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 outlook for Crosswinds Arts and Sciences School is no more certain now than in February, when lawmakers first considered a bill addressing the Woodbury school's future. The session ended at midnight Monday, May 20, without a final decision on legislation that sought to preserve Crosswinds' integration model by conveying the building to either District 833 or the state's Perpich Center for the Arts. Exactly what is to come of the building - which will see students from the year-round program pass through its doors until the end of July - is unclear, but without an owner granted for the bu
It's rally time for a Woodbury school. Students and parents from Crosswinds Arts and Sciences School will gather at 2:30 p.m. today at the school in support of a Minnesota House bill that could allow the school's integration program to continue. The legislation, which was included in a larger House bill for state bonding projects, would turn over the building to either the state's Perpich Center for Arts Education or District 833, so long as the integration program continues. A bonding bill has not passed either the Senate or the House.
When Bob Tatreau looks into his crystal ball, he doesn't like the look of things -- at least not when it comes to transportation in the east metro. He and friend Steve Ellenwood closely follow the progress of the Gateway Corridor project that's slated to bring high-speed transit through the east metro, including Woodbury.
A man convicted in a Woodbury domestic assault case received a prison sentence last month. Giovanni J.
Chris Rheault admits he was a skeptic. As a Woodbury patrol officer, he had heard about the department's Street Crimes Unit and wondered if it was just a bunch of cops hanging around in parking lots waiting for crimes to be committed. But Rheault said that perception got turned on its head last year after he began a one-year stint with the unit as part of a career development opportunity with the department.
Members of Woodbury's tennis community are pushing back against the possibility of some dilapidated courts going from bad to altogether gone. The effort, being led by Woodbury Royals Tennis Booster Club President Mary Hellerud and Woodbury High School tennis coach Michael Moran, seeks to preserve and upgrade four courts at Woodbury Elementary School. They are urging District 833 to spare the courts as officials there consider whether to replace the tennis courts with a hard-top playground. The district's 10-year facilities plan calls for the Woodbury Elementary tennis courts to be resurface
Spring was in the air last week at Central Park. The city of Woodbury on Saturday, April 27, hosted a "May Day Tea" event, where girls, moms and grandmothers donned flowery dresses and spring hats. Attendees sipped tea and enjoyed a mid-morning brunch that brought a touch of elegance to the event. After dining, the group of about 40 enjoyed activities, including a game of bingo. Among those at the event were a four-generation family from Woodbury -- Amanda Schwager and her 3-year-old daughter Brynna, grandmother Val Spahr and great-grandmother Jean Morris.
A fast-moving fire destroyed a twin home Saturday afternoon in Woodbury. No residents were injured in the fire, which started at 10605 Kingsfield Lane. The blaze spread to the adjoining unit, 10607 Kingsfield Lane. Heat from the fire, which was reported at 4:26 p.m., melted the siding on a neighboring house to the south and caused a small grass fire to the east of the twin homes. Residents of 10605 Kingsfield Lane escaped safely.
A little-known organization that responds to crime in a unique way stepped into the spotlight last week to honor its volunteers. Members of Washington County Community Circles gathered April16 for a volunteer appreciation event - and to mark the group's 15th anniversary. "The importance of volunteers to this county cannot be exaggerated," said Joe Spolidoro, chairman of Washington County Community Circles. The group offers what's known as restorative justice to people convicted of some crimes.
Woodbury firefighters extinguished a car fire Tuesday afternoon at Woodwinds Health Campus. A car caught fire under at the hospital's entrance under an awning. Firefighters extinguished the fire and used a saw to access the vehicle's engine compartment, where a small crew focused its attack. Woodbury Emergency Services Commander Mike Richardson said the fire, which was called in at 3:11 p.m., started after a motorist pulled the car near the entrance to pick up a patient.