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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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.
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.