Staff Directory 62906482

Eric Roper

Reporter | Twin Cities
phone: 612-673-1732
Eric Roper covers the Twin Cities metropolitan area and the Metropolitan Council. He previously covered the city of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Legislature at the Capitol and the state's congressional delegation at the paper's Washington bureau.
Recent content from Eric Roper
The Twin Cities needs gravel to grow, but there's less of it every day

The Twin Cities needs gravel to grow, but there's less of it every day

The region is increasingly reliant on mines in the southeast metro to make our concrete and asphalt, a resource that's a lot cheaper if it's local.
Golf courses give way to new housing amid demand for land

Golf courses give way to new housing amid demand for land

More than 900 acres of golf courses have been redeveloped across the metro.
Farms and factories fade in burgeoning metro cities

Farms and factories fade in burgeoning metro cities

Three suburbs and two central cities led the metro area in the most acres changed to a new land use between 2010 and 2016. Here's which ones, and why.
Barricades are being removed on south end of Nicollet Mall

Barricades are being removed on south end of Nicollet Mall

The mall's new design elements are also starting to take shape, from tree plantings and new seating areas to a mirrored "light walk" between 6th and 7th streets.
Hopkins project adds novelty to Mainstreet storefronts

Hopkins project adds novelty to Mainstreet storefronts

The city hopes 'Friendly Fronts' program proves popular with downtown pedestrians.
Obituary: Melisande Charles helped breathe life into Minneapolis' Warehouse District

Obituary: Melisande Charles helped breathe life into Minneapolis' Warehouse District

Minneapolis got more than a bureaucrat when it hired Melisande Charles to lead its new arts commission. It got a whole new neighborhood.
East metro trash will be trucked to county-owned facility in Newport

East metro trash will be trucked to county-owned facility in Newport

Ramsey, Washington county haulers will be required to truck garbage to Newport facility.
St. Paul mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson envisions a greener city

St. Paul mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson envisions a greener city

Third-party hopeful fights for sustainable energy, eco-minded jobs and industry.
Woodbury ruling may shift road development costs to taxpayers

Woodbury ruling may shift road development costs to taxpayers

A developer sued Woodbury over a fee to pay for roads outside a new subdivision and won, a ruling that could affect development across the metro area.
Golden Valley debuts Minnesota's first playground 'challenge course'

Golden Valley debuts Minnesota's first playground 'challenge course'

The city debuted the state's first such timed obstacle course and a new accessible playground.
Wear comfortable shoes: St. Paul hosts national conference for walkers

Wear comfortable shoes: St. Paul hosts national conference for walkers

The national event focuses on the issues facing pedestrians in the U.S. and included a number of tours around the Twin Cities.
Driverless future gets put to the test at St. Louis Park event

Driverless future gets put to the test at St. Louis Park event

Legislators, academics and tech experts gathered to talk self-driving cars.
Citizens League recommends St. Paul explore nonprofit donations to city budget

Citizens League recommends St. Paul explore nonprofit donations to city budget

Recommendation follows ruling that derailed city's street maintenance assessments.
State Fair could hit 2 million in attendance for first time

State Fair could hit 2 million in attendance for first time

Before Labor Day's large, merry crowd, which isn't counted until today, this year's total attendance was 1,826,021 — just 117,698 fair-lovers away from reaching a new high.
New Met Council chair sits down with Anoka County Board, which has fought for more control

New Met Council chair sits down with Anoka County Board, which has fought for more control

The visit by Alene Tchourumoff was part of her tour of the Twin Cities.
Chaska considers a pedestrian-friendly vision for downtown block

Chaska considers a pedestrian-friendly vision for downtown block

The city is hiring a consultant to begin sketching a vision for City Square West in downtown.
Minneapolis to launch drones to survey sewer problems

Minneapolis to launch drones to survey sewer problems

The city is experimenting with the technology as part of its annual smoke testing of the sewers.
Legal fight over Woodbury fees could echo across Twin Cities area

Legal fight over Woodbury fees could echo across Twin Cities area

At issue is whether developers or taxpayers should bear the brunt of road projects that are needed to accommodate growth but are located outside of a new subdivision. "This is a landmark case," the executive director of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities says.
Riverfront overhaul for Water Works park gets underway in Minneapolis

Riverfront overhaul for Water Works park gets underway in Minneapolis

Demolition will begin next month on the former Fuji-Ya restaurant site.
Fatal stabbing puts safety at downtown Mpls. parking ramps in the spotlight

Fatal stabbing puts safety at downtown Mpls. parking ramps in the spotlight

Before the killing of Mai Yer Cha, parking areas near Target Field had seen a spike in violence.
Dayton: New Met Council Chairwoman Alene Tchourumoff must 'bring people together'

Dayton: New Met Council Chairwoman Alene Tchourumoff must 'bring people together'

But challenges abound as Alene Tchourumoff becomes the regional agency's new leader.
Minnesota planners begin to envision driverless future

Minnesota planners begin to envision driverless future

Minnesota is starting to confront what promises to be the biggest shift in urban living since cars arrived a century ago.
Hennepin Co. considers requiring curbside organics recycling

Hennepin Co. considers requiring curbside organics recycling

The plan would divert food waste away from landfills and garbage burners.
Minneapolis police chief resigns; protesters shout down mayor

Minneapolis police chief resigns; protesters shout down mayor

Protesters interrupted Mayor Betsy Hodges' news conference at City Hall. Earlier, Hodges said she would name Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo to replace Janeé Harteau, who resigned.

Met Council set to dole out $4 million to clean polluted sites

Most projects receiving funds are in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Minnesota Supreme Court rules against challenge to rental property inspections

Minnesota Supreme Court rules against challenge to rental property inspections

The justices ruled routine city inspections don't violate renters' privacy.

Minneapolis Republicans endorse six candidates for city elections

They are seeking seats on the City Council and Park Board.
Mpls. curbside composting yields less waste than expected

Mpls. curbside composting yields less waste than expected

Minneapolis residents eagerly participated in the first year of the city's new organics recycling program — the largest of its kind in the metro — but so far they're tossing less than anticipated in the green curbside bins.
Minnesota mulls new infrastructure for likely electric-car surge

Minnesota mulls new infrastructure for likely electric-car surge

Still a novelty in the state, electric vehicles are poised at the edge of the mainstream with the coming release of several more affordable models boasting lengthy ranges.
Gordon Voss, who represented Blaine in the Minnesota House, dies in crash

Gordon Voss, who represented Blaine in the Minnesota House, dies in crash

Voss, a DFLer who represented Blaine in the House for 15 years, died June 21 in a Wayzata car crash. He was 79.
Landfills sue state over push to burn more garbage

Landfills sue state over push to burn more garbage

Major trash firms challenge the push to burn waste for energy instead of landfill burial.
Twin Cities metro's outward sprawl slowed following recession

Twin Cities metro's outward sprawl slowed following recession

Met Council survey finds greater density and more apartments in urban areas.
Landlords sue Mpls. over anti-discrimination law

Landlords sue Mpls. over anti-discrimination law

The ordinance is slated to go into effect next year.
Chairman Duininck to leave Met Council; Tchourumoff appointed to top post

Chairman Duininck to leave Met Council; Tchourumoff appointed to top post

Tchourumoff has been the state's rail director.
Minneapolis, St. Paul gain larger slice of metro population

Minneapolis, St. Paul gain larger slice of metro population

For the first time in a century, the central cities' share of the metro area's population is on pace to grow instead of shrink, a stunning reversal that long seemed unlikely. And the shift is most noticeable in the downtowns.
Office to End Homelessness in Hennepin County gets a new leader

Office to End Homelessness in Hennepin County gets a new leader

David Hewitt ready to take over joint efforts with Minneapolis.
Minneapolis considers regulations for short-term rentals like Airbnb

Minneapolis considers regulations for short-term rentals like Airbnb

City would follow St. Paul's lead ahead of next year's Super Bowl.
House arrest, probation for driver convicted of tougher charge in pedestrian crash

House arrest, probation for driver convicted of tougher charge in pedestrian crash

A jury convicted Jake Mattern of a gross misdemeanor in the death of Rachel David.
Be sure to recycle, not 'wish-cycle'

Be sure to recycle, not 'wish-cycle'

A group of recyclers, waste haulers, and city, county and state officials has been meeting for the past year to develop clearer and more consistent guidelines for the public about what's acceptable to toss in curbside recycling bins — and what's not.
Budget bill could invite more challenges of Met Council's regional plans

Budget bill could invite more challenges of Met Council's regional plans

Legislature has for first time redesignated land in the Met Council's regional plans.
Historic Grain Belt Beer sign ready to light up Mpls. riverfront

Historic Grain Belt Beer sign ready to light up Mpls. riverfront

Restoration project just needs city's approval to go forward.
In Shakopee, Sioux finding ways to recycle rainwater

In Shakopee, Sioux finding ways to recycle rainwater

The project will reuse storm runoff for residential lawns.
Bonding bill includes $115M for projects in Mpls., St. Paul

Bonding bill includes $115M for projects in Mpls., St. Paul

Road projects and the Como Zoo seal habitat are among the projects included in the bill.
As the Met Council turns 50, the regional agency faces fresh challenges

As the Met Council turns 50, the regional agency faces fresh challenges

The region has grown dramatically since 1967, and its unique government has evolved along with it.
Our changing region: See how the Twin Cities has changed in 50 years

Our changing region: See how the Twin Cities has changed in 50 years

The Twin Cities has changed dramatically since the founding of the Met Council 50 years ago.
Minneapolis is experiencing a population boom like the Roaring Twenties

Minneapolis is experiencing a population boom like the Roaring Twenties

The latest Met Council estimates show strong growth in the central cities, though the region as a whole has kept pace, too.
From flush to fertilizer? U tries reusing ash from human waste

From flush to fertilizer? U tries reusing ash from human waste

It's usually hauled to landfill in Rosemount. But last week, U researchers instead sprinkled bags of ash on a farm field down the road, in hopes that the phosphorus-rich powder will have a future as fertilizer.
Senate OKs bill to overhaul the Met Council

Senate OKs bill to overhaul the Met Council

But uphill battle expected to win Gov. Mark Dayton's approval.
From toilet water to tap water? Minn. considers wastewater reuse

From toilet water to tap water? Minn. considers wastewater reuse

State and regional officials are looking for ways to squeeze more out of the water that spins down our drains.
Allegations against Thao showcase complexities of campaign finance

Allegations against Thao showcase complexities of campaign finance

State court data show only one conviction in 5 years.
Three Rivers hopes 'on ramps' will improve connection to regional trails

Three Rivers hopes 'on ramps' will improve connection to regional trails

A series of projects for better access are planned in five Hennepin County communities.
Minnesota at risk of losing seat in Congress after 2020 census

Minnesota at risk of losing seat in Congress after 2020 census

Minnesota's representation in the U.S. House could shrink from eight to seven in what would be the first loss in a half-century.
Met Council poised to relieve exurban city over pipe built for ambitious growth

Met Council poised to relieve exurban city over pipe built for ambitious growth

Costs stem from a $16M sewer pipe constructed for growth that never came.
Musician Jack Pearson, who packed important lessons in whimsical verses, dies at 63

Musician Jack Pearson, who packed important lessons in whimsical verses, dies at 63

Musician Jack Pearson sometimes sang: “If us kids ran the world, everything would be fine.” The line came at the end of a tune about…
Rising cost of Metro Mobility could threaten other transit services

Rising cost of Metro Mobility could threaten other transit services

Mounting costs could affect all transit services.
Twin Cities population growth lags other major U.S. cities

Twin Cities population growth lags other major U.S. cities

Other major U.S. cities have jumped ahead.
Proposed trail aims to bring people to the Crow River in western suburbs

Proposed trail aims to bring people to the Crow River in western suburbs

Crow River Regional Trail would pass through three counties and 10 cities.
Appeals court rules against Minneapolis landlord Mahmood Khan

Appeals court rules against Minneapolis landlord Mahmood Khan

City officials began efforts to revoke Khan's licenses more than two years ago.
In Oak Grove, a fight over sprawling development illustrates Met Council tensions

In Oak Grove, a fight over sprawling development illustrates Met Council tensions

Oak Grove envisions large rural lots while agency pushes controlled growth.
Carver County surpasses 100,000 people in latest Census estimates

Carver County surpasses 100,000 people in latest Census estimates

Growth of southwestern suburban counties is rapid, with Scott and Carver leading the state in growth as a share of population over the past six years.
Art shanties moving to Minneapolis in 2018

Art shanties moving to Minneapolis in 2018

The Twin Cities' art-infused homage to ice fishing is headed to the City of Lakes next year after stints on Medicine and White Bear lakes.
Historic abandoned island in Carver County prepares to welcome new visitors

Historic abandoned island in Carver County prepares to welcome new visitors

Coney Island in Lake Waconia, once a summer attraction, will become part of a new park.
Deluge of boxes challenges recyclers, building owners

Deluge of boxes challenges recyclers, building owners

The onslaught of boxes is changing recycling and traffic patterns, inspiring thieves and even forcing changes in building design.
Met Council to examine sewer expansion rules

Met Council to examine sewer expansion rules

Two council members raised concerns about policies governing new developments.
GOP critics at Capitol take aim at Met Council structure

GOP critics at Capitol take aim at Met Council structure

They say the Met Council isn't accountable enough to citizens it represents; critics say the proposal would create conflicts of interest.
Exurbs built sewer facilities for growth that never arrived

Exurbs built sewer facilities for growth that never arrived

An idea by the Metropolitan Council 15 years ago to rein in sprawl by offering wastewater service to rural mini-cities hasn't panned out. It spent upward of $40 million building the sewer pipe for Elko New Market and a wastewater plant in East Bethel that the communities now can't afford.
Blaine's water safe to drink again

Blaine's water safe to drink again

City says a malfunction that led to a boil advisory Monday was unrelated to previous one in January.
To bury or burn? Why we're landfilling more than before

To bury or burn? Why we're landfilling more than before

The amount of Twin Cities waste being sent to landfills has far outpaced additional trash being generated in the last quarter century. State officials attribute much of the rise to a decline in burning garbage.
Chaska eyes farmland at its edge for business park, housing

Chaska eyes farmland at its edge for business park, housing

Development of the 2,000 acre area could take 20 years.
Transportation board taps 58 Minn. projects for $208M in federal funds

Transportation board taps 58 Minn. projects for $208M in federal funds

$208 million would fuel highway, transit and other infrastructure projects.
Mpls. Council Member Cano rebuked for defying City Hall security

Mpls. Council Member Cano rebuked for defying City Hall security

A letter from three officials took her to task for defying guards preventing after-hours entrance to City Hall.
Twin Cities homebuilders and cities square off at the Capitol

Twin Cities homebuilders and cities square off at the Capitol

Both sides want more control over moratoriums.
Obituary: Doug Clobes built community through bowling and music

Obituary: Doug Clobes built community through bowling and music

Bowlers at Midway Pro Bowl gathered around Doug Clobes' unused bowling shoes and ball after their regular Friday night league one recent evening, reminiscing about…
MPCA pushes to keep Twin Cities trash burning at capacity

MPCA pushes to keep Twin Cities trash burning at capacity

As the state pushes trash burning, some haulers are pushing back
Former Fridley weapons plant gets grant to help with cleanup

Former Fridley weapons plant gets grant to help with cleanup

The Metropolitan Council approved $2.8 million in Livable Communities grants this week.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune