Mike Longaecker is editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. His coverage includes local crime, legislative activity and prep sports.
You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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Billy Stout said he's guilty - he used to text and drive. The East Ridge High School senior said as recently as six months ago, he sent off messages using his cell phone, even going so far to memorize the where the buttons were on his keypad in hopes of keeping his eyes on the road. The habit didn't go unnoticed by friends. "I said, 'Billy, just give me your phone and tell me what to say,'" said East Ridge classmate Jessica Samii. Bad driving habits won't go unnoticed today by law enforcement, either. The state's Department of Public Safety announced that distracted driving will be the "t
A 21-year-old Afton man made his initial court appearance last week on charges that he disseminated and possessed child pornography using his home computer. The Washington County Attorney's Office charged Leif Tveit Iverson with one count of disseminating a pornographic work and one count of possession a pornographic work.
A Woodbury traffic stop that turned up cocaine spelled jail time and probation for a Minneapolis man. Danny Shumpert Jr., 24, was sentenced March 31 to five years on supervised probation and 71 days in jail - time he had already served. A 13-month prison term was stayed as part of the sentence, issued by Washington County District Court Judge B. William Ekstrum. Shumpert had pleaded guilty in November 2010 to fifth-degree drug possession, a felony.
History will be staring Woodbury library visitors in the face this month. Today through April 28, an exhibit featuring portraits of Civil War soldiers from Washington County will go on display at R.H.
Woodbury got the monkey off its back in a big way Wednesday, clobbering Park 11-0. The road win was the first of the season for the Royals, who now stand at 1-2 overall and 1-1 in Suburban East Conference play. The Royals collected all 11 of their runs in an explosive third inning. Park coach Kerry Ligtenberg pulled starting pitcher Max Bundschu after giving up seven runs and issuing two four-pitch walks in the inning. But things only got worse from there. Pitcher Joe Cocchiarella entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded.
Less than a year after being convicted of a similar crime, a Woodbury woman faces a felony charge for allegedly attempting to fleece an insurance company out of money. Cheryl Tchida, 48, was arrested April 1 by Woodbury police and jailed on suspicion of defrauding an insurance company. She was charged in Washington County District Court on April 4. If convicted, Tchida faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. According to a criminal complaint, Woodbury police were alerted to the case by a Farmers Insurance Co.
A Washington County judge ordered jail time for a 31-year-old man accused of holding thousands of dollars in stolen goods 11 days after being arrested for possessing methamphetamines. Jeremy Robert Drusch, formerly of Woodbury, received three years' probation and credit for time served at the March 16 sentencing hearing. Drusch pleaded guilty in October 2010 to fifth-degree drug possession, a felony.
A Wisconsin woman accused of swindling her Woodbury employer out of nearly $100,000 pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge. Debbie Jo Brown, 44, entered a guilty plea on one count of theft by swindle as part of a plea agreement in Washington County District Court. Terms of the plea deal were not immediately available. According to a criminal complaint, company officials at Quality Abstract, based in Woodbury, became suspicious after a March 2010 Internal Revenue Service audit flagged a period between 2007 and 2008.
A Woodbury woman accused of molesting a juvenile boy pleaded guilty Monday to one count of criminal sexual conduct. Stephanie Ann Stewart, 21, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, as part of a plea agreement. Washington County prosecutors accused Stewart of engaging in sexual contact with a teenage boy between the age of 13 and 15. Woodbury police were alerted to the case in April 2010 by social services following an anonymous report. During an interview with Woodbury police, the boy alleged that in spring 2010, Stewart drove him and a friend to the boy's house.
A prison sentence was stayed for a St. Paul renter accused of threatening his Woodbury landlords with a gun. Benjamin James Ray, 23, was sentenced March 23 to 161 days in jail - time he has already served - for one count of terroristic threats with reckless disregard or risk. Ray pleaded guilty to the felony on Oct. 27, 2010. The sentence, issued by Washington County District Court Judge Elizabeth Martin, includes having no contact with the victims and paying $1,710 in restitution.