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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Prosecutors tacked on additional charges for a Somerset man accused of sexually assaulting a child and sexploitation. Richard A. Maness, 45, was charged Thursday, Feb. 16, with three counts of child pornography possession, two counts of sexploitation and two counts of capturing an image of nudity without consent. Those charges are tacked onto a criminal complaint that also alleges Maness of repeated sexual assault of a child, sexploitation, child porn possession and child enticement.
A community meeting will be held this week in Burkhardt about a convicted sex offender whose return to the community raised concerns for the St. Croix County sheriff. The meeting, beginning at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, will address the status of Gerald Heavner. According to a news release, the 48-year-old will be living at 1102 County Road A.
HUDSON — A dam project at Willow River State Park would receive a funding boost under a Gov. Scott Walker proposal announced Monday. The Republican governor said his budget calls for $11 million in new funding to rebuild the Little Falls Lake Dam at the state park. If approved by lawmakers, funding for the project would total $19 million; Walker previously approved $8 million for work on the dam in the state budget he signed in 2015.
MADISON — Charges of lewd and lascivious behavior have been filed against a 22-year-old man accused of running completely naked in the Capitol Rotunda a little over two weeks ago. Capitol police have looked at video evidence of the Feb. 4 incident. Investigators say a little girl can be heard on the video asking a question about what she was seeing while Russell C. Doupe was streaking.
A St. Croix County man stabbed his mother to death Saturday night in rural Hudson before shooting at police in an incident that led to a 50-mile pursuit into Minnesota, eventually ending with the suspect taking his own life, authorities said. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Glenwood City resident Logan T. Reese. The 28-year-old allegedly killed his mother, identified as 49-year-old Charlene Wold, at 733 N. Meadow Drive in the town of Hudson.
The man who burglarized several St. Croix County churches last year once had designs on becoming a youth pastor, but eventually became sidetracked and consumed by drugs — a divergence that delivered him a prison sentence last week.
HUDSON — Cristian D. Nunez accepted a double-life sentence without the possibility of parole on Monday the same way he responded to a clean-sweep of guilty verdicts handed down last year by a St. Croix County jury: placid and emotionless. The reaction nagged at relatives of the two people prosecutors say he killed on Sept. 2, 2015, at a New Richmond home. "It made the decision more of an empty victory — that the person affected didn't seem to care," said Dain Bradford, the older brother of Courtney Bradford.
Western Wisconsin authorities were investigating the possibility that a theft in New Richmond might be connected with other, similar incidents in the area. New Richmond police put out an alert Feb. 13 about a theft earlier that morning involving rims stolen at an auto sales lot. According to a news release, joggers reported seeing someone taking rims off new trucks at 5:30 a.m. at Johnson Motors, 620 Deere Road. The suspect seen by the joggers was reportedly heard talking to another person believed to be involved in the thefts.
A St. Croix County judge on Monday sentenced Cristian D. Nunez to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Nunez, the 38-year-old convicted in the 2015 slayings of Courtney Bradford and her daughter, Jasmine Bradford, received two consecutive life sentences from St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham in a case he called “one of the most horrific crimes that I have encountered in my time on the bench.”
A Baldwin man was hospitalized Sunday after slamming into ice near open water while being pulled by a snowmobile in rural Spring Valley. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office identified the man was 34-year-old John Polk of Baldwin. He was taken by Spring Valley ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. He was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.