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Eric Roper

Reporter | Minneapolis
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
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.

Minneapolis settles more lawsuits over snooping in driver database

Some government employees improperly checked records.
Osseo water tower primed for position on national historic register

Osseo water tower primed for position on national historic register

It's no longer in use but will join likely join the National Register of Historic Places in early 2017.
Pedestrian deaths in Minn. for 2016 were at a 25-year high

Pedestrian deaths in Minn. for 2016 were at a 25-year high

Last year, 60 pedestrians died on Minnesota roads, 19 more than in 2015, state officials said. The last time that many died was in 1991, with 61.
Case before state court tests routine housing inspections

Case before state court tests routine housing inspections

Dispute over Golden Valley housing inspections has landed in the state's highest court and is attracting national attention.
New city office building in Downtown East will replace parking ramp

New city office building in Downtown East will replace parking ramp

Minneapolis is looking to consolidate its scattered downtown employees.
Factoring in inflation, cities collect and spend less than they did a decade ago

Factoring in inflation, cities collect and spend less than they did a decade ago

Officials say cuts in staffing and spending made during the recession haven't been restored.
Aging, corroded regional sewers get multi-million dollar repairs

Aging, corroded regional sewers get multi-million dollar repairs

Corrosion has eaten away at the vast network of hidden pipes that disposes the Twin Cities' wastewater, which is why the Metropolitan Council is pursuing the largest rehabilitation effort in the system's history.
Historic home in Chaska to be razed because city can't afford $500K in repairs

Historic home in Chaska to be razed because city can't afford $500K in repairs

The Ess House needed major repairs after a fire.
$1.3B Mpls. budget for 2017 approved; most to see property tax increase

$1.3B Mpls. budget for 2017 approved; most to see property tax increase

Mayor Betsy Hodges is seeking new spending to hire 15 new police officers.
Sculpture Clock being restored to whirl again on Nicollet Mall

Sculpture Clock being restored to whirl again on Nicollet Mall

Artwork from 1968 to be restored to its rightful place on Nicollet Mall.
Does it cost more in taxes to own a home in Minneapolis or St. Paul?

Does it cost more in taxes to own a home in Minneapolis or St. Paul?

The two cities are finalizing their 2017 budgets, but city taxes make up a small share of a homeowners' total obligation for services.
Renters caught in middle as cities spend years battling landlords to fix problem properties

Renters caught in middle as cities spend years battling landlords to fix problem properties

While the Stephen Frenz case has taken extra twists and turns, even more straightforward license revocations can lead to a lengthy process for city regulators.
Former Minneapolis freeway ramp to reopen for cyclists, pedestrians

Former Minneapolis freeway ramp to reopen for cyclists, pedestrians

An initial plan to include vehicles on the connection between Cedar-Riverside and downtown spurred backlash from some residents.
'Skyway Avoidance Society' aims to lure people back to Minneapolis sidewalks

'Skyway Avoidance Society' aims to lure people back to Minneapolis sidewalks

Eric Dayton asks members to choose sidewalks over skyways to revive downtown streets.
Concerns about skyways' impact on downtown still unaddressed

Concerns about skyways' impact on downtown still unaddressed

The arrival of the Super Bowl in just over a year has renewed interest in skyways, which some fault for leaving sidewalks empty.

Minneapolis weighs new rules to make Uptown more walkable

Full council will hear the proposal to improve walkability on Friday.
Public parking ramp's new Mills Fleet Farm name benefits Vikings

Public parking ramp's new Mills Fleet Farm name benefits Vikings

The original stadium use agreement called for the team to split the naming rights with the state agency that owns the ramp and the stadium. But last year the Sports Facilities Authority struck a new deal that allowed the Vikings to collect all the renaming revenue — an undisclosed amount — from the ramp.
Homes in low-income neighborhoods rake in rent for out-of-staters

Homes in low-income neighborhoods rake in rent for out-of-staters

Investment company has snapped up properties, with the highest concentrations in Minneapolis' Camden and Near North communities and the Payne-Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul.
Minneapolis will try to smooth bar closing traffic with extra staffers

Minneapolis will try to smooth bar closing traffic with extra staffers

The city plans to deploy a dozen traffic agents and licensing inspectors to smooth bar traffic downtown.
Future brightens for Skyway Senior Center in Minneapolis

Future brightens for Skyway Senior Center in Minneapolis

A big donation and hope of a new operator are keeping doors open.
High-tech van scans Minneapolis streets in search of flaws

High-tech van scans Minneapolis streets in search of flaws

It's the latest Minnesota city to move away from workers scanning the roads manually.
Plans for remodeled Nicollet Mall leave popcorn wagon behind

Plans for remodeled Nicollet Mall leave popcorn wagon behind

The Red Wagon's owner, Essam Fawzy, said he has broken into tears during calls with the city trying to work out an arrangement.
First Ave pitches 10,000-seat amphitheater for north Mpls. port

First Ave pitches 10,000-seat amphitheater for north Mpls. port

Downtown Minneapolis club is part of a group with plans for an amphitheater at an all-new Upper Harbor.
Obituary: Dance pro Dean Constantine invited black musicians downtown

Obituary: Dance pro Dean Constantine invited black musicians downtown

Downtown Minneapolis clubs wouldn’t book black musicians in the late 1960s. Then Dean Constantine threw open the doors to the Foshay Tower. Constantine’s King Solomon’s…
Mpls. City Council dismisses ethics complaint against Alondra Cano

Mpls. City Council dismisses ethics complaint against Alondra Cano

The council found Cano violated the "aspirations" of the city ethics code, but not its rules when she tweeted critics' contact information.
Minneapolis study of $15 minimum wage cites benefits, draws skepticism

Minneapolis study of $15 minimum wage cites benefits, draws skepticism

The City Council wants a minimum wage policy recommendation by mid-2017.
Hot market for buyers is driving loss of affordable rentals in Twin Cities

Hot market for buyers is driving loss of affordable rentals in Twin Cities

It seems not a week goes by lately without news about low-income tenants forced to move when their landlord sells their apartment building to investors.…

Amid economic growth, Minneapolis and St. Paul weigh property tax hikes

Minneapolis and St. Paul want to boost collection by millions of dollars.
Move over rotary phones – meter readers join ranks of the relics

Move over rotary phones – meter readers join ranks of the relics

The days when a city employee went door-to-door checking water use are coming to a close in the Twin Cities area, as most cities have installed meters that send readings via radio signal. In many cities, a van cruises by once a month to pick up the signals.
Tenants win back rent, more time at affordable Minneapolis apartment building

Tenants win back rent, more time at affordable Minneapolis apartment building

New owners of tattered Park Laurel apartments tell residents that they can stay until Nov. 30, rent-free.
Why 2016 might be the deadliest year for Minnesota pedestrians in a long time

Why 2016 might be the deadliest year for Minnesota pedestrians in a long time

Minnesota crash statistics paint a glum picture of pedestrian deaths in 2016, and the long-term trends around pedestrian injuries aren't much better.
Preservationists urge action to save steel grain elevators near U

Preservationists urge action to save steel grain elevators near U

Regents will vote on razing steel grain silos for athletic facilities.
Before ethics vote, Mpls. council member warns of evidence vs. colleagues

Before ethics vote, Mpls. council member warns of evidence vs. colleagues

The ethics complaint stems from Cano's tweets during a Black Lives Matter protest in December.
St. Paul City Council weighs largest tax increase since recession

St. Paul City Council weighs largest tax increase since recession

A plan for a maximum property-tax increase of 8.6 percent faces a likely veto.
Minneapolis puts embattled landlord Stephen Frenz on notice

Minneapolis puts embattled landlord Stephen Frenz on notice

Officials have launched an investigation into the apartment buildings he owns, warning that he could be stripped of his rental licenses if he misrepresented his ownership of the properties.
Village Market mall construction aggravates tensions in south Minneapolis

Village Market mall construction aggravates tensions in south Minneapolis

Residents have concerns about the mall's role in the community.
Tenants getting squeezed from inexpensive downtown Mpls. refuge

Tenants getting squeezed from inexpensive downtown Mpls. refuge

Plans to rehab Park Laurel apartment complex concern advocates for the poor.
Bicycle commuting at highest rate ever in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Bicycle commuting at highest rate ever in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Minneapolis is among the nation's highest with about 5 percent of city workers now bike commuting, according to the American Community Survey.
Minneapolis house previously slated for black history museum to become apartments

Minneapolis house previously slated for black history museum to become apartments

The plan for Coe Mansion Apartments won initial approval Tuesday from the city's Heritage Preservation Commission.
Activists for $15 wage rally in north Minneapolis

Activists for $15 wage rally in north Minneapolis

Because the issue won't be on the Minneapolis ballot, supporters seek faster action.
New leader aims to boost public access TV in Minneapolis

New leader aims to boost public access TV in Minneapolis

Chief at MTN hopes to find new funding sources and diversify programming.

Minneapolis seeks help with workplace rules

Minneapolis is looking for people to advise the city on workplace regulations. The city began soliciting applications Thursday for the new Workplace Advisory Committee, which…
Minneapolis weighs whether to allow alcohol at new Commons park

Minneapolis weighs whether to allow alcohol at new Commons park

Drinking on the sly may not be necessary at Minneapolis' newest park, the Commons in front of U.S. Bank Stadium, if a proposal to allow parkgoers to bring their own booze during certain events prevails at City Hall.

Federal court deals blow to Minn. driver data snooping cases

The ruling, the second from the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, is the latest to narrow which queries should be considered improper.
Court rules $15 minimum wage won't go on Mpls. ballot

Court rules $15 minimum wage won't go on Mpls. ballot

The state's highest court found that neither $15 minimum wage nor police insurance rule met legal standards.

Most Mpls. homeowners could see property tax increase

About 60% of Minneapolis homeowners would see increases under Hodges' 2017 proposal.
IDs revealed of 2 on Utah-bound firetruck that died in crash on 35W

IDs revealed of 2 on Utah-bound firetruck that died in crash on 35W

Nine people were in the vehicle and many had serious injuries, according to the State Patrol.
Mayor Hodges pitches $10.5 million overhaul of Minneapolis Convention Center plaza

Mayor Hodges pitches $10.5 million overhaul of Minneapolis Convention Center plaza

It's the fourth-largest infrastructure item in Hodges' budget proposal, which was released last week and must be approved by the City Council.
U taps new general counsel from Stinson Leonard Street

U taps new general counsel from Stinson Leonard Street

Douglas Peterson also has been a federal prosecutor.
Addiction treatment services launch in Blaisdell Av. mansion in Minneapolis

Addiction treatment services launch in Blaisdell Av. mansion in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis building's conversion spurred fight about supportive housing in Whittier.
Stadium Village stores due for demolition made mark on life of Hubert Humphrey

Stadium Village stores due for demolition made mark on life of Hubert Humphrey

Humphrey worked as a pharmacist on the corner to support himself through college at the University of Minnesota in the late 1930s.
Minneapolis City Council considers ethics complaint against Alondra Cano

Minneapolis City Council considers ethics complaint against Alondra Cano

Council member drew backlash last year after tweeting her critics' contact information.
Minneapolis 4-H program brings science, technology to Somali youth

Minneapolis 4-H program brings science, technology to Somali youth

A Minneapolis grant funds the Cedar-Riverside area club.
Fed-up tenants take major Minneapolis landlord to trial over violations

Fed-up tenants take major Minneapolis landlord to trial over violations

Stephen Frenz is on trial in Hennepin County housing court, accused of fostering substandard conditions at a south Minneapolis apartment building. City records show he has more violations than other landlords with large apartment buildings.
Embattled Minneapolis landlord Stephen Frenz plans to sell eight buildings

Embattled Minneapolis landlord Stephen Frenz plans to sell eight buildings

Tenants and officials fear new owners of the eight Minneapolis buildings will raise rents.
Last gun shop in Minneapolis closes amid tighter zoning rules

Last gun shop in Minneapolis closes amid tighter zoning rules

Suburban stores and zoning fights took a toll.
Auction buyers breathe new life into vacant North Side homes

Auction buyers breathe new life into vacant North Side homes

Half of buyers on track to finish rehabs in county's first year of new program.
New public square to liven up W. Broadway in Minneapolis

New public square to liven up W. Broadway in Minneapolis

Freedom Square was unveiled, along with new benches and bike racks.
Public-private partnership brings new life to Plymouth and Penn

Public-private partnership brings new life to Plymouth and Penn

Hennepin County would contribute $67 million.
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