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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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
Susan Kent considers herself to be a bit wonky. After more than 20 years in the marketing and media world, the Woodbury resident found herself eager to dig deep into issues. "I am deeply knowledge based," Kent said. So when new Senate districts were unveiled in February, Kent decided those skills would suit her well in a run for the Legislature. She is challenging Sen.
A plan to create a new busing corridor through Woodbury received its highest approval yet last week when a key transit panel voted to push it through for environmental study. Gateway Corridor Commissioners unanimously approved a recommendation to advance the bus-rapid transit plan along in a process that is still years away. The plan calls for a dedicated high-speed busing route that - through Woodbury - would run south of Interstate 94 to Manning Avenue, where the corridor would end after beginning at St. Paul's Union Depot.
When Ashley Ostrowski marks a major step in her career this weekend, her mother won't be far from her mind. The 28-year-old launches her own clothing line in Washington County during an event that's been years in the making.
Some of Minnesota's top brass donned hard hats and work boots Monday during a Habitat for Humanity event in Woodbury. The 11th annual CEO Build Day was held at Woodbury's Garden Gate Development. Homebuyers pounded nails alongside company executives from businesses including Cargill, the city of Woodbury, HealthEast, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, The Opus Group, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy. Speakers at the event included Koji Aku, a mother of two who will be moving into the development. "We are very happy," she told the assembled group of executives and Habitat officials.
The home of a former Woodbury firefighter was destroyed early Saturday, Oct. 6, after fire swept through the house. The home, owned by retired Woodbury firefighter Tom Richardson, was a total loss, said Woodbury Fire Cmdr. John Wallgren. Two people home at the time were able to escape the burning house, located at 2601 Brittany Lane. A pet cat succumbed to smoke inhalation, Wallgren said. A female resident was taken in for a medical evaluation, but was released, he said. No firefighters were injured in the fire, which was first reported at 12:47 a.m. Saturday.
A Woodbury man convicted of possessing black tar heroin was sentenced Sept. 19 to three days in jail and a $500 fine. Robert John Ennis, 19, received a stay of adjudication on his sentence, which calls for five years' probation.
Woodbury found its offense again Friday, but it wasn't enough against a speedy Roseville team. The Raiders handed the Royals their third loss in a row, winning 36-22 during Roseville's homecoming game. "We gave them too many big plays," said Woodbury football coach Andy Hill. Those included three jump-ball passes hauled in for touchdowns and a kickoff return that broke the Royals' back. The Royals entered the second half with a manageable 14-13 deficit.
Police cited a River Falls, Wis., woman for theft Sept. 13 after an incident at the Woodbury Walmart, where the suspect allegedly pushed a security guard to the ground. Officers were called to the store for a theft in progress involving a female wearing a black-and-white zebra-print dress who was seen leaving the store with unpaid merchandise. Walmart loss prevention workers followed the woman to the parking lot, where the suspect turned over several clothing items.
A man who left his cellphone behind at the scene of a Woodbury burglary was sentenced to prison time. Andre T. Holt, 26, was sentenced to 49 months - two-thirds of which must be served in prison, according to Minnesota law. The West St. Paul man was convicted and sentenced Sept.