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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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.
Prosecutors say a man targeted in a Minnesota drive-by shooting helped burglarize a St. Croix County pole barn with three other.
TOWN OF TRIMBELLE -- A Minnesota man armed with several knives and a Taser sent firefighters scattering after he drove through the scene of a car fire, according to charges...
River towns from Stillwater to Red Wing are expected to see water levels rise over the next few days, though forecasts are not showing flood stage being reached. The St. Croix River in Stillwater was at 80 feet Thursday morning and was expected to crest at about 85 feet early Sunday, according to to the National Weather Service . Flood stage there is at 87 feet.
A metro bus headed eastbound on Interstate 94 created a false alarm during Friday's morning rush hour. The bus was seen displaying “call police” on its overhead display, prompting two Washington County sheriff's deputies to respond. The bus was pulled over at 7:42 a.m. just east of Neal Avenue in Afton. According to a Washington County dispatcher, the display was the result of a malfunction. “There was no emergency whatsoever,” according to the dispatcher.
A 35-year-old Minnesota motorcyclist and his passenger were hospitalized Sunday after a motorcycle crash in the town of Oak Grove that allegedly involved alcohol. The victims, identified by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office as driver Esa Bay, of Newport, Minn., and his passenger, 25-year-old Cottage Grove, Minn., resident Meghan McGahn, were taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital for their injuries. The extent of their injuries was not listed.
Former District 833 assistant superintendent up against Bezek, a former Park assistant principal.
The Raptors will get another run at it. The East Ridge boys alpine ski team qualified for the state meet for the second year in a row on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Wild Mountain Ski Area. The Raptors will look to build on last year’s seventh place finish – a mark the team’s coach said is attainable. “They’re going to try to go as hard as they can,” said Kevin Seipel, who coaches the Park Woodbury and East Ridge (PWER) alpine teams. “Especially with three seniors, they’re not going to be holding anything back.