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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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.
The Royals claimed an outright lead in the Suburban East Conference last week behind two victories that also extended Woodbury's winning streak to 12 games. Woodbury stomped White Bear Lake 95-57 on Feb. 12 before edging Forest Lake 81-78 in a Saturday, Feb. 14, road game. The wins improved Woodbury to 18-3 (12-2 SEC) and came on the heel of the Royals climbing even higher into the Class 4A rankings - now positioned at No.
It didn't take a seasoned cop to tell something wasn't right. During a routine traffic stop on Feb. 8, rookie Woodbury police officer Caitlin Jaworski peered inside a car while her field training officer conducted the stop. What she spotted was a cache of electronics that, thanks to a little cooperative communication between departments, was revealed to be loot stolen earlier in the day from a Cottage Grove home. Police ended up arresting the driver and two passengers. Felony charges followed.
East Ridge High School Principal Aaron Harper found himself fielding some complaints Thursday after a controversial poem meant to honor Black History Month was read aloud over the school's public address system. "The Black Child's Pledge," written in 1968 by Shirley Williams and published in the controversial Black Panther group's newspaper, was read during East Ridge's morning announcements as an ongoing activity honoring Black History Month. Not long after the poem was read, Twitter comments began bubbling up from Woodbury community members, including Kelly Fenton, whose son attends East
When Woodbury Baptist Church members visited their sister church in Costa Rica, they had a chance to eyeball the playground equipment there. Cindy Klatt, area missions leader for the church, remembered it well: two broken teeter-totters, a 1960s-era slide and two broken swing sets.
A Woodbury man made his first court appearance this month on allegations that he used a baton to bash a newspaper delivery driver's car during a road rage incident. The suspect, 20-year-old Sean Winson Fitzpatrick, was charged with one count of terroristic threats - a felony - and one count of fourth-degree property damage. According to a criminal complaint, Fitzpatrick was arrested at his home on Nov. 11, 2012, after a newspaper delivery driver reported being the victim of a road rage attack near Eagle View Boulevard and Settlers Ridge Drive. The complaint states that at about 5 a.m.
A St. Paul woman pleaded guilty to a felony after allegedly being found in possession of items stolen from the break room of a Woodbury store. Keri-Anne Ruzin, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday, Feb. 7, to one count of financial card fraud in Washington County District Court.
Several hundred customers in west-central Woodbury remained without power this morning after a power line went down on Wooddale Drive. According to Xcel Energy, about 620 customers in Woodbury were still experiencing outages at 7:30 a.m. Monday. Power was restored in many areas after originally impacting nearly 2,000 customers earlier in the morning. Woodbury police officer Scott Melander was positioned in the area while Xcel crews worked to fix a downed power line on Wooddale Drive - which was blocking traffic - that he said caused the outage.