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David Peterson

Reporter | East Metro and Demographics
phone: 651-925-5039
David Peterson covers suburban Ramsey County; suburban growth and development issues in the metropolitan area in general; and demographics, including reports from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Recent content from David Peterson
Washington County busway gets OK with some dissent

Washington County busway gets OK with some dissent

The Red Rock Corridor, from Hastings to downtown St. Paul, is still years away, but key decisions are being made.
Minnesota cities' spending jumps after years of slowdown

Minnesota cities' spending jumps after years of slowdown

Capital outlays by large municipalities grew by $200 million in 2014.
Minnesota DNR tags cost of refilling White Bear Lake at $100 million plus

Minnesota DNR tags cost of refilling White Bear Lake at $100 million plus

The estimate to pipe in and possibly treat water was disputed by homeowners.
Fast-growing numbers of blacks in Minnesota widen income gap

Fast-growing numbers of blacks in Minnesota widen income gap

Rapid growth in Minnesota's black population, with many from other countries and states, may well explain what appeared at first to be a sudden drop in that group's prosperity.
Ramsey County Board OKs housing plan for old Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills

Ramsey County Board OKs housing plan for old Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills

The master plan for a new town center on one of the state’s major development sites was approved Tuesday, but not without dissent. The Ramsey…
S. Wash. board tackles 'emotional' issue of attendance boundaries

S. Wash. board tackles 'emotional' issue of attendance boundaries

The school board defers decision on future of Valley Crossing school.
Lake Elmo, anti-sprawl suburb, opts out of east metro transit plan

Lake Elmo, anti-sprawl suburb, opts out of east metro transit plan

Lake Elmo, the Twin Cities’ poster child for resistance to sprawl, is opting out of a major transitway that had been counted on to propel…
Gary Flakne, former Hennepin County attorney, dies at 81

Gary Flakne, former Hennepin County attorney, dies at 81

Bjarnie Anderson will always ask himself whether the case that made his boss notorious also ended a career in politics that could have taken him…

New 'farm' won't bring tractors to Roseville streets, council told

City leaders are wary of the details in Calyxt's plan.
East metro transit planners reject a faster, cheaper Red Rock busway

East metro transit planners reject a faster, cheaper Red Rock busway

Panel has its reasons but will seek public comment on Hastings-St. Paul transit route.
Met Council grants place affordable units in suburbs, market-rate in poor areas

Met Council grants place affordable units in suburbs, market-rate in poor areas

Projects include Habitat homes and market-rate integration.
Amtrak sees big drop in riders through Twin Cities

Amtrak sees big drop in riders through Twin Cities

Revenue in Twin Cities, state is down substantially, in part due to delays caused by oil trains from N.D.
Affordable units in Blaine near $400K homes get Met Council subsidies

Affordable units in Blaine near $400K homes get Met Council subsidies

Grants go to controversial Habitat for Humanity homes in Blaine, but also to market-rate housing units in poor parts of St. Paul.
Obituary: Elayne Aiple, who sold massive land parcel for park on the St. Croix River

Obituary: Elayne Aiple, who sold massive land parcel for park on the St. Croix River

As a real estate agent, Karin Housley practically drooled when she was shown a magnificent parcel of property fronting thousands of feet of shoreline along…
Obituary: Crane Bodine built family's music business into Twin Cities chain

Obituary: Crane Bodine built family's music business into Twin Cities chain

Wherever Crane Bodine went for a time in the 1970s and ’80s, he drew a crowd of music lovers. “We have a picture of Dad…
Minnesota's married rate about to slip below 50 percent

Minnesota's married rate about to slip below 50 percent

Minnesota has one of the nation's highest rates of marriage, but it's sliding along with the rest of the country.
November water loss surprises scientists studying White Bear Lake

November water loss surprises scientists studying White Bear Lake

New research says evaporation is an issue in November, not just summer months.
State's big firms land near top in gay-friendly rankings

State's big firms land near top in gay-friendly rankings

Minnesota was called a "bastion of leadership" for its inclusive policies, with companies like 3M, Ameriprise and General Mills getting perfect scores.
Afton, other affluent exurbs denied state broadband funds

Afton, other affluent exurbs denied state broadband funds

The state of Minnesota awarded $10 million worth of grants this month to help subsidize broadband in poorly served remote locations. Once again, affluent exurban areas came up empty.
Woodbury reaches tentative deal to fill its cavernous, empty sports center

Woodbury reaches tentative deal to fill its cavernous, empty sports center

A tentative deal has been reached to fill two big empty spaces inside Woodbury's new fieldhouse, which was added in 2014. And the city is close to finishing the playground nearby, a costly venture that is well behind schedule after fundraising languished.

State considers sensitive issue of limiting water drawn from ground

Issue of setting a threshold for lakes, streams is highly charged.

Blame flies in all directions as Newport orders inquiry into police department

Report on department's shortcomings leads to an emotion-packed meeting.
Northeast metro put on notice over water use

Northeast metro put on notice over water use

Area covering all of Ramsey, Washington counties part of new management area.
Management of Newport police was in disarray, Washington County sheriff writes in scathing report

Management of Newport police was in disarray, Washington County sheriff writes in scathing report

Evidence room management was way 'out of whack,' sheriff says.
Most libraries close the book on coffee shops

Most libraries close the book on coffee shops

When Dakota County asked people in Eagan what they wanted in a remodeled library, the No. 1 item on the wish list had nothing to…
After the shock subsides, officials have high hopes for Shoreview library

After the shock subsides, officials have high hopes for Shoreview library

Construction is underway for a major new regional installation, the county's third, serving northern-tier suburbs
White Bear Lake theater group halfway to goal of new performing arts center

White Bear Lake theater group halfway to goal of new performing arts center

A popular theater company in White Bear Lake has reached the halfway mark in its campaign to raise $6.2 million for a new performing arts…
Donation creates a place for all to share Czech heritage in New Prague

Donation creates a place for all to share Czech heritage in New Prague

A privately funded addition to New Prague's library is meant to honor a Czech immigrant and the city's heritage, and provide a serene spot to read.
In wealthy exurbs, money can't buy you broadband

In wealthy exurbs, money can't buy you broadband

People are learning there's a price to life in wealthy, countrified enclaves of large-acreage estates surrounding the Twin Cities: the 21st century has silently melted away.
Schmooze cruise's message: Cottage Grove craves businesses

Schmooze cruise's message: Cottage Grove craves businesses

Two sparkling hours on the Mississippi sought to convey a new philosophy for the suburb.
Dancing a native prairie into life in White Bear Lake

Dancing a native prairie into life in White Bear Lake

Students at a White Bear Lake elementary school turned a weedy back lot into a science project.
Swede Hollow Park supporters keep up pressure over transit plans

Swede Hollow Park supporters keep up pressure over transit plans

Advocates for Swede Hollow Park are fighting to take it off the table as a possible path for the Rush Line transitway.
St. Paul lifting some Highland Park golf debt off its shoulders

St. Paul lifting some Highland Park golf debt off its shoulders

St. Paul a decade ago borrowed, through tax-exempt bonds, $4.5 million to renovate its 18-hole Highland National course.
An exceptional golf year in Twin Cities, thanks to exceptional weather

An exceptional golf year in Twin Cities, thanks to exceptional weather

Great weather, renovations have helped the market rebound.
Ramsey County Board poised to further restrict e-cigarettes

Ramsey County Board poised to further restrict e-cigarettes

New rules would fall in line with cigarette restrictions.
$42 million I-694 project will open blocked artery

$42 million I-694 project will open blocked artery

Work starts on I-694 next year, but there's an open house in Shoreview this month to prepare folks for what's coming.
Barnyard weddings boom with yearning for 'how we used to live'

Barnyard weddings boom with yearning for 'how we used to live'

It's a trend that some find enchanting, others perplexing and still others — notably, the longtime neighbors who got there first — find downright maddening.
St. Paul neighbors mobilize to fight transit route through Swede Hollow park

St. Paul neighbors mobilize to fight transit route through Swede Hollow park

St. Paul neighbors fear the Rush Line plan threatens reclaimed Swede Hollow Park.

Ramsey, Washington counties agree on price for recycling plant

Purchase of Newport site will save jobs, options for Ramsey, Washington.
Family of St. Paul man fatally shot by Woodbury police files suit

Family of St. Paul man fatally shot by Woodbury police files suit

The complaint says the unarmed man was trying to flee a hostage situation.

Gold Line busway may end in Lake Elmo, not Woodbury

A proposed Gold Line route change to a planned east metro bus line could cut project costs and, eventually, commuter travel times.

Maplewood fire chief, 5 others placed on leave after nursing home death

City officials mum but say they hope to conclude a preliminary investigation this week.

Woodbury creates unease by moving to redo cable deal

A neighboring mayor asks what the end game is, but Woodbury says it just wants a fair deal.
Splish, splash — and squander? Popular splash pads scorned by some for wasting water

Splish, splash — and squander? Popular splash pads scorned by some for wasting water

Splash pads take some heat for use of millions of gallons of water each season.
Stillwater author's history of Norway is first of its kind in 70 years

Stillwater author's history of Norway is first of its kind in 70 years

John Yilek explains his book "History of Norway."
Lake Elmo's new interim administrator seeks to 'keep city off front page'

Lake Elmo's new interim administrator seeks to 'keep city off front page'

Clark Schroeder comes from county government across Wisconsin border but is a 'local boy.'
Lake Elmo imposes moratorium on growth

Lake Elmo imposes moratorium on growth

Gold Line development potential influenced Lake Elmo decision to impose a moratorium on growth.
'Public nuisance' claims seek release of Boy Scouts' abuse files

'Public nuisance' claims seek release of Boy Scouts' abuse files

St. Paul attorney used same strategy to pry loose files from Catholic Church.
Lake Elmo slaps a ban on growth — at least for now

Lake Elmo slaps a ban on growth — at least for now

Council members say they need to "take a breath" in planning.
Invasive species battle gains force in east metro

Invasive species battle gains force in east metro

Warnings, inspections, plant killers: Campaign against invasive species gains force.
Minority growth is tapering off in Twin Cities suburbs

Minority growth is tapering off in Twin Cities suburbs

Rapid pace of minority growth between 2010 and 2014 has slowed from the previous decade, according to new Census Bureau estimates.
A long, thorny debate over development has taken its toll in Lake Elmo

A long, thorny debate over development has taken its toll in Lake Elmo

This month's messy departure of the city's top administrator marks the eighth time that job has changed hands since 2003.
Ironies lie behind St. Paul Park mayor's pursuit of rail safety

Ironies lie behind St. Paul Park mayor's pursuit of rail safety

Keith Franke ran complaining about the high cost of upgrading rail crossings. As his term ends, he finds himself wrestling with the issue again, but with a somewhat different perspective.
Washington County's new library chief arrives as system ponders future

Washington County's new library chief arrives as system ponders future

By choosing Keith Ryskoski, former Stillwater school district superintendent, libraries signal they are weighing school-like roles.
Lake Elmo to seek a new administrator — again

Lake Elmo to seek a new administrator — again

A "separation agreement" approved amid discord last week calls for a gradual exit for Dean Zuleger.
Lake Elmo administrator to depart after months of turmoil

Lake Elmo administrator to depart after months of turmoil

The move follows months of turmoil triggered by the election in November of a new council majority opposed to development moves he'd overseen.

Woodbury eager to help develop prime — but empty — parcels of land

To keep growth on track, the city is helping to remove hurdles to development.

Trash-plant purchase for Ramsey, Washington counties hits $6.6 million snag

Ramsey, Washington county commissioners concerned over a $6 million rise in project costs.

Trash costs drive Ramsey, Washington counties to consider Newport plant buyout

Washington and Ramsey counties believe they’re paying $8.4 million more than they need to, every year, just to deal with trash. But county officials admit…
Twin Cities suburbs race to build big sports facilities

Twin Cities suburbs race to build big sports facilities

Some cities could be taking financial risks with costly new recreational centers and sports amenities.
Sale of 'unique' school in Woodbury creating worries for parents

Sale of 'unique' school in Woodbury creating worries for parents

Child-centered Valley Crossing in Woodbury could change as it becomes part of South Washington district.

'Small town' style subdivision OK'd in Lake Elmo

Wildflower development is being pitched as a response to the bee problem, with plants for pollinators.
Birdhouse auction backing area arts offers dozens of witty micro-homes

Birdhouse auction backing area arts offers dozens of witty micro-homes

Just one of these things, in last year's auction, triggered a bidding war that lifted its price to an eye-popping $850.

Poll finds support for adding to Woodbury's Central Park

City officials will ponder the implications of the findings this spring and summer.
St. Croix River bridge project now halfway finished

St. Croix River bridge project now halfway finished

On both sides of St. Croix River, residents wait to see the impact of the new 20-story bridge.
Retired state demographer launching 2nd career as poet, author

Retired state demographer launching 2nd career as poet, author

For nearly 35 years, Tom Gillaspy was Minnesota's top numbers cruncher and interpreter. Now he's embracing his love for words from his acreage in rural Stillwater.
Ideas bubble up for lightly used Newport transit station

Ideas bubble up for lightly used Newport transit station

Officials are looking at ways to create some buzz and rider awareness.
Marine on St. Croix's General Store nears rare change of hands

Marine on St. Croix's General Store nears rare change of hands

The Marine General Store has only changed hands half a dozen times since the Civil War. So it means a lot to the people in town when it goes up for sale. They grow anxious that something might change, because they have it pretty good.
Lake Elmo council seeks to 'move past' bitter tensions

Lake Elmo council seeks to 'move past' bitter tensions

A new majority sought to show it did listen when a hubbub erupted over separation from Administrator Dean Zuleger.

Census finds Twin Cities suburban growth yet to rebound

Census finds that once fastest-growing segments are being eclipsed by Hennepin-Ramsey numbers.
March 25, 2015: Lake Elmo council offers its city administrator a respite

March 25, 2015: Lake Elmo council offers its city administrator a respite

Peace is threatening to break out in the Washington County city of Lake Elmo after weeks of turbulence. The City Council is offering City Administrator Dean Zuleger a chance to stay on until at least next January.
St. Croix bridge's surface is being spit out, segment by segment

St. Croix bridge's surface is being spit out, segment by segment

A site on Grey Cloud Island holds the 170-ton "bridge segments" that will span the St. Croix.
Fury likely to build over Met Council's affordable housing plan

Fury likely to build over Met Council's affordable housing plan

Anger already erupted in Carver over plans for apartments, and the council is about to announce proposed new goals for across the Twin Cities.
South Washington district will decide who goes to what high school

South Washington district will decide who goes to what high school

The South Washington school board makes that call this month, then moves on to other grades.
Lake Elmo administrator will shift to consulting role

Lake Elmo administrator will shift to consulting role

Lake Elmo's newly elected council voted to separate from its administrator, despite support for him.
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