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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Tod Johnson Resident's Viewpoint Over the past two weeks there have been varying viewpoints on why class ranking at East Ridge is an important component of competition among students. While I appreciate the unique perspectives that have been provided, I am compelled to write a significantly different viewpoint as a parent and former college graduate arguing that student rank is a meaningless statistic and has little to do with success or failure in the real world.
Power outages spilled into Saturday -- and possibly longer -- in Woodbury following the second consecutive night of intense storms. Xcel Energy reported nearly 1,500 customers in Woodbury were without power at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The utility company warned that restoration efforts would be prolonged due to the extent of the storms around the Twin Cities and beyond.
The second power outage in less than 24 hours -- this one brought about by an overnight thunderstorm that packed high winds -- left more than 1,000 Woodbury customers without power on Friday morning. According to Xcel Energy's outage map, the highest cluster of outages was grouped around neighborhoods surrounding the Valley Creek Road-Radio Drive intersection.
Thousands of Woodbury residents were without power this afternoon. According to Xcel Energy, a power outage affecting Woodbury, Afton and St. Paul was affecting 6,118 customers. The outage began at 3:31 p.m. Thursday, according to Xcel. Power was expected to be restored by 5:01 p.m., according to the utility company. A call seeking information about the outage was not immediately returned.
A Woodbury woman was in critical condition following a two-vehicle crash Thursday that also sent three other people to the hospital. The woman, an 81-year-old traveling in a Ford Taurus, was taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul in critical condition.
Driftwood isn't just debris to Tom Bray. When the Woodbury man's imagination processes the pieces as he handles them, he begins to see figures: an eagle, a dragon, a fish. "It's amazing what you can see in wood," Bray said Thursday, June 13, on the opening day of a display of his work at the Merrill Community Arts Center's Rivertown Campus.
A resident in the 700 block of Markgrafs Lake Draw reported June 5 that his golf clubs were stolen from his garage. The clubs, a 65-year-old set, were valued at $400. Police were called June 5 to the 10000 block of Falling Water Lane for a jewelry theft. An engagement ring valued at $3,949 and a wedding ring valued at $2,000 were missing from the resident’s closet. No suspects.
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. -- Federal aviation investigators were called this morning to the scene of a helicopter crash in this St. Paul suburb. A low-flying helicopter believed to be operated by the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, was seen struggling to remain aloft, a witness said, before crashing into a garage. “It just dropped,” said Tambra Thomas, who had heard the helicopter from her bedroom in a nearby residence, before jumping up to see its sharp descent.
A group of local kids learned how to rock out last week. The music of Will Hale -- and a healthy dose of sunshine -- brought out families in droves Friday, June 14, to Objibway Park's band shell. Hale's family-friendly music included audience participation numbers, including one that encouraged kids to take the stage and play along with "air guitars" he supplied.
Emergency workers responded Thursday morning to a rollover crash on Interstate 94 and Manning Avenue. Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said the crash occurred just before 9 a.m. in westbound traffic directly beneath the Manning Avenue bridge. The victim was an adult female. Roeske said the woman was not seriously injured in the crash, though she was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Early indications were that the crash may have been the result of "a medical situation," Roeske said.