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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HUDSON — Attorneys on both sides of a high-profile St. Croix County threats case shook hands in late September after delivering impassioned closing arguments. The case was now out of their hands and into a jury's. Jurors deliberated until deep into the evening, when the deadlocked panel was sent home with orders to resume discussion the next morning. Morning arrived with the revelation that a juror had brought in a printout from home that he shared with other jurors — a violation of rules governing juror conduct during deliberations.
Hudson police weren't unfamiliar with the arrival of a White House dignitary — President George W. Bush made a campaign stop there in 2004. What authorities weren't familiar with was how to plan for it. "There was no blueprint that we could just start plugging people into," Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems said of Vice President Mike Pence's stop on Nov. 3 at Valley Cartage, where he campaigned for Gov. Scott Walker.
The attorney for a New Richmond man accused of murdering his son cited new evidence and alleged false testimony last week in outlining grounds for exonerating the charges against his client. Kayle Fleischauer, 42, faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide in the April 14 shooting death of his son, 19-year-old Chase Fleischauer. Kayle Fleischauer pleaded not guilty to that charge and a second count — possession of a firearm by a convicted out-of-state felon — at a June hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
St. Croix valley residents took to the streets of the Hudson Thursday to voice their opposition to the latest shakeup in the White House. The protesters joined in a coordinated nationwide effort Nov. 8 in response to what’s being reported as a forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Critics of the move at Thursday’s event on Second Street said they fear the move was part of an effort by Trump to bring a halt to Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Shannon Zimmerman was well on his way to gaining his second term in the Assembly Tuesday, according to a sizeable chunk of St. Croix County election results. The River Falls Republican led Democrat Barry Hammarback 56-44 percent with 81 percent of the county’s precincts reporting in the race for Assembly District 30. Results from Pierce County, where only River Falls is in District 30, had yet to come in as of 9:15 p.m.
HUDSON, Wis. — The White House threw its weight behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election bid Saturday, Nov. 3, in a campaign rally highlighted by Vice President Mike Pence. The former Indiana governor framed Walker’s previous eight years as a comeback for the Badger State, which has seen unemployment shrink to a historic low in that time.
Democrats, led by gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, campaigned in Hudson Thursday as state and national races entered the home stretch toward Election Day. Evers, who serves as Wisconsin’s superintendent of public instruction, was joined by a slate of Democrats, including Assembly District 30 candidate Barry Hammarback, attorney general candidate Josh Kaul, lieutenant general candidate Mandela Barnes and Christopher Coons, who stumped for Tammy Baldwin, a fellow U.S. senator.
Vice President Mike Pence will be campaigning in support of several Wisconsin Republican candidates Saturday in Hudson, while Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers plans a Thursday visit to the city in the final run-up to Election Day. Pence is scheduled to appear at an event at Valley Cartage, where Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy and state Sen. Leah Vukmir are all expected to attend, said St. Croix County Republican Party Chairman Scott Nordstrand.
The man who drove a stolen pickup on an off-road pursuit with law enforcement last summer pleaded guilty Tuesday to four charges stemming from the crime spree. Cassidy Muecke pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to burglary, driving a vehicle without owner's consent, OWI-fourth offense and second-degree recklessly endangering safety. Nine other counts stemming from the incidents — spanning May 29-30 — were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
A jury trial was set this week for a Pierce County sheriff's deputy who pleaded not guilty to child-sex charges. Allen J. Wojcik, 31, entered the pleas Monday, Oct. 29, to four felony charges against him alleging sexual assault of a child. The Spring Valley man, now living in River Falls, had been placed on paid administrative leave from the sheriff's office amid an investigation into the case.