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 Woodbury man accused of sexually assaulting a girl since she was 5 years old was sentenced in February to 12 years in prison. Anthony Neil Sweet, 51, was sentenced Feb. 21 after pleading guilty in November 2012 to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Three other related counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Sweet was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl known to him since she was 5 years old, as well as attempting to sexually assault the girl's friend.
A convicted Woodbury drug dealer was arrested in February after police found a suspected half-pound of marijuana in a vehicle he was driving. The man, 21-year-old Justin Allen Hanson, was charged with fifth-degree drug possession, a felony. Another man in the vehicle, 21-year-old Jawan Demar Burt - also of Woodbury - was charged with one count of felony aiding and abetting drug possession. Hanson was convicted in January 2012 of fifth-degree marijuana sales and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and five years on probation.
Cabin fever was spiking last week in Woodbury. Anglers eager to wet their lines put the finishing touches on fishing rods they constructed as part of a Community Education class at Central Park. "I've got spring fever now," said Carly Karjala, a Woodbury woman who attended the class with her husband Brent. Participants in the class spent about three weeks assembling fishing rods under the instruction of Dave Hanke of River Falls. Once they determined what they would be fishing for - spin-cast set-ups for walleye fishing or bait-cast rods for bass fishing - the participants picked out their
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.