Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Did We Mention the Tunnel?
If you’ve ever wanted to own a secret underground tunnel, a theater, or just some property in St. Paul, we’ve got some good news for you. The owners of Dreamland Arts in Midway are selling the theater and their home—two buildings, but one property, attached by (get this) a basement tunnel. Zaraawar Mistry and Leslye Orr opened the theater 17 years ago but now they’re ready “to change, downsize and move into an apartment nearby,” they write on the theater’s website “We hope to find a buyer that will keep the theater building as a neighborhood arts asset for the community, and perhaps even keep it running as a theater venue,” they add. For the time being, the theater is still up and running: New Native Theatre is currently putting on This is How We Got Here.
Senator’s Anti-Weed Argument: A MN Farmer Heard Gunshots in New Orleans
As the weed bill made its way through the House and the Senate, we’ve heard a lot of wild arguments against it: concerns about police dog job security; comparing weed to legal substances like sugar; misunderstanding what fuels the black market. Legalization is now all but a done deal, with a bicameral commission hammering out the details. But before we celebrate, let's pause for this amazing argument from a rambling Sen. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), who suggests that legalizing weed would turn Minnesota into New Orleans, where he says they “have legalized marijuana, along with a number of other drugs.” (We have no idea what other drugs he’s talking about—Lipitor? Prilosec? Ozempic?—but THC is, though decriminalized, still very much illegal in Louisiana.)
See, Gruenhagen knows a Minnesota farmer who went to a conference in the Big Easy. One night, the farmer went out for drinks with some fellows attendees. When they heard gunshots outside, they dove under the table. But their waitress shrugged it off, and refused to call the cops, explaining that, much like in Minneapolis, they don’t generally respond to nighttime gunshot complaints.
So, uh, what does all of this have to do with weed?
“There were literally dozens of people, some of them smoking marijuana, sitting along the sidewalk, and even at the entrance of the hotel that they went into,” Gruenhagen concludes. Sounds legit!
Update: U of M Student Arrested for Stalking Removed from School Senate
Romello Lloyd, a 26-year-old campus dwelling student, has been voted out of U of M Student Government Senate following an emergency meeting. Several weeks before the election, U of M Student Government presidential candidate Romello Lloyd was arrested on a felony stalking charge. The accusations, the MN Daily reported at the time, span six-plus years, and include texting pornographic images and threats to the victim. Devices seized in a warrant showed “attempts to identify and locate” the plaintiff as well as over 300 searches for the word “stalker.”
Before he was re-elected to the student government position, a petition for his removal was circulated around campus, but, according to school law, it was too late because the ballots had already been sent out. In light of this situation, the MN Daily reports that the U will be re-evaluating its policies. “I think that everybody is on the same page in terms of the fact that it shouldn’t have gotten this far,” USG Vice President Zeke Jackson tells the paper.
Bear With Us
It’s that time of year—bears are waking up and wandering up to people and getting caught on video, and click-hungry media vultures like us are sharing those videos. WCCO reports that a driver in Redby recently spotted a small bear—and that a small bear in Redby recently spotted a driver. The bear roamed over and peeped in the window, causing the driver to exclaim, "Holy schnikes. No, thank you. What can I do for you?" The bear responded, solemnly, “I just wanted to let you know that your driving is unBEARable.” OK, not really. Very few bears can actually talk, and all bears are totally sick of bear puns, as you might imagine.
This comes just days after reports of a large black bear roaming around in Northfield, and a week after a mama bear and her three cubs were sighted in Jason DeRusha’s Maple Grove. According to the DNR, which tracks sightings on its website, between 12,000 and 16,000 black bears live in Minnesota, and as the population has grown over the past two decades, the bears have been headed south and west. Still, maybe there aren’t as many more bears entering heavily populated areas as it seems. As WCCO’s Kirsten Mitchell notes, “Another reason why bear sightings seem to be on the rise is that more people have home security cameras.”