Minneapolis: Happiest City in the US? 👀

This week’s edition covers stories 
from June 7th to June 12th, 2024.

Today’s issue is 753 words, a 6minute read.

Hi hi! Happy Pride Month to all the gals, gays, theys, and everyone under the rainbow out there! 🌈☁️ My name’s Ebe, it’s nice to meet ya, and my pronouns are she/they, by the way! I hope whoever or wherever you are, you’ve been able to catch some of those hot, hot sun rays on your skin because it’s summer and I FEEL it. The anthem of my June so far? (Well, two anthems, actually.) Please, Please, Please and Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter. Those songs make me feel like doing a music number at a country club, drinking ice tea from England, whistling at the lifeguards from Spain, and eating turkey from Maine in a little swimsuit. Anyway, here I am delivering your Thursday cool-down ☀️🍦

Minneapolis Named the Happiest City in the US (dang, for real? 👀)

📸 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Every year, the Institute for Quality of Life releases its “Happy City Index,” ranking cities worldwide based on quality of life. This year’s top city in the world? Aarhus, Denmark! And the happiest city in the U.S.? Drum roll…Minneapolis! Are you surprised? I was.

Minneapolis not only topped the U.S. list but was the only American city to earn the Institute’s “gold status,” joining 37 “Golden Cities” globally. Although the Institute doesn’t formally rank the top 37 cities, Minneapolis ranks 18th overall, placing it among only four U.S. cities in the top 100. Madison, Wisconsin was the only other Midwestern city on the list, coming in 167th overall.

The rankings are based on thousands of indicators reflecting residents’ quality of life and happiness, focusing on five main categories: citizens, government, economy, environment, and mobility. Minneapolis shined with its outdoor spaces, featuring 180 parks, 55 miles of biking and walking paths, 22 lakes, and 12 gardens. It also scored high on mobility with accessible public transport and is relatively affordable for a large city. Despite lower environmental scores, Minneapolis excelled in the economy and citizen happiness.

Now, I lived in Minneapolis for about 6 or 7 years, and as a data girlie, I recognize the bold claim that “Happiest City in the US” is a statistically non-false claim. Alls I’m sayin’ is that if Minneapolis is really this happy, I am worried about the rest of the country. Ya’ll good out there? 👀

More University Politics: U of M Pauses Hiring of Israeli Historian Who Accused Israel of Genocide

📸 Alexius Horatius

The U just keeps finding itself in local headlines these days. 

The University of Minnesota has paused its hiring of Raz Segal as the new director of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, just two days after announcing his appointment. This decision follows objections raised over Segal’s past comments, including his article titled “A Textbook Case of Genocide,” where he controversially described Israel’s military actions in Gaza as genocidal.

Initially supported by the university, Segal’s appointment faced opposition after two longstanding board members resigned in protest, one of who is also Jewish. They argued that Segal’s views, particularly his characterization of Israel’s actions, did not align with the mission of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Pressure from Jewish community organizations, including the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota, further influenced the university’s decision to pause the hiring process. The university administration, acknowledging the community concerns and the sensitive nature of the director’s role, stated that the selection process will be on hold indefinitely while they decide their next steps.

The Twisted Tale of a Man and His License

You’ve probably already seen this guy on your timeline or newsfeed, but in case you have no idea who or what I’m talking about, buckle your seatbelt. This is 44-year-old Corey Harris, a Michigan man who, back in May, attended a court hearing about his suspended license through Zoom while visibly driving. The video was posted on Washtenaw County Judge Cedric Simpson’s YouTube page.

In the video, the judge sits, incredulous, as he asks if he’s fully understanding the situation correctly. “OK, so maybe I don’t understand something,” Simpson says while looking down at his documents. “This is a driving while license suspended?” 

A couple of weeks after the case went viral and the memes took off, it was discovered that his license was actually previously reinstated. HOWEVER, it turns out that that wasn’t even true because Corey never even had a license to suspend in the first place!

Call this a car wreck because I sure have whiplash from this story.

That’s all from me, see you next week.

Stay informed, stay connected. 

See you next week! 

Ebe and the NewPrensa team


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Hi, friend: Ebe here! 
I’m a Communications Specialist by day and dreaming about the beach by night!
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