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 healthy dumping of March snow led to a snow day on Tuesday -- and created some outdoor adventures for Woodbury students. Students climbed to the top of a hill along Highpointe Road, where they jumped, skidded and sledded through the newly fallen snow. According to the National Weather Service, about 9 inches of snow was reported around the Twin Cities, courtesy of a snowstorm that began falling heavily overnight. While some found ways to enjoy the snow, others did their civic duty.
Woodbury put an exclamation mark on the end of the 2012-13 regular season, earning a share of the Suburban East Conference title with a 30-point blowout win over Mounds View. The Royals tied Roseville atop the SEC, both finishing with a 15-3 conference record. Roseville won its regular season finale, also in blowout fashion, against Hastings (1-18 SEC). Against Mounds View (7-11 SEC), the Royals built a 52-30 halftime lead. That margin ballooned to as much as 36 points in the second half. The final score was 93-63. Senior Diallo Powell exploded for 29 points in the home win for Woodbury.
Police were looking for a burglary suspect Thursday afternoon in Woodbury. Officers were concentrating their search around the area of the burglary, which occurred in the 600 block of Eagle Ridge Drive. Woodbury Public Safety spokeswoman Michelle Okada said a female was home at the time of the incident, which occurred around 11:15 a.m. The incident remained under investigation, though Okada said money was reported missing from the residence. She did not say whether police were looking for more than one suspect. Check back for more on this story.
Tom Ehrenberg never had a dog growing up - or at any point in his life. And then Bosco showed up. Ehrenberg, a Woodbury police officer, joined Brian Cline as the two newest K-9 handlers for the force. Cline's dog, 7-month-old Nova, was delivered Feb.
Washington County authorities caught one of their own stealing drugs from a secure drop-off bin, according to allegations set forth in a criminal complaint. Ricky Harry Gruber, a 43-year-old Washington County sheriff's deputy from Oakdale, was charged today with one count of felony drug possession, two felony theft counts, one count of officer misconduct - a gross misdemeanor - and a misdemeanor drug possession charge. According to the complaint: A sergeant in the department discovered on Friday, Jan.
Sides are being chosen at the state Capitol over the future of a school building in Woodbury. Lawmakers got their first look last week at a bill that would fold Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School into a west-metro arts school's purview and preserve Crosswinds' unique integration offerings. On the other side of the battle is District 833, which is poised to take over the Crosswinds building if the bill isn't passed by April 1.
Pancakes weren't part of a breakfast ensemble last week. They were targets to be destroyed. Hudson resident Todd Peterson took home first place Saturday, Feb. 23, in a pancake-eating contest at Woodbury's Valley Creek Mall. The contest called on participants to speed-eat one Keys Cafe pancake, which have been dubbed "as big as manhole covers." Peterson, a Woodbury native, finished his in 1 minute, 8 seconds, and took home a $150 prize for his efforts.
An Afton man was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman accused him of abusing her when she was 8 years old. Charles Arthur Bell, 61, appeared in court Feb.
The Royals, winners of 13 straight and leaders atop the Suburban East Conference, were stopped dead in their tracks Friday in a road game against Roseville. The No. 5-ranked Royals lost 74-52 to the No. 10-ranked Raiders. The loss dropped Woodbury into a tie with for the SEC lead with Roseville and marked the team's first loss since falling to Stillwater on Jan. 4. Roseville and Woodbury are now knotted at 13-3 in conference play with two games to go in the regular season. Woodbury's final two games will be played at home, the first against Park, and the finale versus Mounds View.
Robert O'Brien believes there's more to golf than knocking the ball around the course for a few hours. So when his boss tasked him with finding a community-based cause for their Woodbury business to support, he reached out to a golf-based program that he and others believe can instill strong values in young people. "When I found The First Tee I felt as if I found exactly what this community needs," O'Brien said. The First Tee program, which also gained support from the Woodbury Rotary Club, is now set to launch this summer at Eagle Valley Golf Course in Woodbury.