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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Woodbury Republicans have a presidential task ahead of them. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, when Minnesota's political parties gather to caucus, local GOP supporters will be weighing in on who they like best to challenge President Obama on Election Day. Other parties gathering to caucus will be the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Constitution, Green and Independence parties.
Behind a memorable performance by senior Justin Pahl, an underdog Raptors squad took down Woodbury in a home thriller. East Ridge topped Woodbury 70-69 in the game, bolstered by Pahl's 29 points and a defense that helped snuff out an 11 point deficit. Raptors head coach Paul Virgin said his team's defense was the difference maker in the rivalry game. "That Woodbury team is really good," he said of the Royals, who opened the week ranked No. 9 in the state. "And they're well coached.
Police were called last week to Woodbury High School after the parent of a high school wrestler allegedly slugged a coach. According to a Woodbury police report, the incident occurred Jan. 26 during a varsity wrestling match between Stillwater and Woodbury high schools. The victim, an assistant Stillwater High School wrestling coach, told police that a female parent had been interfering with wrestlers during the meet. He later told woman that "the bench is no place for parents," according to the report.
Jean Sanford is fired up about voter ID. "This is a hot-button issue for me," the St. Paul woman said, calling it "the most important campaign I've ever worked on." She and more than 100 other people attended a Woodbury forum Tuesday that tackled issues including voter ID - and provided evidence that the effort to require voters to provide state-issued identification could be among the most divisive issues lawmakers will face this legislative session. The meeting drew heckles and sharp comments from some attendees.
Two men allegedly wielded weapons late last month in separate Woodbury road rage incidents. The first road-rage incident spilled over into a Woodbury fast-food parking lot, where a man allegedly smacked another motorist's vehicle with his cane. According to a police report, a Maplewood man was attempting to exit onto County Road 19 from Interstate 94 when his vehicle was cut off by a minivan. The Maplewood man was able to get in front of the minivan and observed the passenger - a River Falls, Wis., man - waving his middle finger and "shaking his cane" at him.
The natural world took a step inside last weekend in Woodbury. The Collectors Corner program brought together local children with Science Museum of Minnesota volunteers Saturday for a unique connection. The Family Science Day program offered several stations scattered throughout Woodbury's Central Park, where children got a hands-on experience with different facets from the natural world. At the stations, kids learned how to identify and replicate animal tracks, how to categorize different elements from the outdoors and how to identify geometric shapes in the natural world.
Mark Wackerfuss has his sights trained on the Minnesota Capitol. The Woodbury Democrat announced last week that he will be seeking the Democratic endorsement for House District 56B - the seat currently occupied by Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury. Wackerfuss said while it's likely the district will take on a new look once updated House and Senate district lines are released, he intends to serve the Woodbury area - no matter the complexion of the new political landscape. The St.
Just weeks after hockey injuries left two Minnesota prep athletes seriously injured on the ice, state officials announced a change in rules that stiffens penalties for certain hockey hits. The Minnesota State High School League's board of directors on Friday approved immediate changes to hockey policies governing dangerous contact. Local coaches expressed support for the change, saying it sends a positive message that safety is priority in prep sports. "As long as it's enforced, then that's great," said Woodbury boys hockey coach Wes Bolin.
A 21-year-old house guest who authorities said took advantage of a Woodbury family's hospitality by stealing valuables was sentenced to jail time. Oakdale resident Chad Giguere was sentenced Dec. 29 to 34 days in jail and five years on probation for a felony theft conviction. Washington County prosecutors alleged Giguere had spent the night at a Woodbury house where jewelry, an iPod, movies and video games were later found missing.