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 64-year-old woman with a history of criminal convictions in St. Croix County faces new charges after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in collection offerings from a Hudson church. Authorities suspect Kathryn R. Burge likely pocketed money while passing through the St. Patrick's Catholic Church confessional on her way to a room where the funds were to be placed into cash bags, according to the charging document. St. Croix County prosecutors charged Burge July 11 with two counts of misdemeanor theft and one count of obstructing an officer.
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.
Craft breweries would be allowed to expand, wineries would be open until 2 a.m. and communities could offer more liquor licenses, according to legislation aimed at muscling up Wisconsin’s alcohol industry.
Donna Murr said last month that she's not giving up the fight. After the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Murr and her family that laws governing their town of Troy property were unconstitutional, the Eau Claire woman said she would seek other avenues to rectify the situation.
Scott Knudson, who served as second in command at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office under John Shilts, was appointed Wednesday to succeed the retiring chief. Gov. Scott Walker announced the appointment of Knudson, a 21-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who has served as chief deputy for the past six years.
A town supervisor, allegedly roiled by attacks on his livestock, told authorities a neighbor's dog had wandered onto his rural River Falls property, was aggressive toward his calves and jumped on his son before he shot the animal to death. "I will shoot any dog that comes on my property," a criminal complaint states town of Kinnickinnic Supervisor David J. Nelson told authorities after the June 23 incident. "You can put that in your report."
A New Richmond woman convicted of bank fraud, forgery and a raft of other felonies was sentenced this month to probation, jail and a hefty fine. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman sentenced Jennifer A. Clark, 38, to five years on probation and a $9,091 fine at a July 7 hearing. The sentence also calls for six months of jail time. St. Croix County prosecutor Alexis McKinley said a portion of that time could be stayed depending on Clark's performance in drug court, to which she's been admitted.
A man whose Minnesota driving privileges had been canceled was drinking vodka and hand-rolling a cigarette when he nearly struck a squad car in traffic before being arrested for his ninth drunken-driving offense, according to court documents. Pierce County sheriff’s deputies said the man, identified as 47-year-old Mark B. Harmon, had a preliminary blood-alcohol level of 0.267 during a Friday, July 21, traffic stop in the town of Trenton.
Two Minnesota motorcycle riders were injured last weekend after striking an SUV and then a guard rail in Pierce County. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called at 3:57 p.m. Sunday, July 23, to county roads F and FF in the town of Clifton for a crash involving a motorcycle and an SUV.
Authorities confirmed the woman who fell into the St. Croix River over the weekend in Polk County has died. The woman, identified as 40-year-old Staci M. Meehan, was pulled from the water after drowning Saturday, July 22, in the river south of the Osceola landing. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the Balaton, Minn., resident died early Sunday.