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Wanna Buy Here’s Your Guy.

Plus 3M's forever chemical cover-up, kids win ice cream shop, and a legislative recap in today's Flyover news roundup.

YouTube Screenshot / TNT

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

Bring Ya Ass to Minnesota

It's the soundbite of the season: Following the Wolves' historic comeback win over the Nuggets in Denver Sunday night, Charles Barkley admitted he hasn't been to Minnesota in 20 years. As you've almost certainly already heard or seen (perhaps on this very website), an overjoyed Anthony Edwards quickly interjected, "Bring ya ass."

Bring ya ass! Bring ya ass. Instantly iconic. Our new state motto. If someone hasn't actually vandalized the "Minnesota Welcomes You" sign with it before the week is out it'll be a small miracle. At the very least, we have a new idea for the Naz Reid tattoo guys.

One such fun stunt has already materialized: This morning, the Star Tribune Sports Twitter account posted that was no longer for sale. The domain had been purchased and set up to redirect to the state tourism agency, (Viraluae once engaged in a similar stunt with, which we redirected to our home page after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey clunkily renamed the city.)

For a minute there, we were impressed by Explore MN's lightning-fast response to a developing meme, and it turns out we were right to be surprised—the domain wasn't purchased by the local tourism site but by local comedy writer, author, and Timberwolves fan Jon Savitt.

Savitt tells Viraluae the domain was less than $10 ("but priceless, ya know"). Here's what else he had to say about it:

As a comedy writer I'm always trying to find the humor in things, I think as a Minnesota sports fan in general you have to have a good sense of humor. And that was just such a funny and real moment. Plus, Minnesota is so often unfairly overlooked, so here's a great opportunity on a national stage to bring some attention to the state in a fun and timely way.

As far as future plans for the URL, again (and I can't reiterate this enough) I'm a comedy writer… so if Ant or Charles Barkley or anyone wants to buy the domain—it is absolutely, 100% for sale. For me, this Timberwolves team has been such a joy to watch so this was really just a small way to join in and be a part of that fun. And if people get a laugh out of it, that's awesome.

CB, Ant, Minnesota Tourism Director Lauren Bennett McGinty—for the love of god, someone buy the domain from this man and congratulate him on the bit! At the very least, can we get "Bring ya ass to Minnesota"—WITH the S's—on the Explore MN homepage for just one day?

What 3M Knew About Forever Chemicals

OK, that's an unprecedented amount of levity for a Monday. Let's bring things back down to level with some more disturbing news... for example, this ProPublica report from Sharon Lerner on how locally headquartered 3M silenced the scientist who was an early researcher in the forever chemicals that have come to contaminate our bodies.

Won't see that on any tourism brochures!

In the late '90s, 3M Co. chemist Kris Hansen was asked to test human blood for one of the fluorochemicals used in the company's products: perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS. It wasn't uncommon for PFOS to end up in 3M factory worker blood; what was unusual, Hansen's boss told her, is that the lab had found them contaminating blood from the general population. When her extensive research confirmed that these forever chemicals in fact "seemed to be everywhere," her bosses tried to get the Lake Elmo-raised scientist to change her findings. Then they hid her work. They sidelined her. They convinced her the chemicals weren't actually harmful.

This is a long read, but it's one of those Important Stories about evil corporations and dark company secrets that everyone should read. If you can, set aside 10 minutes today.

Cute Ice Cream Story Comes Full Circle (or Full Scoop?)

Back to the cute stuff: Do you remember when a group of 21 area children wrote a letter to Southwest Voices in March demanding (politely) that Sebastian Joe's open an ice cream shop at Nicollet & 43rd? Their reasoning was sound: “The factory is right across the corner so it would be perfect,” Norah (13) and Ryan (11) wrote on behalf of the kiddos.

Delightfully, their letter appears to have worked! SJ's initially told SWV they weren't interested in that corner, but then the Filipino restaurant Apoy (4301 Nicollet Ave.) closed. Sebastian Joe’s owns the building—that's the factory the kids were referring to—where it manufactures its ice cream. According to an update from Melody Hoffman, they've reconsidered, and Sebastian Joe's Kingfield Social, as it's going to be called, will open soon in the space.

So About that Legislative Last Minute

This edition of the Flyover has been a real roller coaster, eh? Why not end on a blurb that mimics that chaos: a recap of the 11th hour of the 2024 legislative session.

Republicans hollered “Shame!” and “Follow the rules!” and even "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" for 30 minutes, reports the Minnesota Reformer's Michelle Griffith, as the DFLers and their one-vote majority pushed through a 1,400 page omnibus bill stuffed with everything from minimum pay rates for Uber and Lyft drivers (the Reformer's Max Nesterak has the story on that) to stiffer penalties for straw gun purchases to changes to Minnesota's paid leave law. MinnPost's Peter Callaghan and Ava Kian have a great rundown of everything that did and didn't pass this session, including some fairly crucial didn'ts like the bonding bill and an equal rights amendment.

"Especially in light of the failure to pass an infrastructure bill—known around the Capitol as the bonding bill and typically passed in the even years—the session will be mostly known for inaction on major issues, even considering the Democrats’ modest goals following the legislative frenzy of 2023," the Reformer's Griffith writes.

We'll give you one guess who Democrats are blaming for the failure to pass an infrastructure package and another guess who Republicans are blaming.

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