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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Less than five months after pleading no contest to substantial battery to a child in St. Croix County, a 27-year-old man was charged with a similar crime in Minnesota. Washington County prosecutors allege Jonathon D. Wierstad assaulted a 16-month-old boy who was placed on life support after a May 11 incident in Willernie, Minn. Siv Yurichuk, an assistant Washington County attorney, said Thursday there have been “no significant changes” since the child was hospitalized.
A Minnesota man caused an Interstate 94 crash that left a truck driver injured, and then drove away from the scene, according to charges filed this week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Prosecutors allege Inver Grove Heights resident Dylan M. Nelson was intoxicated at the time of the crash, reported early Saturday on the freeway in Hudson. Nelson, 23, made his initial court appearance Monday on one count of felony hit-and-run causing injury and a misdemeanor count of OWI causing injury. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham set cash bail at $1,500 at the hearing.
A Rosemount woman tasked with handling funds for a Dakota County school’s senior party allegedly funneled more than $4,300 from the group’s coffers through a sex-themed business, according to charges filed this week. Dakota County prosecutors allege 38-year-old Jill L. Fielder transacted about $8,727 in unauthorized funds belonging to a parent group organizing the Eastview High School senior party. Fielder, the group’s treasurer, is charged with one count of theft by temporary control, a felony.
Stolen cars from two states, one high-speed chase and a burglary led to a host of felony charges for a Beldenville man this week in Pierce County Circuit Court. Prosecutors allege 20-year-old Joshua J. Reeverts ditched a car stolen from Woodbury in a Pierce County field before burglarizing a rural River Falls home, where he allegedly swiped keys to a Cadillac. He then allegedly stole the Cadillac and drove it until it was spotted by authorities in Ellsworth.
The man reported missing on the St. Croix River has been found safe, authorities announced Monday.
The man charged in a Goodhue County slaying was arrested at gunpoint in Pierce County early Tuesday after leading deputies there on a high-speed pursuit that ended when he bailed out of the car after it crashed, according to court documents filed in Wisconsin. The suspect, identified by authorities as 26-year-old Charles Deonta Jones, got out of the wreck with a gun in his hand and ran off toward a wooded area before giving himself up, a criminal complaint states.
Maplewood police were investigating a kidnapping report Tuesday after a woman who turned up in Woodbury said she’d been abducted. According to a Woodbury police report, dispatchers took a call at 4:09 a.m. at Kwik Trip on Hudson Road about a disoriented woman bleeding from the face who said she’d jumped out of a moving vehicle.
TOWN OF ST. JOSEPH -- Two men playing paintball were seriously injured Friday in St. Croix County in a lightning strike. The men, whose identities were not immediately released, were taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with what St. Croix County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson described as “very serious injuries.” The incident occurred in a wooded area at Splat Tag Inc. on County Road E in the town of St. Joseph.
A western Wisconsin veterinarian accused of shuttling unwitting sex workers was sentenced Wednesday in Minnesota to prison on two felonies, including one that was the first conviction of its kind in the state. Washington County District Court Judge William Ekstrum sentenced 61-year-old Brian Kersten to four years — two-thirds of which must be served in prison.
Wisconsin authorities put out an alert Wednesday for suspects in a credit card scam that allegedly involves Walmart stores from Woodbury to Red Wing. According to a St. Croix Falls (Wis.) Police Department announcement, two suspects used cloned credit cards to buy gift cards on Sunday, Dec. 18, at a Walmart there. The suspects have been active in Pierce County and at Walmarts in Cottage Grove, Woodbury and Red Wing, according to police.