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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We first need to stop the war on teachers unions. We need to properly fund our schools in a focused way, not just spend money on flashy technology. I would support partial student loan forgiveness for teachers that relocate to teach in certain areas where staffing is difficult.
The gloves came off last week and an old issue resurfaced in the race to see who will be the Republican to run for Sheila Harsdorf's former Senate seat.
A new trial date has been set in the case of a North Hudson man charged in connection with a fatal crash in Minnesota. Judge Richard Ilka set a June 18 jury trial date for Drew T. Fleming during a brief hearing Monday, Dec. 1, in Washington County District Court.
An Ellsworth woman accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from a River Falls care facility was convicted this week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Elizabeth A. Palo, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Dec. 5, to one count of felony theft as part of a plea agreement that calls for three other identical counts to be dismissed.
One person was injured last week the car she was a passenger in struck a deer in rural River Falls. Pierce County sheriff's deputies responded to the crash at 5:40 p.m. Nov. 30 on Highway 29 near 770th Street in the town of River Falls, where the car was stalled. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Baldwin resident Rachel Lind, was driving a 2001 Chevy Cavalier when it struck a deer. Lind was uninjured, but passenger Bailey Weber, 26, Amery, was taken by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital for her injuries. Weber and Lind both received seat belt tickets.
STILLWATER — A Minnesota judge didn't doubt the the progress a confessed drug dealer had made in treatment, but said those steps weren't enough to avert a prison sentence. Washington County District Court Judge John McBride sentenced Karl R. Heinrichs on Monday, Dec. 4, to six years in prison — four of which must be spent behind bars. The Stillwater man, arrested last year after a sting that involved both Minnesota and Wisconsin authorities, pleaded guilty in June to second-degree drug sales.
TOWN OF WARREN — Prosecutors allege a Roberts man's alcohol concentration was nearly three times the legal limit when he struck a homeless bicyclist and drove off last week in St. Croix County. St. Croix County prosecutors charged the driver, 43-year-old Brian D. Warwick, with two felonies — OWI causing injury and hit and run causing injury — along with misdemeanor OWI-third offense following the Nov. 30 incident along Highway 12.
A Minnesota man responsible for a hit-and-run crash in St. Croix County that left another motorist injured was convicted last week. Inver Grove Heights resident Dylan M. Nelson pleaded no contest Nov. 27 to causing an injury while operating under the influence, a misdemeanor. Two felony charges stemming from the May 6 incident were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
A River Falls man faces felony drug charges in St. Croix County after allegedly selling a police informant what turned out to be more than a half-pound of phony cocaine. The suspect, Nathaniel J. Lloyd, allegedly spent the weekend trying to sell the informant cocaine and agreed to take a portion of the payment in advance of the full amount. New Richmond police later learned Lloyd had stopped at a dollar store before the sale and bought a box of baking soda that he poured into a sandwich baggie "to sell as imitation cocaine," according to a criminal complaint.
A 12-year-old boy was hospitalized Saturday after being thrown from a horse-and-buggy ride at a Stockholm Christmas celebration. Pepin County Sheriff Joel Wener said the boy was one of eight passengers, along with the horses’ owner, on a buggy at the God Jul festival, held Dec. 2, when the incident occurred at about 12:46 p.m.