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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Crash results in man's sixth OWI arrest Spring Valley man, was arrested on suspicion of OWI-sixth offense and transported to a hospital. Traffic trouble • Deputies responded to a driving complaint at 11:34 p.m. April 2 at County Road E and Highway 10 in Prescott. Officers stopped the vehicle and ultimately arrested the driver, a Minneapolis man, on suspicion of OWI and driving without a license.
A River Falls man with a history of criminal convictions is back in jail and charged with multiple felonies after a string of incidents Saturday in Pierce County. The Pierce County District Attorney's Office charged Chase G. Kohl, 33, with five felonies — operating without consent while carrying a weapon, burglary, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, taking and driving a vehicle without consent, criminal property damage and being a convicted felon in possession of firearm.
NEW RICHMOND — Schools aren't the only places active-shooter incidents occur. While events like February's massacre in Florida drew the focus to school buildings, the possibility for similar attacks — like those that have happened in workplaces, churches, malls and movie theaters — is just as possible, New Richmond Police Chief Craig Yehlik points out. So why shouldn't the rest of the community be given the same safety tools students and school staff receive?
HUDSON — A recount of votes for a St. Croix County Board seat that ended in a dead heat didn't yield different totals, but a winner was declared — challenger Ryan Sherley. The New Richmond man was declared the winner over incumbent Scottie Ard in an all-day process Wednesday, April 12, that represented a rollercoaster ride for the candidates.
Prosecutors say a curbside assault on a gay man late last month in Hudson represents a hate crime. The March 31 incident left the man with a black eye and other minor injuries after he was allegedly pushed to the ground and punched. The suspect, Hudson resident Christopher J. Salmon, was charged with battery involving a hate crime, a felony. The 37-year-old was released from St. Croix County jail on a signature bond after his initial hearing April 2.
Two Hager City men were ticketed for reckless driving after they allegedly raced down a Hager City roadway, where one vehicle nearly struck an oncoming vehicle and the other crashed into a business, according to authorities. A Pierce County Sheriff's Office accident report states Randy W. Trok, 68, and Tony S. Burow, 41, were both northbound March 31 on County Road VV when the incident occurred. Trok's vehicle, a 1930 custom Ford coupe, crashed into Hager City Glass Co. property.
A Hager City man was hospitalized Tuesday while attempting to put out a fire that destroyed his garage. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said 59-year-old Douglas Volenec was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Wing for injuries sustained while trying to extinguish the blaze on his own.
Gov. Scott Walker said he was making good on his promise to deliver welfare reform when he signed three bills this week in River Falls. The bills were part of a package of legislation the Republican governor signed during various stops around the state Tuesday, April 10. "We looked at it in the fact that at 2.9 percent unemployment, we can't afford to have anybody on the sidelines," Walker said to a group of supporters and curious shoppers at Dick's Fresh Market. "We need everybody in the game."
An exact tie in the polling numbers for a St. Croix County Board seat triggered a recount to be held this week. Ballots for the District 13 race between incumbent Scottie Ard and challenger Ryan Sherley will be recounted at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, at the St. Croix County Government Center. Both candidates received 213 votes during the April 3 election, according to preliminary results.
Incidents on bridges connecting St. Croix County with Minnesota left two people dead over the past week. Both deaths were believed to be suicides. The most recent incident occurred the morning of Monday, April 9, when a motorist witnessed a man jump from the St. Croix River Crossing. Authorities recovered his body in the St. Croix River. Washington (Minn.) County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. confirmed the man, a Stillwater resident in his 60s, was found dead on the north side of the bridge.