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 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.
Police were alerted June 11 that a red van was spotted trailing a mail truck in the 1200 block of Saddlebrook Lane and stopping at mailboxes. Police stopped the vehicle, driven by a Woodbury man, who said he was putting brochures into mail slots but not opening the boxes. A Minneapolis man reported June 11 that his car was stolen at Holiday Station, 757 Radio Drive. The man said he and two friends came to Woodbury and stopped at the gas station.
Two Woodbury residents were appointed to positions on state panels by Gov. Mark Dayton. According to a Thursday, June 26, news release, Alberder Gillespie was appointed to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission. Gillespie, who also serves as Senate District 53 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairwoman, begins her term June 30 and replaces Cottage Grove resident Karla Bigham. Gillespie’s term ends Jan. 2, 2017. Also appointed by Dayton is Woodbury resident and former legislator Leonard Price, who will serve as chairman of the Occupational Health and Safety Review Board.
Woodbury police on Wednesday identified a 54-year-old Minneapolis man as the man suspected of robbing a jewelry store before taking his own life. According to police, the subject, Thomas Eric Jones, brandished a handgun Saturday, June 21, while attempting to rob Johnson Jewelers.
How about Woodbury residents appearing on a popular game show for $500, please? Woodbury resident Alana Norton will appear on the quiz show Jeopardy! on Wednesday, according to a news release. Norton, a furniture store manager, will be among three contestants appearing on the show that airs at 4:30 p.m. on Channel 11.