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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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.
A Lake Elmo school was put on lock-down this morning while Washington County authorities searched for a potentially armed man suspected in an attempted theft incident. The lock-down was later lifted at Oak-Land Junior High, according to a 9:29 a.m.
Add another to the list. Burglars struck again Sunday - the latest in a long string of break-ins to Woodbury businesses - and made off with another safe. The burglary to Tailor Made Nutrition, 8160 Coller Way, occurred two days before Woodbury police released photos of possible suspects. The photos, gleaned from surveillance video taken during a Christmas Eve break-in at neighboring Elite Liquor, reveal four male suspects all wearing hoods. Police believe the same group of people is responsible for numerous business burglaries that have occurred around the city for more than a month.
Federal agents removed items from a home Tuesday in Woodbury's Dancing Waters development. Woodbury police confirmed that local officers assisted in the execution of a federal search warrant at 8 a.m. at a residence in the 10000 block of Waters Edge Lane. A man wearing a shirt with a U.S. Treasury emblem on it declined to reveal any details of the search and referred all inquiries to a public information officer. Vicki Petricka, public information officer for the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service, said information is not public at this time.
A St. Paul man was charged with two felonies last week in connection with a spate of robberies in a Woodbury neighborhood. Brian McCarthy, 24, was jailed Friday, Dec. 23, on suspicion of theft and possession of stolen property.
Most folks at Stonecrest Senior Living don't see as well as they once did. "So many residents here have poor vision and macular degeneration," said resident Jeanne Musgrove. Things like reading a newspaper or looking at photos become laborious tasks instead of relaxing activities when even squinting doesn't help bring things into focus. But a new piece of technology means struggling to read is now a thing of the past for many Stonecrest residents. About two months ago, the center installed a machine called an Optelec electronic video magnifier.
Federal charges could be filed next week against a man suspected in numerous Woodbury mail thefts. The St. Paul man, whose name is not being released while formal charges are pending, could face mail theft charges in U.S. district court, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said. Depending on the outcome of the investigation - which is ongoing - it is possible federal prosecutors could tack on identity theft charges, said Jeff Long, public information officer for the Postal Inspection Service.
Dick Hanson knows how to bring people together. The Woodbury resident did it professionally as a community affairs executive for one of Minnesota's largest companies before retiring. For the past several years, Hanson has taken his unique talents to the Woodbury Community Foundation (WCF), where he helps build momentum by matching people with causes. His contributions haven't gone unnoticed.