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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In fourth grade, building robots just sounded like a cool thing to do for a group of local students. Four years later, robot construction is serious business for the group of south Washington County students. The students - a mix of eighth-graders attending Woodbury and Cottage Grove middle schools that has expanded to a five-person team - now prepare to make their fourth trip to the Boston Scientific Minnesota First Lego League State Championship. There, the team, dubbed Robo Nuts, will compete against more than 60 other groups vying for a chance to advance to a national tournament in St.
Washington County library officials think an area soldier's story is worth a read. A book chronicling the battleground experiences of John Kriesel, an Iraq war veteran who lost his legs in an attack while serving, was chosen for this year's Washington County Library "One County, One Book" program. Kriesel, a Cottage Grove resident who also served as a state lawmaker from 2011-12 in the Minnesota House, will appear Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Woodbury's R.H. Stafford library to discuss his book, "Still Standing: The Story of Ssg.
Police should have never entered an alleged drug dealer's Woodbury home based on the information they had, an attorney argued in court last week. Brian Karalus, the attorney representing Frank Santovi Jr., issued a pre-trial motion to suppress information about drugs taken from Santovi's house during a Wednesday, Jan. 16, court hearing.
Don't count them out. That was the message the Woodbury Royals sent in an inspired second half of basketball to claim a comeback win at home in its biggest win so far this season against a Suburban East Conference opponent. Down 40-27 after the first half, the Royals overcame seemingly everything that ailed them in the first half - hitting open shots, finishing transition offense opportunities and limiting second-chance points on defense - on their way to an 80-71 win over Roseville, the No.
A Woodbury woman convicted of using a fake identity to receive thousands of dollars in federal housing credits was sentenced today. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis, 53-year-old Victoria Ayoola was sentenced to pay $18,114 in restitution and spend two years on probation by U.S. District Court Judge Joan Ericksen.
It was race day on Saturday at Valley Crossing Community School. Scouts from Pack 196 gathered to test their creations against one another's at the annual pinewood derby race. The cars - each constructed by the scouts - spanned the conventional to the unusual, where names like the Flaming Cookie, the Junk Drawer and the Batmobile did battle on the wooden track. Trophies were awarded for overall times and for each division, among Lion Cub, Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelo scouts. The Top 3 overall finishers were Zach Olson, Zach Carlson and Tyler Olson.
Firefighters said a hot laptop computer was to blame for townhouse fire that left the residence unlivable. Woodbury crews were called at 2:16 p.m. to 8655 Quarry Ridge Lane Unit A for a structure fire. Fire Cmdr. John Wallgren said the fire was roaring by the time crews arrived. "Everything was going in the first floor," he said. The blaze, which started on a couch in the two-story townhome, caused "significant damage" to the home, Wallgren said. Crews from Cottage Grove and Oakdale also responded. The home's sole female resident was not home at the time of the fire.
University of Minnesota researchers aiming to make safer roads are turning to Woodbury students for a new project - and a tempting offer. Officials announced last week that Woodbury was selected among communities across Minnesota to participate in the University of Minnesota Teen Driver Study.
Several businesses on Commerce Drive and two in CityWalk were burglarized last week. According to police records, four properties on Commerce Drive reported burglaries or attempted burglaries on Jan. 9. Steve Wills, investigative commander for Woodbury police, said two other businesses were hit in the CityWalk district the same night. Small amounts of what Wills termed "startup cash" were taken in most of the burglaries, which occurred overnight between Jan. 8-9.
Prosecutors charged a Woodbury man with felony assault after he allegedly beat a woman at his home. Antonio Lee Richardson, 23, appeared in court in December on one count of third-degree assault, a felony. According to a criminal complaint, Woodbury police were called to Richardson's Harvest Path residence at 4:34 a.m. Sept.