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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Authorities said DNA evidence linked two Woodbury men to a 2015 burglary where more than $76,000 worth of copper wire was stolen from a North Hudson railroad construction site. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, St. Croix County prosecutors filed charges against those men and two others also suspected in the case. Woodbury residents James C. Boyer, 37, and Daniel G. Kirchoff, 41, were both charged with two counts each of of felony theft and two misdemeanors: criminal property damage and entry onto a construction site.
A chain-reaction crash Friday in Pierce County sent a Hastings woman to the hospital. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said the injured woman, identified as 32-year-old Christina L. Johnson, was a passenger in a car that was struck by another vehicle pushed into oncoming traffic after being rear-ended on Highway 10.
Prescott Police Chief Gary Krutke died Saturday, Aug. 5, after battling cancer. The Prescott Police Department announced Krutke’s death on its Facebook page. “Our department mourns his loss along with family, friends and Prescott community,” the post reads. Other law enforcement agencies also took to social media to express their grief.
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.
Two Minnesota motorcycle riders were injured last weekend after striking an SUV and then a guard rail in Pierce County. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called at 3:57 p.m. Sunday, July 23, to county roads F and FF in the town of Clifton for a crash involving a motorcycle and an SUV.
A Hager City man was checked for injuries Tuesday, July 18, after the pickup he was driving crashed in rural Ellsworth. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office responded at 9:04 a.m. to the crash at Highway 10 and 730th Street in the town of Trimbelle. Deputies said the driver, identified as 30-year-old Michael J. Drager, was westbound in a 1999 Ford Ranger when it left the roadway. Drager overcorrected, causing the truck to slide sideways before overturning. Drager was treated and released at the scene, according to the sheriff's office.
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.
The National Weather Service confirmed what many eyewitnesses already knew — it was a tornado that struck Pierce County on Wednesday. Michelle Margraf, a meteorologist for the weather service, said a survey team was on the ground Thursday, June 29, assessing the aftermath of the tornado. Crews should be able to determine the path and strength of the tornado that struck the town of Martell and surrounding areas at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The inside of a boat where a fatal carbon monoxide exposure occurred on the St. Croix River contained a detector that wasn’t turned on. The Department of Natural Resources released information Thursday, June 29, from a preliminary report outlining circumstances of the incident discovered along the river in the town of St. Joseph, where a woman was found dead and two men were found sickened.
TOWN OF MARTELL — At least one person was injured after a fast-developing storm produced a tornado that destroyed numerous buildings Wednesday, June 28, in rural Ellsworth. Authorities said a tornado cut an estimated 10-mile path in the town of Martell, where officials were busy assessing damage in the area.