Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin.
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A nationwide warrant was issued last week for a St. Paul man accused of running an operation that took marijuana grown in Oregon and transported it to western Wisconsin, where more than 280 pounds of it were found earlier this year. The extradition warrant was signed Nov. 15 for 51-year-old Pheng Lee, who is charged with felony marijuana possession with intent to distribute and maintaining a drug trafficking place.
Multiple agencies responded Friday afternoon to a structure fire in the town of Somerset. Crews were called around 12:30 p.m. to 1649 85th St. for reports of a structure engulfed in flames. Somerset, New Richmond and town of St. Joseph fire crews were among responding agencies. St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, whose deputies also assisted, said horses that were inside the structure had escaped the blaze. Machinery and hay remained inside, he said. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
HUDSON — The passage of time is hardly detectable as Mark Gherty discusses the case of Jane Neumann's death. Distances, times of day, pieces of evidence — the Hudson attorney rattles them off with a passion and recollection about the case that suggests it's something he's arguing tomorrow in court, not events from 25 years ago.
An apparently random attack by a Minnesota motorist left a Wisconsin woman injured and a sheriff's deputy with injuries after he and three other officers battled to bring the man into custody. The incident was reported just after midnight Wednesday, Nov. 21, on Highway 64, where a woman reported being attacked by another motorist. "This was a random attack," St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said, adding that it appeared to be unprovoked. According to Knudson:
Ken Phillips' bike had cranked its last spin. The River Falls man was riding home from work last summer when the once-trusty bike's crank system conked out. He contemplated putting his backup road bike into action, but that was a short-term solution. The backup's tires were thin and slick — not viable for the four-season workload Phillips knew he'd need to put on the bike. "Rain, sleet, snow, ice," he said. "I'm serious. I do ride in the blizzards, too." Bicycling, after all, is Phillips' sole mode of transportation.
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.