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Trump Fan Sets House on Fire to Own the Libs

Plus two historic Eat Street restaurants get some help, MetroTransit's ridership woes—and how bout those clouds last night?—in today's Flyover.

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

A Molla-tov Cocktail (of Lies and Deception)

In September of 2020, Denis Molla of Brooklyn Center claimed he was the victim of arson. Fortunately, the perpetrators left clues behind: His garage door had been graffitied with “Biden 2020,” “BLM,” and an “A” with a circle around it. (His wife later posted on Facebook that she believed this was an attack from Black Lives Matter and Antifa.) At the time, Molla suggested that the vandalism was politically motivated—he had a “Trump 2020” flag on his camper, after all—and at the time, many, many people pointed out that it sure seemed like it was Molla who set the fire and spray-painted the incongruous collection of symbols. It turns out he was right after all, it was politically motivated… by Molla himself, who’s been indicted by a federal grand jury with two counts of wire fraud for the fire he allegedly set himself. Turns out this dude has made a bunch from his home BBQ, including $61,000 from insurance and $17,000 from his “Patriots for the Mollas” GoFundMe account. Apparently he asked for $300,000 for damages, then threatened to file charges of fraud after he was denied.

Historic Eats on Eat Street

Bring Me the News reports that two Minneapolis restaurants—Black Forest Inn and Rainbow Chinese—are recipients of the 2022 Backing Historic Small Restaurants grant. This is the second year the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express have offered the grants, which were created to help the restaurant industry recover in response to COVID-19-related challenges. Each year, 25 “small, historic restaurants” around the country have received $40,000, which they can use to upgrade their physical buildings, bolster their online operations, or spend on whatever operating costs they see fit. (To be eligible, restaurants need to have been in business for more than 25 years.) The two Eat Streeteries told Bring Me the News they’ll both use the money for exterior improvements.

Metro Transit To Make Us Feel Safer By Giving Us Less Space

Metro Transit is aware that people are scared of it, and ridership is way down. “It’s perception versus reality,” Richard Grates, interim chief of the Metro Transit Police Department, told the Strib in June. “Our serious crime rates are low, but the feedback that we get is that it appears to be much higher.” So, how do they combat this perception? Last week, they started a new pilot program that forces people to come together–there’s safety in numbers, right? These days Green and Blue light rails will use two cars instead of one. They also plan to up police presence, though hiring woes have delayed that part for now. In the meantime, folks with issues or questions can live chat with someone via a “Need help?” button on their website. According to the Strib, “when the chat service went live on June 21, TIC operators had 36 interactions with customers who chose to use the live chat option.” The elephant in the room, however, is that a lot of people are working from home or working in the office less since Covid.

Sky Sure Was Wild Last Night

Did the aliens from Independence Day tease their arrival Tuesday over Target Field, signaling a coming intergalactic war that’ll, ideally, end with Will Smith slapping their leader to death? Impossible for us to say. This much we know: An ominous shelf cloud loomed over the ballpark as rain came down in violent sheets last night; the Twins-Brewers game was delayed, though Milwaukee claimed a 6-3 victory once play resumed. In attendance? Our very own Em Cassel, who captured the first of these many neat cloud tweets. “They had just called another rain delay, and we were of course in the cheapest seats in right field, and we saw the cloud as we headed down the stairs,” the Racket co-owner/editor reveals in an exclusive interview. “From our angle it really, truly looked like a horse, perhaps even an apocalyptic one, descending from the heavens to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting city. It was cool as hell.” Wow, harrowing stuff from someone who shouldn’t have to endure quote requests from annoying coworkers. Anyway, keep watching the skies: