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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
Attorneys for Byron Smith appeal conviction, say Little Falls trial riddled with errors

Attorneys for Byron Smith appeal conviction, say Little Falls trial riddled with errors

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.
Internal review clears Robbinsdale police officer who shot, wounded teen

Internal review clears Robbinsdale police officer who shot, wounded teen

The April incident injured 18-year-old Tania Harris.
Cement grout seeps into Robbinsdale's Lower Twin Lake from nearby waterline repairs

Cement grout seeps into Robbinsdale's Lower Twin Lake from nearby waterline repairs

The spill alarmed some residents on Lower Twin Lake this week.
Somali youth group, wilderness program partner to give Twin Cities girls a special trip to Yellowstone

Somali youth group, wilderness program partner to give Twin Cities girls a special trip to Yellowstone

The trip is a joint effort between the Somali youth program Ka Joog and the outdoor adventure group Wilderness Inquiry.

Twin Cities police see catalytic converter thefts on the rise

West metro police departments caught two suspects last month who they say stole 200 catalytic converters across the metro.
Wayzata lakefront project moves forward with upcoming hire of design firm

Wayzata lakefront project moves forward with upcoming hire of design firm

It’s part of the city’s 10-year lakefront improvement plan.
Missing-girl case in Maple Grove marks 26 years, no breakthroughs

Missing-girl case in Maple Grove marks 26 years, no breakthroughs

Maple Grove police’s fresh look at the Amy Sue Pagnac case yielded no breakthroughs.
Teardown trend gets supersized around Lake Minnetonka

Teardown trend gets supersized around Lake Minnetonka

“A lot of people don’t want to see those beautiful, old houses come down,” Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox said.
Father says son killed by Plymouth police didn't 'deserve to go that way'

Father says son killed by Plymouth police didn't 'deserve to go that way'

Father of man fatally shot by officer at Arby’s says he doesn’t know why incident escalated.
Dayton land in Orono now slated for a housing subdivision

Dayton land in Orono now slated for a housing subdivision

Coveted prairie grasslands, dense woods and quiet lakeshore in northeast Orono — owned by the Dayton family for 50 years — are now slated to be subdivided into high-end homes.
Residents tackle growing trash problem on Lake Minnetonka

Residents tackle growing trash problem on Lake Minnetonka

First come the parties on Lake Minnetonka, then the trash. “It’s disgusting out there,” said Melissa Waskiewicz, who heads the Lake Minnetonka Association, a group of lake homeowners and businesses.
Maple Grove bar busted for selling Spotted Cow gets new liquor license

Maple Grove bar busted for selling Spotted Cow gets new liquor license

The Maple Grove bar that was busted for illegally selling a popular Wisconsin beer will start serving alcohol again after a short suspension of liquor…

Rogers residents protest new franchise fee to cover future road repairs

A franchise fee, charged to residents in gas and electric bills, would pay for future projects.

Minnesota attorney general, Eden Prairie man settle financial mismanagement lawsuit

The former executive director of A Better Day Foundation also agrees to pay back $120,000.
After overseeing growth to major suburb, Maple Grove's top city leader retiring

After overseeing growth to major suburb, Maple Grove's top city leader retiring

After overseeing the city’s unprecedented explosion in development, first as the city’s economic development director and then in the top spot as city administrator, Al Madsen is retiring this fall.
Twin Cities suburbs look to limit number of liquor stores

Twin Cities suburbs look to limit number of liquor stores

Minnetonka is the latest city to debate rules on its number of off-sale stores.
600-plus members strong, Wayzata Yacht Club sails on into its 50th year

600-plus members strong, Wayzata Yacht Club sails on into its 50th year

The west metro yacht club, which is marking its 50th anniversary this year, has come a long way since it started in 1965 with 60 boat slips and 15 members.
After 30 years of planning, Maple Grove close to opening $16M city park

After 30 years of planning, Maple Grove close to opening $16M city park

Parts of the new “urban park” will open at the end of August.
Drunk boaters flock to Lake Minnetonka, boosting 911 calls

Drunk boaters flock to Lake Minnetonka, boosting 911 calls

In the wake of a rowdy July 4 holiday weekend on Lake Minnetonka, some local leaders are worried that the big lake’s party scene is out of control.
Possible Vikings move to Chanhassen spurs development buzz

Possible Vikings move to Chanhassen spurs development buzz

Speculation that the Vikings could move their headquarters has unsettled some of Eden Prairie’s leaders and created buzz about the future of 100-plus acres of farmland in Chanhassen.

No new details in Robbinsdale, Eden Prairie shootings

Investigations into such shootings, which were both nonfatal, could take several months.
Western Twin Cities suburbs seek project funding after tough session at Capitol

Western Twin Cities suburbs seek project funding after tough session at Capitol

Most west metro cities that made funding requests this year for state aid were excluded again in the Legislature’s bonding bill, which state lawmakers passed…
Gated communities haven't taken off in Minnesota

Gated communities haven't taken off in Minnesota

For those who value luxury and privacy — and can afford it — the communities are home, sweet home. But others say their exclusive nature doesn’t fit well with Minnesota’s culture.

Eden Prairie police name officer whose gun wounded suspect

Eden Prairie police Wednesday identified the officer who said his gun accidentally fired, wounding a motorcyclist who had led officers on a chase. Sgt. Lonnie…

Hennepin County charges Bloomington man with fleeing Eden Prairie police before he was shot in 'accidental discharge'

The Hennepin County attorney’s office charged a 21-year-old Bloomington man with fleeing police officers after a chase in Eden Prairie last weekend resulted in the…
New Brighton steps up summer water restrictions due to limited aquifer supply

New Brighton steps up summer water restrictions due to limited aquifer supply

The city fears a closed aquifer, high demand could cause a shortage.
Summer activities arrive at the doorstep of low-income families

Summer activities arrive at the doorstep of low-income families

Eden Prairie, YMCA team up to bring summer programs to a low-income apartment complex.
Osseo adds bullet-resistant panels, panic buttons for City Council

Osseo adds bullet-resistant panels, panic buttons for City Council

The move comes after last winter’s deadly shooting at a police ceremony in New Hope.
All aboard: Historic steamboat Minnehaha marks 20th year on Lake Minnetonka

All aboard: Historic steamboat Minnehaha marks 20th year on Lake Minnetonka

The boat was deemed “obsolete” and sunk in 1926, resurrected in 1980 and restored in 1996.
Eden Prairie rail stations being considered for Southwest LRT cuts

Eden Prairie rail stations being considered for Southwest LRT cuts

Community leaders weigh how to pare down the $2 billion cost of the Southwest light-rail line.
Archaeologists seek funds to continue investigating wrecks on Lake Minnetonka

Archaeologists seek funds to continue investigating wrecks on Lake Minnetonka

Husband-wife diver team seeks donations to keep probing Lake Minnetonka.
SouthWest Transit to launch new service in Eden Prairie

SouthWest Transit to launch new service in Eden Prairie

Like popular ride-hailing apps, SouthWest Transit is now making it as easy to request a ride within Eden Prairie as the tap of a phone app.
Boating season kicks off with more inspections

Boating season kicks off with more inspections

Thanks to $10 million from the state, counties are ramping up work to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels.
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.
April 21: Maple Grove bar busted for selling Wisconsin beer

April 21: Maple Grove bar busted for selling Wisconsin beer

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…
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