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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Investigation into a Somerset man accused of multiple child sex-related charges led to the discovery of a photo allegedly depicting his girlfriend committing a sexual assault. Details outlined in a criminal complaint against Somerset resident Jennifer M. Bowers allege she was pictured in a 2014 photo sexually assaulting a 2-year-old boy. Bowers, 43, was charged Tuesday with first-degree sexual assault of a child and sexual exploitation of a child.
Wisconsinites in homes and sports bars sweated through the Green Bay Packers 34-31 playoff victory at Dallas Sunday. Many fans expressed their emotions on social media during the game, as the Cowboys came back from an early 18-point deficit to tie the contest before Mason Crosby made a 51-yard field goal as time expired. It gave Green Bay what some analysts call its biggest playoff upset since beating the 49ers in San Francisco as an 11 point underdog 21 years ago.
High carbon monoxide levels were detected at a town of River Falls house where a man was found dead Thursday, Jan. 12 The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as 80-year-old John Eisele. The news release did not list the address of the call, but authorities and firefighters were seen late Thursday afternoon investigating a home on 818th Avenue in the town of River Falls. The release doesn’t say whether Eisele lived at the house.
A St. Croix County judge set bail at $100,000 Thursday for a Somerset man accused of sexploitation and sexually assaulting a child. St. Croix Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham ordered bail for Richard A. Maness, who was charged with repeated sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography and child enticement.
St. Croix County residents were put on alert Thursday morning while authorities searched for a man who first led officers on a vehicle pursuit. St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said a man was eventually arrested. The suspect’s name and booking charges were not immediately available, but it was noted that a gun was found during the search. The arrest came after the county issued a Code Red announcement to residents in a town of Somerset neighborhood.
A St. Croix County sheriff's deputy likely consumed at least 15 shots of vodka before getting behind the wheel of his squad, where he was found passed out with the vehicle's transmission in drive and his foot on the brake. Those findings were detailed in an internal investigation report on former deputy Ryan Fowler, who resigned his position Dec. 1, as part of a separation agreement with St. Croix County.
An inattentive driving ticket gave way to felony charges after a man, allegedly overcome by guilt, came forward to tell authorities that his crash with a Hudson police car earlier this year was not accidental. The man, 21-year-old Quinton C. Hesse, was charged Wednesday, Aug. 3, in St. Croix County Circuit Court with battery to a law enforcement officer by use of a dangerous weapon and first-degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon.
Vehicles will need to be off Hudson's streets in time for plows to get through early Wednesday. Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen said the city has declared a "snow plowing event," meaning trucks will begin plowing from curb to curb at 3 a.m. Vehicles not moved will be ticketed. The first snow-related ticket is $25, while the second ticket is $50. Third-time offenders will have vehicles towed and be subject to a $50 fine. Jensen said 79 vehicles were ticketed during the last significant snowfall on Dec. 17.
A former Hudson police officer resigned this year after he admitted to using police resources for nearly 100 sexual encounters and spending about half his work-time making personal phone calls, according to data released by police. Eight-year department veteran John Worden signed a resignation agreement May 3 — about two weeks after he admitted to violating numerous policies, according to documents released last month by the Hudson Police Department. Worden’s last day was May 13.
A death investigation was opened in Rusk County after the discovery of a Hudson man’s remains inside a burned building.