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Community-funded online newspaper launches in Eden Prairie

After the Eden Prairie News stopped the presses, a group stepped in to continue their local paper.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — A lot has changed in Eden Prairie since the summer, aside from just the weather.

Last August, we told you about plans for a non-profit online newspaper, meant fill the void left behind when Eden Prairie News stopped publishing during the pandemic.

RELATED: Eden Prairie residents hope to revive local paper

Since then, the citizen-run website has launched, thanks to community fundraising. So far, they are over halfway to their fundraising goal of $50,000.

"We're getting good traction on our fundraising, so people are taking note. We've got a number of generous people who've stepped up and things are going well," said Jenifer Loon, Co-Chair of the Eden Prairie Local News Committee.

"I am humbled by our journalists, the amount of work they've put in, the quality of it," said Brad Canham, another co-chair of the committee.

The staff is made up of roughly a dozen journalists. They've published more than 130 articles since September, and cover topics like city council, school board, business and politics.

It's coverage Loon said has never been more important, with residents cooped up inside during COVID-19.

"We're just hoping that Eden Prairie readership will continue to grow and we will become a valued news source for everyone," Loon said.

The publication is partnering with local business Smith Coffee to send thank you gifts to sustaining donors, whose support remains critical. With enough funds, they hope to provide a salary for their staff, who are working as volunteers.

"The basic focus is to provide accurate fair and useful content to people so they can make those decisions that improve their lives," Canham said.