Staff Directory 101372379

Kelly Smith

Reporter | West Metro
phone: 612-673-4141
Kelly Smith covers west metro suburban cities including Plymouth, Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Excelsior, Osseo and Robbinsdale.
Recent content from Kelly Smith
Hennepin County adds alternative community service for women

Hennepin County adds alternative community service for women

In its third year, program gives young mothers and women who are pregnant or disabled a new option for community service.
Dozens rally against plans to create joint Hennepin/Ramsey juvenile facility

Dozens rally against plans to create joint Hennepin/Ramsey juvenile facility

About 100 people disrupted a meeting in Richfield, holding signs with slogans such as "No Cages for Kids." The meeting ended with several people yelling.
Developer of old Dayton estate pays $5k after cutting 54 trees

Developer of old Dayton estate pays $5k after cutting 54 trees

In a rare step by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, a developer must pay $5,000 for violating a permit while developing the former shoreline estate of the late Douglas Dayton.
Herbert "Hippy" Wagner, idea man, apple grower and piemaker, dies at 91

Herbert "Hippy" Wagner, idea man, apple grower and piemaker, dies at 91

A hailstorm is credited with sparking Herbert Wagner’s most popular business idea. When a storm damaged the crop at his longtime orchard, Jim’s Apple Farm,…
Hennepin County to follow Sheriff's Office in automatically deleting e-mails sooner

Hennepin County to follow Sheriff's Office in automatically deleting e-mails sooner

The policy changes are raising concerns over what some view as shrinking transparency and the destruction of public data.
Hennepin County to give cities incentive to start organics recycling

Hennepin County to give cities incentive to start organics recycling

By 2020, Hennepin County plans to send more funding to cities in order to speed process.
Pet boarding gets plush in west metro, complete with flat-screen TV, spas

Pet boarding gets plush in west metro, complete with flat-screen TV, spas

Businesses appeal to dog owners who want to spare no cost to pamper their pooches, especially in west metro suburbs where pet spending and ownership is highest.
Hennepin County expands new frost sensors in west metro suburbs

Hennepin County expands new frost sensors in west metro suburbs

Hennepin County using devices to warn about problems in water pipes as weather cools.
Three Rivers District shifts plan to bring parks to the people

Three Rivers District shifts plan to bring parks to the people

The suburban park system is changing priorities from building up parks and amenities to bringing the massive system right to residents.
Number of kids waiting to be adopted in Hennepin Co. quadruples

Number of kids waiting to be adopted in Hennepin Co. quadruples

The jump follows increases systemwide, with jumps in child-protection reports to the county and children placed in foster care.
Database of deaths after police use of force in Minnesota since 2000

Database of deaths after police use of force in Minnesota since 2000

More than 140 people have died in forceful encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota since 2000.
Developer pitches turning vacant Four Seasons Mall into 'urban-type village'

Developer pitches turning vacant Four Seasons Mall into 'urban-type village'

Vacant Plymouth mall could become an "urban-type village."

Hennepin discussing $26M child protection plan that would add nearly 250 staffers

Hennepin County officials seek state aid for a new, $26M family-centered prevention system.
HCMC seeks a name change to HHMC, upsetting some county leaders

HCMC seeks a name change to HHMC, upsetting some county leaders

Hennepin County Medical Center is getting a new name to align it with the county's health care system, but not everyone thinks it's a smart move or necessary.

Election ushers in first-ever female majority on Hennepin County Board

The election of a mayor to the Hennepin County Board marked the first-ever female majority on the board, while a contentious race in one Lake…

Hennepin County shifts child protection mission with new model

As child abuse cases rise, Hennepin County Board is considering plan to prevent it.
Excelsior looks to add docks, revitalize Lake Minnetonka park

Excelsior looks to add docks, revitalize Lake Minnetonka park

The city is compiling feedback from numerous focus groups this month.
Medina City Council to vote on proposed luxury car condo building

Medina City Council to vote on proposed luxury car condo building

Medina council to vote on building for luxury vehicles.

Hennepin County Board slated to vote on 2.5 percent pay raise Tuesday

Hennepin County commissioners are scheduled to vote Tuesday on their own proposed pay raises for 2017 and 2018. The County Board will vote on a…

Hennepin County's teen birthrates continue to decrease

Birthrate for Hennepin County teens falling faster than state's.
Minnesota moves forward on launching statewide crisis line

Minnesota moves forward on launching statewide crisis line

The state is poised to join national trend of having a single hot line number.
Hot presidential race spurs record voter registration in Henn. Cty.

Hot presidential race spurs record voter registration in Henn. Cty.

More than 740,000 Hennepin County voters have preregistered, breaking 2008's mark of 720,000 preregistered voters.

Leaders clash in Orono, leading to record number of city candidates

The state is reviewing campaign violation complaints Wednesday.
Preservationists lose last-ditch effort to save Terrace Theatre; demolition to resume

Preservationists lose last-ditch effort to save Terrace Theatre; demolition to resume

Preservationists were unable to muster the $6.3 million required to halt the process.
From Facebook Live to a farmers market, Minnetonka residents weigh in via new ways

From Facebook Live to a farmers market, Minnetonka residents weigh in via new ways

It's part of the city's new planning process, "Imagine Minnetonka," launched earlier this year.
Robbinsdale preservation group appeals decision on Terrace Theatre demolition

Robbinsdale preservation group appeals decision on Terrace Theatre demolition

Preservationists make a "last stand" to save the 1950s Robbinsdale icon.

Taxpayers in Hennepin, Ramsey counties can brace for a rate hike next year

Leaders in the state's most populous counties get their first look at 2017 budgets.
Hennepin County judge denies request to save Robbinsdale's Terrace Theatre from demolition

Hennepin County judge denies request to save Robbinsdale's Terrace Theatre from demolition

The theater will be replaced by a Hy-Vee supermarket.
More senior housing in west metro sparks clashes with residents

More senior housing in west metro sparks clashes with residents

New suburban buildings too big for some neighbors.
Covanta sues Hennepin County over downtown Minneapolis garbage burner

Covanta sues Hennepin County over downtown Minneapolis garbage burner

At stake is a $25.5M contract with facility's current operator.
Minnetonka rejects Total Wine, saying the suburb has enough liquor stores

Minnetonka rejects Total Wine, saying the suburb has enough liquor stores

City Council vote follows Target liquor license defeat.
Hennepin, Ramsey counties hold first input meeting on plans for joint juvenile treatment center

Hennepin, Ramsey counties hold first input meeting on plans for joint juvenile treatment center

The counties are exploring merging juvenile treatment centers.
Judge hears arguments in lawsuit that aims to save Robbinsdale's Terrace Theatre from demolition

Judge hears arguments in lawsuit that aims to save Robbinsdale's Terrace Theatre from demolition

A Hennepin County judge is expected to rule this week on a suit seeking a temporary restraining order to block the demolition of Robbinsdale’s Terrace…
Road closures of County Road 101 along Lake Minnetonka slated to reopen this month

Road closures of County Road 101 along Lake Minnetonka slated to reopen this month

Construction began in 2014 and has rerouted thousands of motorists — until this month.
U launches first-of-its-kind program for elections officials

U launches first-of-its-kind program for elections officials

Unique course of study responds to growing need.
Water Patrol unit grows to one of biggest, busiest in Minnesota

Water Patrol unit grows to one of biggest, busiest in Minnesota

Boats puttered by slowly in a Lake Minnetonka channel Saturday as Deputy Shawn Eberle flipped on blue and red emergency lights. “Do you know why…
High water prompts no-wake rules on Twin Cities-area lakes

High water prompts no-wake rules on Twin Cities-area lakes

Experts hope the new-wake rules decrease the chance for boating deaths, which so far are at an 11-year high.
Obituary: At NASA or Land O'Lakes, Arlene Stansfield was an industry leader

Obituary: At NASA or Land O'Lakes, Arlene Stansfield was an industry leader

When astronauts landed on the moon in 1969, Arlene Stansfield’s family members watched the big moment on their Golden Valley TV set while the mother…
Hennepin Co. might close historic Greenway bridges to save money

Hennepin Co. might close historic Greenway bridges to save money

Closings could be more common than updates as the historic stretch ages.
Rare Lake Minnetonka wreck from 1879 storm makes historic register

Rare Lake Minnetonka wreck from 1879 storm makes historic register

The Wayzata Bay wreck, a barge from 1879 that was owned by railroad tycoon James J. Hill, is the oldest known that an archaeological research team has found on the bottom of the metro area's largest lake.
Robbinsdale to consider Terrace demo with or without Hy-Vee

Robbinsdale to consider Terrace demo with or without Hy-Vee

The retailer delayed its plans, but Terrace Theatre demolition is still on Robbinsdale's docket.

Police: Foul play suspected in July death of 74-year-old Eden Prairie man

Eden Prairie police say foul play is suspected in the July death of a 74-year-old Eden Prairie man discovered in his home one day before…
Plymouth residents raise concerns about discolored water

Plymouth residents raise concerns about discolored water

Thoughts of Flint, Mich., make some folks uneasy.
Plymouth reassuring residents that discolored water is still safe

Plymouth reassuring residents that discolored water is still safe

Plymouth is reassuring residents that discolored, brown-tinted water is safe and the result of routine hydrant flushing this summer. The city sent a notice to…
Some big shoes to fill on Hennepin County Board as Randy Johnson retires

Some big shoes to fill on Hennepin County Board as Randy Johnson retires

After a 38-year run, the commissioner is stepping down.

Minnetonka approves first Islamic community center

Al-Amaan plans to move from Eden Prairie space.
Teen Wayzata trap shooters compete against Plymouth police

Teen Wayzata trap shooters compete against Plymouth police

Each side learned something from the other during the friendly competition, which could become an annual event.
Lake Minnetonka has global dreams for tourism

Lake Minnetonka has global dreams for tourism

To drum up interest and support, leaders are showing off the lake area this weekend to organizers of the World Match Racing Tour, a sailing series likened to the PGA Tour for golfers. It hosts races around the world. Wayzata wants to host a tour stop in 2018.
Underdog team brings baseball dreams to Minnesota

Underdog team brings baseball dreams to Minnesota

This weekend, a team from Benin is playing in the very tournament that for three years has raised money and equipment for them.
Robbinsdale gives early OK to raze Terrace Theatre for new Hy-Vee store

Robbinsdale gives early OK to raze Terrace Theatre for new Hy-Vee store

First step to final approval by Robbinsdale City Council fraught with divisiveness.
Students gain rare look into old, handwritten Minn. murder records

Students gain rare look into old, handwritten Minn. murder records

It's the second year of a research project sifting through data from the past 110 years to add the homicides and suspicious deaths to electronic records.
Hennepin County employee groups help workers love their jobs

Hennepin County employee groups help workers love their jobs

It's the state's first public-sector entity to use employee resource groups.
New tactic in fight vs. zebra mussels will be tested on L. Minnetonka

New tactic in fight vs. zebra mussels will be tested on L. Minnetonka

Pesticide could slow spread of invasive larvae.
Bushaway Road on Lake Minnetonka sees construction delays, costs rise $2.4M

Bushaway Road on Lake Minnetonka sees construction delays, costs rise $2.4M

The redesign, rerouting of Bushaway Road will now cost nearly $60 million.

Looking ahead to the next 20 years, Minnetonka hires a futurist

City leaders also plan to collect community feedback in new ways and considering rebranding itself to draw newcomers.

Libraries across the country look to Hennepin County Library for response to Black Lives Matter

Libraries may seem an unlikely place to go in the search for answers after the police shooting of Philando Castile and Black Lives Matter protests…
Robbinsdale unveils plans for Hy-Vee grocery

Robbinsdale unveils plans for Hy-Vee grocery

Plans for the store to replace Terrace Theatre have divided the suburb.

Fatal encounters with police in Minnesota since 2000

Wayzata is moving forward with plans for its first public parking ramp

Wayzata is moving forward with plans for its first public parking ramp

New businesses drawing people downtown are making parking difficult.
Less trash, fewer mishaps reported on Lake Minnetonka over holiday weekend

Less trash, fewer mishaps reported on Lake Minnetonka over holiday weekend

After last year's July 4th fiasco on the metro area's largest lake, patrols curbed trash and serious incidents.
No. 1 fastest growing city in Minnesota? It's the not-so-small town of Rogers

No. 1 fastest growing city in Minnesota? It's the not-so-small town of Rogers

The city is the fastest growing in the state, thanks in part to merging with a township in 2012, but it's struggling to meet suburban needs.
Patrols on Lake Minnetonka boosted for busy July 4 weekend

Patrols on Lake Minnetonka boosted for busy July 4 weekend

At least 40 officers are being deployed across the lake, including, for the first time, the party hot spot of Big Island.
Robbinsdale's dilemma: Save Terrace Theatre or open new grocery store

Robbinsdale's dilemma: Save Terrace Theatre or open new grocery store

While the city has longed for a grocery store, it could now mean tearing down a historic theater.
Minnesota steps up drunken-boating patrols ahead of July 4th

Minnesota steps up drunken-boating patrols ahead of July 4th

Extra enforcement is planned as July 4th weekend approaches.
Senior housing proposal pushes the envelope in Excelsior

Senior housing proposal pushes the envelope in Excelsior

"Fear of change" could inhibit approval of what could be the city's first four-story building.
Hennepin County joins fight to preserve affordable housing

Hennepin County joins fight to preserve affordable housing

Hennepin County joins initiative to counter gentrification trend.
In wake of tragedy, Minnesota boats must now have CO detectors

In wake of tragedy, Minnesota boats must now have CO detectors

As Minnesota's celebrated boating season ramps up this month, one Edina family's loss has propelled them to lead a small but sweeping change to the state's big boating industry.
Hennepin County attorney defends decision not to charge Plymouth officer

Hennepin County attorney defends decision not to charge Plymouth officer

Mike Freeman said that the case for a lawsuit against the department is "groundless."
Lawsuit shows battle in Airbnb era for homeowners groups

Lawsuit shows battle in Airbnb era for homeowners groups

Many groups don't have rules to address short-term renting and usually require rentals to be at least for a year.
No charges for Plymouth officer in fatal shooting of man in mental crisis

No charges for Plymouth officer in fatal shooting of man in mental crisis

Derek Wolfsteller had called his family and police asking for help.
Police being forced to front lines of growing mental health crisis

Police being forced to front lines of growing mental health crisis

At a time when police are facing intense scrutiny over the use of force, more law enforcement officials agree with Beckie O'Connor that officers need more training. Yet no one is taking charge.
Part 2: Fueled by grief, mom tries to reform mental health calls

Part 2: Fueled by grief, mom tries to reform mental health calls

At a time when police are facing intense scrutiny over the use of force, more law enforcement officials agree with Beckie O'Connor that officers need more training. Yet no one is taking charge.
Hennepin County approves new mental health crisis program, doubling number of crisis beds

Hennepin County approves new mental health crisis program, doubling number of crisis beds

There's a growing need for county crisis beds.
Minnetonka is the latest city to enlist goats to clear invasive plants in parks

Minnetonka is the latest city to enlist goats to clear invasive plants in parks

A herd of 22 is feasting away on invasive plants in Minnetonka's Purgatory Park.

Hundreds of west metro fish may have been killed by disease

Boaters flocking to Lake Independence near Maple Plain over the Memorial Day weekend found an estimated 500 to 1,000 dead fish washed ashore.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune