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 boating-while-intoxicated case escalated to felony-level charges last week after a 60-year-old Twin Cities man plunged into the St. Croix River, where he allegedly battled police who attempted to apprehend him. The Cottage Grove, Minn., man, who stripped out of his clothing and a life vest during the alleged July 31 confrontation, was later charged with three felony battery counts — one for each of the Hudson police officers prosecutors say he struck. Prosecutors also charged Jerome L. Seipel with three counts of misdemeanor resisting an officer.
A Minnesota man had gotten off with a fireworks warning on the Fourth of July in Hudson until he allegedly went after the people who called to complain about him and launched a firework at their car. According to a criminal complaint, an officer responding to the scene had to slam the brakes of his police cruiser “as firecrackers began exploding under the front of my squad” moments before getting out to arrest the suspect.
A 22-year-old Hastings man died last weekend after a trench collapse in Pierce County. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said 22-year-old Joseph T. Sanderson was airlifted Saturday, June 30, 2018, after the accident at N7155 690th St. in the town of Martell. Deputies said in a news release that Sanderson succumbed to his injuries later that day at Regions Hospital.
Park's class of 2018 began its journey Sunday in more ways than one. Graduates chose "Don't Stop Believing," performed by Journey, as their theme song. During commencement, held June 3 at Aldrich Arena, social studies teacher Yonnie Eiden-Giel told students to uphold their convictions along their individual journeys. "Know why you believe what you believe and stand firm behind those beliefs," she told graduates. Following speeches from Park's summa cum laude graduates, student speakers Donald Birttnen and Austin Boreen also addressed the crowd.
The Red Wing man and Ellsworth woman sought in a western Wisconsin shooting case were arrested in Barron County, authorities announced Thursday. A post on the Barron County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page said the suspects, previously identified as Red Wing resident Shawn Goplen and Ellsworth resident Kari Blank, where taken into custody at the Rice Lake Dollar General store.
Customer complaints led to criminal charges May 8 for a 31-year-old Minnesota man accused of bilking the elderly out of snow-removal payments in Minnesota, Wisconsin and seven other states. The Wisconsin justice department announced five theft charges — two felonies and three misdemeanors — against Matthew D. Erickson, the owner of Snow Angels LLC. Erickson ran an unsuccessful 2016 GOP bid for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.
Authorities said it took a costume, a comment and a cast of accomplices to pull off a con that fleeced Walmart out of thousands of dollars at various stores in western Wisconsin and Minnesota. According to court documents, the main suspect would enter a Walmart clad in a former employee's vest, then approach a cashier, who would be told it was breaktime. From there, the suspect would open up the cash register to allow a string of accomplices to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards. And then, according to authorities, it was off to the next store.
A North Hudson coin transport business was targeted by current and former employees who made off with more than $30,000 in currency, according to charges filed last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. The alleged thefts were uncovered after a routine traffic stop in Hudson that snowballed into a multi-suspect investigation as coin boxes, surveillance video and interviews surfaced, according to charges filed in the ongoing case.
PRESCOTT — Reports of a man missing in dangerous temperatures ended with him being found cold, but alive. Prescott Police Chief Rob Funk said the man was discovered "a little worse for the wear" during the Tuesday, Dec. 26, incident, though apparently free of serious injuries. He said a Prescott police officer found the man just south of town near St. Joseph's Cemetery along Monroe Street. The man had gone out to look for his dog — a trek that took him to the Mississippi River, where Funk said the man fell in.
A Hastings man is due in court next month on allegations he embezzled more than $70,000 from a Prescott-area golf course. Pierce County prosecutors allege Robert P. Magnuson pocketed cash after issuing fake golf club memberships at Clifton Highlands between September 2016 and March of this year. The 58-year-old is charged with one count of felony theft by false representation.