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Eric Roper

Reporter | Minneapolis
phone: 612-673-1732
Eric Roper covers the city of Minneapolis with a focus on City Hall. He previously covered the Minnesota Legislature at the Capitol and the state's congressional delegation at the paper's Washington bureau.
Recent content from Eric Roper
Crash that closed down I-35W in Blaine for hours has killed two people

Crash that closed down I-35W in Blaine for hours has killed two people

Eight people were in a 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.

Data drop: Hennepin County library system ranks nationally

Summer reading season is in full swing, and residents of Hennepin County should have no trouble finding a book.A Star Tribune analysis of national library…
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.
Mayor Hodges' budget proposal: more police

Mayor Hodges' budget proposal: more police

Minneapolis spending plan would rely on 5.5 percent levy hike, largest in six years.
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.
Want a piece of '90s Minneapolis? Nicollet Mall granite for sale

Want a piece of '90s Minneapolis? Nicollet Mall granite for sale

Minnesota's signature pedestrian mall is getting ripped up, so why not rebuild part of it in your backyard?
Plan to reconnect Cedar-Riverside, downtown Mpls. hits roadblock

Plan to reconnect Cedar-Riverside, downtown Mpls. hits roadblock

The idea, called "Samatar Crossing" in tribute to the city's first Somali politician, was a parting priority for former Mayor R.T. Rybak.
Taxes to pay for now-open U.S. Bank Stadium rebound, thanks to gamblers

Taxes to pay for now-open U.S. Bank Stadium rebound, thanks to gamblers

Recovering from stumble, pulltab revenue is soaring. And there is further optimism in Minneapolis.
Celebration marks opening of the Commons park near stadium

Celebration marks opening of the Commons park near stadium

Meet downtown's new front yard
Family finds closure after 3-year battle for justice over cyclist's death

Family finds closure after 3-year battle for justice over cyclist's death

Driver gets 39 months in the hit-and-run death of bicyclist Jessica Hanson.
Vacant Minneapolis grain elevator may become self-storage instead of housing

Vacant Minneapolis grain elevator may become self-storage instead of housing

Bought at auction in 2015, the site could store goods, not grain.
Health warning draws attention to color of LED streetlights in Twin Cities

Health warning draws attention to color of LED streetlights in Twin Cities

The golden glow of Twin Cities streetlights will soon give way to the whiter hue of LED technology, raising new questions about the color and feel of our neighborhoods.
Obituary: Florence Cobb instructed generations of dancers at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Obituary: Florence Cobb instructed generations of dancers at Minnesota State University, Mankato

From the segregated schools of Nashville to the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato, the tireless dance instructor encouraged generations of students to express themselves through their bodies — and convinced administrators that it was a legitimate academic and artistic pursuit. Cobb, 95, died at her Burnsville home June 24.
Ex-Gopher survives venomous snake bite only to land in court battle

Ex-Gopher survives venomous snake bite only to land in court battle

A midnight bite from a rare venomous snake was just the beginning of Nathan Tow-Arnett's animal problems.

Golden Leaf tobacco shop may lose license over unpaid taxes

The state says Golden Leaf owes $774,528 in unpaid tobacco taxes.
Minneapolis buys Downtown East Commons park for $20M

Minneapolis buys Downtown East Commons park for $20M

The "Great Lawn" is sodded, trees are being planted and lighting soon will be installed at the nearly two-block park bisected by Portland Avenue, near the new U.S. Bank stadium.
That's not funny: Threat to Acme comedy club brings crowd to City Hall

That's not funny: Threat to Acme comedy club brings crowd to City Hall

Developer of apartments nearby and the city hope to work out a parking plan for the club.

Minneapolis mulls new city office building downtown

After years leasing downtown office space and deferring maintenance on city-owned facilities, Minneapolis officials may demolish a parking ramp and erect a new building to…
Bicyclists strap on monitors to measure Twin Cities air quality

Bicyclists strap on monitors to measure Twin Cities air quality

Pedalers will help scientists determine how pollution varies across the Twin Cities.
Case of Hennepin Avenue pedestrian death will test new state law

Case of Hennepin Avenue pedestrian death will test new state law

Reckless driving was a misdemeanor until 2015, when the Legislature made it a gross misdemeanor in circumstances that result in great bodily harm.
Minneapolis, small businesses not fully paid a year after Senior Games

Minneapolis, small businesses not fully paid a year after Senior Games

The local organizing group says it's out of money.
Move Mpls. leader is fired after scathing city audit

Move Mpls. leader is fired after scathing city audit

Dan MacLaughlin was let go following a city audit last month that uncovered overbilling and deleted files.
Minneapolis taps public works leader from Salt Lake City

Minneapolis taps public works leader from Salt Lake City

Hodges' pick has experience with "complete streets," transit.
Downtown Mpls. construction is worth the trouble, leaders insist

Downtown Mpls. construction is worth the trouble, leaders insist

A new website will offer updates on at least 12 major projects downtown, including Nicollet Mall. Its redo was launched by the officials.
Move Minneapolis leader fires back at scathing city audit

Move Minneapolis leader fires back at scathing city audit

"No funds have been misappropriated. No one got rich off doing business with [Move Minneapolis]," Dan MacLaughlin, who was placed on leave, said in an interview.
Audit: Nonprofit Move Minneapolis overbilled feds, destroyed documents

Audit: Nonprofit Move Minneapolis overbilled feds, destroyed documents

The director has been put on leave as city auditors look into the group's spending.
Most drivers in crashes that kill pedestrians don't face charges

Most drivers in crashes that kill pedestrians don't face charges

Between 2010 and 2014, there were 3,069 crashes with pedestrians in the Twin Cities and its suburbs. 95 were killed. 28 drivers were charged. But many of the deaths weren't even judged worth a traffic ticket.
Southwest LRT report outlines noise, visual impact near lakes

Southwest LRT report outlines noise, visual impact near lakes

The project's environmental impact statement also detailed remedies.
Proposal would open more Minneapolis apartments to Section 8 housing vouchers

Proposal would open more Minneapolis apartments to Section 8 housing vouchers

Minneapolis proposal would force landlords to accept housing vouchers.

Minneapolis sorts out details ahead of downtown stadium park opening

Downtown park near stadium is set to open, but lack of Portland crosswalk raises questions.
St. Paul crosswalk safety event calls on drivers to yield to pedestrians

St. Paul crosswalk safety event calls on drivers to yield to pedestrians

Police ticket drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians as Stop For Me campaign gets underway.

Minneapolis approves $800 million plan to fix roads, parks

The Park Board will still need to pass its own version of 20-year plan.
Minneapolis parks, roads maintenance plan clears key council hurdle

Minneapolis parks, roads maintenance plan clears key council hurdle

A committee featuring the City Council OK'd the $800M plan.
Mpls. reaches $800M deal to pay for road, park repairs

Mpls. reaches $800M deal to pay for road, park repairs

Deal would set "new level of service" for maintaining the city's streets, and overhaul deteriorating park facilities across the city.

Datadrop: What we're tossing out, but could be recycling

Minnesotans are sending about a third less recyclable material to landfills than they were a decade ago, but plastic bags are nonetheless being trashed in…
Minneapolis ditches 'honor boxes' at parking lots

Minneapolis ditches 'honor boxes' at parking lots

About 30 unattended lots will need to accept payments electronically or by phone.
What you've been throwing away, but could be recycling

What you've been throwing away, but could be recycling

Data tracking recyclable items that ended up in landfills or at incinerators shows Minnesotans are trashing less than they used to overall, but more of some items like plastic bags and bottles.
Met Council touts developments near LRT stops

Met Council touts developments near LRT stops

About $4 billion in projects with the biggest built in Minneapolis.
Obituary: Carl Auerbach, former law school dean and liberal political confidant

Obituary: Carl Auerbach, former law school dean and liberal political confidant

Carl Auerbach’s century-long life had a remarkable number of chapters, each brushing up against some of the most consequential figures and events of the 20th…
Empty lots linger a year after a fire ravaged W. Broadway

Empty lots linger a year after a fire ravaged W. Broadway

The cause of W. Broadway blaze is still a mystery.
Mpls. rapid bus project on Penn Avenue faces new delay

Mpls. rapid bus project on Penn Avenue faces new delay

Timeline for the Penn Avenue rapid bus line now calls for construction in 2018 and a 2019 opening.
Restaurant inspectors shift attention to high-risk violations

Restaurant inspectors shift attention to high-risk violations

Violations that could make diners sick are getting more attention

Datadrop: A closer look at landlord code violations

The Star Tribune requested data on housing code violations at large apartment buildings in Minneapolis while reporting on a lawsuit against Stephen Frenz, owner of…
Nicollet Mall redo back on track, on budget with new bids

Nicollet Mall redo back on track, on budget with new bids

At one point, the $50 million overhaul of Nicollet Mall was $24 million over budget after only one company bid on the project.
A plea from planners: Don't drag out I-35W overhaul 'torture'

A plea from planners: Don't drag out I-35W overhaul 'torture'

County engineer warns of years of chaos if the road projects are not coordinated.
Minneapolis translates kitchen safety for immigrant restaurateurs

Minneapolis translates kitchen safety for immigrant restaurateurs

Minneapolis employs multilingual inspectors to educate restaurateurs
Mpls. police look to move drugs, guns, other evidence out of City Hall

Mpls. police look to move drugs, guns, other evidence out of City Hall

The city is considering the purchase of a 110,000-square-foot industrial building on the western riverfront, due in part to growing space constraints at City Hall.
Minneapolis Mayor Hodges looks to levy to cover road, parks shortfall

Minneapolis Mayor Hodges looks to levy to cover road, parks shortfall

Mayor's plan:  $30M per year for 10 years to close the funding shortfall.

Minneapolis puts brakes on suburban-style Walgreens in Uptown

Plan for larger Uptown store with drive-through draws negative reaction from neighbors, board.
Amid the strife, Little Earth works for reform and harmony

Amid the strife, Little Earth works for reform and harmony

These are crucial times at Little Earth, a 43-year-old housing project that has long been the heart of the Twin Cities' urban American Indian population. A heroin epidemic, coupled with persistent gun violence, has spurred efforts large and small to restore peace there.

Target Center renovation advances with City Council approval

Minneapolis to pay $74 million of the $129 million cost.

Mpls. council members pitch plan to avoid park funding vote

Two Minneapolis City Council veterans say the city can draw from existing funds.
Mpls. planners reject Vikings bid to rename Chicago Avenue

Mpls. planners reject Vikings bid to rename Chicago Avenue

The final decision will be made by the City Council, but the planning commission's unanimous decision disappoints the Vikings.

Vikings want to rename Chicago Av. near stadium

The Minnesota Vikings see a branding problem with the street next to the new $1.1 billion downtown football stadium — and they intend to fix…
Crosswalks as speed bumps? It's one idea for Hiawatha-Lake makeover

Crosswalks as speed bumps? It's one idea for Hiawatha-Lake makeover

None of the fixes are yet funded or planned in Minneapolis.
First Uptown hotel since '70s likely a 'go' after City Hall vote

First Uptown hotel since '70s likely a 'go' after City Hall vote

The 120-room boutique hotel will be built on the corner of Lake Street and Emerson Avenue, now the site of surface parking lots and a shuttered restaurant.
Native Lives Matter activists' march in St. Paul breaks up before downtown

Native Lives Matter activists' march in St. Paul breaks up before downtown

Group protested police shooting of Philip Quinn and dispersed near Crashed Ice event.
From CenHen to WeDo, neighborhood monikers attempt to redefine Mpls.

From CenHen to WeDo, neighborhood monikers attempt to redefine Mpls.

Can you point the way to WeDo? How about SoFa? International Gateway? The name game is ever-present these days in Minneapolis, as people seek to…
Plaza Verde in Minneapolis finds a new owner

Plaza Verde in Minneapolis finds a new owner

The pending sale confirms that the business incubator on E. Lake Street is on the upswing.
Rail expansion plans anger and surprise in northeast Mpls.

Rail expansion plans anger and surprise in northeast Mpls.

A quiet street in northeast Minneapolis has been upended by BNSF Railway's sudden plans to expand its tracks closer to houses there, simultaneously leveling a thick tree buffer that once shielded residents from the 92 trains — several carrying crude oil — that pass through every day.
BNSF Railway builds sound barrier in compromise with Mpls. neighbors

BNSF Railway builds sound barrier in compromise with Mpls. neighbors

The railroad compromises with city after expanding tracks by Northtown Yard.

Car2Go plans to reduce Mpls. service area

The plan cuts availability on North Side and southern edge but will offer remote stations.
Mpls. opts for nonprofit Eureka Recycling over nation's largest waste firm

Mpls. opts for nonprofit Eureka Recycling over nation's largest waste firm

The city will sign five-year contract with local firm.
Architects unveil revamped design for Nicollet Mall overhaul

Architects unveil revamped design for Nicollet Mall overhaul

The new renderings show concrete in place of thousands of brick-like pavers.
Minneapolis considers putting the brakes on drive-throughs

Minneapolis considers putting the brakes on drive-throughs

Minneapolis leaders want to clamp down on drive-throughs in favor of pedestrians. Further changes would restrict where drive-throughs could be installed in the city.
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