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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Formal charges were filed this week after several drug-related arrests at an annual music festival in Somerset. The Summer Set Music and Camping Festival, held Aug. 11-13 at Somerset Amphitheatre, resulted in several arrests, St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said.
A lawsuit between a RiverTown Multimedia newspaper and the city of New Richmond has been settled. A stipulation for dismissal was issued July 28 in St. Croix County Circuit Court, which includes a provision stating there would be no further cost to either party in the lawsuit. The suit was originally filed in 2013 by former RiverTown Publisher Steve Dzubay and the New Richmond News, who alleged the city violated Wisconsin's public records law by redacting accident reports. The city said the redactions were mandated by the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act.
A New Richmond man was recovering early this week from injuries he sustained in an ATV crash. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 39-year-old Nicholas Brabec, who was taken by ambulance Saturday, Aug. 12, to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. A hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition Monday. St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said deputies were dispatched at 10:10 p.m. to the 2000 block of 220th Street in the town of Cylon, where a passerby came upon a wrecked ATV. Knudson said the caller found Brabec lying on the ground nearby.
HOULTON — The man credited for shepherding the St. Croix River Crossing project from the beginning and through countless struggles was honored on the day the bridge was opened to the public. The St. Croix County Board proclaimed Wednesday, Aug. 2, as John D. Soderberg Day. "John D. Soderberg never lost his enthusiasm in championing a new bridge across the St. Croix River," the proclamation states.
A New Richmond woman was airlifted last weekend from the scene of what Polk County authorities said was an alcohol-related crash. Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson said 33-year-old Jessica A. Brotzler was flown to a hospital after a two-vehicle crash reported at 11:05 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. A Regions Hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday that Brotzler was recovering there in “good” condition.
Business leaders told a Wisconsin congressman that workers in the Hudson area need better access to transportation. U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy toured portions of St. Croix County on Monday, Aug. 8, including a stop at Cardinal Health in Hudson, where he met with members of the area business community. With one notable exception, attendees told Duffy and state Rep. Shannon Zimmerman that access to public transportation is a hurdle for some in the robust local job market.
A man on probation in St. Croix County from a 2014 incident that led to felony convictions was charged again with false imprisonment following a domestic disturbance in Prescott. Pierce County prosecutors charged Steven L. Jacobs, 38, on Monday, Aug. 7, with one count of felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanors — disorderly conduct and intimidation of a victim.
The driver suspected in a triple-fatal crash in western Wisconsin has been charged by warrant with three homicide-by-vehicle counts. Court records state Dunn County prosecutors charged 36-year-old Serghei Kundilovski with three counts each of first-degree reckless homicide, homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and knowingly operating while revoked causing death. An arrest warrant was issued for the Orangevale, Calif., man on July 31.
When shoppers drive the Walmart parking lot, they're usually after one thing: empty spaces. Jordan Ziebarth scouts for the exact opposite. The Cottage Grove, Minn., police officer isn't interested in the closest available parking spot to the store. He's looking at the vehicles that are already there.
Scott Knudson has officially taken the helm at the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office. The Somerset man took the oath of office Thursday, Aug. 3, from St. Croix County Circuit Court judges Eric Lundell, Scott Needham, Edward Vlack and Michael Waterman. Knudson was appointed last week to the post by Gov. Scott Walker; he'll complete predecessor John Shilts' remaining term through 2018.