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 western Wisconsin lawmaker cried foul last week after authorities determined a Houlton man's social media post wasn't the threat he believed it to be. Rep. Adam Jarchow took to Twitter to voice his disgust with Wisconsin State Capitol Police after authorities there opted not to press charges. The flap stemmed from a Facebook post by Garry Fay, who took umbrage with a post of Jarchow posing with his AR-15 rifle shortly after the Florida school massacre.
St. Croix County authorities said a potentially dangerous situation was averted after the makings for a suspected pipe bomb were discovered in a Somerset man's apartment. Sheriff Scott Knudson said the items were found Friday morning in a unit at the EZ Living Apartments complex on Main Street. A 30-year-old resident, David Lee Johnson, was arrested and later charged with felony possession of improvised explosives, along with two marijuana-related misdemeanors. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell held Johnson on a $25,000 cash bond.
St. Croix County authorities said a potentially dangerous situation was discovered at a Somerset apartment where a man was later arrested. Sheriff Scott Knudson said “suspected bomb material” was found Friday morning in a unit at the EZ Living Apartments complex on Main Street.
A Florida man living in Somerset shot up vehicles and a house last month, according to documents filed last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. St. Croix County prosecutors allege James M. Hendershot was responsible for damage inflicted during a drive-by shooting along Abby Lane in Somerset. The 30-year-old, who told police he moved from Florida to Somerset, was charged with three counts of felony discharging a firearm from a vehicle and multiple misdemeanors stemming from the Feb. 4 incident. Misdemeanor charges include contributing to the delinquency of a child.
Authorities said a fight between two men led to a stabbing last week in rural St. Croix County. The incident, which left both men with varying degrees of non-life threatening injuries, launched a law enforcement investigation after they arrived Friday, March 2, at Western Wisconsin Health, where staff reported the incident.
Raids on two St. Croix County homes last week yielded what authorities said was about 288 pounds of suspected marijuana. St. Croix County prosecutors said the drugs were found stashed in nearby homes in the town of Eau Galle while serving search warrants on Wednesday, Feb. 21. A resident of one home, 25-year-old Tom Lee, was charged with felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug residence. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman ordered Lee to post $50,000 during his initial court appearance Thursday.
HUDSON — A St. Croix County judge has sentenced a Somerset man to more than 30 years for an array of sex offenses, including crimes against children. Judge Scott Needham sentenced Richard Maness Wednesday, Feb. 28, to 12 years in prison and 20 years on extended supervision.
A high-intensity situation on the Apple River bridge in Somerset ended after more than an hour-and-a-half Wednesday with a man’s arrest. St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said the man was taken into custody after a lengthy stalemate on the Highway 64 bridge near the downtown corridor, where negotiators convinced the man not to jump. The man, a 30-year-old St. Croix Falls resident, was later jailed for a Department of Corrections hold.
Candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court and St. Croix County Board were narrowed to two apiece during last week's primary elections. All April 3 ballots in Wisconsin will see two names vying for Supreme Court — Rebecca Dallet and Michael Screnock. They were the top two vote getters in the Feb. 20 primary that eliminated Tim Burns from candidacy.
A western Wisconsin man faces felony charges for alleged sexual abuse against two children in St. Croix County. Prosecutors charged Shane A. Kurtz, 37, with first-degree child sexual assault and exposing his genitals to a child. The St. Croix Falls man pleaded not guilty to the charges during a Friday, Feb. 16, arraignment before St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham, who held Kurtz on a $25,000 cash bond. A criminal complaint filed in the case alleges Kurtz abused two prepubescent children he knew between June and December 2017 in the town of Star Prairie.