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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Two former Prescott police officers are suing the city in hopes of getting their jobs back. The suit, filed Oct. 16 in Pierce County Circuit Court, seeks a reversal of the decision that left former officers Bryan Massman and Ryan Most out of work with the city of Prescott. "The decision was arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive," according to the lawsuit. City Administrator Jayne Brand said Monday, Nov. 6, that the city had been served that day with the lawsuit and had no comment.
A Hudson woman arrived home from a late-night flight last month to find a homeless man with a lengthy criminal history allegedly squatting in her house. According to documents filed in court last week, the woman went into her Birkmose Park Street home at about 2 a.m. Oct. 28 and spotted things out of place in the kitchen and heard music playing. She went outside and flagged down a Hudson police officer who, along with another officer, went into the house and found a man inside.
HUDSON — Scott Walker’s re-election tour stopped Wednesday in Hudson, where he was greeted with a heavy dose of fanfare and a smattering of opposition. After receiving introductions from the state’s Republican party chairman, the lieutenant governor and his sons, Gov. Scott Walker bounded to a podium inside Empire Bucket where he rallied supporters behind his campaign for a third term.
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has been in talks with the governor's office regarding the top agriculture position within his cabinet. The River Falls Republican confirmed she and members of Gov. Scott Walker's office discussed the position — secretary of agriculture, trade and consumer protection — currently held by interim Secretary Jeff Lyon. He was appointed to the post in August after former Secretary Ben Brancel retired. "We had a good conversation," Harsdorf said last week.
A North Hudson Pepper Fest board member stepped down from his post the day he was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography. St. Croix County prosecutors on Tuesday, Nov. 7, charged 33-year-old Ryan N. Copeland with four felony counts of child porn possession. The Hudson man was ordered by St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman to post $20,000 cash bond at an initial hearing Tuesday.
A land-use bill that would reroute state law around a U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared a major hurdle Tuesday. On a voice vote, the Wisconsin Senate passed the measure, which waives land-use restrictions that prevented a family from selling a small parcel of their St. Croix River-side land. Lawmakers stepped in after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Murr family’s claim that St. Croix County’s laws governing the sale of the land were unconstitutional.
Three Beldenville residents were hospitalized Sunday after the SUV they were in was struck by a suspected drunken driver from New Richmond, according to authorities.
An Eau Claire woman appeared in court last week on allegations she made off with more than $4,500 after forging registration documents at a Hudson motor vehicle facility. A state Department of Revenue investigation revealed 35-year-old Golia Xiong was responsible for altering 37 documents she handled while working last year at a private Department of Motor Vehicles business on Hanley Road, according to charges filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court last month.
Authorities arrested one person and removed methamphetamine, psychedelic mushrooms, cocaine and other drugs from a home directly across the street from Baldwin-Woodville High School, according to documents filed in court last week. Baldwin police executed the search warrant at 5:42 p.m. Oct. 25 at 1270 Main St., where they arrested 35-year-old resident Jessica B. Clements.
The Stillwater man accused of stashing more than 130 pounds of pot in a St. Croix County storage unit could avoid prison, according to statements made last week in court. The attorney for Karl R. Heinrichs said Oct. 25 that a recommendation in a related Minnesota case calls for the 45-year-old to receive a combination of probation and jail. The St. Croix County Circuit Court hearing was originally set for a plea and sentencing, but that was called off after defense attorney Eric Johnson announced a surprise development in the Minnesota case.