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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It was a night to unite in Woodbury. Children squealed with joy Tuesday at the sight of fire trucks that made stops across the city. Meanwhile, adults enjoyed food and laughs with neighbors. The interactions were part of the nationwide Night to Unite event, where neighbors came together for block parties and gatherings at neighborhood parks. At Evergreen West Park in Woodbury, that included a visit from Woodbury firefighters, who demonstrated hands-only CPR as part of the Take Heart Woodbury campaign, which aims to train 7,000 residents in the method.
A woman convicted in a 2008 southeastern Minnesota murder case pleaded guilty last week in a Woodbury check fraud case while awaiting arraignment on separate mail theft charges. Samantha Mary-Helen Siples, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday, Aug. 2, to one count of possessing stolen checks, a felony that calls for a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Siples was sentenced to 41 months in prison in 2008 on a murder-related charge.
Kelly DeBrine aimed to have a civil discussion on the issue of taxes. She got that last week - for the most part. Technicalities surrounding taxes took a back seat Tuesday, July 31, to more abstract questions probing attendees' support for public amenities and visions for quality of life.
For many high school students, the end of summer means winding down before the inevitable return to the books. There will be no such late-summer rest for James Fenton. Later this month, Fenton, who will be a senior at East Ridge High School, will be working at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Fenton was one of two Minnesotans selected to serve as pages at the event, where GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is expected to receive his party's nomination to run against President Obama in the fall. "It is a very big honor," the 17-year-old said of his selection to work at th
A Cottage Grove man was cited Wednesday after his SUV broadsided a vehicle driven by a Woodbury woman and two children. The Woodbury woman, 44, and two school-age children, were both hospitalized at United Hospital, said Woodbury Police Sgt. Dave Brennan. He said the 31-year-old Cottage Grove man ran a red light while driving south on Radio Drive.
Local Democrats seeking legislative seats this fall have been bringing in more cash than their Republican counterparts in all but one race. Republicans, meanwhile, managed to keep the most cash on hand, according to reports made public today. Senate District 53 candidate Susan Kent raised the most money between Jan. 1 and July 23, among the three local races, according to reports filed this month with state's Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board. According to the report, Kent, a Woodbury Democrat amassed $17,356 in total receipts during the period. She is challenging incumbent Sen.
Cheryl Bennerotte never had a formal job in high school. "I babysat and babysat and babysat," the Woodbury woman recalled. The experience turned out to be a perfect training ground, however, for what would later become Bennerotte's career as a child care provider. "This kind of came natural to me," she said. More than 30 years after opening up her home to children, Bennerotte was rewarded with distinction of being named Washington County's Provider of the Year. She was one of two people to receive the award June 12 at the Washington County Board meeting.
Denny Farrell was well aware of the homeless population in Washington County. So when three Guardian Angels Catholic Church members who hoped to bring a shelter to the church approached Farrell - the parish administrator and longtime volunteer with Twin Cities-based homeless organizations - he was all ears. "I totally understood what was happening," he said. The effort got immediate traction at the church and the surrounding faith community. Now organizers at Guardian Angels are eyeing a Sept. 3 date to open the only homeless shelter in Washington County.
Police this month arrested a homeless man accused of stealing a Woodbury resident's car and intentionally crashing it in Wisconsin with hopes that it would never be seen again. Andrew W. Hammett, 20, was charged by warrant in June with one count of motor vehicle theft, a felony. He was booked July 4 into Washington County jail.
Woodbury is looking to outfit its upgraded Bielenberg Sports Center with sustainability enhancements and it's turning to the state to help foot the bill. A list of proposed bonding projects released last week by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development included a $1.5 million request from the city of Woodbury to fund a portion of the Bielenberg Sports Center (BSC) project.