is, as might expect, not all of them).

So the new national database compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle and spotlighted by the Minnesota Reformer’s Christopher Ingraham today helps give us a broader picture of the dangers police chases pose. Nearly a dozen people in Minnesota die as a result of high-speed police chases each year, according to the database from; between 2017 and 2021, such chases resulted in the deaths of at least 54 Minnesotans. And as Ingraham points out, many of these deaths are even more preventable than they first appear: 

About half of those killed were either innocent bystanders or passengers in the vehicles pursued. The overwhelming majority of those pursuits stemmed from traffic stops, car thefts, and other nonviolent offenses. Less than one quarter of the deadly police chases were initiated over a suspected violent crime.

Now, it’s senseless enough for police to endanger bystanders by chasing someone who committed a violent crime. The possibility that some random person might die because cops went racing after a suspected car thief? Well, it sure makes me not want to call the cops if my car is stolen.

Galactic Pizza Closes; Lyn-Lake Is Dead?

Twenty years ago, Minneapolis pizza entered the future with the arrival of Galactic Pizza on Lyndale Avenue, near Lake Street. Dressed as superheroes, the restaurant’s delivery drivers zipped around town in three-wheeled electric vehicles, a symbol of the giddy new optimism of Rybak’s Minneapolis or something. (Don’t ask me, I wasn’t even living here back then.) The costumery wouldn’t last, but Galactic Pizza’s environmentally friendly business model would—at least until the stores sudden closure today, announced on Facebook. No explanation for the closure was given, though you’ll never guess who thinks it’s Because of The Crime.

Several People Protest Flag Change

Do you wish Minnesota had kept its old racist flag? Well, you’re not alone! But, well, you’re almost alone. Today Peter Callaghan at ye olde MinnPost snapped this wonderful pic of the soon-to-be-retired banner’s staunch defenders, who you might mistake for tourists milling around outside the Capitol.

You may remember that the Minnesota GOP, a very serious political party, debuted T-shirts reading “DON’T PC OUR FLAG” and “ERASING HISTORY NEVER ENDS WELL” back in January. Yes, somehow Minnesota Republicans found a fake controversy that was too trivial even for their grievance-hungry base. As for the new flag, though it has its detractors, I’ve seen it in the wild once or twice, and it looks nice.

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