Author: Mark Weber

Mark Weber

Mark joined the Eden Prairie News as a reporter in 1979, just five years after its start, and spent the next 34 years in various roles including editor and publisher, as well as general manager of the parent company, Southwest Newspapers. He also published Edible Twin Cities magazine. His encore career is serving the nonprofit Eden Prairie Community Foundation as executive director. Mark and his wife, Roma, have two grown sons and a daughter-in-law, and have lived in Eden Prairie since 1984.

Plans to improve a section of Duck Lake Road near Prairie View Elementary School have changed to include a 235-foot-long bridge over Duck Lake. The change raises the project’s cost to $4.7 million, and is necessary because Eden Prairie city officials have learned that simply widening and improving the current road – which crosses the lake on an earthen berm that has existed for decades – won’t get the required environmental permits. The city has been looking to improve Duck Lake Road between Pavelka Way and Duck Lake Trail for years. Public Works Director Robert Ellis called it “probably one…

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(Update: Authorities late Tuesday said the vehicle and dog referenced in this story had been safely found.) Eden Prairie Police are looking for a car – and the dog that was inside it – taken from a local gas station Monday evening. At around 7 p.m. on Feb. 15, a 2002 tan-colored Toyota Camry with a Minnesota license plate, 593-UND, was stolen from the Holiday gas station at 8051 Flying Cloud Drive. The vehicle had been left running with keys in the ignition. Inside the car was the owner’s dog, a Weimaraner breed that answers to the name of “Bevis.” He was…

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There’s a sharp increase in the number of Eden Prairie trees infested with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle known to damage ash trees and spread quickly. The numbers are adding urgency to the City of Eden Prairie’s response: ask property owners to treat undamaged ash trees and remove the infested trees that have been marked with an orange ring of paint. The city is still working on its annual winter survey and marking of infested ash trees in Eden Prairie, but already the number is around 900, said Matt Bourne, parks and natural resources manager for the…

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The City of Eden Prairie is now accepting nominations for the annual Human Rights Award. It recognizes inspiring efforts to promote human rights and diversity, and to create an inclusive community spirit. Awards are given to an outstanding individual, nonprofit organization, youth, and business. Consider submitting a nomination for review by the Eden Prairie Human Rights and Diversity Commission. The deadline for EP Human Rights Award nominations is 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. Visit edenprairie.org/HumanRightsAward for more details. Contact Megan Yerks at myerks@edenprairie.org with any questions or to request the nomination form in an alternate format.

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COVID-19 vaccinations have made their way to Eden Prairie, even as issues related to the roll-out and supplies persist. Residents and employees of long-term care centers have been getting the shots, including last week at Elim Shores, where 104 residents, staff and essential family members were vaccinated, and a few days earlier at Prairie Bluffs Senior Living, where 110 people were vaccinated. Also receiving shots were police officers, firefighters and paramedics in Eden Prairie through a special vaccination event held the first two weeks of January at Eden Prairie High School. Minnetonka Fire Chief John Vance was among first responders…

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Coffee-to-go fans may soon have another option near the intersection of Hwy. 5 and County Rd. 4 in Eden Prairie. Starbucks Coffee Company has proposed to replace an existing office building along Hwy. 5 with a prototype coffee shop that has no indoor seating. The redevelopment plan for 16315 Terry Pine Dr. – a small lot east of the closed Burger King restaurant at the Hwy. 5-County Rd. 4 intersection – was given preliminary approval Jan. 5 by the Eden Prairie City Council. The existing building houses State Farm Insurance, but Starbucks would demolish it and build a new, 950-square-foot,…

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Eden Prairie city officials are throwing their weight behind efforts to get local retailers and especially restaurants back to normal, now that restrictions on indoor dining are loosening. Spurred on by the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, the city has proclaimed Jan. 12-18 as “Support Eden Prairie Businesses Week” as a way to encourage residents to patronize restaurants in particular. The proclamation lists more than 90 Eden Prairie bars and eating establishments, from Applebee’s to Wildfire, some of which will be reopening for indoor dining with the new guidelines in effect Jan. 11. City of Eden Prairie Proclamation (PDF) The…

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The city portion of property taxes on a median-value Eden Prairie home is expected to drop slightly with the 2021 budget approved last month by the city council. It’s another sign that city operations are gradually getting back to normal after a tumultuous year of COVID-19 and its effect on revenue generators like the Eden Prairie Community Center. The city budget approved Dec. 1 is a little more than $53 million, or about 2.8 percent higher than last year. That requires a tax levy of $38.7 million. Because property values are generally increasing, the owners of a median-value Eden Prairie…

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Ancient Chinese philosophy calls it yin and yang – the concept of dualism, or how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary. Yin and yang were everywhere in the very difficult year of 2020. Here are two examples: As the leader of a nonprofit, the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, I saw extremely generous support in 2020 from people who had never previously given to the Foundation. They were moved by the difficult circumstances that COVID-19 imposed on their Eden Prairie neighbors and on the nonprofits that work hard to provide food, clothing, rental assistance, counseling, and more. Our…

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An initiative to address issues of race and equity in Eden Prairie is back on track after momentary objections from two city council members. The objections focused on the cost and purpose of a consultant that the city’s Human Rights and Diversity Commission had sought to hire to help with the initiative, launched following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 and subsequent protests and unrest. The $50,000 contract with DeYoung Consulting Services, of Minneapolis, was delayed by the Eden Prairie City Council on Nov. 17 after council members Brad Aho and Mark Freiberg raised objections during…

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