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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

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.
Missing University of Minnesota student 'just a superstar'

Missing University of Minnesota student 'just a superstar'

About 250 people held a vigil in Stillwater on Sunday for Jennifer Houle, who was last seen early Friday in Dinkytown. Police said her purse was found about three blocks west of a bar she was last seen at.

Briefs: Job fair hosts Stillwater, Oak Park Heights employers

The Washington County Workforce Center will host a Mini Job Fair from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, March 30, at the Stillwater Government Center. The…

In Washington County, mild winter saves on fuel, salt

Last snowplow season took a bite out of the county budget. This year, not so much.
In Washington County, yellow arrows pointing the way

In Washington County, yellow arrows pointing the way

Nine more intersections on county roads will receive flashing turn signals this summer.
Woodbury drug forum includes father of girl who died in overdose

Woodbury drug forum includes father of girl who died in overdose

Tom Fitzgerald will talk about family’s nightmare.
Briefs: Historic rag factory buildings under study

Briefs: Historic rag factory buildings under study

A public meeting about proposed reuses for the Bergstein Shoddy Mill and Warehouse will be held March 30 at 7 p.m. at Stillwater City Hall,…

Project cost overruns get scrutiny at Washington County Board

Engineers are doing their jobs, commissioners say, but the reasons behind public-works price increases are hard to explain to constituents.
Final defendant sentenced for Woodbury drug overdose death

Final defendant sentenced for Woodbury drug overdose death

Alistair Berg admitted buying and selling a substance he thought was LSD. He watched the sale to the girl who died.
Man rescued from ice floe on St. Croix River

Man rescued from ice floe on St. Croix River

A chilly ordeal that lasted for more than an hour ended when Washington County deputies came to the rescue.

Briefs: 'Serving Beyond Bars' fundraiser held March 28

A “Serving Beyond the Bars” dinner to raise money for meal-packing programs in state prisons will be held March 28 at the Lake Elmo Inn.…

Troubled Washington County intersection will get makeover

County plans to rebuild 10th Street/Manning Avenue site, but not if it hurts Oak-Land school.

Briefs: Cottage Grove administrator leaving city job

Longtime Cottage Grove city administrator Ryan Schroeder will be “parting ways” with the City Council in May, Mayor Myron Bailey said last week. Schroeder has…
Fix felon voting law, Washington County attorney says

Fix felon voting law, Washington County attorney says

Cases involving fraud allegations, usually unfounded, are consuming investigators’ time, Pete Orput tells County Board.
St. Croix Riverway proves to be scenic and popular

St. Croix Riverway proves to be scenic and popular

National Park Service numbers show a huge uptick in visitation in the 255-mile park. More accurate counting helped.

Minneapolis man convicted in Woodbury jewelry store robbery

An accomplice killed himself in the jewelry store robbery. Officer saw Erick Larkins fleeing.
Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen's drug death

Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen's drug death

Teen who sold drug said he never imagined the “horrible” outcome.
Briefs: Washington County students commended for 'pledge to graduate'

Briefs: Washington County students commended for 'pledge to graduate'

The Washington County attorney’s office has recognized two students who signed pledges to graduate from high school. Helena Dowler received an iPad from Sam’s Club…

Washington County commissioners debate public works costs

Unforeseen costs tied to sewer line, other issues.
Coalition forms to pep up downtown Stillwater

Coalition forms to pep up downtown Stillwater

The vision of the city in a post-Lift Bridge era now is in hands of a coalition of property owners. “Common purpose” is the goal, new chairman says.

Briefs: Scandia delays Log House Landing action

The Scandia City Council has postponed plans to renovate a historic boat landing in late summer. The council unanimously decided Tuesday to delay work on…
Coalition forms to pep up downtown Stillwater

Coalition forms to pep up downtown Stillwater

The vision of the city in a post-Lift Bridge era now is in hands of property owners. ‘Common purpose’ is the goal, new chairman says.
Briefs: 'One-stop shop' in Stillwater for wedding plans

Briefs: 'One-stop shop' in Stillwater for wedding plans

The St. Croix Valley Wedding Showcase will be held at Washington County Historic Courthouse on Feb. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. The courthouse is…
Construction of Washington County's Point Douglas Trail will begin in 2016

Construction of Washington County's Point Douglas Trail will begin in 2016

Link between two river bridges will follow an abandoned rail corridor. Latest development is planning for pedestrian bridge.

Washington County raises some fees, but not by much

The revenue from increases is intended to cover additional expenses, budget director said.
Woodbury teen sentenced in 17-year-old girl's overdose death

Woodbury teen sentenced in 17-year-old girl's overdose death

Sydney Claire Johnson was a link in a drug-dealing chain that ended in Tara Fitzgerald’s death.
St. Paul police shooting could go to grand jury

St. Paul police shooting could go to grand jury

Washington County attorney is reviewing fatal shooting of Marcus Golden because of a Ramsey County conflict of interest.
Briefs: Ideas wanted for St. Croix Boom Site

Briefs: Ideas wanted for St. Croix Boom Site

The Friends of the St. Croix Boom Site will host four public meetings to discuss the site’s future. The 26-acre park, made up of four…
Washington County in 1917: German spies, beware

Washington County in 1917: German spies, beware

Spreading fear, citizens like him obsessed with “disloyalty” went to work and trampled rights.
Briefs: Mahtomedi church will take lead with homeless families

Briefs: Mahtomedi church will take lead with homeless families

Homeless families in Washington County now have one place to call when seeking emergency shelter: St. Andrew’s Community Resource Center (CRC) in Mahtomedi. Washington County…
Mahtomedi bar owner was killed with single shot

Mahtomedi bar owner was killed with single shot

A Mahtomedi bar owner was killed early Saturday morning when a single gunshot from a high-powered rifle hit him as he drove his pickup, according to criminal charges filed Monday. A 19-year-old Pine Springs man has been charged with murder.
Two men sentenced in drug overdose death of Woodbury teen

Two men sentenced in drug overdose death of Woodbury teen

Men will each serve time for Woodbury girl’s death after taking 25i-NBOMe.

Briefs: Got a criminal record? Learn about expungement

A public workshop on criminal expungement will be held at the Washington County Law Library from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Room LL14 of…
Washington County considers private vendor for wedding business

Washington County considers private vendor for wedding business

History remains a priority at Historic Courthouse, park managers say. Private events pay for it.

Briefs: Deputies replacing bailiffs in Washington County courts

Only one bailiff remains at the Washington County Courthouse, but security is stronger than ever. That’s because armed sheriff’s deputies now fill those jobs, putting…
In Hudson, up, up and away!

In Hudson, up, up and away!

One of the biggest winter events along the St. Croix River will paint the skies with color. The Hot Air Affair, held the weekend of…
State mandates weigh heavily in Washington County

State mandates weigh heavily in Washington County

Property tax levies pay more and more of the annual budget as the state shifts costs to local governments.

Landfall man goes to prison for kidnapping New York girl

Michael Goerlich had intended a sexual relationship with the 14 year old. A jury convicted him in December.
Former Stillwater mayor pleads guilty in fraud scheme

Former Stillwater mayor pleads guilty in fraud scheme

Ken Harycki admitted that he helped a home health care company hide money to avoid paying taxes.
New commissioner joins Washington County Board

New commissioner joins Washington County Board

Karla Bigham, representing south Washington County, will target Red Rock transit ridership.
January ice cream social planned in Stillwater — outdoors

January ice cream social planned in Stillwater — outdoors

In 1953, a woman was photographed eating ice cream in Stillwater — in winter. She remains unidentified, but her cheery disposition made her an icon…
Briefs: Marine on St. Croix library receives $6,000 for materials and services

Briefs: Marine on St. Croix library receives $6,000 for materials and services

The city of Marine on St. Croix will receive $6,000 from the Jordan bequest to be used for materials and services at the Marine Community…
In Washington County, a dogfight over government watchdog

In Washington County, a dogfight over government watchdog

Facebook page rankles Washington County officials, who say it’s often inaccurate.

State fire association treasurer charged with stealing $188K for personal use

Anthony Bronk had been a Hugo City Council member. Total losses alleged at $188,000.
Briefs: 17 and older? Write book reviews in Washington County

Briefs: 17 and older? Write book reviews in Washington County

Washington County Library invites adults to participate in Winter Jackets, a free winter reading program, Jan. 1 through Feb. 28. The program encourages library users…
It's snow and go for tubers at Green Acres

It's snow and go for tubers at Green Acres

The Green Acres tubing hill in Lake Elmo opened on Black Friday with manufactured snow, but March-like weather put an end to that. Then came…
In Washington County, a dogfight over government watchdog

In Washington County, a dogfight over government watchdog

Facebook site rankles county officials who say it’s inaccurate. But founder questions credibility of “faceless” posts by his critics.

Private cemetery proposed for Lake Elmo would be rare newcomer

Cremations outnumber traditional burials so new cemeteries are rare, but landowner says he’d offer both.
Washington County will say no to e-cigs and "vaping”

Washington County will say no to e-cigs and "vaping”

New policy, headed for approval, will be the latest in a series of tightened restrictions on the new form of smoking.

Briefs: Newport woman sentenced in husband's drug overdose death

Jennifer Marie Johnson, 44, of Newport, was sentenced recently to six years and two months in prison in connection with the drug overdose death of…
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