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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Afton Alps is being purchased by the operators of one of North America's most well-known skiing destinations, officials announced today. According to a news release, Vail Resorts, Inc., has entered into agreements to buy Afton Alps and a ski resort in Michigan for a combined $20 million. The buyer plans to "upgrade and enhance" the skiing experience at Afton Alps and at Mount Brighton, Mich. Part of the acquisition strategy appears to be an effort to drive ski trips to Vail and other ski areas owned by the operator.
Cody Becker drove to the Woodbury-area Best Buy on Wednesday, Nov. 21, from Hastings expecting to find unbeatable deals on electronics. What he didn't expect to do was make a few friends along the way. Becker, along with Cottage Grove resident Mark Scherr and St. Paul man Andrew Summy, were first in line at the Oakdale Best Buy awaiting Black Friday deals. The three were strangers, but said they had reached buddy status by Thanksgiving Day. So maybe it's not all about the deals, Becker said. "It's about the camaraderie," he said.
Washington County authorities on Monday identified the remains of a dead body found in the St. Croix River as a Cottage Grove native missing more than two years. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office identified the remains as belonging to Timothy Michael Pease, a 2000 Park High School graduate who went missing in February 2010 while snowmobiling on the St. Croix River. According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Pease likely drowned after falling through the ice. He had been snowmobiling on the river Feb. 5, 2010. At the time, law enforcement searched by boat and helicopter.
Authorities removed the remains of a body found Sunday in the St. Croix River at Afton. According to a Washington County Sheriff's Office news release, authorities received a call at 11:56 a.m. to respond to mile marker No. 11 across from Windmill Marina in Afton for a possible body in the water. Deputies from Washington and St. Croix counties responded and found the body in the water.
Denny Farrell was well aware of the homeless population in Washington County. So when three Guardian Angels Catholic Church members who hoped to bring a shelter to the church approached Farrell -- the parish administrator and longtime volunteer with Twin Cities-based homeless organizations -- he was all ears. "I totally understood what was happening," he said. The effort got immediate traction at the church and the surrounding faith community. Now organizers at Guardian Angels are eyeing a Sept.
A Cottage Grove man was cited Wednesday after his SUV broadsided a vehicle driven by a Woodbury woman and two children. The Woodbury woman, 44, and two school-age children, were both hospitalized at United Hospital, said Woodbury Police Sgt. Dave Brennan. He said the 31-year-old Cottage Grove man ran a red light while driving south on Radio Drive.
A woman appeared in Washington County District Court last week on multiple drug charges, including allegations that she possessed a half-pound of methamphetamines during a Cottage Grove traffic stop. The amounts of drugs discovered are clear indications Brand was selling the product, according to a Woodbury investigator. "That's a fair amount that would indicate it's not for personal use," said Woodbury police Cmdr. Jay Alberio. Danielle Brand, 25, of Oakdale, appeared in court Thursday, July 12, on new felony drug charges after first being arrested in February 2012. She was charged Feb.
Firefighters suspect a knocked-over candle was responsible for a fire that completely destroyed an Afton home early Friday. No residents or firefighters were hurt in the residential structure fire, located at 1171 Manning Ave. S. Capt. Dave Schneider of the Lower St.
Reuben Moll sat outside his garage Wednesday, just a few feet from the remains of the place he had called home since 1945. At age 91, the Afton man now enters a transition period: Moll must find a new place to live after his home was destroyed Tuesday by fire.
Woodbury came out on top Friday over rival East Ridge in a textbook pitchers' duel. The Royals won 1-0, improving their Suburban East Conference record to 4-5 - the same conference record as the Raptors fell to after the loss. Woodbury pitcher Noah Danner threw a three-hit performance in the complete game win. "He threw strikes, just like our guy," East Ridge coach Brian Sprout said, referring to Raptors' starting pitcher Andy Kemper. Woodbury scored the game's lone run in the bottom of the fifth when senior Joe Wood ripped a fastball up the middle, scoring Ryan Scanlon. "That was a big R