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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 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.
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.
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.
Hundreds of dead fish wash ashore in west metro lake

Hundreds of dead fish wash ashore in west metro lake

An estimated 500 to 1,000 dead crappies were reported at the boat access on Lake Independence in Maple Plain over the long Memorial Day weekend.
Excelsior, with its increasing popularity, is turning away events

Excelsior, with its increasing popularity, is turning away events

To keep the problems that come with large crowds under control, some events are being rejected.
Henn. Co. Gov't fountain to stay dry this summer, undergo $3.5M repair

Henn. Co. Gov't fountain to stay dry this summer, undergo $3.5M repair

The Hennepin County Government Center's distinctive but problematic pool and waterfall fountain will remain dry this summer, as crews again repair and replace parts of it.
Review of 14,000 Minnesota criminal convictions finds no exonerations

Review of 14,000 Minnesota criminal convictions finds no exonerations

Two cases, including Billy Glaze's, are still being checked.
Minnetonka OKs cutting down hundreds of trees for project despite protests

Minnetonka OKs cutting down hundreds of trees for project despite protests

Scores of decades-old trees are being cut down this week in Minnetonka, after residents lost efforts to fight the city’s plan to remove trees for…
Critics: Wayzata lakefront plan could cost too much, kill vibe

Critics: Wayzata lakefront plan could cost too much, kill vibe

Some Wayzata residents are calling for a public referendum on the city's plans to revamp its lakefront on Lake Minnetonka.
Minnetonka residents protest city tearing down trees for road projects

Minnetonka residents protest city tearing down trees for road projects

A group of residents are upset water main and sewer work will cost neighborhood's mature trees.

State aid boosts mental health crisis services

Minnesota will boost the number of mental health professionals who can respond to someone in crisis, enabling for the first time all 87 counties to offer crisis services for children and adults.
Family of slain man urges better police mental health training

Family of slain man urges better police mental health training

Family is urging training after fatal police shooting.

Eden Prairie officer who accidentally shot motorcyclist blamed 'muscle memory'

A motorcyclist accidentally shot by an Eden Prairie police officer is pursuing a lawsuit against the department. Matthew Hovland-Knase, 22, of Bloomington, led police on…

Eden Prairie police officer returns to work after shooting investigation

The Eden Prairie police officer who shot and wounded a fleeing motorcyclist last year is back at work, following a seven-month Hennepin County investigation. Sgt.…
Hennepin, Ramsey move toward plan for joint treatment of teen offenders

Hennepin, Ramsey move toward plan for joint treatment of teen offenders

Ramsey, Hennepin move toward plan to share a facility.
Lake Minnetonka ruins listed in National Register

Lake Minnetonka ruins listed in National Register

The Schmid Farmhouse Ruins in Lake Minnetonka Regional Park were officially listed in the National Register last month.
Council rejects Old Log patio plan after neighbors object

Council rejects Old Log patio plan after neighbors object

Residents living near historic theater raised objections with the Greenwood City Council, which voted 3-2 to reject the plan.
Minnesota ends 2015 with 10-year high for boating fatalities

Minnesota ends 2015 with 10-year high for boating fatalities

Warm weather through the spring, summer and fall, along with cheap fuel prices, drew boaters out in droves.
Minneapolis, Victoria take a fresh look at how to deal with flooding

Minneapolis, Victoria take a fresh look at how to deal with flooding

It's considered part of a trend of more extreme weather events that are increasing across the country.
Police end investigation into Lake Minnetonka quadruple murder-suicide

Police end investigation into Lake Minnetonka quadruple murder-suicide

Lake Minnetonka father shot wife, three children.
Lake Minnetonka boat rescue has officials urging all to stay off ice

Lake Minnetonka boat rescue has officials urging all to stay off ice

After a Lake Minnetonka rescue, authorities are urging people to stay off Twin Cities lakes and rivers due to thin ice.
BLM protest at MOA, airport mostly peaceful; 13 arrested

BLM protest at MOA, airport mostly peaceful; 13 arrested

After filling the mall rotunda and getting warned about arrests, demonstrators moved the protest to nearby light-rail trains, taking the Blue Line to the Humphrey Terminal.
Hennepin County approves new sports grants

Hennepin County approves new sports grants

Hennepin County approved the west-metro youth projects, thanks to money from the Target Field tax levy.

Wayzata residents push for country club to close gun range

Wayzata officials work to resolve long-running issues.
Obituary: Tonka Toy VP, historian Lloyd Laumann kept company's history alive

Obituary: Tonka Toy VP, historian Lloyd Laumann kept company's history alive

For years after the Tonka Toys plant shut down in Mound, Lloyd Laumann worked to keep the memory and history of the famous company alive.…
Handcuffing after shooting is standard police practice

Handcuffing after shooting is standard police practice

It seems odd to some, but police say the practice ensures safety. Those incapacitated or killed by use of force may lie that way for hours, unless the handcuffs are removed for medical treatment.
Thieves steal Christmas trees from Excelsior businesses that were going to families in need

Thieves steal Christmas trees from Excelsior businesses that were going to families in need

Incidents have marred an annual holiday tradition.
Excelsior looks at tighter liquor rules to crack down on drinking

Excelsior looks at tighter liquor rules to crack down on drinking

In the past year, Excelsior has had nearly 200 alcohol-related incidents, prompting City Council members to discuss a crackdown on overserving.
Developer cancels plans for Lake Minnetonka hotel over high costs

Developer cancels plans for Lake Minnetonka hotel over high costs

The developer withdrew his application this week for the 58-room boutique hotel in Excelsior — initially pegged as the first hotel on the Twin Cities' busiest lake in 50 years.
Minneapolis man who shot mother, child pleads guilty

Minneapolis man who shot mother, child pleads guilty

A Minneapolis man who shot and wounded a mother and child near a city park over the summer has pleaded guilty. Dontae Denae Peterson, 28,…
More metro police are tracking people's 'last drink'

More metro police are tracking people's 'last drink'

It helps police see patterns of where over-serving might be happening.
Why criminal charges in the Wetterling case may never come

Why criminal charges in the Wetterling case may never come

Without hard evidence or a confession, justice is tormentingly out of reach.
Judge temporarily halts work on former Dayton property in Orono

Judge temporarily halts work on former Dayton property in Orono

Neighbors win temporary reprieve after injunction halts construction on former Dayton property.
'Person of interest' named in 1989 Jacob Wetterling disappearance

'Person of interest' named in 1989 Jacob Wetterling disappearance

Jacob Wetterling was 11 when he was abducted while riding on his bike near St. Joseph, Minn., 26 years ago. Danny James Heinrich, who was charged with possessing child pornography, is a person of interest in the case.
Groundbreaking to be held for new garden at Hindu temple in Maple Grove

Groundbreaking to be held for new garden at Hindu temple in Maple Grove

A groundbreaking event Saturday will honor the Hindu community's forgiveness after vandalism.
October: CO poisoning that killed Edina girl, 7, caused by hole in boat exhaust

October: CO poisoning that killed Edina girl, 7, caused by hole in boat exhaust

Animals probably chewed the hole, investigators say.
Funeral is Friday for Edina 7-year-old who died from CO poisoning on Lake Minnetonka boat

Funeral is Friday for Edina 7-year-old who died from CO poisoning on Lake Minnetonka boat

The death of a 7-year-old girl on Lake Minnetonka earlier this week was the result of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Hennepin County medical examiner has…

Girl, 7, died of carbon monoxide poisoning at Lake Minnetonka dock

She was a second-grader at an Edina elementary school.
Orono City Council approves disputed housing project

Orono City Council approves disputed housing project

Neighbors who sued say the subdivision will cause "environmental degradation."
Christmas Lake holds off zebra mussel spread

Christmas Lake holds off zebra mussel spread

Some of the most aggressive measures have been tried.
Orono subdivision of Dayton land could move forward

Orono subdivision of Dayton land could move forward

A Hennepin County judge has denied a request for a restraining order to stop permits from being issued in the subdivision of the late Doug…
Neighbors sue over Orono subdivision plans for Doug Dayton land

Neighbors sue over Orono subdivision plans for Doug Dayton land

The lawsuit seeks to stop the Big Woods subdivision plan.
Legal loss in drunken boating case swamps Minnetonka's lake rules

Legal loss in drunken boating case swamps Minnetonka's lake rules

Lake Minnetonka leaders are looking to revise rules after an Excelsior man arrested for boating while intoxicated had the charge tossed out, thanks to his argument that a boat lighting rule he was initially stopped for was stricter than state law.
Dad bought shotgun days before family murder-suicide, documents show

Dad bought shotgun days before family murder-suicide, documents show

The weapon was bought at an Eden Prairie outdoors store, search warrant documents say.
Funeral set for family killed in Greenwood murder-suicide

Funeral set for family killed in Greenwood murder-suicide

Deaths of parents, three teens are still under investigation.
Minnesota firefighters report uptick in fires started by stain rags

Minnesota firefighters report uptick in fires started by stain rags

Homeowners staining their deck or garage before winter may not realize they’re dealing with chemicals that can all too easily ignite. From Orono to Robbinsdale,…
Medical examiner confirms father shot family in Greenwood

Medical examiner confirms father shot family in Greenwood

On Saturday morning, the medical examiner confirmed that Brian S. Short died of a self-inflicted shotgun blast. The deaths of his family members have been ruled homicides.
Sept. 11, 2015: Friends, neighbors remember family of 5 found dead in home

Sept. 11, 2015: Friends, neighbors remember family of 5 found dead in home

The family members were found dead Thursday afternoon from an apparent murder-suicide in the west metro city of Greenwood.
Osseo gun club, Facebook clash over 'family night' ads

Osseo gun club, Facebook clash over 'family night' ads

The owner of a new Osseo gun club is upset that Facebook refuses to advertise a "family night" shooting range promotion, fresh criticism of the social media website that finds itself at the center of the gun-rights issue nationally.
Boating on Lake Minnetonka? Clean up after yourself, groups urge

Boating on Lake Minnetonka? Clean up after yourself, groups urge

The "Zero Waste" campaign urges boaters to leave behind zero trash.
Attorneys argue Byron Smith didn't get a fair trial in Little Falls killings

Attorneys argue Byron Smith didn't get a fair trial in Little Falls killings

Smith is serving a life sentence after being convicted of killing two teenage intruders in his Little Falls home in 2012.

Lawsuit against Wayzata sides with city, developer proposes new plans

Judge says city doesn't need to allow five-story project on Lake Street.
Lake Minnetonka marina owner fights constant battle for lakes

Lake Minnetonka marina owner fights constant battle for lakes

Former Orono Mayor Gabriel Jabbour speaks out in effort to keep waters healthy.
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