Local/state briefs

Shari Lamke to be new general manager at Pioneer PBS

The Pioneer PBS board of directors announced the agreement of employment with Sherece (Shari) Lamke as the regional public television station’s new president and general manager. After an extensive national search involving dozens of applicants, the board chose Lamke who has more than 38 years of experience working at Twin Cities PBS. Lamke will start her new position today nearly a year after former general manager Les Heen resigned from the position to become a government affairs specialist at the Libby Law Firm in St. Paul.

Lamke was raised in the Brainerd lakes area before starting her career at Twin Cities PBS, where she worked in both technical and creative leadership positions. Her focus and passion in building the partnerships that launched the MN Channel and in telling the under-told stories of communities is what attracted her to Pioneer PBS.

“I am truly honored to be chosen to join the great board and the incredibly talented staff at Pioneer PBS as the president and general manager,” Lamke said. “I am excited to get started building upon the legacy of Pioneer PBS in sharing the stories of western and southwestern Minnesotans who I am thrilled to serve.”

“We are so grateful for the many volunteer hours put in by the Pioneer PBS board members in the course of the search,” said Pioneer PBS Board Chair Mark Olson. “Volunteers have long been the backbone of Pioneer PBS going back to the early days when the station was financed by bake sales to today’s volunteers that stuff envelopes, answer phones during membership drives or serve on our community advisory board or the Pioneer PBS governing board.”

IRS says executors undervalued Prince’s estate by 50%

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The ongoing controversy over the money left behind by Prince when he died without a will is heating up again after Internal Revenue Service calculations showed that executors of the rock star’s estate undervalued it by 50%, or about $80 million.

The IRS determined that Prince’s estate is worth $163.2 million, overshadowing the $82.3 million valuation submitted by Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate’s administrator. The discrepancy primarily involves Prince’s music publishing and recording interests, according to court documents.

Documents show the IRS believes that Prince’s estate owes another $32.4 million in federal taxes, roughly doubling the tax bill based on Comerica’s valuation, the Star Tribune reported.

The IRS also has ordered a $6.4 million “accuracy-related penalty” on Prince’s estate, citing a “substantial” undervaluation of assets, documents show.

Prince’s death of a fentanyl overdose on April 21, 2016, created one of the largest and most complicated probate court proceedings in Minnesota history. Estimates of his net worth have varied widely, from $100 million to $300 million.

With Prince’s probate case dragging on, his six sibling heirs have grown increasingly unhappy, particularly as the estate has doled out tens of millions of dollars to lawyers and consultants.

Comerica and its lawyers at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis maintain their estate valuations are solid. Comerica sued the IRS this summer in U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C., saying the agency’s calculations are riddled with errors.

“What we have here is a classic battle of the experts — the estate’s experts and the IRS’ experts,” said Dennis Patrick, an estate planning attorney at DeWitt LLP in Minneapolis who is not involved in the case. Valuing a large estate, Patrick added, “is way more of an art than a science.”


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