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
New St. Paul city attorney sues DFL legislator for defamation, 'innuendos'

New St. Paul city attorney sues DFL legislator for defamation, 'innuendos'

Lyndsey Olson alleged in a court document that state Rep. John Lesch smeared her professional reputation in a letter to the mayor.
Minnesota incident included in 2018 U.S. school-shooting total shouldn't be, police official says

Minnesota incident included in 2018 U.S. school-shooting total shouldn't be, police official says

Cmdr. Dave Kvam said school shootings should be defined as deadly, intentional criminal acts in talking about officer's gun that discharged.
Authorities in northern Minnesota searching for pregnant woman missing since Feb. 2

Authorities in northern Minnesota searching for pregnant woman missing since Feb. 2

Kara Blevins, 27, was last seen in the town of Akeley. Investigators have yet to find evidence of a crime.
Super Bowl visitors leave some Minnesota Nice along with winter gear

Super Bowl visitors leave some Minnesota Nice along with winter gear

Parkas piled up, thanks to last-minute collection.
St. Paul boy dies after hitting tree while sledding at Scout camp

St. Paul boy dies after hitting tree while sledding at Scout camp

Simon Caquelin hit a tree while sledding at a Boy Scout camp last week. After 10 days in the hospital, he died Monday.
Minnesota communities are considering resolutions that affirm they are welcoming to all

Minnesota communities are considering resolutions that affirm they are welcoming to all

City councils in Willmar and St. Joseph are expected to discuss resolutions Monday. The measures don't change policy but are considered symbolic.
NFL officials, players discuss taking a knee, racial equality in sports

NFL officials, players discuss taking a knee, racial equality in sports

More than 200 people attended the third annual Super Bowl Town Hall held by the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality.
Where did the homeless go in Minneapolis during Super Bowl week?

Where did the homeless go in Minneapolis during Super Bowl week?

Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis has opened up space. And over the weekend shelters will extend opening times.
Hennepin County staffer helps lead Super Bowl committee cracking down on sex trafficking

Hennepin County staffer helps lead Super Bowl committee cracking down on sex trafficking

Committee hopes Twin Cities' response can be a model for future games.
Colorado hot springs draw crowds year-round to Steamboat Springs

Colorado hot springs draw crowds year-round to Steamboat Springs

In this Rocky Mountain town, natural hot springs keep things steamy year-round.

Sauk Centre pilot killed in small-plane crash in Stearns County

Authorities found the wreckage of the plane Wednesday in a Stearns County farm field hasn't yet been identified.
For Vikings fans, defeat is familiar ending to 'miracle' season

For Vikings fans, defeat is familiar ending to 'miracle' season

The Eagles fans lived up to their reputation — pelting Vikings fans with beers before the game and doing the same to the team bus as it prepared to head to the airport.
Want to watch the game with a crowd? On a lake? With a Skol drum? Here's where

Want to watch the game with a crowd? On a lake? With a Skol drum? Here's where

As the Vikings travel to Philadelphia to take on the host Eagles in Sunday's NFC title game, some Minnesota fans opt for collective celebration.
Marilyn Brooke Goffstein, children's book author and artist, dies at 77

Marilyn Brooke Goffstein, children's book author and artist, dies at 77

The author of some 30 books kept writing and telling stories until she died on her 77th birthday.
Mohamed now among most popular baby boy names in St. Cloud, reflecting area's diversity

Mohamed now among most popular baby boy names in St. Cloud, reflecting area's diversity

The St. Cloud Hospital also recorded a recent record number of babies born there in 2017.

Alexandria couple die in first fatal fire in Minnesota in 2018

The mobile home didn't have smoke detectors.
State boating deaths slow, but distracted driving leads to surge in accidents

State boating deaths slow, but distracted driving leads to surge in accidents

Officials say apps, GPS take drivers' eyes off the water.
St. Cloud, Duluth add homeless teen programs

St. Cloud, Duluth add homeless teen programs

Of the state's homeless youth, 40 percent live outside the metro
New task force to help Stearns County crack down on sex trafficking

New task force to help Stearns County crack down on sex trafficking

A two-year state grant will enable the task force to work full time on sex trafficking crimes.

State's liquor stores toast Christmas Eve opening

Melissa Surdyk arrived at her family's Minneapolis store to find an unusual scene for Christmas Eve: 35 people standing outside in the 20-degree morning, waiting…
"Ojibway Netflix" app launched as part of effort to revive American Indian languages in Minnesota

"Ojibway Netflix" app launched as part of effort to revive American Indian languages in Minnesota

The streaming service was launched this month by a Winnipeg-based company.

Cow on the run is detained by Stearns County, then reunited with owner

The cow may have traveled more than 20 miles.
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.
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