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 vocal public weighed in on the latest developments for the Little Falls Lake dam project -- most of whom supported plans proposed by the Department of Natural Resources. Dan Baumann, DNR secretary’s director for western Wisconsin, said 50 comments were received during a month-long feedback process between December and January. Seventy percent of those comments supported the department’s plan to remove and rebuild the dam at Willow River State Park.
A St. Croix County jury on Friday convicted a Hudson man accused of stealing thousands of dollars' worth of guns in a 2015 burglary. Alex James Kranz, 24, was convicted...
A New Richmond man who suddenly appeared in the backseat of his ex-girlfriend’s car, then forced her to drive a loop through western Wisconsin with a gun to her head and a noose around her neck was sentenced Monday. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham sentenced Daniel J. O’Keefe to 20 years in prison and 19 years on extended supervision. O’Keefe was convicted in December after pleading guilty to kidnapping, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and possessing a firearm silencer. “It was the powerful versus the powerless,” Needham said at Monday’s hearing.
An errant bowling ball allegedly shot from a cannon during 2015 Fourth of July festivities led to criminal charges against a Spring Valley man. One ball blasted through the roof of town of a Richmond barn, leading to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, according to a criminal complaint filed against 65-year-old Ricky A. Thorne. St. Croix County prosecutors charged the Spring Valley man with one count of felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety. He is also charged with misdemeanor negligent handling of a weapon.
A man accused of biting two people at a New Richmond home before leading police on two separate pursuits was charged with multiple crimes last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Prosecutors charged Hudson resident David E. Toenjes, 28, with one count of felony attempting to flee a traffic officer, two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count each of criminal trespass, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. Toenjes was ordered to post a $500 cash bond during his initial court appearance Feb. 16.
Secret hearings and covert technology used by law enforcement would be subject to legislative oversight, according to a bill in Madison that has the backing of two western Wisconsin lawmakers. The bill, which was heard Wednesday, Feb. 10, in the Assembly State Affairs and Government Operations Committee, takes aim at so-called John Doe hearings used by police to crack cases and controversial cellphone tracking technology.
An alleged knockout punch at a Hudson bar led to a felony charge last week for a 24-year-old man in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Hudson resident Nickolas L. Austin...
Jim Madsen thinks the state can’t cut its way to success at its public universities. The UW-River Falls physics professor said he is concerned that last year’s cuts to the University of Wisconsin System could impact future opportunities as Wisconsin competes with neighboring states for students. Madsen made the comments Monday during a listening session held by Sen. Sheila Harsdorf at the River Falls Public Library. Asked if the Legislature will reinvest in higher education, Harsdorf, R-River Falls, said the short-term outlook doesn’t look rosy.
A Hudson man led police on a chase that ended in his garage, where he guzzled a beer while barricaded inside his truck and didn’t give up until officers zapped...
Hudson police opened a death investigation following the discovery of a 40-year-old man’s body Monday, Feb. 8, at an apartment. Authorities were called at 1:05 p.m. Monday to 1212 Hanley Road for an EMS call. Hudson police Lt. Geoff Willems said a 40-year-old man was found dead at an apartment there. An investigation was opened due to the man’s age, Willems said, noting that there were no signs of foul play. The investigation will rule out the possibility of anything suspicious. “We are thinking that it was natural causes,” he said.