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

Eden Prairie Schools sent an email to district families Wednesday afternoon reacting to Tuesday’s mass shooting death of 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school. “I write to you today with great sadness,” said Superintendent Josh Swanson. “This morning, we shared information with our staff as we process yesterday’s senseless act of violence in Texas. We want to include you in that communication. Yesterday’s tragedy affects many people across our nation, and it sits particularly heavily with us: educators, caregivers and families of young people.” In the wake of Tuesday’s tragedy, Swanson said he finds “reassurance…

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Father J. Michael Byron, pastor at Pax Christi Catholic Community in Eden Prairie since 2018, died early Friday morning, May 20. He was 62. According to a message to Pax Christi parishioners sent by parish director Carol Bishop, Father Byron returned from a pilgrimage to Greece on Wednesday night not feeling well and was admitted to the hospital. He had developed an infection that didn’t respond to treatment and “was called home to God,” Bishop said. Funeral plans are pending with Father Byron’s family. “We are hurting, but we are also deeply grateful that Fr. Mike has been part of…

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On Friday, Kevin Smith posted two photos of him outside Kohl’s at Eden Prairie Center mall on his Twitter account. “Mallrats” writer-director Kevin Smith visited his old stomping grounds in Eden Prairie on Friday morning.  Smith posted two photos to his Twitter account of him standing in front of the Kohl’s exterior building wall and nearby loading dock at Eden Prairie Center mall. Both were used during a chase scene in the 1995 movie he filmed there. “I’m in Minnesota to speak at VeeCon today, so I rolled down to Eden Prairie Center to revisit the scenes of the crime: the loading dock where Silent Bob…

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Actors Jason Lee (Brodie) and Jason London (T.S. Quinn) outside Eden Prairie Center circa 1995 in a publicity shot for “Mallrats.” Source: Gramercy Pictures In 1995, filmmaker Kevin Smith said Eden Prairie Center mall represented a doorway to his future. The mall was much different when the writer-director came to Eden Prairie to film the comedy “Mallrats.” This was long before AMC Theaters, Von Maur, Barnes & Noble, and Scheels opened for business there. Kevin Smith flanked by producers Scott Mosier (right) and Jim Jacks on the set of “Mallrats.” Photo courtesy of View Askew Productions “Due to the Mall…

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The family of an Eden Prairie man severely injured in a hazing incident at a University of Missouri fraternity in October 2021 has settled with all 23 defendants in a lawsuit. Danny Santulli, 19, a freshman, sustained alcohol-induced brain injuries during a pledge party at the now-closed Mizzou chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (also known as Fiji) house. The 2021 Eden Prairie High School graduate is in a Colorado rehabilitation hospital where he remains unresponsive. David Bianchi, the family’s attorney, revealed the 23 settlements during a hearing in Boone County Circuit Court on Tuesday, May 10, according to a story in the Columbia…

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Eden Prairie police helped free two bald eagles discovered tangled in a heap near Bearpath Golf & Country Club’s 5th hole green on Sunday evening, May 10. According to a police spokeswoman, both eagles flew away unharmed after the two officers separated them. Responding to the incident were officers Spencer Barrie and Kenneth Stromgren. Photos and a video of the grounded eagles tangled on the grass were posted on social media by Bearpath resident Andrea Giorgianni Miketa. Her husband’s friend called, explaining how he saw two eagles fighting over his head while he golfed before they crash-landed nearby. She and…

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Robb Virgin, principal of Eden Prairie High School, is starting a new position with the school district on July 1. Robb Virgin On Thursday, May 5, Eden Prairie Schools announced that Virgin would become executive director of personalized learning. Virgin has been principal since 2018. He served as an assistant principal in Minnetonka before coming to Eden Prairie Schools. “We are excited about the leadership Dr. Virgin will bring to this role,” said Eden Prairie Schools Superintendent Josh Swanson. “He has been instrumental in the implementation of Designing Pathways, expanding opportunities and enrollment in rigorous coursework, implementing innovation processes that…

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A public hearing is scheduled for 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5, to review and submit formal comments on an environmental assessment of planned construction improvements to Interstate 494, between Highway 169 and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) hosts it at the Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road. A formal presentation on the environmental assessment, which evaluates the project’s potential impacts on the local community and natural environment, will begin at 5 p.m. People can attend in person or sign up to attend the virtual event. Those who can’t make either can submit comments on…

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The Arbor Day Walk and Green Fair scheduled for Saturday, April 30, has been canceled due to the forecasted inclement weather.  According to the city, residents who purchased trees through Tree Trust can still plan to pick them up between 9 a.m. and noon at Round Lake Park.  The event was planned as a way to celebrate Arbor Day with a walk around Round Lake Park. Green-themed vendors and free activities were also expected. 

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Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Dungy talk about their faith during the “Arise With the Guys” event at Grace Church in Eden Prairie on April 23. Photo courtesy of Grace Church Football brought Ben Roethlisberger fame and fortune at a young age. But, it was rediscovering his faith later in his career that completed him. After becoming the youngest quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl in 2005, the star athlete known as “Big Ben” received many honors and attaboys tossed his way. Early on, though, his dazzling play was overshadowed by off-the-field drama, including a motorcycle accident in 2007…

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