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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Judge Rebecca Dallet Age: 48 City of residence: Milwaukee Occupation: Judge Education: Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Ohio State University.summa cum laude with honors, Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University Law School, summa cum laude
Wisconsin voters will decide next week whether to do away with the state treasurer position. The question of whether to eliminate the office will be put to all voters on the April 3 ballot. The position, currently held by Matt Adamczyk, pays an annual salary of $69,701, according to 2017 figures.
A former western Wisconsin lawmaker is seeking a return to office. Democrat Jeff Smith, a former 93rd District Assembly member from Eau Claire, announced Thursday he will be running for Kathleen Vinehout's Senate seat. "Since the senator is running for governor, the 31st Senate District will be in need of a strong and experienced leader who can step right in," Smith said in the March 15 news release.
HUDSON — St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman said he initially considered sending Dalton R. Mundle to prison for his crimes. The New Richmond man had pleaded guilty to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the January 2017 crash that left his best friend, Jordan Tulgren, dead. The conviction carries a maximum 25-year prison sentence.
An Ellsworth Middle School student who allegedly referenced bringing a gun to school was taken into custody Wednesday morning. An automated voice message from Ellsworth School District Superintendent Barry Cain went out the morning of Wednesday, March 21, alerting families to the situation. Cain said in the message the student did not make any threats toward others and that it didn't occur at the school. The text did, however, "mention thoughts of bringing a weapon to school," Cain told families.
The River Falls school community was shaken Monday by two separate events, one involving a student's death at Meyer Middle School. Superintendent Jamie Benson sent an automated voice message March 19 to families in the district confirming the death of a sixth-grade student. "The death of any young person is a loss that, in one way or another, affects us all," he said in the recorded message.
A 72-year-old Somerset man was convicted late last month in Minnesota of child rape. According to an Albert Lea Tribune News story, Joel M. Radjenovich pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct on the third day of a jury trial. The victim in the case was younger than 13, according to the charges. The news story states Radjenovich entered what's known as an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to concede enough evidence exists to find him guilty without pleading guilty.
New Richmond-area candidates for St. Croix County Board agreed that a transit program isn't viable right now, but incumbents and challengers saw eye-to-eye on little else during a forum last week. An estimated 33 people came to watch the candidates weigh in on everything from gun violence to water quality during the March 7 event at the New Richmond Civic Center, sponsored by the Women's Auxiliary of the New Richmond VFW Post 10818.
A Hudson student was issued a citation Thursday after a school-bus conversation that concerned at least one other classmate. Hudson School District Superintendent Nick Ouellette emailed district families Thursday evening to say the incident was investigated by police and deemed not to be a threat. "However, because of the fear and anxiety statements like this make, the student was issued a citation," Ouellette wrote. He said there is a heightened police presence in the district on Friday.
Firefighters responded this week to a machine fire at Federal Foam in New Richmond. New Richmond Fire Chief Jim VanderWyst said firefighters were called at 7:32 p.m. Monday, March 12, to 600 Wisconsin Drive business for a fire. He said the fire was contained to a machine that applies hot rubber to a foam product. The fire started after the machine jammed, VanderWyst said.