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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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.
A message of economic development ran up against the promise of leadership last week as candidates vying to represent Woodbury on the Washington County Board staked out their positions during a public forum. Challenger Nancy Remakel, a Woodbury planning commissioner, focused on boosting economic development in the county during a Tuesday, Sept. 25, League of Women Voters forum. "Economic development is a very big challenge for this side of town," the former Woodbury City Council member said.
The Royals spent much of the week toiling over its struggles on extra points.
A man accused of ripping the head off his ex-girlfriend's pet snake was sentenced last month on a burglary conviction. A 21-month prison sentence was stayed for Brian Jeffrey Schmidt, 38, provided he abides terms of a five-year probation. The Anoka man must spend a year in jail, 10th District Court Judge Tad Jude ordered. Schmidt will receive credit for 201 days already served. Other terms of the sentence call for Schmidt to pay $450 in restitution, to serve a lifetime firearm ban and a life suspension of his voting privileges.
This week's Homecoming festivities kicked off with the induction of a former NFL player into Woodbury High School's Hall of Fame. Chip Lohmiller, a 1984 WHS graduate, was honored Monday -- the first day of Homecoming activities at the high school. Lohmiller was an all-state player for the Royals before he played four years of college football at the University of Minnesota. He was drafted in 1988 by the Washington Redskins, where, as a kicker, he went on to win a Super Bowl during his nine-year NFL career. "You're from Woodbury," Lohmiller told a packed gymnasium Monday.
A Woodbury family of six was left homeless early this week after fire destroyed their house. No residents or firefighters were hurt in the blaze, which was first reported at 12:08 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at 8350 Marsh Creek Road. Woodbury Fire Cmdr. John Wallgren said early indications were that hot ashes disposed of in the family's garage were the cause of the fire.