Staff Directory 101372379

Kelly Smith

Reporter | State / Regional Team
phone: 612-673-4141
Kelly Smith covers Greater Minnesota and the region. A Star Tribune reporter since 2010, she has covered K-12 education, west metro suburbs and Hennepin County government.
Recent content from Kelly Smith
For many Minnesotans, Franken news brings resignation and melancholy

For many Minnesotans, Franken news brings resignation and melancholy

Moments after Al Franken stood on the U.S. Senate floor and announced his resignation Thursday, a red-eyed staffer answered the senator’s locked St. Paul office…
Mayo Clinc launches gift registry to support sex trafficking victims

Mayo Clinc launches gift registry to support sex trafficking victims

The registry accepting donations of items to support sex trafficking victims in Minnesota is one of many new initiatives before the Super Bowl.
Hungry Hippie Hostel outside Grand Marais satiates North Shore travelers

Hungry Hippie Hostel outside Grand Marais satiates North Shore travelers

This renovated horse barn has become a hot spot in its new life, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Cold Spring honors police officer Tom Decker five years after fatal shooting outside bar

Cold Spring honors police officer Tom Decker five years after fatal shooting outside bar

Five years after the shooting of police officer Thomas Decker, the community of Cold Spring, Minn., paused to remember the incident and pay respects to the man who lost his life.
Stearns County deputies are latest in Minnesota to train in de-escalating mental health calls

Stearns County deputies are latest in Minnesota to train in de-escalating mental health calls

Last month, 12 of the department's 41 deputies learned about different types of mental illness and acted out role-playing scenarios.

Blue Earth seeks answers after 4 teens are charged in attack on teammate

Among the questions: What prompted the beating last month and why did it take so long to be investigated?
Amid "public safety crisis," Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe holds rally to protest impasse with county

Amid "public safety crisis," Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe holds rally to protest impasse with county

Monday's rally came days after the Mille Lacs Band sued Mille Lacs County over a policing agreement.
More Minn. sex trafficking victims are getting help

More Minn. sex trafficking victims are getting help

That could be a sign of more awareness and services.
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe sues county over policing dispute

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe sues county over policing dispute

Talks have deadlocked and Dayton's attempt to intervene failed.

Father of St. Cloud 3-year-old who shot himself is arrested in Montana

The father, a felon, wasn't allowed to own a gun.
Report: Refugees have almost no impact on Stearns County budget

Report: Refugees have almost no impact on Stearns County budget

As St. Cloud debates resettlement issue, numbers show costs to county are negligible.

Police: St. Cloud 3-year-old shot self with dad's improperly stored gun

Police say the boy's father, a felon, was not allowed to own a gun.
Investigators hope 15th anniversary of St. John's student's disappearance sparks new tips

Investigators hope 15th anniversary of St. John's student's disappearance sparks new tips

On Nov. 9, 2002, Josh Guimond left a party on campus around midnight and disappeared without a trace.
St. Cloud mayor vetoes 'tobacco 21' ordinance after a split City Council approves it

St. Cloud mayor vetoes 'tobacco 21' ordinance after a split City Council approves it

ST. CLOUD – In front of a packed City Hall audience, a split St. Cloud City Council narrowly passed a new ordinance last week…
St. Cloud council soundly rejects ban on refugee resettlement

St. Cloud council soundly rejects ban on refugee resettlement

City Council voted 6-1 against the measure in a meeting that was at times heated, and approved a resolution saying that the city is a welcoming community.
From fish boils to fall colors, Wisconsin's Door County shines in autumn

From fish boils to fall colors, Wisconsin's Door County shines in autumn

The postcard-perfect forested scenery of the Wisconsin peninsula takes center stage.
Minnesota law requiring carbon monoxide detectors on boats wins national recognition

Minnesota law requiring carbon monoxide detectors on boats wins national recognition

It's the first boating law of its kind in the U.S.
Minnesota police, led by Minneapolis, prepare to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl

Minnesota police, led by Minneapolis, prepare to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl

Police updated city leaders Wednesday on plans.
Stearns County deputies tap drones for aerial searches

Stearns County deputies tap drones for aerial searches

A growing contingent of Minnesota law enforcement has an "eye in the sky."
Pine County, Mille Lac Band will hire cultural coach to help at-risk youth

Pine County, Mille Lac Band will hire cultural coach to help at-risk youth

The new contract position, one of the few of its kind in Minnesota, starts Jan. 1.
3 dead as snowstorm makes driving treacherous in Minn.

3 dead as snowstorm makes driving treacherous in Minn.

A 58-year-old St. Paul man was killed when his pickup spun out and rolled over in a ditch on Hwy. 169 in Princeton.
9 pounds of marijuana shipped from Colorado seized in Sherburne County

9 pounds of marijuana shipped from Colorado seized in Sherburne County

One arrested in Big Lake.
New campaigns launching in Minnesota to curb sex trafficking ahead of the Super Bowl

New campaigns launching in Minnesota to curb sex trafficking ahead of the Super Bowl

With the Super Bowl here, prevention efforts are picking up across the state.
Lower Sioux aim to revitalize Dakota language in Minnesota

Lower Sioux aim to revitalize Dakota language in Minnesota

Minnesota is embracing an effort to reclaim American Indian languages.
Amid refugee debate, St. Cloud OKs 'welcoming' resolution

Amid refugee debate, St. Cloud OKs 'welcoming' resolution

After one St. Cloud city leader proposed a moratorium on refugee resettlement, the City Council instead passed a resolution Monday to support being a "just and welcoming community."

Authorities identify St. Cloud officer who shot and wounded Willmar man

The Willmar man was treated at the St. Cloud Hospital for noncritical injuries.
St. Cloud to consider resolution on moratorium on refugee resettlement

St. Cloud to consider resolution on moratorium on refugee resettlement

But some council members said the resolution doesn't have enough support to pass.

Suspect injured in officer-involved shooting in St. Cloud

According to the BCA, the man was armed and fired.
Colman O'Connell, Catholic nun who led St. Ben's as its last monastic president, dies at 90

Colman O'Connell, Catholic nun who led St. Ben's as its last monastic president, dies at 90

Over seven decades, she saw St. Ben's transform from a small women's-only college to a growing school with coed classes.
Somali girls make history on St. Cloud swim team

Somali girls make history on St. Cloud swim team

First Muslim girls to compete for their St. Cloud high school swim team have gotten lots of support from coach, teammates.
Calling it 'public safety crisis,' Dayton orders end to county-tribal dispute

Calling it 'public safety crisis,' Dayton orders end to county-tribal dispute

The 15-month dispute is over policing of the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation

St. Cloud police investigate swastika painted on wall of junior high school

Police say no similar graffiti had been reported and that they believe it's an isolated incident.
North Dakota, Minnesota governors form new flood control task force

North Dakota, Minnesota governors form new flood control task force

The 18-member task force will meet for no more than two months.
EPA sues city of Cass Lake over clean up costs of Superfund site

EPA sues city of Cass Lake over clean up costs of Superfund site

If a judge signs off, the city will pay $30,000.
Around a home-cooked meal, St. Cloud mayor bringing people together

Around a home-cooked meal, St. Cloud mayor bringing people together

Mayor Dave Kleis has taken a nontraditional approach to engage the city.
St. Cloud reconnects to Mississippi River with trail, plan for redevelopment

St. Cloud reconnects to Mississippi River with trail, plan for redevelopment

From a trail to new amenities, the city wants to boost river access.
Detroit Lakes nixes ordinance to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Detroit Lakes nixes ordinance to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Attempts to raise the tobacco sales age from 18 have so far failed to take off outside the Twin Cities.
DNA tests confirm infant belonged to slain Fargo woman

DNA tests confirm infant belonged to slain Fargo woman

Infant Haisley Jo, is doing well and is with her father.
Three men charged in kidnapping, rape of 15-year-old Alexandria girl

Three men charged in kidnapping, rape of 15-year-old Alexandria girl

The victim had been held captive for 29 days before escaping.
Minnesota's fall colors could be more vibrant earlier this year

Minnesota's fall colors could be more vibrant earlier this year

The Twin Cities had above normal amounts of precipitation in August, and all that rain could now help produce more brilliant fall colors, peaking sooner.
Indians look to murdered woman's spirit as source of strength, resolve

Indians look to murdered woman's spirit as source of strength, resolve

As Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind is laid to rest Thursday, those who mourn hope her story will raise awareness of the plight of Indian women.
Pregnant Fargo woman died from homicidal violence

Pregnant Fargo woman died from homicidal violence

Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who was eight months pregnant when she disappeared from her Fargo apartment earlier this month, died from homicidal violence, authorities said Tuesday.
61-year-old family-run Long Prairie drive-in theater still closed after July storm

61-year-old family-run Long Prairie drive-in theater still closed after July storm

A month after a storm ripped up its big outdoor screen, one of the few drive-in theaters left in Minnesota is still shut down as…
Cloudy skies aside, Minnesotans fully dazzled by partial eclipse

Cloudy skies aside, Minnesotans fully dazzled by partial eclipse

Across most of Minnesota, overcast skies granted only glimpses of the much-anticipated solar eclipse, but throngs of people went out to get a look anyway.
Second Minnesota lake infested in 2017 by starry stonewort

Second Minnesota lake infested in 2017 by starry stonewort

Starry Stonewort ID'd by state DNR in second lake in the past week.
Nazi resurgence alarms Minn. WWII vets, Holocaust survivors

Nazi resurgence alarms Minn. WWII vets, Holocaust survivors

In the aftermath of last weekend's deadly violence in Virginia, no one may be feeling more anger and fear than those who battled the Nazis and those nearly killed by them.
St. Cloud opens new police community outpost, first-of-its-kind program in Minnesota

St. Cloud opens new police community outpost, first-of-its-kind program in Minnesota

Community policing seen as a way to transform a troubled neighborhood.
Starry stonewort found in third Stearns County lake

Starry stonewort found in third Stearns County lake

The finding follows two other infestations of Stearns County lakes by the invasive.
St. Cloud classes teach sex buyers human cost of prostitution

St. Cloud classes teach sex buyers human cost of prostitution

Courts order men caught in sex stings to learn about victimization
Minnesota fights sex trafficking by cracking down on buyers

Minnesota fights sex trafficking by cracking down on buyers

As the Super Bowl gets closer, law enforcement officials and nonprofits across Minnesota are taking aggressive new action to crack down on customers of prostitution and boosting programs aimed at keeping teens out of the sex trade.

Hennepin County focuses on infants to break child protection cycle

Pilot program with "Infant Court" aims to keep children from returning to foster care.

First-ever U study analyzes the patterns of sex buyers in Minnesota

They tend to be middle-class, married white men from all over the state.

Excelsior beach on Lake Minnetonka reopens after temporary shutdown due to E. coli

It was shut down just a day earlier.

Excelsior beach closed due to high E. coli levels

The Excelsior public beach closure comes a week after Wayzata's was shut down.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office to add some body cameras this year

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office to add some body cameras this year

Up to 40 devices could be rolled out by December.
Fatal police encounters in Minnesota since 2000

Fatal police encounters in Minnesota since 2000

More than 160 people have died in forceful encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota since 2000.
Hennepin County is first in Minnesota to fund new drug test

Hennepin County is first in Minnesota to fund new drug test

After clearing a backlog that held up court cases for months, it could go statewide this year.
Charley McCrossan, the man behind one of the Twin Cities' largest construction companies, dies at 91

Charley McCrossan, the man behind one of the Twin Cities' largest construction companies, dies at 91

He turned $1,000 in savings and two used dump trucks into C.S. McCrossan.
Hennepin County leaders say new approach needed to address gaps — from housing to income

Hennepin County leaders say new approach needed to address gaps — from housing to income

Officials estimated that eliminating the racial and ethnic income and employment disparities would mean $4.6 billion in income growth

Cities adapt to citizens' hunger for info, add communication jobs

Few metro cities had communications teams when Helen LaFave started her job in Plymouth 30 years ago. Now almost every suburb has staff members running…
Boaters heeded safety messages on Lake Minnetonka over July 4th

Boaters heeded safety messages on Lake Minnetonka over July 4th

It appeared after Wednesday's annual cleanup near Big Island that there also was less trash littering the lake.
New cellphone technology going up in advance of Super Bowl

New cellphone technology going up in advance of Super Bowl

New wave of cell tech goes up in high-demand areas.
Boating season in Minnesota is shaping up to be a deadly one

Boating season in Minnesota is shaping up to be a deadly one

At this point in the year, 2017 boater fatalities are at the highest level in 12 years.
Hunt to ID dead man ends with quiet funeral in Inver Grove Heights

Hunt to ID dead man ends with quiet funeral in Inver Grove Heights

Strangers ensure that a rare "John Doe" is buried with care, three years after his body was found in a Rosemount railroad shed.
Hennepin County adds staff to confront soaring child protection reports

Hennepin County adds staff to confront soaring child protection reports

It's one of many reforms to help prevent child abuse.
Three Rivers Park District's camp for autistic kids grows in popularity

Three Rivers Park District's camp for autistic kids grows in popularity

It's part of the district's increasing efforts to reach people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, expanding its reach to people who may not traditionally use its parks.
Lake Minnetonka sailing center launches $4 million campaign to build new center

Lake Minnetonka sailing center launches $4 million campaign to build new center

State's only accredited sailing school wants to replace outdated building.
Therapeutic horseback riding program leaves Minnetonka after 35 years

Therapeutic horseback riding program leaves Minnetonka after 35 years

Program found a 'good match' in Medina after losing its land after nearly four decades.
New Lake Street building marks end to five-year, $80 million plan to decentralize Hennepin County services

New Lake Street building marks end to five-year, $80 million plan to decentralize Hennepin County services

Hennepin County opens last in a series of new human services centers
Group unveils $1M campaign to fight Super Bowl sex trafficking

Group unveils $1M campaign to fight Super Bowl sex trafficking

The effort brings together public and private sector, with input from survivors.
Maple-Grove-run gun range finds itself 'at capacity'

Maple-Grove-run gun range finds itself 'at capacity'

Some cities have municipal liquor stores, others own community centers. In Maple Grove, it's a city-owned gun range that draws crowds. The city hopes an $8 million investment will keep up with growing demand.
Wayzata hotel opens Saturday, the first on Lake Minnetonka in more than 50 years

Wayzata hotel opens Saturday, the first on Lake Minnetonka in more than 50 years

The opening of a Wayzata hotel recalls an era when the lake was a lodging hub.
Graduation marks major milestone for youth who overcame challenges

Graduation marks major milestone for youth who overcame challenges

Some of these teens and young adults have been homeless. Many are poor. What they share, statistically, is the unlikelihood of ever earning a high school diploma.
Hennepin County ramps up the hunt for foster families

Hennepin County ramps up the hunt for foster families

Urgent needs prompt Hennepin County to go digital with heart-tugging ads.
New Minnesota rule requiring carbon monoxide detectors on boats pushed to 2018

New Minnesota rule requiring carbon monoxide detectors on boats pushed to 2018

Availability of marine carbon monoxide detectors is an issue.
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