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Elon Musk Is… Minnesotan?

Plus our youngest city council member, bathroom praise, and new apples in today's Flyover news roundup.

Haldeman Papers; Wikimedia Commons|

J.N. Haldeman and his grandson, Elon Musk

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

Elon Musk's MN Roots

Who knew that the maker of exploding rockets, peddler of unsafe self-driving cars, and destroyer of social media sites can trace his family back to our humble state? Well, maybe some of you did, but we learned it this week from the New Yorker, namely Jill Lepore’s addendum to her review of Walter Isaacson’s new Musk biography. Turns out Musk’s maternal grandfather, a fellow named J. N. Haldeman, was born in Minnesota in 1902. We can see why no one makes too much of this fact. To start with, Haldeman’s family moved to Saskatchewan when he was young. Oh, and then there’s the racism and antisemitism Haldeman did so much to promote in his lifetime. This is a guy who moved to South Africa because of apartheid. Lepore unearthed a couple of Haldeman’s tracts: “The International Conspiracy to Establish a World Dictatorship and the Menace to South Africa” and “The International Conspiracy in Health.” (You’ll never guess who’s behind those conspiracies.” Sure seems like dude would fit in on the website Musk keeps telling us to call X. In his Musk bio, according to Lepore, Isaacson calls Haldeman “quirky.”

Council Member Successfully Pranks Strib

Minneapolis City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison is 33 years old. First elected to rep Ward 5 back in 2017, he still looks youthful—but Gen Z youthful? Enough to fool Star Tribune editors and copy editors! First spotted by Wedge LIVE!, the Strib issued the following correction to its 2023 voter guide: "Previous versions of this article included an incorrect age for Council Member Jeremiah Ellison due to inaccurate information provided by the candidate." The successful prankster celebrated his strategically planted fib last night:

That's to take nothing away from the voter guide itself, which presents plenty of helpful—and truthful—facts about the candidates vying for Council seats on November 7 (early voting got underway today). One odd binary Q—"If you're faced with the choice of spending $1 on a road for vehicles or $1 for a bike lane, which do you choose and why?"—has elicited particularly interesting As from the candidates. We encourage you to check out the whole thing. How else would you learn an elderly socialist baker by the name of Edwin Fruit is leading an insurgent campaign in Ward 1?

St. Paul Students: Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Are Actually Great!

High school bathrooms: It’s where kids go to vape, smoke cigs, vandalize stuff, and drink. It’s also where some kids don’t go, for fear of bullying or feeling unsafe in general–especially trans students. But when Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul turned their bathrooms into single person, gender-neutral stalls, they found that all of those things decreased dramatically, and people started, you know, using the bathrooms to go to the bathroom. They also started making TikToks, as is the way of zoomers. “The lighting in the bathrooms is actually amazing,” one student tells Elizabeth Shockman at MPR. “The bathroom TikToks are very real whether you do them off the sink or whether you do them in the mirror.” In 2016, the school renovated their restrooms into floor-to-ceiling, no-gap stalls with a central shared sink and easy access from the hallway. (There's also a few roomier stalls for folks who need it.) Seven years in, things are going so well Johnson High is serving as the model for 14 other schools in the district.

🚨 New MN-Made Apple Just Dropped 🚨

Fellas, if your girl is attractive with a unique combination of traits including a crisp, juicy texture and a sweet, well-balanced flavor... that's not your girl, that's the new Kudos™ brand MN33 apple. Kudos is the University of Minnesota's 29th apple release, and it was developed by crossing the U's Honeycrisp and Zestar!® apples, according to the university (which is also to thank for the descriptors that kick off this ridiculous blurb). The Kudos apple also has "occasional tropical overtones," which sounds very refreshing. Don't get too excited, though—they won't be commercially available for another three or four years.

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