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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Residents and Woodbury city officials turned up the heat on the Red Roof Inn in the wake of an officer-involved shooting at the embattled motel. Calls for the motel to be shut down came amid the release of Woodbury Public Safety Department data that shows the Red Roof Inn to be the leader in calls for service by Woodbury police among local lodging establishments. From January through August 2012, the Red Roof Inn received 132 calls for service by Woodbury police, according to police. The second-highest hotel - the Woodbury Extended Stay America - had 36 calls during the same period.
A West St. Paul man reported being robbed last week in Woodbury after meeting up with a man he met on Craigslist.com. According to a police report, officers were called at 7:49 p.m. Sept. 6 to the R.H. Stafford Branch Library for a robbery report. A man there told police that a man he had met for a Craigslist exchange pulled a gun on him and took his money. The report describes the events unfolding this way: The victim parked his car just after 7 p.m. outside Woodbury's Central Park, where he met the suspect, a Woodbury man.
Ted Lillie was among 11 Republican state senators who were fined last month by an administrative panel for distributing literature that violated state law governing the dissemination of campaign materials. A panel of administrative law judges ruled Aug. 31 that Lillie, of Woodbury, and the others were in violation of the law when they distributed state-produced flyers stamped with campaign-related graphics at precinct caucuses.
A Woodbury man died Wednesday after an accidental fall while vacationing in Michigan. Vikrant Kole, 26, died at Spectrum Health Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he had been airlifted after being found underwater. Lt. Craig Mast with the Oceana County, Mich., sheriff's department said officers received a call at 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Sept.
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.