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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Washington County workers were given remedial training following a recent ballot discrepancy in Woodbury. The issue came to county officials' attention earlier this month after a Woodbury woman went to the county's Woodury service center and attempted to vote early. The woman, Lisa Hartzell, went to fill out the ballot and expected to find the District 53A race between Pam Cunningham and JoAnn Ward. It wasn't there. Hartzell took the ballot back to the service desk and explained the problem.
All season long, Andy Hill said his team was capable of beating any other team - if his Royals played to their potential. Woodbury proved that when it mattered most - on Friday in the quarterfinal round the Section 4AAAAAA playoffs against Cretin-Derham Hall. The Royals - heavy underdogs after compiling a 3-5 regular-season record and drawing a sixth seed in the playoffs - stunned the No. 9-ranked team in the state on its own turf, winning 21-14. "We played a full 48 minutes," Hill said, calling the Cretin upset "a huge win for our program." The win over No.
Travis Martinson, the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce's first-ever executive director, is resigning her post. Chamber board members were first made aware of the move Wednesday in an email from Chairwoman Liz Fleischhacker. Martinson addressed chamber members today in an email confirming her resignation. She said she has accepted a job as a development manager at her church in Burnsville. "I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the time that I have been in Woodbury," Martinson said in the email.
Bill Pulkrabek believes Washington County is a top-flight organization and he wants to keep it that way. He just wants taxpayers to be shielded from as much impact the county delivers as possible. "I see my role as the advocate for the average taxpayer," said Pulkrabek, the incumbent District 2 commissioner who was first elected to the board in 1998. He goes up against Oakdale resident Ted Bearth in the race for District 2, which includes eastern Woodbury, Lake Elmo and Oakdale.
Public service is nothing new to Ted Bearth. He spent 24 years at Oakdale City Hall serving as a longtime City Council member and six years as the city's mayor. Now Bearth has his sights set on another public office: Washington County Board's District 2 seat. He faces incumbent Washington County Board Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek in the district, which comprises eastern Woodbury, Oakdale and Lake Elmo. Bearth said he had been asked by community members to run for the seat each year Pulkrabek has been up for re-election. "Now I said, 'Hey, maybe I should,'" Bearth said. He said he's runnin
Immersed in the fields of education, restorative justice and business since moving to Woodbury in 1974, JoAnn Ward had been toying for some time with the idea of running for office. So when she got a call earlier this year from Rep.
When Pam Cunningham eyed up the complexion of the Legislature, she didn't see strong representation from experts in the health care and education fields. So the longtime nurse and District 622 School Board member decided to throw her hat in the ring. "If you're not a part of the solution, you're part of the problem," she said. "I have a unique skill set to bring to the Legislature." Cunningham, a Maplewood Republican, will vie for the new House District 53A seat with Democratic challenger JoAnn Ward.
Health care has long been an important issue to Ann Marie Metzger. But it wasn't until January 2011 that the health care system had a direct impact on her life. After being called in for a follow-up mammogram, Metzger was told she first had to consult with an insurance adviser, who told her that her provider would not pay for the exam. She paid the bill and everything turned out fine, Metzger said, but she was left steamed. "I can't believe they did this to me," she said.
Andrea Kieffer wants to keep it going. The Woodbury Republican said lawmakers made progress in the past two years since she was elected to the Legislature on a pro-business platform, and now is no time to stop. "I want to mainly focus on staying true to the business growth," Kieffer said. The first-term legislator is seeking re-election in the newly drawn House District 53B against Democratic challenger Ann Marie Metzger. Kieffer was first elected to the Legislature in 2008 when she defeated two-term incumbent Rep.
Ted Lillie spent most of his career trying to stay out of politics. The newspaper publisher chose to work behind the scenes - serving on east metro boards and organizing community efforts to streamline local government. But after serving 10 years on the HealthEast board of directors and leading efforts to merge local government services in District 622 and beyond, Lillie began being prodded by people to run for office. "I was very reluctant," the Woodbury Republican said. Ultimately, Lillie concluded that the Legislature didn't have enough perspective from the business community. "I felt