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 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.
A Wisconsin teenager was killed during a snowstorm Thursday after his vehicle entered the opposite lane of traffic and collided with a semitrailer on Interstate 94 in Washington County. The Minnesota State Patrol identified the victim as 16-year-old Jonathon Pohlen of Houlton, Wis. According to the State Patrol, Pohlen's Chevrolet Cobalt was headed westbound on I-94 when it lost control on the snowy roadway, crossed the median and struck the eastbound semi's trailer.
Brett Roeller has been quietly building a successful business from the confines of a simple workshop in his Woodbury garage. What's not so quiet is what he builds: guitars designed to catch the eye and, above all, deliver an unparalleled sonic experience. He's deadly serious when he says that what he hand crafts is far superior to anything guitar aficionados will find in any music store. "The sounds would blow them right out of the gate," Roeller said of his guitars, which cater to death metal and blues musicians. The 36-year-old is the owner of Roeller Custom Guitars, a business he starte
Two men were arrested last week after police uncovered an apparent chop shop and assorted stolen goods at an apartment garage in Woodbury. Prosecutors later charged Christopher Alan Siemers, 30, with three counts of receiving stolen property and one count of motor vehicle theft.
When a Woodbury man was diagnosed with lung cancer last June, his stepdaughter, Jenny Burow, made preparations to help him through the experience. What Burow didn't see coming, however, was that she'd soon be joining her stepfather, Steve Brennan, on a parallel journey. Burow, a Woodbury native, knew she'd be helping Brennan to and from appointments. But before she could, she needed to see the doctor to have a pain in her leg checked out.
Marissa Poissant thought she had gone through every emotion possible in her first-ever running of the Boston Marathon. There was pride, fear, anxiety, joy. And then the bombs went off. "I was feeling so good and then that happens and your heart sinks," the Woodbury woman said Tuesday, April 16, one day after twin explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 175 others.
A jury trial is scheduled for a Lake Elmo man accused of burglarizing two businesses in Woodbury in March. Robert Louis Canfield, 42, was charged March 25 with two counts of third-degree burglary, both felonies, after allegedly breaking into Public Storage on Hudson Road and 2001 Nails on City Centre Drive. According to a criminal complaint, police responded to a burglary report March 23 at Public Storage, where officers found a glass door window smashed out and the key to a safe missing.
For Jake Duesenberg, it's never too late to hold a party. Though the Tea Party movement saw its biggest surges more than three years ago, Duesenberg, a Woodbury resident, last week unveiled the East Metro Tea Party. As he sees it, the moment is just as urgent now as it's ever been to arrange the organization. "The federal debt's not getting any lower," Duesenberg said. On Thursday, April 4, the group held its inaugural meeting at the Machine Shed in Lake Elmo, where attendees were joined by GOP House lawmaker Kathy Lohmer and 2012 congressional candidate Tony Hernandez.
An Afton man was charged with a felony after he allegedly strangled a cat to death after a domestic disturbance at his home. Washington County deputies were called March 14 to the home of Thomas Allen Disselkamp for a domestic disturbance report. According to a criminal complaint: When officers arrived, a man later identified as Disselkamp hollered at them to go away.