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Who Is Kathy Cargill?

Plus MPS budget nightmares, unsavory Ski-U-Mah history, and local 'Vanderpump' connections in today's Flyover news roundup.

Courtesy of Wisconsin DNR|

Ranger Kathy Pospychalla

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Better Know a Park Point Land Hoarder

Almost 100,000 of you read my essay on Kathy Cargill—she of "pieces of crap" and “peed in his Cheerios” Park Point land-grab infamy—so we won't waste time rehashing her recent Duluth PR misadventures. Instead, we'll let Wisconsin Public Radio take us where no news outlet has yet ventured: the past of the married-in heir to the Cargill fortune. On his program Simply Superior, WPR host Robin Washington dives deep (and sometimes weirdly) into the biography of Kathy Pospychalla, who grew up modestly in Ashland, Wisconsin, along the South Shore of Lake Superior. We learn that Pospychalla married twice before linking up with James Cargill II, and that she held jobs in real estate, with the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department, and at the Wisconsin DNR.

Some, like Ashland Family Restaurant diner Dan Reinerio, say Cargill "did a lot of good for people here in town and built houses for people and gave it to them." (WPR identified one "modest ranch [house]" valued at under $200,000 that Cargill appears to have built for a widowed friend.) Others, like Cargill's estranged brother Mark Pospychalla, are less complimentary. “Money’s nice, but you know when you’re horizontal, that money ain’t gonna do you a bit of good," says Mark, who runs the family towing business, suffered severe injuries in an accident last fall, and hasn't spoken to his sister in 30 years outside of at their father's 2021 funeral; all four Pospychalla kids are reportedly locked in a lawsuit.

The story then veers into truly weird territory by generously quoting retired University of Minnesota-Duluth poly-sci professor Craig Grau, who brings up the infamous 1920 lynching of three Black men in Duluth while discussing the mob-like reactions to Cargill's recent real estate wheelings/dealings. The prof then bizarrely speculates about whether or not Cargill has any Native American ancestry, apparently to challenge random social media posts stating she doesn't. ("The article has also been clarified to more clearly state that [Cargill's] mother was not Native American," reads part of a correction to the story.) Finally, Grau contends Cargill is not a Park Point outsider, considering... Ashland, located 73 miles from Duluth, is also on Lake Superior. Huh!

We don't hear from Cargill herself. Her lawyers didn't get back to WPR.

Inside the MPS Budget Bloodletting

Minneapolis Public Schools is facing a $110 million budget shortfall, and the proposed cuts meant to address it are leaving many parents and educators "stunned and saddened," reports Sahan Journal's Becky Z. Dernbach in this helpful and deeply depressing explainer. Now comes the slashing, which will reportedly result in fewer teachers, bigger classes, decreased student support around education and mental health, eliminated programs... is really just keeps on going. Freakin' fifth-grade band, an estimated $1.5 million per year expense, is on the chopping block.

“I am heartbroken," says Lindsay Turner, an MPS parent and organizer with TakeAction Minnesota. "Because my kid is internalizing the idea that the things that make school joyful and challenging and connected and safe are things that they do not deserve and cannot count on.” Dernbach paints an expansive portrait of the crisis, going back decades to explain the causes for and culprits of the budget hole, all while hammering home how it'll hurt into the future. But the reporter is happy to defer to the reporting of others—including the incredible kids running South High School's student paper. Helluva cartoon:

Is Ski-U-Mah the U of M's Tomahawk Chop?

A new Minnesota Daily story from Araia Breedlove begins by correctly asserting that most University of Minnesota fans probably don't know the origin of "Ski-U-Mah," the chant/slogan that's ubiquitous at Gophers athletic events. Legend has it that two U of M rugby players, John W. Adams and Win Sargent, overheard a Native American boy yelling “ski-ooh” during a Lake Pepin canoe race in 1884, and they assumed it was Dakota for "victory"; Adams and Sargent tagged on "mah," due to its rhyming with "rah," thus creating the Ski-U-Mah cry you hear and see around campus today.

Problem is, reports Breedlove? There is no oral history of a Dakota word “ski-ooh” (“woohiye" means victory in the language), and the U's "effort to 'honor' Indigenous culture inadvertently became a harmful stereotype," she writes. Several groups, including Indigenous students and faculty within the College of Liberal Arts, have raised their concerns to the university. “It’s kind of like our version of the Tomahawk chop,” says Ava Hartwell, a freshman who's double-majoring in Dakota language and journalism. "It’s mocking what white people think Dakota, or any Indigenous groups, celebrations sound like." Adds Destiny Big Crow, a freshman Lakota student: “I think it degrades the descriptive language that the Dakota language really is."

Enjoy a Vanderpump Rules Local Angle

What is Vanderpump Rules? If you're anything like me, you had no idea until about an hour ago. That's when I commissioned Hannah Sayle, my former boss at City Pages and a noted Vanderpump expert, to explain the long-running Bravo reality series to me, in order to better understand the following news item—hang tight if you're already a fan.

Vanderpump Rules is a Bravo reality TV show that launched in 2013 that hurled viewers into the chaotic world of hot 20-somethings working in a Los Angeles restaurant—SUR, short for Sexy Unique Restaurant—owned by millionaire babe and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump. The ravages of time have taken a toll on the show and its stars, with youthful antics slowly sagging into boring, middle-aged tragedies over the course of its 11-year run, but longtime viewers were recently rewarded for their loyalty when Tom "Worm with a Mustache" Sandoval carried out one of the most scandalous cheating scandals of all time, known colloquially as "Scandoval." This juicy turn of events seemed like a comeback for the show, but it was a pyrrhic victory (Google it, bitch) because truly the earth is far too scorched, and now Lisa is actively pursuing all kinds of spin-offs trying to recapture the magic of those first VPR seasons. Hope this helps!

Armed with that knowledge, we present you this local-angle doozy from Adam Platt at MSP Mag: Cast member Tom Schwartz is from Woodbury. A low-key Minnesota celeb we didn't know we could claim!

"And can I issue a formal apology? I have been neglecting you guys, I’m sorry, I’m on the verge of having my citizenship revoked," Schwartz, 41, tells Platt. "I’m always in Florida, and it’s like next year I’ll go [to Minnesota]. I miss you guys, I miss the Mall of America, I miss going to Cosetta’s eatin’ pizza."

If you're a Vanderpump-head, you'll wanna read their entire convo, which touches on cabin ownership, the so-called "Scandoval" that shook reality TV, and whether or not Andy Cohen is terrifying.

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