Staff Directory 10644901

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

Delta passenger objects to in-flight movie as "perpetuating racism"

She asked the airline to let ethnic communities review the film.
'Selling' Washington County: A business salesman's view

'Selling' Washington County: A business salesman's view

It's all a matter of getting the word out on opportunities in the east metro, Chris Eng says.
CAIR-MN calls on schools to protect Muslim students after threat

CAIR-MN calls on schools to protect Muslim students after threat

The incident, involving two Afton-Lakeland students, was among several recent metro area episodes.
Dad who beat daughter to death in Cottage Grove gets 36 years

Dad who beat daughter to death in Cottage Grove gets 36 years

Sentence came after outburst in courtroom in Stillwater.
In Stillwater, a revamped school board could look anew at closings plan

In Stillwater, a revamped school board could look anew at closings plan

Following Tuesday’s election, the dynamics have slightly shifted in a controversy over school closings in the Stillwater district. What happens next depends on the willingness…
Woodbury, Oakdale warming to new Gold Line route

Woodbury, Oakdale warming to new Gold Line route

Leaders in those east-metro cities see advantages in rapid-bus service plan.
Washington County project will cool Brown's Creek water for trout

Washington County project will cool Brown's Creek water for trout

An unusual underground cooling project aims to restore Brown's Creek in Washington County.

St. Paul man sent to prison for prostituting Forest Lake teenage girl

Damon Michael DiMartino denied guilt after unsuccessful attempt to change his plea.

Washington County land purchase helps protect impaired trout stream

Under conservation agreement, a portion of Brown's Creek will remain undeveloped.
Newport's taxing district vote pushes Red Rock Crossing redevelopment forward

Newport's taxing district vote pushes Red Rock Crossing redevelopment forward

Advocates say it will provide for more than 500 housing units and generate as many jobs.
Washington County Board has three contested races

Washington County Board has three contested races

Six candidates — each with backgrounds in public service — will compete in November for three seats on the Washington County Board. Two of the…

Majority of Stillwater school board candidates favoring keeping elementary schools open

Board candidates are split on whether to implement new superintendent's plan.
New St. Croix bridge meets in the middle, will open next fall

New St. Croix bridge meets in the middle, will open next fall

The two-state project, now estimated to cost $617 million to $646 million, includes extensive highway construction on both sides of the river to funnel traffic onto the four-lane structure.
New Lake Elmo golf course promises royal competition in east-metro market

New Lake Elmo golf course promises royal competition in east-metro market

Annika Sorenstam and the late Arnold Palmer designed overhauled Lake Elmo course.
St. Croix Riverway superintendent takes new Park Service job in Nebraska

St. Croix Riverway superintendent takes new Park Service job in Nebraska

Chris Stein became known as a champion of water quality, builder of partnerships.
Friends in Need Food Shelf expands, goes to grocery store model in Washington County

Friends in Need Food Shelf expands, goes to grocery store model in Washington County

The move to a larger building is meant to accommodate "clients' choice" shopping.

Metro parks will set aside more Legacy money to connect people with outdoors, Met Council says

The 16-1 Met Council vote sets in motion a plan to dedicate an increasing percentage of Park and Trails Legacy funding to that mission.

Paving project at Forest Lake airport raises taxpayer questions about cost and use

Questions arise over hangar rent, business use and spending priorities. 'It's been a little heated,' council member says.

Brooklyn Park chemist behind Woodbury girl's drug death pleads guilty

He "very likely" brewed the dose that killed teenager, prosecutor says.
Phone apps are predators' new gateway, parents are warned

Phone apps are predators' new gateway, parents are warned

Authorities say they see internet crime "everywhere."
Controversial parks plan to attract underserved populations moves to Met Council

Controversial parks plan to attract underserved populations moves to Met Council

Metro-area communities may be required spend up to 10 percent of their share of state parks Legacy funds to attract more youth, new immigrants, and racial and ethnic minorities to regional parks under a proposal approved Monday by a committee of the Metropolitan Council.
Mining ends near St. Croix River; solar garden proposed for that land

Mining ends near St. Croix River; solar garden proposed for that land

The Scandia mining operation caused a stir when it resumed in 2013.
Wisconsin veterinarian charged in Woodbury sex trafficking

Wisconsin veterinarian charged in Woodbury sex trafficking

Brian L. Kersten allegedly brought a Chinese woman to Woodbury.
Obituary: Inez Oehlke, Woodbury history and civic activist, dies at 96

Obituary: Inez Oehlke, Woodbury history and civic activist, dies at 96

It was a day in June, only months before her death, that Inez Florence Oehlke reminded the citizens of Woodbury once again that old age…
At St. Croix State Park, planning looks at next generation of users

At St. Croix State Park, planning looks at next generation of users

Volunteers help to guide vision for Minnesota's largest state park
Refreshed, St. Croix River's Boom Site opens to a new era

Refreshed, St. Croix River's Boom Site opens to a new era

With a prominent new sign, the gateway to one of Minnesota's national parks can more easily show off its fresh facelift.
Dark days past, fortunes improve for downtown Stillwater

Dark days past, fortunes improve for downtown Stillwater

Only a few short years ago, a messy summer festival and bitter disagreements over a new bridge trapped Stillwater under dark clouds of controversy. Soon…
Controversial Stillwater schools issue won't go back to voters

Controversial Stillwater schools issue won't go back to voters

Voters were misled, a Stillwater parent argued, but the judge ruled that the law was on the side of the district.

Cottage Grove rezones land for new middle school

Plan for new Oltman Middle School is "great for the kids."
Washington County Sheriff's Office finding a home in Newport

Washington County Sheriff's Office finding a home in Newport

City's police department closed, but the officers changed uniforms and remained.
Equipment problem won't stall St. Croix River bridge opening, MnDOT says

Equipment problem won't stall St. Croix River bridge opening, MnDOT says

A smaller jack is needed to tighten cables that hold segments together. Work on river spans not affected.

Large field files for three board seats in controversial Stillwater school district

Eleven candidates, including two incumbents, will compete in November in midst of debate over closings.

Forest Lake man gets 30 years for killing his girlfriend

A Forest Lake man has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for killing his girlfriend and leaving her body in their apartment…
Former Lake Elmo administrator sues city, ex-council member for defamation

Former Lake Elmo administrator sues city, ex-council member for defamation

Dean Zuleger said he's been passed over for similar jobs because of statements made about his departure.

Strong competition for Oakdale seat vacated when Washington County commissioner died

Six candidates will compete in Tuesday’s primary election for a vacant Washington County Board seat representing Oakdale and the surrounding area, with the two top…
Twin Cities area braces for sex trafficking tied to Super Bowl, Ryder Cup

Twin Cities area braces for sex trafficking tied to Super Bowl, Ryder Cup

Metro-area prosecutors and police agencies anticipate that hundreds of women and girls will be sold on the sex market during Super Bowl 2018, mostly at huge organized parties and through provocative online ads and social media.

St. Croix County girl charged in savage attack on brother's girlfriend

Homicide charge against the 14-year-old girl says she attempted suffocation and cut victim's neck with a piece of a broken bowl.
Washington County stops bookings of Historic Courthouse weddings

Washington County stops bookings of Historic Courthouse weddings

County officials cite excessive wear and tear on the 146-year-old Stillwater landmark for the moratorium on new bookings.
Woodbury mom charged with enslaving, assaulting Chinese nanny

Woodbury mom charged with enslaving, assaulting Chinese nanny

Police found beaten victim wandering on a dark street, said she was looking for airport to return home.
Columbus ships discover new world — in Hudson, Wis.

Columbus ships discover new world — in Hudson, Wis.

Niña and Pinta dock for 12 days to tell of an explorer's journey
Stillwater man charged with murder in fatal knife attack on father

Stillwater man charged with murder in fatal knife attack on father

William James Scheel was stabbed himself as sister tried to stop attack on their father.

No casino in the cards for Washington County, tribal president says

The Prairie Island Indian Community's development of recently acquired acreage in Washington County could be years away and most likely will include housing or businesses…
Coming soon: A sparkling improved Washington County swim pond

Coming soon: A sparkling improved Washington County swim pond

The manufactured water attraction will reopen in early August after a $1.3 million overhaul.
Man gets more than 13 years for death of Danielle Jelinek

Man gets more than 13 years for death of Danielle Jelinek

Aaron Schnagl claimed at his sentencing Friday morning that he didn't receive a fair trial.

Judge will weigh arguments in dispute over Stillwater bond referendum

Parent says district misled voters in 2015, but district says vote to close schools was a separate action.
Mondale sides with St. Croix River in U.S. Supreme Court private property case

Mondale sides with St. Croix River in U.S. Supreme Court private property case

Former VP, environmental groups say family's sale of lot would harm river.
Disputed St. Croix River land parcel not 'buildable,' U.S. Supreme Court filing says

Disputed St. Croix River land parcel not 'buildable,' U.S. Supreme Court filing says

St. Croix County opposes sale of parcel in family's Supreme Court fight.
Obituary: James Kellen, University of St. Thomas librarian

Obituary: James Kellen, University of St. Thomas librarian

The polio came suddenly, when James Kellen was playing in a football game his junior year in high school. Soon he was flat on his…

Man gets a double sentence for internet rape of Lake Elmo girl

Cheyenne Foster pleaded guilty to persuading the victim through online chats and video conferencing to commit sex acts.
Former Stillwater mayor's federal sentencing delayed five months, judge rules

Former Stillwater mayor's federal sentencing delayed five months, judge rules

Ken Harycki, convicted of tax evasion, will be given a chance to help prosecute co-defendants.

Stillwater schools head into year of uncertainty with lawsuits, distrust

Parents have built a strong alliance to battle the district's decision to close three elementary schools.
Lake Fest in Forest Lake kicks off summer events in Washington County

Lake Fest in Forest Lake kicks off summer events in Washington County

Memorial Day signals that the fun is just around the corner
Road to growth: Washington County soon will open new public works complex

Road to growth: Washington County soon will open new public works complex

Washington County's new public works complex reflects a suburban transformation over 50 years.

Forest Lake school evacuated after threat, but no bomb found

Elementary students will be bused home.
In memory of fallen police officers: 'Not one day is guaranteed'

In memory of fallen police officers: 'Not one day is guaranteed'

Law enforcement memorial service in Stillwater included naming 128 killed nationwide in the line of duty last year.
Forest in Washington County targeted for conservation protection

Forest in Washington County targeted for conservation protection

The Wilder Forest, north of Stillwater, is described as being pristine with rare birds and native oaks.

Owner of Oakdale store charged with selling dangerous synthetic drugs

Hatem Amin Younis was making sales at his business and his house, criminal charges say.

Affordable housing project coming to Newport's transit station

Red Rock Square units would seed development around Newport's new transit station.
Wash. Co. Atty. on reality of sex trafficking: As easy as ordering pizza

Wash. Co. Atty. on reality of sex trafficking: As easy as ordering pizza

Demand for underage and vulnerable girls on upswing, Imran Ali says.

Oil pipeline beneath St. Croix River increases flow, worrying environmentalists

Enbridge is getting ready to boost pumping capacity in lines that run under headwaters of the federally protected St. Croix River.
Lawsuit dismissed against city of Stillwater after swimming death

Lawsuit dismissed against city of Stillwater after swimming death

Boy, 9, died from rare brain infection traced to water in Lily Lake. Judge said there was nothing to show city knew of danger.
Boom Site north of Stillwater closes until midsummer for face lift

Boom Site north of Stillwater closes until midsummer for face lift

Work at the historic logging landmark on the St. Croix will include signs and green space.
Charter school will open in Marine on St. Croix

Charter school will open in Marine on St. Croix

A new charter school is coming to a small Washington County city that’s been fighting to save its longtime elementary school. State approval for the…

Afton City Council approves land-use plan for mosque construction

Backers say it will help foster religious freedom.
Proposed Stillwater performing arts theater moves closer to approval

Proposed Stillwater performing arts theater moves closer to approval

Neighbors protest height of new auditorium at former Zephyr dinner train site.
Stillwater delays taking action on controversial school closings

Stillwater delays taking action on controversial school closings

Stillwater school board members voted 4-2 to suspend action on their intended closing of three elementary schools until a court challenge is resolved.
Lift on Stillwater bridge begins operating April 20

Lift on Stillwater bridge begins operating April 20

The Stillwater Lift Bridge will begin its full-time summer lift schedule on April 20, allowing St. Croix River boats to pass beneath it at regular…
Stillwater superintendent says school closings within the law

Stillwater superintendent says school closings within the law

The Stillwater school district “acted well within the boundaries of the law” when it decided to close three elementary schools, Superintendent Denise Pontrelli said Thursday.…
Stillwater school district sued over closing elementary schools

Stillwater school district sued over closing elementary schools

A parents' group, 834 Voice, alleges board members and administrators skirted the law with bond issue.

Confusing Washington County intersection headed for an overhaul

Convergence of vehicles at Manning Avenue and 10th Street a concern for years.
St. Croix waterfront case sets up property rights showdown

St. Croix waterfront case sets up property rights showdown

A tiny plot of shore land on the federally protected St. Croix River has become a legal fight taken all the way to the Supreme Court over private property rights.

Forest Lake man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend, leaving body for days

Strong odor alerted neighbors and police three days later.
Controversial Lake Elmo Airport expansion creeps forward after committee endorsement

Controversial Lake Elmo Airport expansion creeps forward after committee endorsement

Opponents near Lake Elmo say longer runway will cause safety concerns, hurt property values.

Stillwater district says it has right to close schools

At issue is May 2015 bond referendum that included money for improvements.

Islamic Society proposes building mosque in Afton near Interstate 94

Islamic Society of Woodbury-East Metro would build it on 29 acres; $500,000 needs to be raised for project.
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