Construction continued on the expansion of the Lifetime Fitness facility on Thomas Center Drive. Initial borings for the project punctured a pipeline and caused a major gasoline spill January 8.

Woman charged with fatal Dakota County crash

    An Oronoco woman has been charged with vehicular homicide for a fatal 2016 crash in Randolph Township. Investigators allege she was talking on her cell phone at the time she ran a stop sign and killed a woman.
    Lori Hoefs, 57, 13047 25th Ave. NW, Oronoco, was charged with a felony count of criminal vehicular homicide, felony criminal vehicular operation resulting in bodily harm, and two gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation resulting in bodily harm, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. The charges stem from a fatal four-car crash at the intersection of Highway 56 and County Road 88 in Randolph Township shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2016.
    Investigators allege Hoefs ran through a stop sign as she was traveling west on County Road 88 and crashed into the passenger side of a Toyota traveling northbound on Highway 56, according to court records. Police allege Roefs was using a handheld cell phone when she ran the stop sign. The passenger in the Toyota, the sister of the driver, was killed. The driver of the Toyota was seriously injured.
    The Toyota struck by Hoefs was pused into a third car. Two people in that car were also injured. A fourth car parked nearby was struck with debris from the crash.

City recognizes retiring Police Chief McDonald

Leigh Monson reviews Incredibles 2

   The Eagan City Council Tuesday night said farewell to retiring Police Chief James McDonald with a public recognition at city hall.
    Chief McDonald appeared to choke back emotion as he recounted his 30 years with the Eagan Police Department, 11 as chief. A public reception for Chief McDonald was held at the Eagan Community Center the following day and McDonald officially left the police station for the last time Friday, June 22.
    "I need to thank the good people of Eagan for their support," Chief McDonald said. "We've put a service together we can all be proud of."
    Chief McDonald ran the department through a time of major transition and development in the city including the recent construction of the Eagan outlet mall and Vikings' headquarters.
    Chief McDonald and his family received standing ovations at the recognition. City officials thanked his family for their sacrifices while the Chief served the city.

First Eagan training camp in July

   The Minnesota Vikings Tuesday unveiled its schedule for training camp, reframing the event from a low-key drive to a college campus in Mankato to a corporate event with multiple revenue streams from reserved seating, parking, food and beverage, and a captive audience with cars parked off-site.
    Tickets for the event, held in Eagan for the first time, will only be available through a mobile application, according to the team, paper tickets will not be accepted. Training camp begins July 24.

Predator facing felony charge for failing to notify police he had car

   A Rosemount man is facing a felony charge for failing to add information about a car he was driving to the sexual predator paperwork on file with police.
    Tony Thurber, 32, of 3295 Upper 147th St. W., Rosemount, has been summonsed to appear in Dakota County district court Aug. 6 to answer to a felony charge of failure to register as a predatory offender, according to court records. Thurber was adjudicated delinquent of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2001, when he was 16, according to a criminal complaint. He was previously convicted of predatory offender registration violations in 2009 and 2014 and is required to comply with registration requirements until 2036.
   Police stopped Thurber for motor vehicle offenses twice during April, according to court records. When police went to his house for a predator offender registration check on April 30, they found the car in the driveway of his house. Thurber did not have any cars listed on his predatory offender registration paperwork, according to investigators.

Tours of the Vikings' new HQ proving elusive as a Super Bowl

Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire, far right, has had access to the Vikings' new headquarters few city residents will likely see.
    Hoping to get a look inside the new Vikings headquarters?
    Keep hoping. It doesn't appear to be coming anytime soon.
    Despite statements to city officials about public events at the facility, the new headquarters is proving to be off-limits to Eagan taxpayers. Even the Dakota County Chamber of Commerce's Vikings Training Camp Kick-Off Event scheduled for this week is being held off-site, at a local country club, rather than at the Vikings new headquarters or the TCO Performance Center. A ribbon-cutting event held last Friday was closed to the public.
   Apparently, the facilities are in good enough shape to host players and show off to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was filmed at the site last Friday, but not the local community. Even the media have been segregated to a separate entrance at the new facility.
    The Vikings have recently stated, on their website and in appearances at Eagan city meetings, that public admission to training camp will likely be more limited than in past years, when the pre-season event was held in Mankato and will require tickets for admission.
   Drop-ins will likely be discouraged. One fan posted on Twitter that he was escorted from the property by police when he tried to show his support for players arriving for pre-season activities. Eagan police were unable to locate a record of the call when requested.
    When Mayor Mike Maguire visited the facility after the Vikings moved in last March and asked when the public might be allowed to see the facility, the NFL team's public relations executive said it could be within 30 days, which would have been April.
    "When are people going to be able to come out and see the facility and take tours or limited tours?" Mayor Mike Maguire asked last March.
    "It'll probably be 30 days or so," the Vikings' public relations executive replied. "A community-wide celebration, that'll be more in June....In April, we'll get some folks in here, but the big celebration will come in June."
    The 40-acre facility, and the adjoining 160 acres slated to be used for hotels and housing, have consumed considerable city staff time to review permits and development requests, most of which have been approved with little resistance by the Eagan City Council. The development has also prompted changes to the city's sign ordinance, as well as the creation of rules for tailgating at the site. The development also prompted the hiring of five new police officers and a full-time fire department staff, contributing to a property tax hike for city taxpayers.
Eagan Police, on-site to provide security at the performance center opening, posted photos in Vikings headgear.