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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A Hastings man is due in court next month on allegations he embezzled more than $70,000 from a Prescott-area golf course. Pierce County prosecutors allege Robert P. Magnuson pocketed cash after issuing fake golf club memberships at Clifton Highlands between September 2016 and March of this year. The 58-year-old is charged with one count of felony theft by false representation.
A New Richmond man was hospitalized and a Hudson teenager was checked for injuries after their cars collided Friday afternoon in the town of Troy.
St. Croix County’s district attorney will determine whether or not the shooting of a teenager by a sheriff’s deputy was justified. Michael Nieskes said Thursday he was asked by the Ashland County district attorney to review evidence gathered by agents investigating the Nov. 8 shooting death of 14-year-old Jason Pero by Ashland County Sheriff’s Office deputy Brock Mrdjenovich.
Two drivers were hospitalized in separate crashes Tuesday evening on Pierce County roads. The first crash, reported at 5:47 p.m. Nov. 14 on 410th Avenue in the town of Ellsworth, left Arkansaw resident Jordan Pittman with undisclosed injuries. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said the 28-year-old was taken by Ellsworth EMS to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
Mike Perucca was heading to a medical call Sunday night in the town of St. Joseph when another emergency caught his attention before he got out of his North Hudson neighborhood. "I noticed an abnormal amount of smoke in the area," he said. It didn't take long for the St. Joe first responder — who also works as a Hudson firefighter — to determine the smoke was coming from a garage fire at 700 Fourth St. N. Perucca, who's also the city of Hudson's fire inspector, noticed an orange glow in the garage as he approached the house just before 10:30 p.m. Nov. 12.
The most serious charge levied against a Minnesota woman accused in a 2016 crash that killed a Beldenville teenager was dismissed last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham accepted prosecution's motion to dismiss one count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle Friday, Nov. 10, against 22-year-old Makellia S. Jensen. The Faribault woman was accused of causing 16-year-old Ellsworth High School student Kyra Hayes to swerve off the road, leading to the Oct. 21, 2016, crash.
A punishing second quarter of UW-La Crosse dominance spoiled Senior Day for the Falcons in their final game of the season. The Eagles ran off 42 unanswered points until UW-River Falls got on the board in the third quarter when senior running back Michael Diggins hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Beckman. The touchdown, backed by a Dylan Swerig extra point, represented the sole score in the 56-7 loss Saturday, Nov. 11, at Ramer Field.
St. Croix County Medical Examiner Patty Schachtner on Tuesday became the first Democrat to announce her bid in the special election for state Senate District 10. Schachtner, a Somerset School Board member, said in a statement that she aims to tackle “Milwaukee-area-first school funding” and other issues as part of an effort to boost western Wisconsin’s priority among Madison lawmakers.
A second western Wisconsin lawmaker has thrown his hat in the ring to succeed Sheila Harsdorf in the state Senate’s 10th district. Rep. Shannon Zimmerman was the latest to announce his candidacy for the seat, vacated Friday, Nov. 10, when Harsdorf resigned to become the next secretary of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She was appointed to the post earlier Friday by Gov. Scott Walker.
A judge threw out a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged Prescott police assaulted him last year, then destroyed video evidence of the incident. Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joe Boles dismissed the lawsuit Nov. 3 filed by Prescott resident Jeffrey Lakela, who sought unspecified damages. Boles sided with the city in his ruling, saying Lakela failed to produce evidence of the recordings he claimed existed. "Therefore, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact in this case," Boles said in awarding judgment to the city by dismissing the case.