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

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

They survived longer than milkmen and most door-to-door salespeople, but modern technology is erasing another traditional figure of the urban landscape: water meter readers.The days…
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.

Data drop: New census figures show spike in Minneapolis bike commuting

Bike commuting in Minneapolis is continuing to rise, according to census data released last week. The latest information from the American Community Survey shows that…
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.

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
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