Author: Jim Bayer

Jim is a retired teacher currently keeping busy as a reserve teacher, tutor, and Eden Prairie High School softball coach. Jim’s career began as a journalist, photojournalist, and editor before working in healthcare public relations and later earning a master’s degree in special education. Jim and his wife, Sue, a registered nurse, have lived in Eden Prairie for more than 25 years. Their two children, Jen and Matt, graduated from EPHS and live in Eden Prairie. Jim and Sue have four grandchildren.

Five Eden Prairie schools are now listed on the Minnesota Department of Health’s list of school facilities reporting five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff over a two-week reporting period. On the list as of Oct. 21 are Central Middle School, Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion, Eden Lake Elementary, Oak Point Elementary, and Prairie View Elementary. Eden Prairie Schools’ (EPS’) COVID-19 dashboard reported 97 cases as of the two-week period ending Oct. 15. Ninety-one of those cases were among students, six were staff members. There are 8,976 students and 1,825 staff in the district. No new COVID-19 mitigation plans…

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Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) entered the digital news world just over a year ago at eplocalnews.org. It was created by a group of dedicated Eden Prairie residents who saw a void in local news coverage and were determined to do something about it. This disparate group – all working as volunteers – includes business people, former legislators, longtime residents, and a small group of committed and experienced journalists. The mission of EPLN is to provide independent, non-partisan, hyperlocal news to the Eden Prairie community. We believe that is important to a community of our size. Eden Prairie’s dynamics demand…

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Eden Prairie High School sophomore Sasha Allen recently was awarded the grand prize in the Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes’ 2021 Discovery Award competition. Sasha used primary and secondary research to create the documentary “Walking in the Land of Death: How Gareth Jones Gave Voice to the Victims of the Holodomor.” Sasha Allen The 12-minute documentary, narrated by Sasha, tells the story of Jones, a Welsh journalist who risked his life to chronicle Joseph Stalin’s decimation of Ukrainian agriculture that resulted in a brutal famine known as the Holodomor. Holodomor is a Ukrainian word meaning “murder by hunger.” In a…

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The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools (FEPS) is accepting applications for both its community partnership grants and its teacher and staff grants through the month of October. “Our goal is to fund programs that reach Eden Prairie students of all ages and ensure we support 21st century learning and serve under represented populations,” Executive Director Dr. Lisa Sisinni said in a press release. “From our earliest learners enrolled in our preschool program, all the way through the rigors of high school and TASSEL, FEPS is proud to be there each step of the way.” Last year, FEPS awarded grants reaching…

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Two of the five candidates running for a single Eden Prairie School Board seat on Nov. 2 will find themselves members of the school board, based on a board decision Sept. 27. The top vote getter will complete the term of Veronica Stoltz who resigned in May. That seat will be one of four up for election in 2022. Based on the board’s decision, the second highest vote getter will be appointed to fill resigning board member Beth Fletcher’s seat until a special election in Nov. 2022. The Nov. 2 special election initially was called to fill Stoltz’ seat. Then…

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If you aren’t registered to vote or if you aren’t sure, Minnesota makes it easy to check your voter status, register to vote and update your registration. You can do all of the things listed above at mnvotes.org. On top of all of that, Sept. 28 is National Voter Registration Day. If you are already registered, it’s a good idea to confirm your registration is correct and up to date, according to Hennepin County Elections. You need to update your registration if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you voted. Pre-registration for the November 2021 election…

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Following the resignation of one board member and the expected resignation of another, the Eden Prairie School Board plans to discuss and vote on a process for filling board vacancies at its Sept. 27 meeting. In May 2021, Veronica Stoltz resigned her seat and Karla Bratrud was appointed on a 4-2 board vote June 18 to fill the position until a special election on Nov. 2. At that time, the board was split on the best way to make that appointment. Some favored an open process allowing community members to apply, others for appointing the next highest vote-getter from the…

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Five candidates are running in the Nov. 2 special election to fill a single open seat on the Eden Prairie School Board. Questionnaires were sent to each candidate and their answers are presented by EPLN as a public service. Click on the candidate’s name to read their replies. Candidates are: Steve Bartz, Albert Born, Michelle Mattison, Francesca Pagan-Umar and Darryl Stanton. The special election was made necessary by the resignation of Veronica Stoltz in May when her family left Minnesota. Former board member Karla Bratrud was selected to fill Stoltz’s seat until the special election. The winner of the Nov. 2 election will assume the seat…

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A small pine got to work this week on its 30-year job to eliminate 800 pounds of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Planted near the tennis courts at Round Lake Park, the four-foot tree is one of many new trees to replace hundreds of trees falling victim to the emerald ash borer in Eden Prairie and throughout the state. Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case spoke to members of the media Sept. 20 at Round Lake Park as part of Minnesota’s Climate Week kick-off. Twenty-five trees in Eden Prairie were identified as being infested with the emerald ash borer in 2017, Eden Prairie…

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Early voting began Friday, Sept. 17 for the Nov. 2 Eden Prairie School Board special election. To inform voters about the candidates, Eden Prairie Local News Sept. 23 will publish the answers to a questionnaire completed by all five candidates vying for the open school board seat. Michelle MattisonSteve BartzFrancesca Pagan-UmarDarryl StantonAlbert Born Candidates for the single open seat are Steve Bartz, Albert Born, Michelle Mattison, Francesca Pagan-Umar and Darryl Stanton. Early voting began Sept. 17 and continues at the Administrative Services Center, 8100 School Road, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The League of Women Voters Minnetonka/Eden Prairie/Hopkins…

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