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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
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.

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.
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