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Strib boss Klingensmith a contender to be Time Inc. CEO

Counties now have authority to collect $10 wheelage tax; state Sen. Dave Thompson giving up leadership post; Grain Belt Premium listed as America’s ‘finest cheap beer’; Twins compared to ’62 Mets; and more.

Strib boss Michael Klingensmith is, according to Joann Lublin and Keach Hagey of the Wall Street Journal, a leading candidate to become CEO of Time, Inc. “Klingensmith is a leading contender to become chief executive of the magazine giant, which is due to be spun out of Time Warner Inc. around the end of the year, say people familiar with the matter. Mr. Klingensmith, 60 years old, is currently chief executive of Star Tribune Media Co. LLC, publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He left Time Inc. in 2008 after more than three decades at the company. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes hasn’t made a final decision about the appointment, and some of the people say there is an internal candidate as well. Mr. Bewkes has told some Time Warner board members about Mr. Klingensmith as a contender but hasn’t formally presented him to the full board, according to another person close to the matter. A decision is expected in the next few weeks. The CEO hunt is entering its final stretch four months after Time Warner announced plans to spin off the division, which has seen its profits decline sharply in recent years amid a downturn in print advertising.”

With yesterday’s survey of the state’s lousy roads still fresh in mind … Rochelle Olson of the Strib reports, “Minnesota car owners could be paying another $5 to $10 in taxes per vehicle next year to hit the roads. Because of legislation passed in the recent session, counties now have the authority to collect a $10-per-vehicle wheelage tax to use for infrastructure improvements, from road upgrades to light-rail lines. Some counties already have agreed to collect the new tax, but many are still weighing the options. Counties must notify the state by Aug. 1 if they want the state to collect the tax next year, or they will have to wait another year. Debra Brisk, assistant Hennepin County commissioner for public works, said there’s a strong need for the tax in her county. … If the Hennepin County Board approves a wheelage tax at its July 16 meeting, it would collect an estimated $9 million.”

I’m not sure if he’s relinquishing all that much influence … The Strib story says, “State Sen. Dave Thompson says he’s giving up his leadership post in the Minnesota Senate because of his candidacy for governor. Thompson resigned as assistant minority leader in a Wednesday letter to top Republican senators. In it, Thompson says it would be unwise to continue in the role during his campaign. Thompson is not resigning his Senate seat. He is one year into a four-year term representing a Lakeville-area district.”

Who doesn’t know this? Will Gordon at the sports site Deadspin writes about “the best cheap beers in the country,” saying, “I realize you’re going to spend Independence Day happily drinking whatever cold adult beverage you’re served, because you’re polite and you’re an alcoholic. And I trust you’ll have a fine old time no matter what you drink. But that doesn’t mean America’s [bleep] brews are all the same. The list below breaks down 36 of them, from worst to least-worst. … 1. Grain Belt Premium. I always think of Minnesota as a secretly sexy place, and not just because of Kent Hrbek and Al Franken. Maybe it’s all the trout and music and Lutherans. Toss in a smooth, creamy, and dreamy local budget brew like Grain Belt and it’s a wonder Minnesota hasn’t seceded to form its own naked blond utopia. Grain Belt Premium is America’s finest cheap beer.”

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The GleanTwins fans driven to despondency every time the Yankees take the field against their team will wince at Howard Sinker’s “Section 219” blog post today. “In the 92 games that Ron Gardenhire has managed for the Twins against the Yankees, he has won 23 of them. That record, 23-69, includes the postseason and gives him a .250 winning percentage in those games. In 1962, their first team as an expansion franchise, the New York Mets went 40-120 and are generally regarded as the worst team in baseball history. The ’62 Mets had two 20-game losers in the starting rotation, a 19-game loser and a reliever with four saves and 17 losses. The offense wasn’t much better. The ’62 Mets had the same winning percentage as Gardy’s Twins against the Yankees since he took over for Tom Kelly … .” Can we get Ed Kranepool to pinch hit?

They’d been together 18 years and this comes as news?  Anthony Lonetree of the Strib reports, “The president of Totino-Grace High School resigned after revealing to leaders of the Catholic institution that he is in a committed same-sex relationship, the school announced Tuesday. ‘I love the Totino-Grace community, however, I need to be truthful about my life,’ William (Bill) Hudson said in a news release issued by the school. Shortly afterward, in a statement of his own, Hudson said that while Friday’s decision was ‘heartbreaking and painful,’ it also was ‘freeing to be open about the most important thing in my life.’ After 20 years of service to the church, he said, he now could live an ‘authentic life’ devoted to his two children and his partner of 18 years. In the past, he said, he had placed church ahead of that family.”

In addition to serving a 40-year sentence the guy who ran over a group of people on a sidewalk in Dinkytown — killing one of them — must also come up with $140,000. Says Dave Hanners in the PiPress, “Closing a chapter that began when an angry, drunken Timothy Bakdash climbed behind the wheel of his car early one April morning two years ago, a judge has ordered the Roseville man to pay damages to one of the women he ran over. … The judge said that Bagley had incurred past medical expenses of $43,182, lost wages of $5,397 and that her past pain, suffering and emotional distress were worth $50,000. Bush ruled Bakdash owed Bagley $15,000 for future medical expenses, as well as $25,000 for ‘future pain, disability, disfigurement, and emotional distress.’ … The insurance company that covered the car Bakdash drove denies liability, contending he violated the policy by acting intentionally. Bagley and Bakdash are challenging that decision in court.”

.36 … . Marino Eccher of the PiPress reports, “The Lakeville woman accused of killing a motorcyclist in a drunken collision last week thought she was ‘all right to drive’ despite having several drinks and an open bottle of liquor in the car, prosecutors say. Leah Marie Colwell, 44, was charged June 28 in Dakota County District Court with felony vehicular homicide. A breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.36, more than four times the legal limit to drive, according to the criminal complaint. … She said she drank four ‘captain cokes’ at her house before driving but didn’t want the two men in her car to drive because they’d had more to drink than she had. One of the passengers said he believed Colwell and the other passenger ‘had been drinking alcohol all day’ at her home, about six miles from the crash site. … The other passenger said the three were on the way to his house ‘to continue drinking.’ ” Good god … 

Finally, some levity as we close up shop for the long holiday weekend. The always reliable John Hinderaker at Power Line has been following President Obama’s Africa trip — where he crossed paths with his predecessor, George W. Bush, a man about whom Hinderaker once wrote (memorably), “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.” On the African path-crossing he says, “Barack Obama is touring Africa, touching politically correct bases and posing for photo-ops as his foreign policy goes up in flames. Via InstaPundit, we learn that coincidentally, George W. Bush is in Africa too. Among other things, Bush has helped renovate a women’s clinic in Zambia. That is, he has helped personally, not by giving gaseous speeches. … Bush is popular in Africa for his anti-AIDS initiative; more, no doubt, than for his personal efforts to improve the lives of poor Africans. Still, the unfolding disaster of the Obama administration reminds us that, while to be a good president it is not enough to be a good man, it definitely helps.”