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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A husband and wife were formally charged last month with felony theft after allegedly going on a shoplifting spree at stores in Tamarack Village. Kimberly Frances Franson and Gregory Michael Franson, both 48 years old, were each charged with one count of theft. The charges stemmed from an Aug. 2 incident at Tamarack Village, where store owners reported a woman had been observed taking merchandise at Gordman's.
A recent donation to the Washington County Historical Society provided a reminder that Woodbury's history stretches back a long way. The society received a school desk once used in the Gille School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1869. The desk was donated by the Peck family, formerly of Woodbury. Washington County Historical Society Executive Director Brent Peterson said the desk had been in the family's possession for years. But during a recent move, they knew a decision had to be made regarding the artifact. "They didn't know what to do with it," Peterson said.
A breakout game by Woodbury running back Quran Al-Hameed wasn't enough Friday, Aug.
A Twin Cities man with a history of drunken driving was sent to prison after recording his fourth DWI in Woodbury. Michael Carey Swenson, 31, was sentenced Aug. 2 to more than three years in prison after being convicted of a DWI charge. Police were called Oct. 1, 2011, to Minnesota School of Cosmetology on Weir Drive for a report of a student who arrived at school in a drunken stupor.
The Woodbury woman accused of delivering an unusual punishment to her boyfriend's teenage daughter was convicted by a jury today of malicious punishment and domestic assault. Prosecutors alleged Ahavel Scherz, 27, made the girl kneel on a kitchen floor for a sustained period of time April 1 while holding a chair above her head.
Things couldn't have been more still or calm Sunday, Aug. 11, on the St. Croix River in Afton - and that's exactly what raised a commotion. Dead air in the St. Croix valley caused a hot air balloon loaded with 15 people to stall directly over the river at 7:50 p.m.
Authorities from Department of Natural Resources investigated a Woodbury man's role in a reported shooting threat that occurred Aug. 4 in the city's northwest corner. The incident began at about 7:15 p.m. Aug. 4 at Jordan Ranch on Upper Afton Road. Interviews with witnesses revealed a man was approached by a stranger and was harassed about hunting.
Kayte Barton has always been around Woodbury Days. Her mother Kathy led the parade for years, so Barton tagged along and helped out during the event. As she became an adult, volunteering for the event just seemed like a natural extension. "I've kind of grown up with it," Barton said. "It's in my blood to help wherever I can." Her dedication to Woodbury Days drew the attention of the event's council last year. She was named 2011's Woodbury Days Volunteer of the Year. "That's pretty cool," Barton said upon learning of the award, which was announced this month.
Officers on Tuesday, Aug. 14, arrested a man at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who is accused of ripping off Prestwick Golf Course by staging a golf tournament that vanished into thin air. Todd Allen Rocha, 54, was arrested by Washington County Sheriff's deputies at the airport, where he was taken into custody on a warrant.
A brutal fight between a dog and its owner left a Woodbury man with puncture wounds and the dog mortally wounded. Police were called Aug. 9 to a residence in the 11000 block of Sand Castle Drive for a dog attack. A man there reported his 5-year-old pit pull attacked him without provocation at the home. The man was able to get away from the dog and armed himself with an 8-inch butcher knife. He attempted to leave the house, but the dog lunged at him again. The resident responded by stabbing the dog twice on either side of its ribcage.