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Shannon Prather

Reporter | North Metro
phone: 612-673-4804
Shannon Prather covers suburban news.
Recent content from Shannon Prather
Anoka pushes back on new wave of homeless

Anoka pushes back on new wave of homeless

Outgrowth of rising suburban poverty is blamed for trashed campsites and aggressive panhandling in town.
Met Council makes sure sewer project doesn't sink East Bethel

Met Council makes sure sewer project doesn't sink East Bethel

Growth fizzled, so millions in debt for sewer forgiven.
Aug. 12, 2015: Blaine curling club named official U.S. Olympic training site

Aug. 12, 2015: Blaine curling club named official U.S. Olympic training site

It's the first time United States curling has received a national designation.
Obituary: As radio host 'Miss Flo,' military wife found starring role

Obituary: As radio host 'Miss Flo,' military wife found starring role

Floretta S. Welch, a devoted Navy wife, watched her husband go off to war over three decades spanning World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Lino Lakes Fire Division now open after Centennial split

Lino Lakes has joined a handful of cities that have cross-trained police officers as firefighters.
Suburbs temporarily ban some businesses, hold out for better mix

Suburbs temporarily ban some businesses, hold out for better mix

Columbia Heights residents can buy an oil filter on nearly every corner of Central Avenue. But there's no coffee shop where they can linger over a newspaper and sip a latte. That's a problem, city leaders say.
Blaine, set to become Anoka County's biggest city, steps out

Blaine, set to become Anoka County's biggest city, steps out

What's up: Population, incomes, graduates. What's down: Old perceptions.
Kids, parents learn Twin Cities regional spelling bee in jeopardy

Kids, parents learn Twin Cities regional spelling bee in jeopardy

Three-time all-school spelling bee champion Josie Spanier has been drilling for months with her eyes on the prize — a spot on stage at the…

City of Ramsey weighs new business park to attract jobs

Development would be just west of the COR site and on Hwy. 10. But hurdles await.

Anoka watershed district under fire for 44 percent levy increase

A north metro watershed district’s 44 percent levy hike is making waves in Anoka County. The Coon Creek Watershed District board, which rents office space…
Blaine man earns national volunteer honor

Blaine man earns national volunteer honor

Retired Allina VP used his industry expertise to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Brooklyn Park mayor calls for unity in wake of anti-Muslim rhetoric

Brooklyn Park mayor calls for unity in wake of anti-Muslim rhetoric

Alarmed by rising hostility directed at Muslims, the mayor of one of Minnesota’s most diverse suburbs has called a meeting of its faith leaders and…

Coon Rapids weighs its parks naming policy

Draft rules would require a background check into all proposed names.

Columbia Heights police lift parking rules for holidays

Suburban street parking rules can be unforgiving. So to make room on the street for residential guests over the holiday season, the Columbia Heights Police…

Black businessman accuses Brooklyn Park of discrimination

Businessman claims bias in restaurant rejection.
Anoka County spends more to fight milfoil

Anoka County spends more to fight milfoil

It just didn’t add up to Anoka County Commissioner Julie Braastad. The state will give Anoka County $135,000 to combat Eurasian milfoil and other aquatic…
Met Council approves updated $1.5B plan for Bottineau Blue Line extension

Met Council approves updated $1.5B plan for Bottineau Blue Line extension

The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday formally approved a $1.5 billion cost estimate and updated plans for the light-rail line linking downtown Minneapolis to the northern…
Agencies defend their policies in not testing all rape kits

Agencies defend their policies in not testing all rape kits

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office and the Duluth and St. Cloud police departments say the statewide report doesn't show the full picture.

Anoka County lobbies for new interchange bridge

Crumbling bridge is scheduled to be fixed, but Anoka County wants a $25 million project.
After $150K campaign, Brooklyn Park's reputation improving

After $150K campaign, Brooklyn Park's reputation improving

Two years after the suburb launched an aggressive branding campaign to boost its reputation, survey shows most are proud to call it home.

Officers ID'd in fatal Columbia Heights shooting

One officer has worked for the Columbia Heights department for 13 years and the other officer has worked for Fridley for one year.
Some officers had body cameras at fatal police shooting in Columbia Heights

Some officers had body cameras at fatal police shooting in Columbia Heights

After 911 call, suspect refused to show his hands, authorities say.
Twin Cities suburbs struggle with 'fixer upper' city halls

Twin Cities suburbs struggle with 'fixer upper' city halls

New Hope, Fridley, others weigh extensive remodels or building anew.
Dayton to convene water quality summit

Dayton to convene water quality summit

Alarmed about the rising levels of contamination in Minnesota's lakes, rivers and wetlands, Gov. Mark Dayton said he'll convene a statewide water quality summit in…
Roseville explores softer form of street art – yarn-bombing

Roseville explores softer form of street art – yarn-bombing

The Roseville Visitors Association recently commissioned a yarn-bombing of the city's outdoor ice arena, and it will be revealed Friday night.
Coon Rapids history on display as part of 'Suburbia' exhibit

Coon Rapids history on display as part of 'Suburbia' exhibit

Vintage photos of ramblers built by Orrin Thompson and others for young families in the 1950s are part of the Minnesota History Center's look at a residential revolution.

Anoka Co. judge reprimanded for Facebook posts about cases

Incident highlights a tricky new landscape in speech rights.
Coon Rapids Dam park gets makeover, and calls for a new name

Coon Rapids Dam park gets makeover, and calls for a new name

Brooklyn Park says a clearer, less off-putting name would draw more to the river.
Stormwater project will protect Roseville's Lake McCarrons

Stormwater project will protect Roseville's Lake McCarrons

Systems in Roseville, elsewhere will capture stormwater for irrigation or treatment

2 arrested in Brooklyn Park school thefts

Security measures on the Osseo district's newer iPads limited the losses at four schools.
Single-family home rentals surge in Twin Cities suburbs

Single-family home rentals surge in Twin Cities suburbs

What makes economic sense for many families can become a problem for cities.
Attack at Coon Rapids Applebee's examined for hate-crime charges

Attack at Coon Rapids Applebee's examined for hate-crime charges

The victim, targeted because she wasn't speaking English, suffered deep cuts on her face in the beer-mug attack, according to assault charges.

Lino Lakes City Council races heat up over Centennial Fire District split

Candidates critical of Lino Lakes' break from a three-city department are taking on council incumbents.
Brooklyn Center imposes moratorium on sex-offender placements

Brooklyn Center imposes moratorium on sex-offender placements

Alarmed by a surge in the number of Level 3 predatory sex offenders living in town, the City Council has passed a 120-day moratorium.
Spring Lake Park youth football agrees to accommodate deaf players

Spring Lake Park youth football agrees to accommodate deaf players

When Dov Nathanson, a deaf fourth-grader, plays football, the vibrations from a drum on the sidelines help him feel the "huts" barked by the quarterback. A sign-language interpreter allows him to follow along in team huddles.

Blaine City Council set to pick between brewpub, school

Spring Lake Park schools and a taproom eye the same block. To coexist, city rules must change.
Police officers saluted at Coon Rapids rally

Police officers saluted at Coon Rapids rally

The event was meant to counter "Black Lives Matter" protests critical of police.
Liberian VP to talk Ebola with Gov. Dayton

Liberian VP to talk Ebola with Gov. Dayton

He will meet with Dayton, local leaders.
Anoka County sheriff now using eye scanners to ID inmates

Anoka County sheriff now using eye scanners to ID inmates

A pioneering new iris-scanning system in Anoka County is quicker and more accurate than a fingerprint.

Fewer parties in the park after Brooklyn Park adopts new noise rules

Brooklyn Park requires people to rent city-owned speakers.
Karen immigrant shot, killed in St. Paul remembered as a loving dad

Karen immigrant shot, killed in St. Paul remembered as a loving dad

Htoo Baw was fatally shot outside his St. Paul home.
Muslims mobilize to build mosques, schools in suburbs

Muslims mobilize to build mosques, schools in suburbs

They draw strength from 'divine law' – and American values.
Coon Rapids approves apartments for homeless youth

Coon Rapids approves apartments for homeless youth

Community backing helped get the project underway.
Police Lives Matter rally in Coon Rapids aims to show support for officers

Police Lives Matter rally in Coon Rapids aims to show support for officers

Organizers expect hundreds at event supporting law enforcement officers.

DNR slashes grants to fight Eurasian milfoil

The question of who pays for milfoil treatments is a sometimes charged tug-of-war between lakeshore owners, cities and the DNR.
Services for homeless youth increase in the suburbs

Services for homeless youth increase in the suburbs

In Anoka, and other suburbs, Hope 4 Youth is helping out the hidden homeless.

Coon Rapids man sues police over arrest, use of force after midnight bike ride

Troy Scheffler filed a federal lawsuit this week, and his account of the incident differs substantially from police department reports.
State, cities spend thousands to dress up scruffy roadsides

State, cities spend thousands to dress up scruffy roadsides

For years, the first impressions motorists got of many Minnesota cities were uninspired. Highway roadsides and exit ramps were scruffy, or worse yet, bland. They…

U.S. recognizes Columbia Heights police-school partnership

Columbia Heights juvenile arrests and suspensions have dropped as officers interact with students.
Columbia Heights walkout protests anti-Muslim comment

Columbia Heights walkout protests anti-Muslim comment

High school students and faculty walked out to protest anti-Muslim comment allegedly by school board member. "I felt I was really disrespected in all kinds of ways."
Lino Lakes preps for new building boom

Lino Lakes preps for new building boom

City leaders say the growth won't drown out the Anoka County suburb's rural appeal.
Test run held for Twin Cities canoe- and bike-sharing program

Test run held for Twin Cities canoe- and bike-sharing program

A north-metro stretch of the Mississippi River got a tryout for the first-of-its-kind project.
Lino Lakes DWI officer makes 535 traffic stops in 2 months

Lino Lakes DWI officer makes 535 traffic stops in 2 months

A Lino Lakes DWI enforcement officer has pulled over more drivers than his 24 colleagues combined.
North metro crime lab zeroes in on quality-of-life offenses

North metro crime lab zeroes in on quality-of-life offenses

A year after the Tri County Regional lab in Andover earned its international accreditation in biology, scientists are testing DNA found at burglaries, car thefts and vandalism.

Sheriffs set up spots for online buying and selling

Law enforcement parking lots help make online deals more safe.

After rejecting state health dollars in 2013, Anoka County reconsiders

The county rejected more than $1M two years ago.
North metro getting 4 new grocery-store options

North metro getting 4 new grocery-store options

The new stores run the gamut from discount chain Aldi to Iowa-based Hy-vee, which is including full-service restaurants in its new Twin Cities stores.
Blaine curling club gets Olympic nod

Blaine curling club gets Olympic nod

The curling club at Fogerty Arena earns the designation of official Olympic training center.

Minnesota sees sharp rise in domestic violence convictions

New laws, tactics have led to higher conviction rate, better services for victims.
9 years, $2M and 170 acres later, Andover's 'open space' initiative ends

9 years, $2M and 170 acres later, Andover's 'open space' initiative ends

The city is slated to close on its last property as part of that open space acquisition program. Voters approved a $2 million city request in 2006 to buy parcels that feature Minnesota's woodlands, wetlands and meadows.
Brooklyn Park police reach out to kids

Brooklyn Park police reach out to kids

Kidstop is designed to give children the chance to form impressions about officers in their neighborhoods based on personal interactions rather than television and news reports.
National Park Service explores canoe-sharing service along Mississippi

National Park Service explores canoe-sharing service along Mississippi

With canoe-sharing plan, folks could soon ply the Mississippi with no need for a car.

Spring Lake Park cleans up 40-year-old zoning code

The city last overhauled its zoning rules in 1976. It's now revamping the code to match 21st century building and lifestyle demands.

Crystal works with county, state to thwart railroad reroute

Crystal leaders were upset by railroads' plan to link tracks there and reroute trains.

Golden Valley hires Anoka city manager

It's the latest in a series of suburban management moves resulting from a wave of retirements.
Brooklyn Park homes saved by squeezing LRT design

Brooklyn Park homes saved by squeezing LRT design

More than two dozen Brooklyn Park homes along a proposed light-rail route will be spared after planners squeezed as much as 30 feet from the…
Coon Rapids Dam walkway reopens, long-range park planning commences

Coon Rapids Dam walkway reopens, long-range park planning commences

The quarter-mile walkway was closed two years ago as the dam beneath it underwent a $16 million renovation. It's now open to bikers and walkers.
Despite manufactured homes' decline, many find them ideal

Despite manufactured homes' decline, many find them ideal

In Minnesota and beyond, mobile-home market has changed dramatically.
Coon Rapids moves July 4th fest to bigger site with twice the parking

Coon Rapids moves July 4th fest to bigger site with twice the parking

The three-day party, culminating with fireworks on Saturday, will take place on the grounds of the Coon Rapids Ice Center after construction ruled out Sand Creek Park.
New book reveals history of Ham Lake

New book reveals history of Ham Lake

Drawing on hundreds of photos, amateur historian Mel Aanerud has compiled the city's story.
Hennepin inspectors scrutinize suburban pools, 463 of them

Hennepin inspectors scrutinize suburban pools, 463 of them

This swim season, Hennepin County Environmental Health will inspect 463 pools at schools, apartments, condos, health clubs and country clubs.

Brooklyn Park makes a pitch for Major League Soccer, stadium

City leaders say they have the ideal site for a new Minnesota United stadium. But it's a long shot.
Poverty shifts to Twin Cities suburbs, where it has doubled

Poverty shifts to Twin Cities suburbs, where it has doubled

Poor people living in the suburbs significantly outnumber the needy in Minneapolis and St. Paul, an accelerating trend that presents local governments with stark challenges.

Blaine's new city prosecutors have personal ties to council members

Berglund & Berglund law firm has worked for at least three current council members.
Blaine High School yearbook photos salute staff — two-legged and four

Blaine High School yearbook photos salute staff — two-legged and four

The teacher’s pet has been immortalized in the Blaine High School yearbook. Dakota, a certified therapy dog, and Caramel, a service dog, work with their…
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