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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
Stillwater school board votes to delay school closing plan

Stillwater school board votes to delay school closing plan

Superintendent wants a delayed vote. Opposing parents say she's stalling and want the plan voted down.
Stillwater district asks for delay of board vote on closing three schools

Stillwater district asks for delay of board vote on closing three schools

The superintendent wants to push vote back to March 3, following a public hearing.

Stalled lawsuit over 3M chemical pollution will proceed, district judge decides

Judge says company waited too long to disqualify law firm.
Aaron Schnagl convicted in the drug-related death of Danielle Jelinek

Aaron Schnagl convicted in the drug-related death of Danielle Jelinek

A Chisago County man, Aaron Schnagl, was found guilty of third-degree murder Friday evening for providing the cocaine that killed Danielle Jelinek. But the jury found him not guilty of concealing her body.
Schnagl says he didn't give Jelinek the drugs that caused her death

Schnagl says he didn't give Jelinek the drugs that caused her death

Aaron Schnagl also testifies he did not hide Danielle Jelinek's body.
Parents, local governments protest proposed closing of Stillwater district schools

Parents, local governments protest proposed closing of Stillwater district schools

A new superintendent’s controversial proposal to close three elementary schools in the Stillwater district — scheduled for a vote by the school board next week…
Obituary: Mary Beth Blegen, National Teacher of the Year, dies at 72

Obituary: Mary Beth Blegen, National Teacher of the Year, dies at 72

Being widely known as National Teacher of the Year didn’t faze Mary Beth Blegen, who patted President Clinton on the shoulder after he spoke in…
State Farm era ends in Woodbury as cavernous old building falls to wrecking ball

State Farm era ends in Woodbury as cavernous old building falls to wrecking ball

Machines claw away the last pieces of State Farm building's hulking legacy.
Stillwater district on edge over proposed closing of 3 schools

Stillwater district on edge over proposed closing of 3 schools

A furious confrontation between the Stillwater school district and parents is roiling the district's plan to shutter two highly ranked elementary schools.
Renovation work to begin on historic St. Croix Boom Site

Renovation work to begin on historic St. Croix Boom Site

The river bluff park north of Stillwater will be made more accessible thanks to a grant.
St. Croix Riverway superintendent on loan to Pullman National Monument in Chicago

St. Croix Riverway superintendent on loan to Pullman National Monument in Chicago

National Park Service's Chris Stein to aid Chicago site.

State: Chemicals continue to decline in east metro drinking water

A decade after work began to reduce PFCs, east-metro residents down to safe levels.
Schnagl trial opens; he's accused of causing, concealing Danielle Jelinek's death

Schnagl trial opens; he's accused of causing, concealing Danielle Jelinek's death

Lawyers for both sides made opening statements Monday in the Chisago County murder trial.
Trial of man accused in death of Danielle Jelinek to begin

Trial of man accused in death of Danielle Jelinek to begin

Prosecutors say Aaron Schnagl caused the death of Danielle Jelinek, who was missing for 5 months.
New major crimes prosecutor in Washington County takes on sex trafficking of children

New major crimes prosecutor in Washington County takes on sex trafficking of children

Prostitution of children is a serious problem and a major crimes prosecutor is leading a team effort in response.
New St. Croix River bridge now won't open until late in 2017

New St. Croix River bridge now won't open until late in 2017

The new St. Croix River bridge won't open until late 2017, a full year after originally planned, because of equipment problems, material shortages and weather delays.
Newport abolishes police force, will contract with county

Newport abolishes police force, will contract with county

The city has been reeling over disclosures of scandalous behavior by some former officers and a discovery that an unsecured evidence room was a mess.

South Washington Schools district says lawsuit could add millions to building costs

Attorney says legal delay from school bond dispute could add millions to building costs.
DNR will plow Gateway, Browns Creek trails after all, reversing earlier decision

DNR will plow Gateway, Browns Creek trails after all, reversing earlier decision

Cities and Gateway trail users had protested, saying the initial decision had surprised them.
Popular Washington County swim pond will be reconstructed

Popular Washington County swim pond will be reconstructed

Park amenity will be 2 feet shallower and include updates when it reopens in June.
Ban Donald Trump? St. Paul City Council will consider it

Ban Donald Trump? St. Paul City Council will consider it

Council might take up motion saying he is unwelcome in city.

Decision reversed, William O'Brien State Park reopens to high school skiers

New policy was suspended after coaches and park managers talked to state.
Decision not to plow the Gateway Trail is drawing fire

Decision not to plow the Gateway Trail is drawing fire

Trail attracts hundreds of thousands of users a year.
East metro fans of winter sports need more winter

East metro fans of winter sports need more winter

The second-warmest autumn on record in Minnesota has kept cross-country skiing at bay, sidelining recreationists eager to start the season.

Lawsuit against Washington County school district contests narrow passage of $96M bond issue

Three plaintiffs allege vote recount led to wrongful passage of $96M measure.

Washington County holds public budget hearing on Tuesday

Proposed property tax increase is first in years.
Stillwater will narrow proposals for historic Shoddy Mill

Stillwater will narrow proposals for historic Shoddy Mill

The rag factory was part of the state's early Jewish history and now will be repurposed.

Traffic snarls at Hwy. 36 near St. Croix River bridge coming under scrutiny

Engineers are beginning to fix one of the most daunting intersections in Washington County — a year after it was rebuilt as part of the…

St. Paul man charged with prostituting Forest Lake girl

Damon M. DiMartino took most of the girl's earnings, forced her to distribute drugs, complaint says.
St. Croix River bridge construction slows for the winter

St. Croix River bridge construction slows for the winter

Construction complexities of the massive project force completion delay.
Management of Newport police was in disarray, Washington County sheriff writes in scathing report

Management of Newport police was in disarray, Washington County sheriff writes in scathing report

Evidence room management was way 'out of whack,' sheriff says.
Washington County forms coalition to take fight to sex traffickers

Washington County forms coalition to take fight to sex traffickers

Prosecutors, law enforcement, social services team up to counter crimes against kids via the Internet.
At 100, National Park Service seeks younger, more diverse crowd

At 100, National Park Service seeks younger, more diverse crowd

Near centennial, agency works to engage youth more attuned to technology, not nature.
Washington County deputies hold 'Coffee with a Cop' in Lake Elmo on Wednesday

Washington County deputies hold 'Coffee with a Cop' in Lake Elmo on Wednesday

The Washington County Sheriff's Office wants more conversations in less-emotional settings.
Rental fees could increase at Washington County Historic Courthouse

Rental fees could increase at Washington County Historic Courthouse

County Commission will weigh higher daily rates.
Washington County vows to fight spread of emerald ash borers

Washington County vows to fight spread of emerald ash borers

Invasive pest could spread quickly so county wants task force with cities' involvement.
Obituary: Lois Herman, 98, was 'Original Champagne Lady' for Lawrence Welk's orchestra

Obituary: Lois Herman, 98, was 'Original Champagne Lady' for Lawrence Welk's orchestra

There’s a 1939 film clip that shows Lois Best Herman singing and smiling next to a very young Lawrence Welk as his orchestra plays on.…
Body found in lake is missing Mounds View man Henry McCabe

Body found in lake is missing Mounds View man Henry McCabe

Henry McCabe went missing on Labor Day. Minnesota's Liberian community organized searches to find him.
Woodbury's giant State Farm office building will be demolished

Woodbury's giant State Farm office building will be demolished

CityPlace developer will build an office park in its place.

Oakdale man sent to prison for hammer attack on his wife

Husband apologizes for striking his wife; judge gives him 11 years.
Charges: St. Paul mom, 24, fatally shot steps from her apartment

Charges: St. Paul mom, 24, fatally shot steps from her apartment

Alvin R. Bell, 24, was charged Thursday in the death of a young mother whose apartment was ransacked, charges say.
Goodbye, Stillwater Log Jam; hello, Lumberjack Days (again)

Goodbye, Stillwater Log Jam; hello, Lumberjack Days (again)

Summer festival restores its familiar name, but rowdiness of recent years won't come back.
Reward offered in Mounds View resident's disappearance

Reward offered in Mounds View resident's disappearance

Searchers have offered a $10,000 reward to find Henry McCabe, a Mounds View resident missing since Labor Day. Money will come from the fundraising committee…

Washington County expands recycling center hours

Washington County commissioners approved a plan Tuesday to double the hours at the county’s recycling center in Woodbury. In so doing, they hope to attract…
Hundreds of volunteers turn out for massive Woodbury meal-packing drive

Hundreds of volunteers turn out for massive Woodbury meal-packing drive

It's the nation's largest-ever event to assemble meals for starving children. Work continues through Sunday.

Stillwater girl became online sex slave of Washington state man, charges say

Allegations: Seventh-grader acted out sexual fetishes, choked herself when "Hero" commanded her to do it.
Search for Henry McCabe turns to New Brighton on Saturday

Search for Henry McCabe turns to New Brighton on Saturday

No trace found of missing Mounds View man. Last call from his cellphone sounded like moaning.
Man indicted on first-degree murder charge in Oak Park Heights slaying

Man indicted on first-degree murder charge in Oak Park Heights slaying

Grand jury ruling replaces lesser charges filed in April. Nathan Eldredge will make a court appearance on Thursday.
Conservation agency calls it quits on buying 3M's $10M Tartan Park

Conservation agency calls it quits on buying 3M's $10M Tartan Park

Conservation agency tells Washington County, Lake Elmo officials that open spaces proposal lacks support.
Stillwater hands off wedding biz to private contractor to free up city's staff

Stillwater hands off wedding biz to private contractor to free up city's staff

Washington County OKs contractor for Historic Courthouse events.
Another search planned Saturday for missing Mounds View man

Another search planned Saturday for missing Mounds View man

Liberian activist from California urges police to do more to find Henry McCabe.

East metro counties agree to buy Newport garbage processing plant

Public ownership will mean more control over technologies and costs, commissioners say.

Stillwater man pleads guilty to kidnapping St. Paul teen, raping her

Jeremiah D. Johnson found the victim passed out drunk. He carried her to his pickup. Police traced the vehicle to his apartment.
Police searching for clues as to why Mounds View man went missing

Police searching for clues as to why Mounds View man went missing

Henry McCabe disappeared on Labor Day. Security video and phone records might offer some clues about what happened to him.
Forest Lake man accused of killing girlfriend, leaving body for three days

Forest Lake man accused of killing girlfriend, leaving body for three days

Suspect, 27, accused of second-degree murder.
Steel firm says St. Croix River bridge problems were known a year ago

Steel firm says St. Croix River bridge problems were known a year ago

But a spokesman for Lunda-Ames Joint Venture said they didn't learn of any "alleged issues" until February.
Land added to St. Croix River conservation efforts

Land added to St. Croix River conservation efforts

Parcels in Minnesota, Wisconsin, help 'preserve wild and scenic character' of river, advocate says.
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.
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