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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
More zebra mussels found in Christmas Lake outside treatment area

More zebra mussels found in Christmas Lake outside treatment area

The battle continues to keep a west-metro lake free of zebra mussels. After costly and groundbreaking efforts to kill off zebra mussels on Christmas Lake…
Grand hotels are making a mini-comeback on Lake Minnetonka

Grand hotels are making a mini-comeback on Lake Minnetonka

Projects on Lake Minnetonka expected to be approved soon in Wayzata and Excelsior.
Zebra mussels treatment on Lake Independence

Zebra mussels treatment on Lake Independence

Treatment to rid the waterway of zebra mussels is forcing the shutdown until June 8.
Excelsior to hold open house to discuss renovated city hall and first distillery

Excelsior to hold open house to discuss renovated city hall and first distillery

From a first distillery to a face-lift at City Hall, Excelsior is gearing up for possible changes this year.
Damaged Lake Minnetonka burial mounds will be restored

Damaged Lake Minnetonka burial mounds will be restored

The discovery of ancient remains recently halted work on County Road 101 in Minnetonka.
April 8: Vikings stadium celebrates halfway mark in construction

April 8: Vikings stadium celebrates halfway mark in construction

Glass, metal panels now giving shape to giant metal skeleton.
Minnesota invasive-species research center under fire

Minnesota invasive-species research center under fire

As the center enters its third year, it’s expanding with new hires and new projects slated to start this summer. But some critics say it’s not doing enough to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
More than half of western Twin Cities lakes get passing grade on water quality

More than half of western Twin Cities lakes get passing grade on water quality

Despite record flooding last year, more than half of west metro area lakes, bays and ponds got a passing grade in an annual report. The…

Plymouth residents question city putting transit advisory group on hold

After Plymouth put a citizens advisory group on indefinite hold, some residents are criticizing the city for a lack of public input and transparency.The City…
Residents push to save Wayzata historic home from development

Residents push to save Wayzata historic home from development

Developer says house will need to be moved or razed by mid-summer.
Site of former sewage plant restored to wetland near Long Lake

Site of former sewage plant restored to wetland near Long Lake

Watershed District’s project also repairs, restores meandering Long Lake Creek near Orono.
Funeral for Barway Collins postponed

Funeral for Barway Collins postponed

Community members agreed that the delay would create an opportunity for Barway’s birth mother to attend.
Maple Grove council member steps down after court ruling

Maple Grove council member steps down after court ruling

LeAnn Sargent cited health, but she faced possible felony conviction.
Family feuds with dueling plans for Minnetonka Country Club

Family feuds with dueling plans for Minnetonka Country Club

A family feud over Shorewood’s largest parcel of land, home to the former Minnetonka Country Club, is now spurring dueling development plans from the children of its deceased owner. The siblings, both doctors, are entangled in a lawsuit over the land.
Maple Grove bar busted for selling New Glarus beer outside of Wisconsin

Maple Grove bar busted for selling New Glarus beer outside of Wisconsin

Undercover officers found that New Glarus Spotted Cow was being sold at the Maple Tavern.
Maple Grove bar busted for selling Spotted Cow

Maple Grove bar busted for selling Spotted Cow

Undercover officers found that New Glarus Spotted Cow was being sold at the Maple Tavern.

Police name Robbinsdale police officer who shot 18-year-old

Sgt. Thomas Rothfork has been with the department since 1995.
Treatments on Christmas Lake kill off zebra mussels

Treatments on Christmas Lake kill off zebra mussels

A small west metro lake has successfully gotten rid of zebra mussels in a small area of the lake — a feat few lakes have been able to accomplish in the fight against aquatic invasive species. The success story could also provide lessons for other infested Minnesota lakes and rivers.

Rash of thefts targeting boats, cars in storage near Lake Minnetonka

Thieves are targeting boats in storage near Lake Minnetonka, stealing stereo equipment and other items as well as air bags out of cars, prompting Orono…
Lake Minnetonka cities face parking crunch

Lake Minnetonka cities face parking crunch

Wayzata and Excelsior are facing the same trouble from the droves of lake tourists, especially as it warms up.
Robbinsdale police shooting of teen draws protest

Robbinsdale police shooting of teen draws protest

Tania Harris, 18, is at North Memorial Medical Center, and protesters marched there so her family would be allowed to see her.

Hennepin County appoints new manager, ousts incumbent on Minnehaha Creek board

Hennepin County commissioners reappointed one incumbent and ousted another Tuesday when filling two spots on the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s board. The commissioners appointed incumbent…

Thefts target cars parked outside Orono day cares

Orono police are investigating a spree of thefts from cars parked outside day-care centers in the Lake Minnetonka town, with the latest one happening Friday…
Waconia man who killed parents to be released from state hospital

Waconia man who killed parents to be released from state hospital

A judicial panel cleared him to be moved to a West St. Paul facility as soon as next week.

Medical examiner IDs 3-year-old killed in ATV crash

The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office finished its investigation Thursday into the death of a 3-year-old boy after a parked ATV tipped over on top of…

Construction to start on Plymouth's Northwest Greenway in July

The 1-mile portion of the Northwest Greenway is expected to open this fall.
Minnetonka residents sue Met Council over SW LRT line

Minnetonka residents sue Met Council over SW LRT line

Minnetonka residents filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Metropolitan Council, arguing the agency didn’t take adequate steps to review the environmental impact of the proposed 16-mile Southwest Light Rail line in the west metro suburb.
3-year-old boy dies after being found under ATV in Chisago County

3-year-old boy dies after being found under ATV in Chisago County

Family suffers second accidental death since late December.
Boaters buoyed by early ice-outs, but hope rain raises water levels

Boaters buoyed by early ice-outs, but hope rain raises water levels

Ice is retreating from lakes, which are low, and most of the state is bone dry.
West metro cities seek state funding for special projects

West metro cities seek state funding for special projects

Several west metro cities are at the Minnesota State Capitol this year asking for state aid for several projects — everything from a Lake Minnetonka pier to ice arena renovations in Plymouth.
Updated plans for Wayzata hotel, condos could get OK

Updated plans for Wayzata hotel, condos could get OK

Condos will replace offices in final development, which includes hotel.
Volunteers to expand search for missing Crystal boy

Volunteers to expand search for missing Crystal boy

Saturday's effort comes after authorities again focused by the Mississippi River, east of Crystal from Interstate 694 south to Minneapolis.
Parents, kids learn how to prevent future drownings

Parents, kids learn how to prevent future drownings

Three weeks ago, Samantha Richardson saw her brother drown in a swimming pool at a Plymouth apartment building. On Saturday, the 8-year-old was back at…
Deputies to step up patrols on Lake Minnetonka

Deputies to step up patrols on Lake Minnetonka

Conservation district grant will allow Sheriff’s Office to have deputy patrolling at peak times.
Empathy can be better than force, Twin Cities police trainers teach

Empathy can be better than force, Twin Cities police trainers teach

More police officers are getting special training to approach mental health crises with calm, not force.
More west metro police departments start fitness programs

More west metro police departments start fitness programs

To cope with stressful and often sedentary jobs, more police departments are emphasizing physical fitness for their officers.

Minnetonka condo association penalized for treatment of families with children

Suit accused Minnetonka condo association of discriminating against families with children.
Crystal, New Hope and Golden Valley move forward with permanent fix to water line

Crystal, New Hope and Golden Valley move forward with permanent fix to water line

After a line broke twice in Robbinsdale, affected communities want to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Eden Prairie homeowners face increasing erosion on Purgatory Creek

Eden Prairie homeowners face increasing erosion on Purgatory Creek

Eden Prairie works to stabilize the banks of Purgatory Creek after storm-drain woes and erosion threatened homes.
Nice weather means Nice Ride bikes will launch April 1

Nice weather means Nice Ride bikes will launch April 1

In a sign of spring for Twin Cities bicyclists, Nice Ride Minnesota announced Friday that it will launch April 1 — and with more bikes…
Minnetonka cracks down on poop pick-up in city parks

Minnetonka cracks down on poop pick-up in city parks

Starting Saturday, the suburb will step up education on pet-waste law.

Police unsure where Coon Rapids teen got gun used in shooting

Police are still investigating how a 15-year-old Coon Rapids boy got a handgun Monday, fatally shooting himself after he accidentally shot and wounded his girlfriend.…

Hennepin County interviews for openings on Minnehaha Creek Watershed board

Hennepin County commissioners interviewed applicants for Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s board Tuesday, and are expected to appoint two board members March 17 from the 11…
Minnesota anglers remove fish houses after shortened season

Minnesota anglers remove fish houses after shortened season

For much of the state, Monday was the last day for permanent shelters on the waterways.
Townhouses to be built on rim of Medina golf course

Townhouses to be built on rim of Medina golf course

The development will allow the golf course to remain open.

Met Council approves new parks plan

Some suburban park leaders say plan gives the council too much control over spending.
Adrian Peterson makes his case against NFL suspension

Adrian Peterson makes his case against NFL suspension

Adrian Peterson and his wife, Ashley, were present in the packed courtroom at U.S. District Court in downtown Minneapolis for the hearing, which lasted just over an hour. No ruling was made.
Adrian Peterson takes suit over suspension to court Friday

Adrian Peterson takes suit over suspension to court Friday

The tussle over Adrian Peterson’s suspension from the National Football League will play out Friday for the first time in a Minneapolis courtroom.
Meth was downfall of manhunt gunman, those who knew him say

Meth was downfall of manhunt gunman, those who knew him say

David M. Winters, 41, was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was a convicted felon and a gang member with a long history of criminal behavior. He killed himself after a daylong manhunt that started with an exchange of gunfire in St. Louis Park and ended at a house in Jordan.
Minnetonka approves new senior co-op, the final phase of decade-long project

Minnetonka approves new senior co-op, the final phase of decade-long project

One Two One will house 54 senior units in a cooperative building.
Suspect apparently kills self in Jordan home after earlier shootout

Suspect apparently kills self in Jordan home after earlier shootout

Authorities surrounded the house for hours, part of a pursuit for a gunman that led to a home in Hopkins, the Byerly’s in St. Louis Park and a closure of northbound Hwy. 169 in Edina.
Family of woman shot on Hwy. 212 sues officer, city of Chaska

Family of woman shot on Hwy. 212 sues officer, city of Chaska

The family of a woman shot and killed by police officers on Hwy. 212 in Eden Prairie last year filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the Chaska officer who shot her, accusing him of improperly using deadly force.

Eden Prairie to start first cultural unit for emergency response

Trained residents would assist police, firefighters.
Sale of country club near Lake Minnetonka disputed in family feud

Sale of country club near Lake Minnetonka disputed in family feud

Lawsuit could stall deal to turn a Minnetonka facility into a housing development
Aquatic Invaders Summit aims to protect Minnesota lakes

Aquatic Invaders Summit aims to protect Minnesota lakes

For the first time, local and state conservation leaders, scientists, boaters, marina owners, tourism leaders and others concerned about growing zebra mussels and other invasive species are meeting this week in St. Cloud.
Eden Prairie WWII vet honored with French Legion of Honor

Eden Prairie WWII vet honored with French Legion of Honor

William “Bud” Schwartz will receive France’s highest honor for helping liberate the country.
Plymouth residents raise stink over odor from growing roses

Plymouth residents raise stink over odor from growing roses

Len Busch Roses isn’t popular right now with some of its neighbors, who are raising a stink over the stench coming from wood chips burned to warm greenhouses.
Golf courses sold for redevelopment in Blaine, Shorewood

Golf courses sold for redevelopment in Blaine, Shorewood

KateHaven Golf Course in Blaine has closed, with townhouses rising on the site. It's one of several courses making this kind of transition.
Developer plans to turn Minnetonka Country Club into 121-home development

Developer plans to turn Minnetonka Country Club into 121-home development

Minnetonka Country Club will become a housing development after owner Bill Witrak declared the facility too expensive to operate in October.
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District hires new top leader

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District hires new top leader

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has picked a new leader. The district’s board of managers offered the district administrator job Wednesday to Lars Erdahl, who…

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District looks to move forward with new leader

The board will interview four candidates on Wednesday.
Minnesota to lead national summit on boat design

Minnesota to lead national summit on boat design

Industry experts will discuss if changing the way watercraft is designed could help to slow down invaders like the zebra mussel.
More Twin Cities suburbs are opting for smaller home lots

More Twin Cities suburbs are opting for smaller home lots

Minnetonka, where the city’s last farm is being turned into its largest subdivision of single-family homes since the 1990s, is among cities now allowing smaller lots.

Minnetonka approves midrise building

Work on six-story apartment complex will start in the spring, with a summer 2016 opening.
New details emerge in Hwy. 212 police shooting

New details emerge in Hwy. 212 police shooting

New documents and dash camera videos show the confusion and tension before police killed a couple.
Feb. 8: Two dead after police chase in Eden Prairie ends with shots fired

Feb. 8: Two dead after police chase in Eden Prairie ends with shots fired

The series of dramatic events that led to gunshots started during the morning rush hour and led to the shutdown of Hwy. 212 until 5 p.m. Friday.
Minnetonka approves mid-rise near Ridgedale

Minnetonka approves mid-rise near Ridgedale

The six-story apartment complex will be built next spring, opening in 2016.
Grand jury clears officers in Hwy. 212 shooting that killed couple

Grand jury clears officers in Hwy. 212 shooting that killed couple

A grand jury has cleared the four police officers involved in the deadly shooting that killed a couple nearly a year ago on Hwy. 212 in Eden Prairie. The decision comes more than 10 months after the Feb. 7 shooting.
Man shot by police on I-694 charged at officers with a knife, authorities say

Man shot by police on I-694 charged at officers with a knife, authorities say

Authorities said the suspected murderer emerged from his crashed vehicle, began stabbing himself and then charged at officers.
Authorities say man killed at Minn. rest stop was shot in head

Authorities say man killed at Minn. rest stop was shot in head

The men killed at a rest stop and on Interstate 694 were from Washington state and were ages 18 and 23.
Brooklyn Park man charged with murder in toddler son's death

Brooklyn Park man charged with murder in toddler son's death

Brooklyn Park man faces murder charge; older son is placed in protective custody.

Board hits the brakes on Lake Minnetonka wake restrictions

A proposed controversial new rule to slow boaters on two popular Lake Minnetonka bays was unanimously rejected Wednesday after dozens of residents opposed it. The…
Ten months later, Hwy. 212 officer-involved shooting still under review

Ten months later, Hwy. 212 officer-involved shooting still under review

Families and friends of the couple shot and killed by police are increasingly frustrated as they await answers.

Panel to discuss affordable housing in Eden Prairie

Just 10 percent of city’s offerings fit that bill, causing trouble for some.

Metro-area cities learning to show signs of welcome

“Way-finder” initiatives help both the visitor and the host.
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