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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An annexed property is sufficiently near River Falls, a judge decided last week after a two-day trial that included a visit to the site.
Two people questioned in the aftermath of a Prescott man's death were charged this month with felony drug crimes. The charges followed the death of 51-year-old Collin D. Jones, found dead Nov. 12 at an 865 Helen St. apartment in Prescott. Interim Prescott Police Chief Rob Funk said Jones' cause of death remains under investigation. Two people who had been with Jones in the apartment were questioned in connection with the death. Those people, Rhinelander residents Jenna R. Ohm and Kyle J. Bushong, were later charged in Pierce County Circuit court.
Shannon Zimmerman, the freshman lawmaker seeking to succeed Sheila Harsdorf in the state Senate, fired back after a liberal group criticized remarks from a speech he made three years before being elected to the Legislature.
A three-term St. Croix County judge announced he is seeking re-election. Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham is seeking his fourth term to the bench in 2018. In addition to serving as a sitting judge in St. Croix County, Needham also serves as chief judge of the 10th Judicial District and served from 2016-17 as chairman of the Committee of Chief Judges.
A 15-year legal battle ended in victory for a family of western Wisconsin property owners after a law was passed undoing barriers that sent the issue to the nation's highest court. Gov. Scott Walker on Monday, Nov. 27, signed a package of bills dubbed the "Homeowners Bill of Rights" that includes a provision lifting restrictions on shoreland zoning. The bill erases St. Croix County and state restrictions that kept the Murr family from selling one of two parcels of adjoining land it owns along the St. Croix River in the town of Troy.
ELMWOOD — Appeals directly to students seemed to make an impact in pushing his budget's education package, so Gov. Scott Walker went back to that well to draw support for a bill aimed at rural schools. Legislators balked at the Republican governor's sparsity aid request in his budget, so Walker is making a renewed push for the bill, which he said he convinced some lawmakers to reintroduce. "We can put a little more pressure on the Legislature to pass that," Walker told students Nov. 21 at Elmwood High School.
TOWN OF TRENTON — The Pierce County Sheriff's Office was investigating a weekend fire that displaced the resident of a Hager City-area home. Ellsworth Fire Chief Brent Langer said the home at W7680 165th Ave. in the town of Trenton was left uninhabitable after the fire, first reported at 6:41 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26. He said investigation of the fire's cause was turned over to the sheriff's office.
It's paperwork time for Wisconsin candidates seeking office in local government. Nomination papers for the following offices can be filed between Dec. 1 and 5 p.m. Jan. 2. Spring elections will be held April 3, with primary elections preceding on Feb. 20. Candidates can check with local boards or municipalities to determine whether their process calls for declaring candidacy, circulating paper nominations or January caucus meetings to circulate papers. The following seats and issues will go before voters in April: Statewide
Authorities allege a rural Hudson man on Tuesday attacked a sex offender for the second time since 2016 — this time going after a convict with an ax.
Authorities were working to identify human remains found this week by hunters walking along the St. Croix River. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, two hunters reported finding a body at 10:39 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. The discovery was made near the river bottoms in Interstate State Park off County Road S near 113th Avenue.