Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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A St. Paul skydiving instructor had anything but a soft landing last month after allegedly attempting to parachute from atop a St. Croix County cellphone tower. Court documents filed this week state the man’s parachute got hung up on power lines on the way down, snagging him and causing him to receive an electrical shock. The 44-year-old survived the July 29 incident, but was later charged with two felonies stemming from the failed attempt, which left 127 customers without power for nearly two hours.
A popular east metro golf course must pay out $130,000 to former employees who were the targets of sexual harassment and reprisals by the owner, according to a Washington County District Court ruling. Judge Mary Hannon ruled Monday, Aug. 21, that William Doebler and Mississippi Dunes Golf Links violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) and allowed a hostile work environment for employees who faced sexual harassment and reprisal. Hannon admonished the golf course in her ruling, saying its failure to respond to sex discrimination allegations was "alarming."
A trio of Minnesota men are accused in a rowdy night that allegedly led to a burglary and a robbery at a Prescott apartment. One man booted down the door of an apartment complex before he and others entered the building and wrestled a man's cellphone away, according to charges filed last week in Pierce County Circuit Court. The men allegedly fled the area in a boat to Hastings, where one suspect reportedly slugged another in the face.
Authorities said DNA evidence linked two Woodbury men to a 2015 burglary where more than $76,000 worth of copper wire was stolen from a North Hudson railroad construction site. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, St. Croix County prosecutors filed charges against those men and two others also suspected in the case. Woodbury residents James C. Boyer, 37, and Daniel G. Kirchoff, 41, were both charged with two counts each of of felony theft and two misdemeanors: criminal property damage and entry onto a construction site.
When shoppers drive the Walmart parking lot, they're usually after one thing: empty spaces. Jordan Ziebarth scouts for the exact opposite. The Cottage Grove, Minn., police officer isn't interested in the closest available parking spot to the store. He's looking at the vehicles that are already there.
An east metro woman was hospitalized last week after she was thrown from a motorcycle in Pierce County. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said 49-year-old Cottage Grove resident Brenda Kuettner was southbound at about 10:06 a.m. Friday, July 28, on Highway 35 in the town of Oak Grove when she lost control of her motorcycle on a curve at 1220th Street and crashed.
A Rosemount man was arrested on suspicion of his 10th drunken-driving offense Tuesday, July 4, in western Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Patrol identified the suspect as 47-year-old Lawrence M. LaPole. According to a news release, a trooper stopped a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix just after 10 p.m. on Highway 29 in Dunn County for a traffic violation. The driver, identified by troopers as LaPole, was later arrested on suspicion of OWI-10th offense, failure to install an ignition interlock device, driving without a valid license and following too closely.
A St. Croix County woman died from an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday after she and two others were found on a boat over the weekend on the St. Croix River.
Authorities pulled one of two people from the St. Croix River Tuesday afternoon after they went underwater. Crews from St. Croix and Washington counties were searching the river as of 5:50 p.m. for a male who still had not been found, according to Washington County dispatch supervisor Bobbi Rindfleisch. She said life-saving measures were being performed on the female who was pulled from the water by authorities. Her condition wasn’t immediately available.
A Prescott man intentionally tore up an east metro lawn two hours before using a stolen credit card to buy beer and tobacco back in Wisconsin, according to documents filed last week in Pierce County Circuit Court. The alleged crime spree ended with the suspect, Justin M. Brennan, being shot with a stun gun outside his Prescott home, but not before he spit in a police officer's face, the documents state.