Staff Directory 10644901

Kevin Giles

Reporter | East Metro
phone: 651-925-5037
Kevin Giles covers Washington County issues such as public policy, transportation, environment and development, prosecution and courts, prisons and the St. Croix River watershed.
Recent content from Kevin Giles
Maplewood man pleads guilty to threatening his parents and beating his mother with a hammer

Maplewood man pleads guilty to threatening his parents and beating his mother with a hammer

David Edward Williams Jr. beat his mother with a hammer, complaint says.
Washington County's proposed tax hike is biggest in years

Washington County's proposed tax hike is biggest in years

New construction in the east metro county could ease homeowners' burden of 6.9% property tax increase.
New era begins for fabled Lift Bridge in Stillwater, now closed to motorists

New era begins for fabled Lift Bridge in Stillwater, now closed to motorists

The bridge is permanently closed to car traffic, but the bridge will endure as a pedestrian and bicycle path.
Thousands celebrate as new St. Croix River bridge is now open

Thousands celebrate as new St. Croix River bridge is now open

Hours earlier, hundreds of onlookers applaud a four-lane crossing, decades in the making.
Stillwater plans big party when historic Lift Bridge closes to traffic

Stillwater plans big party when historic Lift Bridge closes to traffic

Celebration will combine with classic car show.

Woodbury day cares get extortion letter threatening false police report of sex abuse

Hush money would buy "silence" on false accusation of child sexual assault. Police are investigating.
St. Croix River bridge ribbon-cutting expected to draw a crowd

St. Croix River bridge ribbon-cutting expected to draw a crowd

Buses will ferry spectators to the Wednesday event in Oak Park Heights.
Cottage Grove rescinds summerlong watering ban effective Aug. 1

Cottage Grove rescinds summerlong watering ban effective Aug. 1

The shutdown over contamination ends Tuesday, but restrictions will be in place and enforced.

Grant resident files suit against fellow City Council members

A City Council member in the Washington County city of Grant is suing the mayor and other City Council members, alleging retaliation for his “environmental…

Wisconsin legislator will introduce his second St. Croix River private property bill

Rep. Adam Jarchow takes on Murr land-rights issue despite high court ruling.
Long-awaited St. Croix bridge is feat of engineering, political will

Long-awaited St. Croix bridge is feat of engineering, political will

The $646 million bridge, with a design so rare it's only the second of its type in the U.S., required a congressional exemption to span the federally protected river prized for its natural beauty.

Wisconsin legislation seeks to benefit for-profit wedding business on St. Croix River bluff

Wis. legislators offer bills allowing firm on St. Croix to bypass zoning laws.
Afton parades its new look in midst of major infrastructure project

Afton parades its new look in midst of major infrastructure project

The city, and Washington County, teamed up to correct long-standing problems with streets, sewage and flooding.

Dakota, Washington counties approve transportation taxes

The move replaces an existing quarter-cent tax before CTIB dissolves itself.
Lake Elmo rejoins Washington County library system

Lake Elmo rejoins Washington County library system

City had checked out after dispute over services.
Ready? St. Croix River bridge ribbon cutting set for Aug. 2

Ready? St. Croix River bridge ribbon cutting set for Aug. 2

Cars will begin to cross "within a day or two" of the ribbon-cutting, MnDOT official says.
Lifeguards will watch over weekend crowd at Lake Elmo swim pond where drowning occurred

Lifeguards will watch over weekend crowd at Lake Elmo swim pond where drowning occurred

Parents, at Lake Elmo park and elsewhere, warned to be vigilant with children in water.
Booklet about St. Croix River regulations helps landowners go with the flow

Booklet about St. Croix River regulations helps landowners go with the flow

Color guide explains what must be done before investing money in new buildings or remodeling.
Principal found in park died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Principal found in park died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

An Oakdale school principal found dead in a Woodbury park died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said Thursday.
Oakdale middle school principal found dead in Woodbury park

Oakdale middle school principal found dead in Woodbury park

Cause of death under investigation, police say.
Pedestrians are front and center as Stillwater reclaims its core

Pedestrians are front and center as Stillwater reclaims its core

Plaza will replace traffic jams when Stillwater Lift Bridge closes.
Dr. Arnold S. Anderson, who helped found two major Twin Cities medical centers, dies

Dr. Arnold S. Anderson, who helped found two major Twin Cities medical centers, dies

On a July night in 1951, a young doctor was sweeping the floor at the new St. Louis Park Medical Center when parents with a…

Minn. Supreme Court rejects further appeal of Stillwater school closings

Denial means district could proceed with shutdowns if the school board decides to do that.
Forest Lake reverses decision to disband police department

Forest Lake reverses decision to disband police department

The mayor and City Council voted 4-1 in favor of a new three-year contract with the force.
Forest Lake appears to buck trend of closing police departments

Forest Lake appears to buck trend of closing police departments

Outsourcing trend weighs cutting costs, local control.
Cop who played football with kids influenced new Washington County sheriff

Cop who played football with kids influenced new Washington County sheriff

A local officer connected with Washington County's Dan Starry and his brother.
Forest Lake HS students walk out to protest police department disbanding

Forest Lake HS students walk out to protest police department disbanding

More than 1,000 students left the school.
Former Woodbury principal pleads guilty to stealing school money

Former Woodbury principal pleads guilty to stealing school money

Aaron Harper, former head of East Ridge High School, resigned in 2014.
Parents offer settlement to keep Stillwater district schools open

Parents offer settlement to keep Stillwater district schools open

Stillwater attorney hadn't yet responded to proposal to back away from suits.
Trout stocking suspended in Washington Co. lake

Trout stocking suspended in Washington Co. lake

Water clarity was suffering at the Washington County recreational gem.
In Forest Lake, proposal to cut city's police department angers some

In Forest Lake, proposal to cut city's police department angers some

Anger is running high in Forest Lake over a proposal to eliminate the city's police department and contract instead for law enforcement services with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Wisconsin girl accused of 'first kill' goes into juvenile jurisdiction

Adult charges dropped for now after deal reached in St. Croix County.
Outdated south Washington County park soon to become new and improved

Outdated south Washington County park soon to become new and improved

A $3.5 million construction project will transform the tattered Cottage Grove site.
Missing police evidence in Newport can't be found, sheriff tells city

Missing police evidence in Newport can't be found, sheriff tells city

Poor procedures blamed for loss of money, drugs and guns; no criminal charges expected.
Bail set at $1M for school bus employee accused of molesting young girls

Bail set at $1M for school bus employee accused of molesting young girls

Harvey Kneifl, charged on six counts, made his first appearance in court Friday.
Woodbury bus assistant suspected of molesting 6 girls

Woodbury bus assistant suspected of molesting 6 girls

The school district has placed the suspect on leave. Allegations involve at least six preschool girls, and police are investigating whether there are more.

Jury awards $11.5 million to assaulted Polk Co., Wis., jail inmates

Female inmates in Wisconsin were assaulted dozens of times by guard.
Woodbury's CityPlace producing hundreds of jobs

Woodbury's CityPlace producing hundreds of jobs

More than 20 businesses are open or are under construction now at the site of the former State Farm headquarters.
End of Backpage.com adult ads doesn't slow torrent of sex trafficking in metro area

End of Backpage.com adult ads doesn't slow torrent of sex trafficking in metro area

Washington County investigators tracked nearly 75,000 ads in different categories.
Cottage Grove murder-for-hire suspect back in jail after allegedly trying to track son via smartwatch

Cottage Grove murder-for-hire suspect back in jail after allegedly trying to track son via smartwatch

Stephen Carl Allwine charged with killing wife alleged to attempt contact with son through GPS on a smartwatch.

Stillwater school closings debated before state appeals court

Parents allege district lacked sufficient evidence to close the schools, while the district says board has 'wide latitude' to decide.
Turned away in Chisago County, Muslims seek new cemetery site

Turned away in Chisago County, Muslims seek new cemetery site

The dispute resembles arguments over proposed Muslim cemeteries in other parts of the country, as well as a recent example in Dakota County.

Appeals court will hear arguments over Stillwater school closings

Opponents of Stillwater board's decision point to insufficient evidence.
Murder charges: Cottage Grove man staged wife's suicide after searching for hitman on 'Dark Web'

Murder charges: Cottage Grove man staged wife's suicide after searching for hitman on 'Dark Web'

Stephen Carl Allwine, 43, is accused of shooting Amy Allwine and trying to disguise the death as suicide.
Melting closes Stillwater ice castle temporarily

Melting closes Stillwater ice castle temporarily

Thick walls will sustain in the warm weather, but walking surfaces will be getting slippery, organizers say.
Criminal sentencing for ex-Stillwater mayor delayed again

Criminal sentencing for ex-Stillwater mayor delayed again

Ken Harycki pleaded guilty in January 2015 to tax evasion in his private accounting business.
Ice castle built to bring surge of winter tourism to downtown Stillwater

Ice castle built to bring surge of winter tourism to downtown Stillwater

Latest ice castle breaks playfully from tradition in Stillwater.
In Washington County, sheriff embraces body-worn cameras

In Washington County, sheriff embraces body-worn cameras

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, recognizing that various forms of multimedia recordings already are in wide use among law enforcement officers and citizens alike, will…
Historical Society determined to save early Stillwater house, despite mounting costs

Historical Society determined to save early Stillwater house, despite mounting costs

It has taken on the job of restoring the Boutwell house with a semblance of historical accuracy and then selling it to someone who wants to live there, with certain restrictions.

City of Forest Lake, residents have had enough of Halfbreed Lake

The Washington County lake, known to many as Sylvan Lake, is the latest in Minnesota proposed for renaming because of racist connotations.
If the shoe fits, start an events venue in Stillwater

If the shoe fits, start an events venue in Stillwater

Hulking old factory becomes an upscale entertainment attraction, bringing more life to the city's downtown district.
Free-flowing or not? River Falls embarks on a debate over its Kinnickinnic River

Free-flowing or not? River Falls embarks on a debate over its Kinnickinnic River

Kinnickinnic River's future could be free of dams.
Roy L. Huddle, co-owner of northern Minnesota resort, dies at 78

Roy L. Huddle, co-owner of northern Minnesota resort, dies at 78

When Roy Huddle wasn’t on the lake teaching people to water ski, he was driving a golf cart through his northern Minnesota resort announcing Sunday…

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.
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