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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Authorities allege a rural Hudson man on Tuesday attacked a sex offender for the second time since 2016 — this time going after a convict with an ax.
Authorities were working to identify human remains found this week by hunters walking along the St. Croix River. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, two hunters reported finding a body at 10:39 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. The discovery was made near the river bottoms in Interstate State Park off County Road S near 113th Avenue.
Seven candidates have filed paperwork to run in a special election to fill the state Senate seat vacated by newly appointed Agriculture Secretary Sheila Harsdorf. Voters will choose replacements Jan. 16 for the Senate District 10 seat, which has state Reps. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, and Shannon Zimmerman, of River Falls, vying to be the Republican candidate. That will be decided in a Dec. 19 primary. Hammond resident Kenneth Rimer has also filed to run as a Republican.
A land-use bill rerouting state law around a U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared its final legislative hurdle this month in Madison. The Wisconsin Senate passed the measure waiving 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.
A Hastings man is due in court next month on allegations he embezzled more than $70,000 from a Prescott-area golf course. Pierce County prosecutors allege Robert P. Magnuson pocketed cash after issuing fake golf club memberships at Clifton Highlands between September 2016 and March of this year. The 58-year-old is charged with one count of felony theft by false representation.
A New Richmond man was hospitalized and a Hudson teenager was checked for injuries after their cars collided Friday afternoon in the town of Troy.
St. Croix County’s district attorney will determine whether or not the shooting of a teenager by a sheriff’s deputy was justified. Michael Nieskes said Thursday he was asked by the Ashland County district attorney to review evidence gathered by agents investigating the Nov. 8 shooting death of 14-year-old Jason Pero by Ashland County Sheriff’s Office deputy Brock Mrdjenovich.
Mike Perucca was heading to a medical call Sunday night in the town of St. Joseph when another emergency caught his attention before he got out of his North Hudson neighborhood. "I noticed an abnormal amount of smoke in the area," he said. It didn't take long for the St. Joe first responder — who also works as a Hudson firefighter — to determine the smoke was coming from a garage fire at 700 Fourth St. N. Perucca, who's also the city of Hudson's fire inspector, noticed an orange glow in the garage as he approached the house just before 10:30 p.m. Nov. 12.
The most serious charge levied against a Minnesota woman accused in a 2016 crash that killed a Beldenville teenager was dismissed last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham accepted prosecution's motion to dismiss one count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle Friday, Nov. 10, against 22-year-old Makellia S. Jensen. The Faribault woman was accused of causing 16-year-old Ellsworth High School student Kyra Hayes to swerve off the road, leading to the Oct. 21, 2016, crash.
A punishing second quarter of UW-La Crosse dominance spoiled Senior Day for the Falcons in their final game of the season. The Eagles ran off 42 unanswered points until UW-River Falls got on the board in the third quarter when senior running back Michael Diggins hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Beckman. The touchdown, backed by a Dylan Swerig extra point, represented the sole score in the 56-7 loss Saturday, Nov. 11, at Ramer Field.