Eden Prairie and Woodbury are the only Minnesota cities to make an annual list of top cities in the country.

The two suburbs are among the top 50 “Best Places to Live” in Money magazine’s 2016 rankings. Eden Prairie came in No. 2 and Woodbury came in No. 11. The magazine ranks all U.S. cities that have populations of 50,000 to 300,000 residents, looking at factors such as taxes, education and health care. The list was limited to no more than four places per state and one city per county.

The magazine pointed out Eden Prairie’s economy, large employers like Supervalu, parks and lakes, and the fact that 95 percent of respondents to a city survey gave the city “good” or “excellent” ratings for quality of life. It also featured a new development called Eden Gardens, a 36-home neighborhood of energy-efficient, high-density homes near Hwy. 212.

It’s the fourth time Eden Prairie has made the list — and its top 10 — since 2006. In 2010, the west-metro suburb came in first.

Woodbury, which has also made the list several times, was singled out for its growing community, amenities and sports facilities, as well as a thriving health and wellness industry, including Anytime Fitness’ new headquarters. To see the full list, go to time.com/money/collection/best-places-to-live/.

Kelly Smith


County commissioners seek transit funding

Commissioners on the Washington County Board have written to Gov. Mark Dayton to push funding for the Gold Line rapid bus transit project in a possible special session before year’s end. They thanked the governor for a recent meeting in Woodbury to discuss a $3 million request “to keep the project moving forward.”

The Gold Line, previously known as the Gateway Corridor, would connect cities along Interstate 94 in the east metro with Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. “As you noted in the meeting,” commissioners wrote the governor, “functioning, mature transit systems rarely or never have lines that end downtown, they connect the outlying communities to the downtown.”

Woodbury is the largest suburban city that would be served by rapid bus transit on the Gold Line. Commissioners see the project as vital to east-metro economic development and to provide transit to a large number of Washington County residents who commute to jobs in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Kevin Giles

St. Paul

Day center for homeless families to hold fundraiser

The Family Place, a day program for homeless families in St. Paul marking its 15th anniversary, will hold a fundraiser Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. The keynote speaker will be Artika Tyner, an author and educator.

The Family Place is the only day center for homeless families in Ramsey County. It is open 365 days a year. Families in the program, which provides meals, child care, parenting classes, adult life skills, showers and laundry facilities for up to 56 people, are referred to a pair of shelters to spend the night.

Also on Saturday, the Family Place is scheduled to open its own shelter program with 16 beds on the West Side of St. Paul.

For more information about the center or the fundraiser, call 651-225-9354.

James Walsh

Ramsey County

Deer hunts to be held at county parks this fall

Some Ramsey County parks will be closed this fall for controlled deer hunts, and visitors are asked to stay out of the parks during those times.

Ramsey County Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Metro Bowhunters Resource Base to conduct hunts in October and November. The three-day hunts will be held at eight locations throughout the county parks system.

Whole parks may be closed during the hunts, though most major paved trails likely will stay open.

Signs at park entrances will show that hunts are being conducted.

Emma Nelson