Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily noontime(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
The Fate of Mickey’s Diner Has Been Decided
When the pandemic hit, Mickey’s Diner in downtown St. Paul was forced to stop its 24/7 service for the first time in 80 years. The historic structure was built in 1937 from a prefab kit designed to look like a train car, meaning it’s delightfully small, but not COVID-safe. Since closing in 2020, fans of the institution have wondered when—or if!—it would open again. Well, they’re gonna have to keep waiting, but at least we have good news: The Mattson family, who have always owned the business, announced that the little train car that could will reopen in spring 2022. The family has raised over $72,000 via Kickstarter, and they’ve got some major restorative renovations in the works. They’re also updating the diner to have a modern HVAC system. “I want to get the place back up and running, but I’d like it to be a museum when we get done,” Eric Mattson told KSTP this week. “I’d like it to be perfect. I’d like it to be the way it was.”
Ex-Girlfriend Sues Dalvin Cook Over Alleged Assault
Ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft, “character concerns,” the most serious of which stemmed from allegedly punching a woman, were among the few red flags that worried scouts about star Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. For the next four years, as Cook became a Pro Bowl talent with the Vikings, questions about his character faded—until yesterday. Gracelyn Trimble, a 29-year-old sergeant in the U.S. Army, is suing Cook, 26, for assault, battery, and false imprisonment that allegedly took place last year at Cook’s Inver Grove Heights home. In the wake of the lawsuit, this disturbing and graphic text message exchange emerged, as did a statement from Cook’s lawyer alleging that Trimble is, in fact, the abuser and that she attempted to extort him. The messy situation is being made messier by NFL comms stooge Adam Schefter, who appears to be running a Twitter defense campaign on Cook’s behalf. Cook signed a five-year, $63 million contract last year that made him one of the NFL’s top-paid running backs. His future is now up to the courts and the league’s disciplinary arm, the latter of which flexed muscle surrounding domestic assault during the Ray Rice saga but often lets star players skate.
Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels Sells Out
Launched by North Dakota retiree Dorothy Henke in 2011, Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels has since become a treasured Midwestern snacking staple—and now, it seems, a potential worldwide one. Chocolate giant Hershey announced plans Wednesday to acquire Dot’s for $1.2 billion, praising its new product as the “fastest-growing U.S. pretzel brand.” How fast? Dot’s was responsible for 55% (!) of pretzel-sector growth over the past year, according to Hershey. “I created my pretzels to share with those people closest to me and have built the business with the idea of sharing them with everyone,” Henke shared in a statement. If there’s an Upper Midwest Mount Snackmore, Dot’s certainly has a place, alongside Top the Tater and… hmm, this actually sounds like great future Racket content, so we’ll stop there.
Feds Pump $100M into MinnesotaCare
Here’s some boring but relatively good news: MinnesotaCare, the state’s “Basic Health Program,” which subsidizes insurance for Minnesotans who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, is receiving an additional $100 million as part of the 2021 federal stimulus package, according to MPR. New York is the only other state with a Basic Health Program, despite the feds nudging the rest to follow suit. (Disclaimer: The U.S. health insurance system is an unconscionable mess overseen by corporate leeches and we shouldn’t have to prop up half-measures like this, etc.) Want a personal anecdote about olden days? When I applied for MinnesotaCare as a freelancer in 2002, when it was still MNCare, I didn’t have pay stubs or anything, so I literally just wrote some numbers down on a piece of paper, signed it, and they paid for my insurance. Simpler times!