City Hall construction continues

EAGAN, MN, April 20, 2019 -- A new sign has been posted at the access road to city hall as part of the $16 million city hall and police department renovation. The area remains under heavy construction and will likely be largely unaccessible until 2020.
A sketch of the proposed Emagine entertainment complex to replace the current Regal Cinemas 16 at 2055 Cliff Road. The proposal, slated for review by Eagan's Advisory Planning Commission, would include a bar, outdoor dining, retail space, a drive-thru and ax throwing.

Developer proposes hatchet job on local theater

EAGAN, MN  -- If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: That movie would have been great -- if only we’d been able to get drunk and throw axes during it.
   Eagan’s Advisory Planning Commission will consider a proposal at its April 23 meeting to renovate the city’s 22-year-old movie theater on Cliff Road to include alcohol service and 12 ax-throwing lanes, an indoor venue where patrons would be able to hurl axes into wooden boards for entertainment. The proposal would include three new buildings on the 10-acre site at the 2055 Cliff Road site, which currently holds one building with 16 movie screens and a large parking lot.
   The proposal would reduce the current number of movie seats from 3,204 to 1,170 and, in addition to a bar and ax-throwing lanes, would include outdoor patio dining, retail shops and a drive-thru. The alternative exit to Cliff Road, Park Center Drive, would be eliminated, according to a city report.
   If approved by the Advisory Planning Commission on April 23, the proposal will head to the Eagan City Council for final approval.

Cliff, Yankee Doodle roads among Eagan's most dangerous

EAGAN, MN – Nine people were killed and nearly 4,500 crashes occurred on the city’s roads during 2011-2015, according to a transportation plan compiled by the city.
   Cliff Road is one of the city’s most dangerous streets, with crashes occurring at several of its intersections, including at Cliff Lake, Blackhawk, and Slater roads, according to data released by the city. The city identified Yankee Doodle at Pilot Knob as the intersection where the most crashes occurred.
   The data was included as part of an update to the city’s transportation plan. The plan is slated to be approved by the Eagan City Council as part of the consent agenda at its April 16 meeting.

Grandfather speaks out against school flash mob

   The grandfather of a District 196 middle school student urged the school board to enforce its bullying policies after his grandson was harassed by Muslim students.
   The grandfather, Bob Zick, told the school board his grandson was bullied after he chose to stay in school and finish taking a test rather than participating in a “flash mob” school walkout organized by Muslim students using cell phones. Cell phone use is not allowed during school hours.
   After his grandson refused to walk out of his middle school, Zick said, he was surrounded by a group of Muslim students who bullied and harassed him. “This is serious stuff,” Zick said.
   Zick said he met with the district superintendent and school officials regarding the harassment, but suggested the school district’s policies regarding religious intolerance and bullying were not evenly enforced.
   “I’m here to ask the district not to be intimidated from enforcing your policies and procedures,” Zick told the school board. He spoke under a school board provision allowing visitors to speak for five minutes about items not included on the board’s agenda.
   “Muslims should think about the 6,000 Christians murdered in Nigeria last year by Muslim extremists,” Zick said, during his comments.
   The description of Zick’s family’s experience at a District 196 school was a stark departure from the typical self-congratulatory, politically correct tone of District 196 school board meetings.
   School Board chair Jackie Magnuson appeared rattled after Zick’s comments and muttered a disclaimer, not typical after speakers take the podium.
   “The opinions expressed represent your opinion, not the view of the school board,” Magnuson said.
Bob Zick, grandfather of a District 196 middle school student, asked the school board to enforce its own policies after a student's family reported harassment by a group of Muslim students.

Eagan woman charged with welfare theft

Opening Day

   An Eagan home healthcare worker with a history of misdemeanor convictions and a pending charge of aiding an offender is now facing a charge relating to welfare fraud, according to court records.
   Porsche Kirkwood, 22, of 4068 Meadowlark Curve, Eagan, has been charged with felony theft, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. Investigators allege Kirkwood wrongfully received more than $10,000 in welfare benefits because she failed to report income she received from two jobs from September 2017 to September 2018.
   While receiving welfare, investigators allege, Kirkwood had paying jobs as a personal care attendant with Affinity Healthcare and Amana Family Care, according to the complaint. Kirkwood did not report her job “because she had a lot going on,” the complaint said.
   Last October, Eagan police charged Kirkwood with aiding an offender, a felony, after she allegedly admitted allowing her child’s father to stay at her home in June 2018 after U.S. Marshals were seeking to arrest him on a warrant. The June episode, and Kirkwood’s denial to police of the wanted man’s presence in her home, necessitated a police search of the surrounding neighborhood. Kirkwood failed to appear for a court hearing on that felony charge on April 3, according to court records, prompting the Dakota County district court to issue a warrant for her arrest. She was later released on $5,000 bail, according to the court.
   Kirkwood has a series of misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor convictions from six cases dating back to 2014, according to court records. The convictions include mostly driving offenses such as driving without a license and driving after license revocation.
EAGAN, MN -- The city's long wait is over. Eagan's first Dunkin' Donuts opened this week to steady business. As an added bonus, the 1420 Yankee Doodle Road restaurant, near the intersection of Pilot Knob Road, includes a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop.

Woman charged with id theft in car buying scam

    A South Haven woman has been charged with felony identity theft in connection with a scheme to buy cars from area car dealers.
   Jasmine Brown, 29, of 410 Oak Ave. S. Haven, has been charged with felony identity theft, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint.
   The charge stems from the Oct. 30, 2018 financing of $28,500 to buy a 2017 Dodge Charger from a South St. Paul dealership.  Police allege a woman, later identified from Facebook posts and police line-up photos as Brown, presented an Indiana woman’s identification information to make the purchase. The car buyer said her friend would be coming in later to buy a car.
   Later that day, a second woman bought a 2015 Infinity Q50 from the car dealer, financing the $29,652 purchase.
   The first woman returned to the dealership two weeks later and financed $22,285 for the purchase of a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
   The pictures on the identification cards used to buy the three cards matched the two women, but an employee of the dealership later learned the car purchases were fraudulent, according to the complaint. The two named buyers of the car, one of whom lived in Indiana, told police they had not bought cars and had not authorized anyone to use their ids to buy cars. One of the victim’s identities was also used to finance a $16,997 car purchase from a Plymouth dealership, according to the complaint.
   Police found the Dodge Charger in Illinois in December.

Eagan man charged with drug felonies

EAGAN, MN – An Eagan man is facing felony drug charges following a domestic disturbance investigation by local police.
   Peter Rustad, 27, of 1870 Bear Path Trail, Eagan, was charged with two counts of felony possession of controlled substance in the fifth-degree, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. The charges stem from a Jan. 29 report to Eagan police of a domestic disturbance, according to court records.
   Eagan police called an ambulance for Rustad because of concerns about his behavior. At the request of the ambulance staff, police searched Rustad and his backpack, according to the complaint. During the search, police allegedly found $450, “a large quantity” of plastic bags, a plastic bag containing marijuana, and nine envelopes containing what police suspected was marijuana wax. Police allege the net weight of the marijuana was 89.95 grams, according to the complaint.

Man charged with failing to register as predatory offender

A Hennepin County sex offender has been charged with failing to register as a predatory offender after he moved to Dakota County.
   Tewan Latham, 39, of Hastings, was charged with two counts of failure to register as a predatory offender, a felony, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. Latham has been required to register as a predatory offender because of a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge when he was 13, according to the complaint. He has three prior convictions for predatory offender registry violations in Hennepin and Dakota counties, according to court records.
   Under state law, predators must give written notice of their addresses five days before moving. Investigators allege Latham moved from a home on Lester Avenue in Hastings without notifying authorities. Latham was in jail and on work release in the fall of 2018, according to the complaint. He has still not complied with predatory offender registration requirements, investigators allege in the complaint.
Tewan Latham