Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
The Unvaxxed Can Eat Again
Citing a downward trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Minneapolis and St. Paul announced this morning that they’re lifting vaccine-or-test mandates for indoor dining. The vax requirement went into effect on January 19, and over the following three weeks, restaurant owners responded by either suing the city (unsuccessfully), temporarily closing their doors, complaining to the media, or simply carrying on as usual. Mask requirements remain in effect, and not everyone is sure we’re out of the Covid weeds yet. The Arts Partnership (Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Schubert Club, and the Ordway) announced today that they’ve updated policies to require non-cloth masks such as N95s or surgical masks and ask that patrons present proof of booster shot in addition to their initial vaccination.
Bolero Flats No-Knock Warrant Unsealed
A judge has unsealed the no-knock warrant issued to the Minneapolis police who shot and killed Amir Locke last week. The document provides details of what police said they were looking for in #701 Bolero Flats, the apartment Locke was killed in, as well as the police narrative of their investigation. According to the police, a Mercedes-Benz, allegedly stolen, fled the scene after Otis Elder was killed in St. Paul in January. Suspects who lived in #1403 Bolero Flats in downtown Minneapolis were identified via Instagram video; when the police recovered the vehicle they found prints of Mekhi Speed, Locke’s cousin. Apartment 701, where Locke was killed, is rented by Mekhi Speed’s brother, Marlon. Among the items listed as being searched for: guns, electronic devices, weed, key fobs, clothing the suspects wore, and fire extinguishers (???). The warrant was requested, police say, not just for the safety of the officers, but also to “decrease the risk for injuries to suspects and other residents nearby.” Again, we’re just reading the words here; Racket has no way of corroborating these police statements at this time. A PDF of the full warrant, courtesy of Tony Webster, is available here.
Relatable! Hutch Now Has To Make Car Payments.
“Who’s paying to replace the police car? Not my tax dollars!” said no one when news broke last December that Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson had flipped his work vehicle while drunk driving 125 mph on his way home from a cop party. Hutchinson walked away from the wreck with a few bruises and a bladder full of alcohol, but, sadly, his car–which was littered with weed gummies, vaping supplies, firearms, and other miscellaneous detritus–did not. The Sheriff’s Office has come up with a payment plan for the man they affectionately call “Hutch,” who has received two years’ probation and is still sheriff for some reason. (He has announced that he won’t be running for reelection. No shit, dude.). Here’s the deal he’s struck: The original county-owned 2021 Ford Explorer, worth $67,665.13, was claimed as a total loss. The Sheriff’s Office had already paid $22,137 toward replacing the vehicle before the crash. That leaves Hutchinson with a $47,711.69 bill, which, according to the Strib, amounts to $250 from each biweekly check he receives from the county, and $500 per month after he finally leaves the job people really don’t want him to have anymore. Not bad! That’s less than the 2021 Kelley Blue Book average of $563 per month.
The Star Tribune Has a New Editor
And it’s me! No, it’s not. (Whew.) It’s former managing editor Suki Dardarian, who steps up to fill the role Rene Sanchez held for eight years. Sanchez is headed to his home state of Louisiana to edit the Times-Picayune and the Advocate. Why did this happen, and why now? Since the Strib is famously as transparent about its inner workings as the Kremlin or the State Fair, don’t expect any official details beyond “proud of what we’ve accomplished and what we will accomplish yadda yadda” boilerplate. (The Strib apparently let the newsroom know at the same time as the rest of us.) We can only assume the rise of Racket had something to do with it lol. Anyway, it’s good to know the names of the people in charge of your hometown paper—they’re the ones you should complain to/about when you don’t like what you see.
I know you’ve probably already seen this giant snow dinosaur in Becker, Minnesota. I just wanted to use that headline.