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 woman who St. Croix County prosecutors said was writing forged checks from an account that allegedly was being illegally accessed by her mother pleaded guilty last week. Courtney McConnach,...
A New Richmond man was released from St. Croix County jail last week after posting $5,000 cash bond on multiple charges alleging he stalked his ex-girlfriend. Richard G. Harasyn, 54, was charged Aug. 10 in St. Croix County Circuit Court with felony stalking, two counts of knowingly violating a domestic abuse injunction and telephone harassment. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman ordered Harasyn to be held in jail on a $5,000 cash bond.
A Minnesota man was sentenced last week in the case of a fatal 2013 St. Croix River boat crash that left his friend dead. Patrick Puhalla, 49, of Bayport, was sentenced Aug. 12 in Pierce County Circuit Court to six months in jail, seven years on probation and community service.
The woman accused of fatally striking a New Richmond pedestrian this spring while driving drunk pleaded not guilty last week in the case. Alyssa Kochsiek, 23, entered the plea Tuesday, Aug. 11, at a St. Croix County Court hearing. She is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and OWI. The charges stem from an April 23 crash on County C in Star Prairie that left 28-year-old Jeffrey Boardman Jr. dead. St.
A 21-year-old Hudson man appeared Monday in St. Croix County Circuit Court on allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman. Nickolas J. Pilarski was charged with third-degree sexual assault and was ordered by St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell to post a $20,000 cash bond during his initial court appearance. According to a criminal complaint, the victim, an adult female, reported Aug.
Two siblings were injured last week at their Houlton home when a tram apparatus they were riding failed and crashed. The people, a 21-year-old man and a 9-year-old girl, were taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul Aug. 12 with serious injuries, said St. Croix County Chief Deputy Scott Knudson. Authorities responded at 2:43 p.m.
Polk County authorities said preliminary indications are that a prominent western Wisconsin lawyer’s death was accidental. Owen Williams, a former St. Croix County district attorney and practicing lawyer who worked around western Wisconsin, died Monday at his home. “It’s just a tremendous loss,” said Williams’ law partner, Nick Davis.
The former Hudson High School student depicted in a cellphone video performing sex acts on a juvenile girl was sentenced Wednesday in a case that has stretched out nearly four years. Hudson resident Alexander F. Gove was sentenced to three years on probation by St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham. The town of St. Joseph man was also sentenced to 90 days already served in jail.
Safety continues to be a focal point on Pierce and St. Croix county waterways as summer enters its home stretch. St. Croix County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said this year has been catastrophe-free on his stretch the St. Croix River -- and he’d like to keep it that way. “This summer we’ve been very fortunate,” he said. A death last week on the St. Croix River in Chisago County, Minn., highlighted safety concerns on the river. In that instance, a swimmer attempted cross the St. Croix on Aug. 4, but struggled to keep afloat after reaching depths of more than 8 feet.
An armed man allegedly bent on harming potential witnesses and prosecutors in a high-profile murder trial two years ago roamed the halls of the St. Croix County Government Center. The man, who was arrested before any harm was done, was caught with two knives in his possession during the 2013 trial of Aaron Schaffhausen, the man convicted of killing his three daughters at their River Falls home. Joseph Rollag, the armed man at the government center -- which houses the courthouse -- later pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon. St.