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Whew! Investigation Proves School Rainbow Decoration is Not Gay

Plus more trouble for the Purple Line, no vax mandates for St. Paul, and one hella big pumpkin in today's Flyover.

Rainbows: Sometimes gay, always pretty.
Max di Capua via Unsplash

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

Gay Sex Panic Over School’s Rainbow Window Decal Unnecessary

Sometimes a rainbow is just a rainbow, especially when it’s in a grade school. That’s what some parents are learning after voicing concerns about a rainbow flag seen in a window at a school in Willmar. After receiving complaints, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holm investigated the rainbow and determined that it wasn’t being used to indoctrinate kids into the LGBTQ+ world, nor was it signaling that kids were receiving any type of sex education (the horror!). Turns out it was just being used as a pretty decoration for kids who are learning more about colors and color theory. “Elementary schools going back to the beginning of time have been decorated in the colors of the rainbow,” Holm explained via Willmar Radio. “[The decorations] weren’t quite in the same configuration of a rainbow flag, and I don’t believe there was any intent or any hidden meaning there.”

St. Paul Suburbs’ Purple Line: Maplewood is Probably Out

The Purple Line has been in pre-development hell for about 25 years, but $475 million later it’s still not clear how, when, and, perhaps most importantly, where it will be built. Once dubbed the “Rush Line,” the route was originally supposed to connect downtown St. Paul with downtown White Bear Lake, with stops in Maplewood, Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake, and White Bear Township. Last spring, White Bear Lake opted out over concerns that mass transit would harsh their small-town vibe. Now, it looks like Maplewood is considering backing out over a mall. Once an ally, Maplewood Mayor Marylee Abrams is voicing opposition after learning that Metro Council sought to use eminent domain to tear down the Birch Run Station Shopping Center—something she discovered after receiving a tip. A lack of communication or collaboration is the main reason she’s giving for pulling out. “This new route is something the Met Council is doing to us here in Maplewood. They are not doing it with us,” said Abrams at Monday’s City Council meeting. The issue will be further discussed on October 24.

St. Paul Abandons Vax Mandate

Don’t you hate when your employer requires you to follow basic health regulations so you don’t help spread a deadly pandemic? Well, then we’ve got some good news for you: In a “victory” for public employees, the city of St. Paul announced that it has dropped its vaccine mandate for city workers. Unlike other mandates, the St. Paul regulation did not allow them the option of periodically testing negative for Covid as an alternative—it was take the jab or take a hike. But the mandate was never enforced, because unions took the matter to court, and, in June, a Ramsey County judge ruled that Minnesota labor laws require the city to either negotiate with the unions or seek arbitration.

BIG PUMPKIN NEWS

Travis Gienger knows his way around a friggin’ pumpkin! The Anoka-based horticulture teacher and gourd enthusiast just took home first prize at California’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off with a pumpkin weighing 2,560 pounds. That’s a new North American record, organizers told NPR, and it’s not Gienger’s first show-stealing pumpkin, either—he took home the prize in 2020 with a 2,350-pound plant. While neither massive specimen was able to snag the world record, which apparently belongs to a 2,703-pound pumpkin grown in Italy last year, we nonetheless commend Gienger on these abnormally chonky bois.