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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The search for a missing person was called off last week in Willow River State Park after the woman was found unharmed. St. Croix County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said family members reported a woman hadn't returned home by 9 p.m. June 27 from a kayaking trip with friends. Calls to the woman's phone had gone unanswered, so deputies were called in to look for the town of Troy woman.
A 2017 Somerset High School graduate died Friday after his pickup truck crashed in rural Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that 18-year-old Matthew H.S. Freeberg died after being ejected from the truck in a crash that occurred after he swerved to miss a deer. Four passengers in the truck survived with minor injuries. Deputies were called at 9:18 p.m. to 290th Avenue in the town of Sterling, where they learned the truck had been westbound when it crested a hill and swerved after encountering a deer in the road.
A Rosemount man was arrested on suspicion of his 10th drunken-driving offense Tuesday, July 4, in western Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Patrol identified the suspect as 47-year-old Lawrence M. LaPole. According to a news release, a trooper stopped a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix just after 10 p.m. on Highway 29 in Dunn County for a traffic violation. The driver, identified by troopers as LaPole, was later arrested on suspicion of OWI-10th offense, failure to install an ignition interlock device, driving without a valid license and following too closely.
A 2017 Somerset High School graduate died Friday after his pickup truck crashed in rural Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that 18-year-old Matthew H.S. Freeberg died after being ejected from the truck in a crash that occurred after he swerved to miss a deer in the road. Four passengers in the truck survived with minor injuries.
The National Weather Service confirmed what many eyewitnesses already knew — it was a tornado that struck Pierce County on Wednesday. Michelle Margraf, a meteorologist for the weather service, said a survey team was on the ground Thursday, June 29, assessing the aftermath of the tornado. Crews should be able to determine the path and strength of the tornado that struck the town of Martell and surrounding areas at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The inside of a boat where a fatal carbon monoxide exposure occurred on the St. Croix River contained a detector that wasn’t turned on. The Department of Natural Resources released information Thursday, June 29, from a preliminary report outlining circumstances of the incident discovered along the river in the town of St. Joseph, where a woman was found dead and two men were found sickened.
TOWN OF MARTELL — At least one person was injured after a fast-developing storm produced a tornado that destroyed numerous buildings Wednesday, June 28, in rural Ellsworth. Authorities said a tornado cut an estimated 10-mile path in the town of Martell, where officials were busy assessing damage in the area.
It didn't take long for a lifesaving drug to reap dividends in Hudson. Three days after outfitting officers with overdose antidote Narcan, the drug likely helped save a life, Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen said. Officers were called at 2:02 a.m. June 24 to a home on Rosemary Curve for a report of an unresponsive 20-year-old man. Jensen said officers arrived to find indications of an opioid overdose and deployed Narcan, along with oxygen. The chief said the man was breathing on his own minutes later when EMS crews arrived.
Two of the Amish teens injured after a vehicle struck the buggy they were in this week in St. Croix County remained hospitalized Wednesday, June 28. The Wisconsin State Patrol identified the buggy driver as 19-year-old Alvin J. Borntreger and a passenger as 18-year-old Fannie F. Mast. The teens, both of Wilson, were listed in good condition Wednesday at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
The Stilllwater lift bridge was closed Tuesday afternoon while workers attempted to fix an electrical problem. Minnesota Department of Transportation and Xcel Energy workers were on the scene of an outage located at power pole on the Minnesota side of the bridge, which connects Stillwater and Houlton. Workers said a meter socket blew, cutting all power to the bridge. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the outage occurred at 12:15 p.m. The outage likely wasn't the result of anything other than old equipment, according to workers.