Flip Saunders to coach Timberwolves

Oh hell, I’ll do it myself. The ESPN story on Flip Saunders (largely based on AP reporting) deciding to hire … himself … as the next Timberwolves coach says, “Saunders has decided to coach the team himself, he confirmed to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. A news conference is scheduled for Friday. … Sources reiterated to ESPN.com on Thursday that Saunders’ move back to the bench will have no impact on [Kevin] Love’s determination to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in 2015.”

In the Strib, Jerry Zgoda says, “[Glenn] Taylor’s agreement with Saunders to coach is open-ended in terms of year. It’s possible he could go back in a year and two and see if he can convince either Michigan State’s Tom Izzo or Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg to take the job if the timing is then better for either man.”

The one-man obstacle to that new Senate office building has been brushed aside. Says the AP, “A Minnesota Supreme Court ruling has removed a legal barrier that threatened to block or delay a new government office building for state senators. … Former Republican lawmaker Jim Knoblach was suing to stop it. But he couldn’t convince the courts to let the case proceed without his guarantee to cover the cost of delays if he lost.”

RIP Toby, the noble lab … For the Forum News Service Nathan Bowe tells the story of good Toby who stood up to a 300 pound black bear and gave his owner time to get out of the way. “Toby was killed by a black bear about 5 p.m. May 21, close to his back yard, after he accompanied [John] Wacker’s son, Chris, 45, on a mushrooming expedition. … The bear … was after the dog and moving at least 25 mph, [Chris] said. ‘Toby stopped when he got to me and turned and faced right into the bear. It actually overran him and just kind of caught him in the hind end,’ Chris Wacker said. Then it got ugly, fast.”

A West 7th institution is pretty much the same, though different. Jess Fleming of the PiPress says, “Fans of the old Champp’s on West Seventh Street in St. Paul need not be alarmed. Its name has changed, but the owner is the same, as is much of the menu. Dan Greenberg said he and all but four other Minnesota Champp’s restaurants were released from the franchise after the restaurant’s parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2013. So the new name — 7th Street Tavern — also means freedom from the franchise chains, menu-wise.”

Kids in gun country get their training real early. Tom Webb of the PiPress reports, “News that a loaded handgun was discovered in the toy aisle at a Target store in South Carolina is further inflaming a controversy over gun activists openly carrying long guns at Target. Myrtle Beach television station WMBF reported that a Target employee discovered the loaded gun Friday night, and thought it was a toy, until he realized it was loaded with live ammunition.” Mommy, mommy can I get some ammo, too? No dear, you’ll have to order that on the Internet like everyone else.

Related … MPR asked listener/readers for their opinions about Target permitting “guests” to carry loaded guns around the store. The comments are about what you’d expect, albeit with slightly better grammar. Samples:

“Crucible Arms” says, “The fact is, one in every thirty three people around you is licensed to carry a firearm. We’re among you each and every day and there isn’t any ‘OK Corral’ gunfights, or ‘blood running in the street.”

Corey Bol says, “I remember when critics of gay couples sounded like these critics of firearms. Rights are rights. Do we push people back into closets just because customers are ‘uncomfortable’? When should ‘phobics’ be allowed to dictate rights?”

To which “Tge [sic] adults in the room” replies, “Nice apples to banana clips analogy. Except yes a gay marriage and life style did/does make a lot of people uncomfortable, but that is really only based on their short sighted limited world view. In no way shape or form can another person’s sexual orientation actually do them any physical harm. The problem is totally in their heads and irrational. On the other hand any sane reasonable person can envision several scenarios where they could come to physical harm or even death letting people run around unchecked with items that were designed to do just and only just that, inflict injury and death.”

Because you always wanted to know … . Andrea Johnson of the Minnesota Farm Guide says, “The Ag Census for 2012 reported that Minnesota is home to 13,547 beef cow farms with an average of 26 cows per farm – about 358,000 head total. The Census also reported 4,746 dairy farms with an average of 98 cows per farm, or 463,000 head.”

They’ve got an arson problem up on Cass Lake. John Enger at MPR says, “MPR News analyzed arson statistics collected by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety from 2009 to 20012, the most recent year available, and found higher than average arson rates in Cass Lake. In those years, 22 intentional fires were reported in the city of Cass Lake, a community of fewer than 800 people. During the same period Ironton, Minnesota, with a similar population, reported only one arson fire.”

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