Author: Stuart Sudak

Stuart Sudak Stuart Sudak is a longtime freelance journalist based in Minnesota. Over the years, he has written for newspapers, magazines, websites, and corporations. Stuart also served as an editor at several newspapers in Minnesota and Illinois, including the Eden Prairie News from 2000-05. He lives in Chaska with his wife Tracy and three children. To view some of his recent work, visit https://www.clippings.me/users/stuartsudak

The six local legislative candidates shared their positions on many other topics, too, including climate change and if they would consider voting to legalize sports betting and marijuana in the state. Democratic state Sen. Steve Cwodzinski is running against Republican Marla Helseth for the 49th district seat. Democratic state Rep. Laurie Pryor is running against Republican Ryan Chase for the 49A seat, and Democratic Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn is running against Republican Thomas Knecht for the 49B seat. At times during the two-hour forum, the Republicans and Democrats did agree. For instance, they all supported removing the Social Security tax for…

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Six candidates vying to represent Eden Prairie and part of Minnetonka in the Minnesota State Legislature pitched their views and themselves to voters earlier this month. The six did so during the two-hour Senate District 49 and House Districts 49A and 49B candidate forum. Hosted by the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, and Hopkins, it took place Sept. 7 at Eden Prairie City Center. Candidates gave opening and closing remarks and answered questions submitted in advance by the public. Topics discussed included public safety, inflation, education, gun regulations, and abortion. Democratic state Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, in office…

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Two of the 48 people charged Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Feeding Our Future food fraud investigation are from Eden Prairie. In a Sept. 20 story, the Sahan Journal compiled the names of the people listed in six separate indictments (charging documents) and three criminal informations, another form of charging document, for their alleged roles in a $250 million scheme to defraud federal child nutrition programs. While announcing the charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery, federal prosecutors called the scheme the country’s largest case of COVID-19 pandemic fraud. Outlined in the charging documents, according to…

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Calista Swensen stands amid her People’s Patchwork Community Garden in Eden Prairie. She describes it as her “little oasis in industrial Eden Prairie.” Photos by Stuart Sudak After nearly two growing seasons, Eden Prairie High School senior Calista Swensen’s garden is still thriving in what seems like an improbable setting. Tucked away on the side of a large industrial building at 7550 Corporate Way in Eden Prairie is the People’s Patchwork Community Garden, which Swensen began in April 2021. Her father owns one of the businesses housed there. During a visit to the garden last month, Swensen describes it as her…

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The Eden Prairie Community Foundation’s Prairie Brewfest 2022 offers the community a chance to do good while having a good time. That’s how Greg Leeper, the Foundation’s executive director, describes “one of our great annual community events here in Eden Prairie.” It takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie. Tickets are $35 in advance online and $40 at the door. About $15 of that is tax-deductible. According to the Foundation’s website, a ticket gives attendees access to 15-20 craft beer brewers, each of which will serve several varieties.…

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Round Lake remains closed for swimming as the Labor Day weekend approaches.  According to testing on Wednesday, the lake still has an unsafe level of bacteria in the water. It has been closed to swimmers since Aug. 18.  Hennepin County Public Health Department samples waters from all public beaches throughout the summer to check for water-borne illnesses. “It’s a bummer, but better to stay safe,” said Jay Lotthammer, the city’s parks and recreation director. Eden Prairie public beaches at Round Lake and Riley Lake parks recently closed for the season, meaning no lifeguards are on duty. People were still allowed to still…

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One look at the front yard of Rick and Jan Farmer’s Eden Prairie house reveals the power of a severe storm that ripped through the Twin Cities on Saturday night. A large basswood tree slumps on its side, its gnarled roots torn from the ground in an unwieldy heap. The tree didn’t hit their house but ended up crashing into the neighbor’s Airstream camper parked next door. “We could have had the whole thing paid for if we charged a dollar to all the people who drove down the street yesterday to take a look,” Jan quipped. “I think word…

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Minnesota running legend Garry Bjorklund was charged Monday with fourth-degree DWI (alcohol), a misdemeanor, for his involvement in a wrong-way crash in Eden Prairie earlier this month. Bjorklund, 71, of Fort Collins, Colo., was also charged with two other counts, one for careless driving and the other for having an open bottle of liquor in his vehicle. Both charges are also misdemeanors. According to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, the incident occurred at about 6 p.m. Aug. 8 near the Green Acres Event Center, 14150 Pioneer Trail. Bjorklund was driving west along Pioneer Trail in his…

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When the 2022 Minnesota State Fair begins Thursday, SouthWest Transit will provide service to it again.  But, due to budgetary concerns and driver availability this year, the fair service is being reduced to eight days. In past years, SouthWest provided the service for all 12 days.  During this year’s fair, which takes place from Aug. 25 through Sept. 5, the SouthWest bus service will operate every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, Aug. 25-28 and Sept. 1-4.  “Since we took such a big hit last year with only providing around 30,000 rides instead of the 115,000 we brought…

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The Eden Prairie Community Center recreation pool and spa are temporarily closed through Sept. 5 for annual maintenance. Work includes draining the pool and spa, inspecting and cleaning the pool deck surface pumps, supply lines, filtration and safety equipment, and making any necessary fixes. According to the city, the Community Center management team chose dates (Aug. 22-Sept. 5) for the work that statistically has low attendance. There is no scheduled lesson programming during this time. The pool and spa will reopen on Sept. 6.

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