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.

Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed across the country in the last two years. The same is true in Eden Prairie, where thefts were up 150% from 2020 to 2021. Part 1 of this story explained what catalytic converters are and how Eden Prairie law enforcement is handling the situation. During the last year, no arrests have been made in Eden Prairie of someone in the act of stealing a catalytic converter. In this final report, EPLN talked to a repair shop owner, a scrapyard owner and Eden Prairie’s representative in the Minnesota State Senate to discuss the problems they face in…

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Amanda and her husband have lived in Eden Prairie for 60 years. Since mid-December, they and a neighbor each have been victims of catalytic converter thefts in broad daylight. Amanda’s truck hasn’t been repaired, but it’s only used sparingly, so she and her husband will wait until spring to deal with it, she said. The truck clearly isn’t what she’s most concerned about. “We have never felt this uncomfortable or insecure,” she said. “We feel violated.” The brazenness of the daytime thefts – apparently by the same person – has angered Amanda’s husband and shaken her (not her real name)…

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Positive COVID-19 cases among Eden Prairie Schools staff and students took a sharp turn upward in the two-week period ending Jan.7. A total of 435 staff and students have reported positive cases in the two weeks since Dec. 24. That breaks down to 143 in pre-K to 5th grade, 215 in grades 6-12, and 77 staff. There were 75 reported cases in the two-week period ending Dec. 31. On New Year’s Eve, the district announced that all staff and students would be required to wear face coverings upon returning to school on Jan. 3 and continue to do so until Jan.…

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An Eden Prairie man has been charged in Hennepin County District Court with possessing a device that converts a pistol into an automatic firearm. Marquez Demar Hill-Turnipseed, 19, was arrested by Eden Prairie Police Dec. 29, following a brief high-speed chase on Prairie Center Drive. Officers were attempting to stop the vehicle after discovering that its registration had been revoked. After stopping, Hill-Turnipseed ran from the car followed by a K-9 partner. Officers saw him throw two guns to the ground as he ran. After apprehending the suspect, officers found the guns, one of which was a Glock pistol fitted…

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Several defendants have been charged with felony offenses related to crimes committed in Eden Prairie over the past two months. Burglary suspect charged A 43-year-old Faribault, Minn. man has been charged in the Dec. 5 burglary of Freewheel Bike, 12910 Plaza Drive in Eden Prairie. Kevin Donald Morrow was also charged with possession of burglary tools. Both charges are felonies. Eden Prairie Police were dispatched at 6:58 a.m. Dec. 5 in response to an alarm. According to the police report, arriving police saw a damaged garage door at the rear of the business. Officers followed footprints in the snow around the building…

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The Eden Prairie School Board will discuss the district’s five-year financial forecast and a possible 2022 levy referendum at a workshop following its annual organizational meeting Jan. 3. Earlier in 2021, the board discussed and eventually dismissed pursuing a levy referendum in 2021, but most directors acknowledged that one might be needed in 2022 to maintain the district’s financial condition. Superintendent Josh Swanson told the board that long-term financial stability of the district might require such action. The district is currently in the eighth year of its last referendum that voters approved in 2014. Projected 2.23% tax levy increase The…

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All Eden Prairie Schools students and staff will be required to wear face coverings from Jan. 3 to 27 in an attempt to mitigate the rapidly spreading COVID-19 omicron variant, according to a communication that was sent to all district parents just after noon Dec. 31. Until winter break began Dec. 23, only students in pre-K through 6th grade were required to wear face coverings indoors. “The omicron variant can spread rapidly, although symptoms may not be as severe,” the message from the district’s Community Relations and Communications Department said. “The issue we face is ensuring employees and students can…

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Fifteen months ago, Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) sprouted from the ashes of a COVID-19 infected world to begin providing hyperlocal news to this community of more than 65,000 people. The city had been without a local newspaper for nearly a year and a half, after the venerable Eden Prairie News was purchased by a New York-based hedge fund and unceremoniously shuttered after 50 years of publication. They are not alone. More than 100 newspapers have closed during COVID, according to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Another 100 more are in danger of shutting down in 2022. Fifty local…

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An Apple Valley man has been arrested and charged with two criminal counts, including felony robbery, in the Oct. 14 hold-up of BMO Harris Bank in Eden Prairie. Steven Lamarre Holbrook, 59, was arrested Dec. 8 by Shakopee Police after they stopped him in a stolen vehicle. A purse belonging to a female passenger in Holbrook’s car contained a note that said, “Give me all the money! No dye packs and nobody gets hurt.” Beneath that was written, “NOW.” That note closely resembled the contents of a note shown to a bank teller during the robbery, according to charging documents.…

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No incidents were reported Friday in Eden Prairie schools after a nationwide viral Tik Tok video post earlier this week appeared to vaguely threaten school violence on Dec. 17. A few schools in Minnesota and elsewhere in the country closed for the day as a result of the potential threat. Eden Prairie schools remained open Friday. Neither Eden Prairie Police nor the school district found any evidence of a direct threat in Eden Prairie. “We investigated the video but found no connection to Eden Prairie and no credible threat,” an Eden Prairie Police Department spokesperson told EPLN Friday. “We are…

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