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 vacant Woodbury home was completely destroyed by fire Sunday night. The fire, reported by a neighbor at 9:26 p.m., engulfed a residence at 1198 Hillcrest Drive. Woodbury police said the house was a vacant foreclosure that was undergoing renovation work. Woodbury Public Safety Duty Chief Christopher O'Brien said no one was at the residence at the time of the fire. He said the fire remained under investigation Monday. No firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze, which O'Brien said lasted about an hour.
The battle over winter came to Woodbury on Friday. The St. Paul Winter Carnival's royalty and members of their seasonal opponents, the Vulcan Krewe, spent the morning visiting Woodview Terrace Montessori and Stonecrest Senior Living Community. See the Feb. 9 print edition for more photos of the visit.
I guess you could say news is in my blood. When you have a grandfather who spent his career working the presses at Minnesota's biggest newspaper, you can't help but get a little ink in your system. At least that's the way I like to imagine it. One way or another, the news bug has taken me to Woodbury as the Bulletin's new editor. I come here via Red Wing, where for nearly six years I covered everything from city hall to schools, to seemingly everything in between. The move has been a study in contrasts.
The No. 1 question staffers at R.H. Stafford Branch Library fielded last holiday season was what e-book offerings the library had. The second-most popular question was which e-reader customers should buy that would be compatible with the offerings. At the time the library didn't offer e-books, but that's all about to change. The Washington County Library System is about to make reading even more convenient for patrons who have made the jump to e-readers. Beginning this month, the library system will offer new bestsellers and other popular book titles in e-reader format.
Four Woodbury High School student-athletes inked their intentions Wednesday to their colleges of choice. Lauren Domski, Emily Moris, Amber Warzala and Morgan Worley all signed letters of intent during national signing day. "This is what anyone who is in athletics really aspires to," said Principal Linda Plante, who introduced the student-athletes to a crowd of family and friends in attendance at Woodbury High School. Domski will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, for cross-country and track and field.
Washington County prosecutors say a Woodbury man was among several victims of a former central Minnesota sheriff convicted in a swindling scheme. Von Forest Thompson, 55, makes his first appearance Thursday in Washington County District Court on felony charges that he swindled a Woodbury businessman out of $115,000. Thompson was the Kanabec County sheriff from 1983 to 1999. He was convicted in April 2010 of three felony theft charges stemming from a Kanabec County case, where he was accused of running a Ponzi scheme and tax evasion.
Doug Long believes that every few years something magical happens on the hockey rink. Maybe you don't realize it at the time, the East Ridge boys hockey coach said. But eventually it sinks in. Long thinks he's going through one of those experiences right now - and this time the magic of the moment is crystal clear to him.
Woodbury City Council members moved ahead Wednesday with an effort to help occupy the vacant State Farm Insurance building. The body, acting in its Economic Development Authority capacity, approved up to $50,000 in funding to hire a law firm to draw up a plan to map out a strategy for the property. City officials said that action could include a legislative proposal.
A night of shoplifting turned sour when a Woodbury man's purported accomplice allegedly became his robbery victim. Stefon Banks, 20, was charged with first-degree burglary while committing an assault following a Jan. 13 incident at a Woodbury residence. He makes his initial court appearance today. According to a complaint filed in Washington County District Court, Banks and a juvenile male were involved in a 6 p.m. Jan.
They come to the gym for about an hour, but it really all comes down to roughly 10 minutes. Ten minutes of what participants call the most grueling workout they've ever put themselves through. "It's the hardest thing I've ever done for a workout," said Woodbury resident Mike Koeplin. He and his son Cody were participants last week at CrossFit Woodbury. Owner Matt Burns, a fitness expert who specializes in the CrossFit program, which is geared toward athletes, opened the gym in October. The business is located at 680 Commerce Drive, Ste.