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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Three Beldenville residents were hospitalized Sunday after the SUV they were in was struck by a suspected drunken driver from New Richmond, according to authorities.
An Eau Claire woman appeared in court last week on allegations she made off with more than $4,500 after forging registration documents at a Hudson motor vehicle facility. A state Department of Revenue investigation revealed 35-year-old Golia Xiong was responsible for altering 37 documents she handled while working last year at a private Department of Motor Vehicles business on Hanley Road, according to charges filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court last month.
Authorities arrested one person and removed methamphetamine, psychedelic mushrooms, cocaine and other drugs from a home directly across the street from Baldwin-Woodville High School, according to documents filed in court last week. Baldwin police executed the search warrant at 5:42 p.m. Oct. 25 at 1270 Main St., where they arrested 35-year-old resident Jessica B. Clements.
The Stillwater man accused of stashing more than 130 pounds of pot in a St. Croix County storage unit could avoid prison, according to statements made last week in court. The attorney for Karl R. Heinrichs said Oct. 25 that a recommendation in a related Minnesota case calls for the 45-year-old to receive a combination of probation and jail. The St. Croix County Circuit Court hearing was originally set for a plea and sentencing, but that was called off after defense attorney Eric Johnson announced a surprise development in the Minnesota case.
The bodies found this week inside a Baldwin house belonged to a man and his infant daughter, according to authorities. Baldwin Police Chief Darren Krueger said a woman arrived home Oct. 31 at 280 Cedar St. Apt. 54 to find 39-year-old Jeffrey Long dead and their 14-month-old daughter Aubree Long unresponsive.
Two people were found dead Tuesday at a home in Baldwin, according to authorities. St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Cathy Borgschatz said investigation remained active Wednesday, but that there was no apparent threat to the public. The incident was reported at about 4:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at a home in the 200 block of Cedar Street.
Among the statements jurors heard last week in the trial of a suspected puppy mill operator was that the defendant was breeding dogs for the United States government. That wasn't the case, said the former leader of a federal dog-breeding operation, but it's true that there was contact between the federal government and Stuart Earl West, who ran the Alma Bottom Pointing Labradors facility out of his town of El Paso home.
A guilty plea was entered and two sexual assault charges were dismissed this week in the case of a former Hudson girls basketball coach. Under a plea agreement announced Tuesday, Oct. 31, Louis J. French pleaded guilty to using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Three other charges — first-degree child sex assault, repeated sex assault of the same child and causing a child to view sexual activity — were dismissed as part of the agreement.
A Minneapolis woman accused of stealing an Ellsworth-area dog pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge last week, arguing she rescued the animal. The Pierce County District Attorney's Office charged 58-year-old Holly L. Neff with one count of dognapping, a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Neff made her first appearance Oct. 23 in Pierce County Circuit Court, where she was released on a signature bond after entering the not-guilty plea.
A collision with a deer on Interstate 94 led to a chain-reaction crash involving 10 vehicles during Thursday’s morning rush hour in Hudson. The Wisconsin State Patrol said the crash occurred at 5:50 a.m. in westbound traffic near the Hudson bridge over the St. Croix River. No injuries were reported, but five of the vehicles involved had to be towed from the scene.