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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After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago, Nancy Roberts decided to write. The disease had stripped Roberts of her peripheral vision, so the Woodbury resident took time away from work as a nurse and became introspective of her situation.
The sound is unmistakable once you take a step inside Royal Oaks Elementary. In a rhythmic pattern, you hear "clack-clack, clackity clack." And so it is announced: cloggers are in the house. Each Tuesday through this week, Royal Oaks has been home to clogging instruction through District 833 Community Education. Instructor Jean Morgan - an experienced clogger since first learning the steps in 1989 - shows beginner and intermediate cloggers the way.
The Woodbury woman convicted of doling out an unusual punishment ritual to her boyfriend's daughter must spend 60 days in jail, a Washington County judge decided this month. Ahavel Scherz, 27, was sentenced Nov. 7 to 365 days in jail - 305 five days of which were stayed by 10th Judicial Court Judge Mary Hannon, provided Scherz follows her probation for two years. A Washington County jury convicted her in August of one count of malicious punishment of a child, a gross misdemeanor, and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault.
Minnesota's transportation system hit a low point in 2007. The state - and the nation - recoiled in shock when the I-35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, taking 13 people's lives. The fallout left the state's transportation reputation tarnished and prompted U.S. Sen.
Cody Becker drove up to the Woodbury-area Best Buy on Wednesday from Hastings expecting to land unbeatable deals on electronics. He didn't expect to make a few friends along the way. Becker, along with Cottage Grove resident Mark Scherr and St. Paul man Andrew Summy, were first in line at the Oakdale Best Buy. The three were strangers, but said they had reached buddy status by Thanksgiving Day. So maybe it's not all about the deals, Becker said. "It's about the camaraderie," he said.
A Woodbury man made his first court appearance this month on allegations that he wrecked a woman's vehicle by beating on it. Louis Verdere White IV, 27, was charged with one count of first-degree property damage, a felony. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. According to a criminal complaint, police were called June 20 to Demori's Restaurant in Oakdale on a report of a male damaging cars in the parking lot. Police located the suspect, later identified as White, standing next to a black vehicle.
If Woodbury voters haven't yet gotten used to the revolving door of legislators it's seen over the past decade, one political analyst said they ought to. David Schultz, a Hamline University School of Business professor, said the city's changing demographics will likely mean political alliances shifting across different election seasons. "I see it continuing to be a swing district," Schultz said, noting that voting tendencies have changed as the city "is becoming more urban." He spoke Wednesday, Nov.
The Woodbury officer-involved shooting case will be presented to a grand jury, a Ramsey County spokesman said Thursday. The case involving the three Woodbury officers who shot a man to death Aug. 31 at Woodbury's Red Roof Inn automatically goes to a grand jury because it involved a death, said Dennis Gerhardstein, public information officer for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office. "That's really the key," he said. Police fired on Mark E. Henderson, a hostage in an Aug. 31 incident at the Red Roof Inn, after he rushed out of a motel room where someone had pointed a gun at an officer.
Woodbury firefighters contained a small fire to a bedroom Thursday at a Sweetwater Path residence. No one was injured during the fire, which occurred before 3 p.m. at 11085 Sweetwater Path, said Woodbury fire Cmdr. John Wallgren. He said a "young adult" called to report her mattress had caught fire and was unable to extinguish it herself. Wallgren said he arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the second story of the home's south side.
Wednesday was a day for looking to the horizon for three Woodbury High School seniors. Kristina White, Mikayla Mayer and Lauren Puglisi all signed letters of intent to play Division I college sports as part of National Signing Day ceremonies. "We look forward to amazing things that will be happening on your college campuses," WHS Activities Director Jason Gonnion told the student-athletes during Wednesday's ceremony. White, a standout guard for the Royals on the basketball court, will be attending the University of Vermont next year. Nathan McGuire, who takes the reins this year as head co