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 second western Wisconsin lawmaker has thrown his hat in the ring to succeed Sheila Harsdorf in the state Senate’s 10th district. Rep. Shannon Zimmerman was the latest to announce his candidacy for the seat, vacated Friday, Nov. 10, when Harsdorf resigned to become the next secretary of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She was appointed to the post earlier Friday by Gov. Scott Walker.
The first candidate to seek Sheila Harsdorf's soon-to-be-vacated state Senate seat emerged Friday. Republican Adam Jarchow, a second-term Assembly member from Balsam Lake, announced his intention to run in a special election to fill Harsdorf’s District 10 Senate seat. Gov. Scott Walker earlier on Friday appointed Harsdorf to become secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Gov. Scott Walker on Friday appointed Sen. Sheila Harsdorf to be the state’s Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary — an announcement that will trigger a special election in her western Wisconsin district. “Sheila’s experience as a highly respected, dedicated legislator and dairy farmer make her an excellent fit to lead DATCP,” Walker said in a news release.
A Somerset man convicted of assaulting a woman who let him live with her family was sentenced last week to jail and probation.
A New Richmond man made his first court appearance last week on allegations he sold a police informant a quarter-pound of marijuana. Billy L. Alexander Jr. was released on a signature bond after the Nov. 2 hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court. The 38-year-old faces active drug charges in multiple cases stretching back to 2014. According to the latest felony charge, Alexander is accused of selling pot to an informant during a May 18 controlled drug buy.
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.