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 Woodbury man who likely saved the life of a fellow motorist in June will be honored for his actions. The Roseville Fire Department will honor Robert Renning on July 23 at the city's fire station, according to a city of Roseville announcement. Renning used his bare hands to wrench on the door frame of a burning SUV during a June 29 incident on Interstate 35W.
Police were called June 24 to the Dancing Waters pool for an assault. A woman went to the pool with her kids but the key fob she used to open the gate didn’t work. She asked a man inside the pool to let her in. The request was denied. The woman left, then returned with another malfunctioning key fob, and watched as the man inside the pool area helped someone else with a malfunctioning fob enter. The woman found her way inside the pool area, which prompted the man inside to ask her who let her in. His profanity-laced comments were met by the woman’s husband, who entered the scene.
Afton Alps Ski Area was transformed Saturday into a setting for a grueling adventure race, where thousands of hardy runners scaled walls, climbed ski hills and slogged through mud. The race -- Warrior Dash -- drew runners from across the Midwest to south Washington County for the one-day event. Runners completed a 5K race the hard way: Mud mounds, rope bridges and a roaring fire were among the 13 obstacles faced along the way. Among the competitors at this year’s event were sisters Amanda Nobello and Jillian Deppa, both of Woodbury. Nobello said a harrowing crawl across a long pass
Formal charges were filed Friday against a Minneapolis man accused of serving as an accomplice in an armed robbery at a Woodbury jewelry store. Erick Larkins, 46, was charged with one count of first-degree aiding and abetting an aggravated robbery involving a firearm. Washington County prosecutors allege Larkins drove the gunman, Thomas Eric Jones, to Johnson Jewelers in the Seasons Market shopping center on June 21.
The most costly remaining transit option for the Gateway Corridor project was jettisoned Thursday by a key panel. Gateway Corridor Commission members moved forward two transit plans – bus-rapid transit and a managed lane option – but scrapped light-rail transit. According to a resolution passed by the commission, the final dagger for LRT was its $950 million price tag, which came without an appreciable boost in ridership when compared to BRT. BRT plans call for a $400 million dedicated bus guideway running between Manning Avenue in Woodbury to St.
Some Woodbury residents and businesses experienced a power outage this morning. According to Xcel Energy, 1,188 customers between western Woodbury and eastern Maplewood were without power at 5:47 a.m. The outage was expected to last until 9:42 a.m., according to the utility. Witnesses said a transformer near Century Avenue and Upper Afton Road appeared to be damaged. It was not immediately clear if that transformer was related to the outage.
A Woodbury motorist reported June 17 that he was being tailgated by another vehicle on Valley Creek Road at Colby Lake Drive. The motorist admitted the tailgating began after he cut off the vehicle on the highway. The tailgater eventually drove off. A Schooner Way resident reported June 18 that an “old, blind” snapping turtle was in the middle of the road. Police arrived to find the animal in the complainant’s yard. “The turtle appeared to be fine and was going about its business as usual,” the report states.
Robert Renning can only guess how he summoned the strength to peel back a door on a burning car last weekend. So if he had to attribute the lifesaving feat to anything, the Woodbury man said he’d put it on his job. “I’m a mechanical engineer by trade,” the 52-year-old said, “so let’s call it leverage.” Whatever the means, Minnesota State Patrol troopers are crediting Renning’s actions with saving the life of Minneapolis man Michael Johannes. Renning and Johannes were southbound on Interstate 35W on Sunday, June 29, when a fire began spreading in Johannes’ vehicle.
A Woodbury man is being credited with saving the life of a motorist trapped inside a burning vehicle. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Woodbury resident Robert Renning was headed southbound on Interstate 35W Sunday night when he spotted a nearby vehicle on fire. Renning flagged down the motorist, a Minneapolis man, and both vehicles pulled over at about 6:40 p.m.
Washington County planners have resubmitted documents to a federal agency after officials there demanded a discarded transit option be given a second look. The county received two letters between March and April asking for Gateway Corridor planners to revisit the possibility of a bus-rapid transit (BRT) managed lane alternative as the project moves ahead.