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Kevin Giles

Reporter | East Metro
phone: 651-925-5037
Suburban reporter Kevin Giles covers Washington County government and news throughout northern Washington County, such as public policy, transportation, prosecution and courts, prisons and the St. Croix River watershed.
Recent content from Kevin Giles
St. Croix River bridge opening delayed, officials say

St. Croix River bridge opening delayed, officials say

The $676 million bridge won’t be done by expected deadline in November 2016.

Mother, daughter killed in their New Richmond, Wis., home are identified

The bodies were discovered after firefighters responded to call of smoke, beeping alarm. A suspect is in custody, police say.
'Pollinator Pledge' kicks off in St. Croix River watershed

'Pollinator Pledge' kicks off in St. Croix River watershed

Effort to restore habitat now has 71 groups volunteering to help.
Forest Lake's Charlie Brown gets a new home after months in the dark of the old City Hall

Forest Lake's Charlie Brown gets a new home after months in the dark of the old City Hall

Movers hauled the popular 450-pound Peanuts statue down the road from City Hall.
Brothers indicted in health care fraud now charged with tax evasion

Brothers indicted in health care fraud now charged with tax evasion

Thurlee and Roylee Belfrey were implicated in fraud case involving Stillwater accountant Ken Harycki, a former mayor of the city.
Briefs: Author of 'One Room Schools' speaks at Washington County museum

Briefs: Author of 'One Room Schools' speaks at Washington County museum

The Washington County Historical Society will present its fourth installment of the “Hay Lake Speaker Series” on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m. Susan Apps-Bodilly,…
Special hunt will reduce deer in Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve

Special hunt will reduce deer in Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve

A November hunt will thin a hefty herd by 80 animals. Around the county, deer numbers are about normal.
Washington County briefs: Memories of early schools shared in free Denmark Township program

Washington County briefs: Memories of early schools shared in free Denmark Township program

Three longtime residents of Denmark Township will share memories of the “old days” at a free program Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. at the…
Washington County budgets for hiring major-crimes prosecutor

Washington County budgets for hiring major-crimes prosecutor

County attorney’s request comes during first look at 2016 budget proposals.
Teen gets 27 years in death of popular Cottage Grove teacher

Teen gets 27 years in death of popular Cottage Grove teacher

Bailey Jordan Garcia, 19, pleaded guilty earlier this year to shooting David Frigaard with a high-powered rifle after Frigaard left the bar he owned in Willnerie.

Man posing as Wash. Co. deputy tells residents they owe tax money

Phone number “spoofed” to seem like it’s sheriff.

Snelling Avenue over I-94 will reopen Friday night, a week early

Motorists traveling in St. Paul soon will be able to cross Interstate 94 on Hwy. 51/Snelling Avenue, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) said Thursday.…
Emerald ash borer found in Chisago County

Emerald ash borer found in Chisago County

County is likely to be placed under emergency quarantine.

Washington County briefs: County park in Lake Elmo grows by 33 acres

Washington County will add a 33.5-acre parcel of land to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve after the County Board approved the purchase July 28. The…
Woodbury sees big uptick in business construction

Woodbury sees big uptick in business construction

Permits show flood of new construction and store improvements everywhere in the city.
Washington County Sheriff's Office rolls out new mobile app

Washington County Sheriff's Office rolls out new mobile app

Fewer calls to 911 are coming from home phones. ‘This is the age we live in,” patrol commander says.
Hwy. 5 in Washington County has a new name, County Road 14

Hwy. 5 in Washington County has a new name, County Road 14

The spending of state grant money to maintain Hwy. 5, now County Road 14, will require a balance between short-term needs and long-term investments, the…
Washington County residents reach out to their deputies

Washington County residents reach out to their deputies

No barriers, no agendas and no crises, just people chatting with sheriff’s deputies in a casual setting with coffee.
Lumberjack Days promoter sentenced for tax evasion

Lumberjack Days promoter sentenced for tax evasion

David W. Eckberg, 63, gets a stayed sentence.
St. Paul man charged with first-degree murder in daughter's beating death

St. Paul man charged with first-degree murder in daughter's beating death

Cottage Grove girl was struck with fists and hit in the eye with a bottle, court records show. Angel Daniel Ramirez appears in court on Aug. 19.
Oakdale man charged in 2013 shooting death of boy, 9, found incompetent to stand trial

Oakdale man charged in 2013 shooting death of boy, 9, found incompetent to stand trial

Nhan Tran is charged with killing a boy in a 2013 shooting spree. He’ll spend another six months in the St. Peter mental hospital.
Briefs: Stillwater considers fees for commercial use of parks

Briefs: Stillwater considers fees for commercial use of parks

A proposal to charge for commercial use of city parks is being considered by the Stillwater City Council, whose members had conflicting opinions about the…
Washington County signals its interest in 3M-owned Tartan Park

Washington County signals its interest in 3M-owned Tartan Park

Trust for Public Land proposed that the area be bought as an addition to Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve.
St. Croix Riverway launches effort to bring back the monarchs

St. Croix Riverway launches effort to bring back the monarchs

The Monarch Corridor project aims to restore all kinds of pollinators along the Scenic Riverway.
St. Croix Riverway launches effort to bring back the monarchs

St. Croix Riverway launches effort to bring back the monarchs

The Monarch Corridor project aims to restore all kinds of pollinators along the Scenic Riverway.

'Coffee with a Cop' planned in Afton

Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will host their second “Coffee with a Cop” in Afton on Thursday.The idea is to encourage residents to…

Healing ceremony Friday will say goodbye to Rondo neighborhood's hard feelings in St. Paul

The neighborhood was sliced in two in the 1950s to build I-94, leaving many in the area without homes — and their culture.

Yes, their wings are tired: Minnesota birds tracked to southern climes — and back

Tiny backpack gizmos kept tabs on birds round trip between St. Croix River Valley to Central America.

St. Paul girl, 14, dies during canoe outing on St. Croix River

St. Paul teen drowned after stepping off a sandbar during a canoe outing near Taylors Falls.

Child abuse cases jump in Washington County as new state recommendations take hold

More social workers will be hired to keep up with changes.
Zebra mussels found in Forest Lake, prime metro boating and fishing spot

Zebra mussels found in Forest Lake, prime metro boating and fishing spot

Infestation is likely established, state Department of Natural Resources said.
Washington County briefs: Soldier's survival in Andersonville is subject of July 5 event

Washington County briefs: Soldier's survival in Andersonville is subject of July 5 event

On Sunday, July 5, Dustyn Dubuque of the Washington County Historical Society will give a presentation at the Warden’s House Museum on Civil War soldier…
Study touts popularity of second Amtrak train from St. Paul to Chicago

Study touts popularity of second Amtrak train from St. Paul to Chicago

An Amtrak study also says the train would cost millions for the states, and it’s unclear how it fits with other proposals.

Body found in Mississippi River in southern Washington County

A body was discovered Wednesday in the Mississippi River at St. Paul Park, said Commander Cheri Dexter of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The body…
Dawn Marie Rassett, serial thief in east metro, back in prison

Dawn Marie Rassett, serial thief in east metro, back in prison

Dawn Marie Rassett was convicted of stealing from churches, a bakery and even a mortuary. She now faces more charges in Washington County.

Briefs: Learn about insects at June 27 "bioblitz” at Interstate State Park

“All About Insects,” a National Park Service “bioblitz,” will be held Saturday, June 27, from 1-5 p.m. at Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, Minn.…
Washington County's Land and Water Legacy investments reach $8.5 million

Washington County's Land and Water Legacy investments reach $8.5 million

Recent acquisitions include land in Denmark Township, Stillwater and Woodbury. Large new properties are under discussion as well.
Washington County briefs: Child care providers recognized for their work

Washington County briefs: Child care providers recognized for their work

Two child care providers in south Washington County were recognized recently for their positive influences on children in their care and for their professional approach…
Bayport mayor wants more action, less talk on invasive carp threat

Bayport mayor wants more action, less talk on invasive carp threat

Many conservationists have warned that a carp invasion would devastate the St. Croix’s prized ecosystem and ruin a multimillion-dollar recreation industry.
Briefs: Reserve Academy graduates 10 at Washington County Sheriff's Office

Briefs: Reserve Academy graduates 10 at Washington County Sheriff's Office

Ten volunteers recently graduated from the Reserve Academy at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office after participating in a 16-week program. They will assist Water Patrol…
Retiring jail commander reflects on a career behind locked doors

Retiring jail commander reflects on a career behind locked doors

Chuck Yetter spent years mingling with many of Minnesota’s most dangerous and disturbed prison inmates.
Stillwater salutes Brown's Creek State Trail

Stillwater salutes Brown's Creek State Trail

It links the city’s downtown to the Gateway trail and could draw 75,000 users a year.
Former East Ridge High School principal Aaron Harper charged with three felonies

Former East Ridge High School principal Aaron Harper charged with three felonies

Charges stem from thousands in goods and services purchased using school district credit card.
Mondale on the St. Croix: 'More challenges, tougher challenges' ahead

Mondale on the St. Croix: 'More challenges, tougher challenges' ahead

Architect of federal legislation to protect the river discussed its future.
Briefs: Teacher, Washington County, Stillwater win St. Croix River stewardship awards

Briefs: Teacher, Washington County, Stillwater win St. Croix River stewardship awards

The St. Croix River Association has announced winners of its St. Croix Watershed Stewardship Awards: • Sally Leider has taught “Watershed Wisdom” for more than 16…

Washington County approves financing for Mahtomedi affordable senior housing

Piccadilly Square will start renting in late 2016.
For $600K, historic Boutwell House in Stillwater is saved

For $600K, historic Boutwell House in Stillwater is saved

Restorations will cost more than $300,000 at home once owned by Presbyterian missionary.
St. Paul issues ultimatum to owner of pool where brothers nearly drowned

St. Paul issues ultimatum to owner of pool where brothers nearly drowned

Hazard where two boys nearly died exposes regulation gap.

Legislature gives Gold Line no planning funds

Washington County commissioner irked that $3 million request fell flat.

Washington County commissioner levels fire at state over transit

The Legislature didn’t appropriate $3 million needed to finance planning and engineering for the Metro Gold Line.
Lumberjack Days — the name anyway — will go back to Stillwater

Lumberjack Days — the name anyway — will go back to Stillwater

Recent guilty plea by former event promoter leads to surrendering of the name.
Grand jury clears St. Paul police officers in Marcus Golden shooting

Grand jury clears St. Paul police officers in Marcus Golden shooting

The decision means the two officers have been cleared of wrongdoing and will return to work.

Two Oakdale students charged with bringing loaded gun to Tartan High School

Tartan students face gun charges; no shots fired.

Briefs: Washington County seeks public comment on library plans

Washington County seeks the public’s participation in two forums on the future of county libraries. Forums will be held from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 27,…
Stillwater historian writes about long St. Croix River bridge controversy

Stillwater historian writes about long St. Croix River bridge controversy

Don Empson tells of the struggle to save the Lift Bridge and politics behind building a bigger St. Croix River crossing.

Legislature passes bill to protect Minnesotans reporting crimes

Lawsuit against Washington County residents over campaign signs spurred strong legislative vote.

Parents urged to be vigilant in monitoring teens' cellphone use

  Prosecutors who recently pursued convictions in the drug overdose death last year of a Woodbury High School student were reminded again just how essential…
Guilty plea in popular Cottage Grove teacher's shooting death, but no motive

Guilty plea in popular Cottage Grove teacher's shooting death, but no motive

Bailey Garcia pleaded guilty in Washington County. He will be sentenced Aug. 14.
Briefs: Walter Mondale will talk about future of St. Croix River

Briefs: Walter Mondale will talk about future of St. Croix River

Changes on the St. Croix River, federally protected as a U.S. Wild and Scenic River since 1968, will be discussed May 21 when former Vice…
Two St. Croix County, Wis., prison escapees are captured

Two St. Croix County, Wis., prison escapees are captured

Both men were found in eastern Wisconsin. A third man remains at large.
Three prisoners from New Richmond, Wis., remain fugitives

Three prisoners from New Richmond, Wis., remain fugitives

Men fled Wednesday night, might have stolen car north of city.

Second body in three days found in St. Croix River

A Scandia man’s body was recovered from the St. Croix River on Monday evening, just two days after the body of a 24-year-old Stillwater woman was discovered in the river.
National park status lures people to St. Croix River

National park status lures people to St. Croix River

Superintendent Chris Stein talks about opportunities and threats in the pristine 250-mile riverway.
Briefs: Oakdale plans to train residents in forestry

Briefs: Oakdale plans to train residents in forestry

The city of Oakdale is partnering with the University of Minnesota Forest Resources Department on a pilot program for community forestry. Residents can train to…
Fugitive accused in Oak Park Heights murder returned to Minnesota, appears in court

Fugitive accused in Oak Park Heights murder returned to Minnesota, appears in court

The homeless man charged with killing Nils Johnson with repeated blows from a billy club had fled to Illinois.
After friend's OD death, teens get a reprieve

After friend's OD death, teens get a reprieve

Murder charges against three Woodbury classmates were dismissed. The reason? Prosecutors said there's hope for the teens.

Briefs: Grand opening of Newport Transit Station scheduled for Monday

The public can visit the Newport Transit Station at a grand opening and open house celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 27, at…

Briefs: Money to fight aquatic invasive species in Washington County goes to six groups

Six organizations have received state grants to fight aquatic invasive species in Washington County. A two-year allocation of $202,392 from the state Legislature was made…

Tensions over leadership flare at St. Croix Prep

Sudden departures from policy board raise questions of how the Washington County charter school was being operated.

Oak Park Heights death is homicide; victim was 39-year-old man

Investigators said Wednesday that it doesn’t appear random and the public isn’t in danger.
St. Croix River bridge project now halfway finished

St. Croix River bridge project now halfway finished

On both sides of St. Croix River, residents wait to see the impact of the new 20-story bridge.

Briefs: Washington County plans fitness hikes, trail tours

Guided fitness hikes on Washington County Parks trails will begin Thursday, April 23, at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve-Nordic Center and continue through fall. Participants…

New Washington County public works shop will be built

Project will expand county’s 50-year-old North Shop, addressing environmental and safety concerns.

Land near St. Croix River goes into conservation easement

Washington County’s trail plans figure prominently into the long-awaited agreement.

Washington County solar power proposal shifts to Dakota County

Residents in Woodbury and elsewhere in Washington County still can buy space in the Able Energy installation.
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