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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
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.
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.
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.
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