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 burglary charge was dismissed against a man first accused of taking ice fishing equipment from a New Richmond garage. The charge against New Richmond resident Grant Brotzler was dismissed Thursday after the alleged victim in the case informed authorities that the ice fishing equipment wasn’t missing after all. It had been in the man’s East Sixth Street basement all along, St. Croix County Assistant District Attorney Matt Hartung, said.
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Charges filed against a Minnesota business owner stemming from an investigation into a 2013 drug overdose were dismissed this month in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Prosecutors dismissed one count of possession with intent to deliver non-narcotics against Hatim A. Younis, the owner of Smokedale Tobacco in Hudson.
A worker at a Woodville-based business died Friday after a suspected workplace accident. Woodville Police Chief Lori Hetfeld said in a news release that officers were called at 2:27 p.m. to St. Croix Castings for a workplace incident. Baldwin resident Brian Dennis Omann, 41, was pronounced dead on the scene, Hetfeld said. “Preliminary indications are that this may be an industrial accident,” the release states.
Furious that a Hudson cellphone store couldn’t help him with a cracked screen on his device, a customer left the store, then returned -- but not before stopping at a gun range. Workers at the T-Mobile store said the customer entered the Crestview Drive business on Jan. 11 with a plastic bag that he laid on the counter, then left without a word. The bag contained his phone, riddled with six bullet holes, according to a Hudson police report.
St. Croix County prosecutors allege a Minnesota man stole thousands of dollars’ in jewelry from two homes in Hudson last year while working as a cable TV repairman. Bayport resident Stuart C. Lynn made his initial appearance Thursday in St. Croix County Circuit Court on two counts of felony theft. According to a criminal complaint:
A warrant was issued last Friday for a woman accused of possessing birds used in cockfighting at her St. Croix County home. Teresa A. Silva, 59, was due to appear Friday in St. Croix County Circuit Court on six felony counts of instigating fights between animals and 12 counts of mistreating animals, a misdemeanor offense. Her husband, 60-year-old Jesus Silva, faces an identical set of charges.
The man who led police on a chase last year into a St. Croix County wildlife preserve was convicted last week in the case. River Falls resident Tony Hetchler, 41, pleaded no contest Wednesday, Jan. 13, in St. Croix County Circuit Court to second-degree recklessly endangering public safety -- a felony -- and a misdemeanor charge of fleeing an officer.
A library card and a pair of mittens left behind at the scene of a burglary last week led New Richmond police to a man who now faces multiple charges in connection with the case. St. Croix County prosecutors on Thursday charged Grant D. Brotzler, 25, with burglary and five counts of misdemeanor bail jumping. The charges stem from a Jan. 12 burglary at a New Richmond garage where ice fishing equipment was stolen.
A trial date was set last week for the man accused of murdering a woman and her daughter in their New Richmond home. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham ordered a trial for Cristian Daniel Nunez to begin on May 24. Attorneys expected the trial to last until June 7. Nunez, 37, is accused of killing his former girlfriend, Courtney Bradford, 30, and her 10-year-old daughter, Jasmine Bradford, on Sept. 2, 2015, at their Hallewood Boulevard home.