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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Unseasonably warm weather and hot deals on electronics drove Black Friday shoppers out by the thousands in Woodbury, opening the floodgates for the holiday retail season. Most of the shoppers in line at local retailers had one item in their crosshairs - televisions. Woodbury resident Todd Carlson was among the scores of people lined up outside the Oakdale Best Buy counting down the minutes until the doors opened at midnight there. He and his friends had a distinct advantage over those lined up behind them, however: they were first.
Felony charges were filed earlier this month against a Maplewood man accused of brutally assaulting a woman for hours on end at her Woodbury apartment. Washington County prosecutors charged Francis Albert Campbell, 39, with one count of terroristic threats and one count of domestic assault by strangulation - both felonies. He is also charged with gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor counts stemming from the incident. Campbell, who was released from Washington County jail Nov. 14 on $40,000 bail, is accused of beating the woman for hours and threatening to kill her 5-year-old daughter.
A Woodbury teenager allegedly had more bicycle than he bargained for. Eighteen-year-old Dylan Fye is accused of trying to pawn two bicycles so suspicious, a Wisconsin pawnbroker wanted nothing to do with them. Each of the two bicycles was valued at $10,000 apiece. The pawnbroker made contact with police, who caught up with Fye 10 days later in Woodbury and arrested him during an Aug. 22 traffic stop. Washington County prosecutors later charged Fye with one count of aiding and abetting theft, a felony.
As stovetops and ovens prepare to go into overdrive with the holidays approaching, local public safety officials urged caution in the kitchen. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking fire incidents spike during Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Woodbury firefighter and EMS worker Russ Hawkinson said the department has responded to six such fires over the past two years. He said the best precaution cooks can take is to be mindful of their surroundings.
A north metro man accused in numerous Twin Cities fraud cases was charged in Washington County after allegedly attempting to dupe a Woodbury business owner. John Berken Jr., 43, makes his initial court appearance Dec.
A Hastings man returns to court this month after being accused of stealing electronics at Woodbury's two Target stores. Eric Eide, 32, was charged in Washington County court with one count of aiding and abetting theft, a felony. He was released from jail Nov.
By Mike Longaecker email@example.com A Maplewood woman accused of stealing gasoline at a Woodbury gas station ended up having to pay, after all. Thirty four-year-old Angela V. Johnson was sentenced Nov. 3 to eight days in jail and five years on probation after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge earlier this year.
Six days after being stopped with a carful of stolen goods, two alleged thieves were back at it again in Woodbury, Washington County prosecutors allege. Their second effort yielded the same result: they were caught by police. The suspects, Lake Elmo resident Tyler Peltier and Jacqueline Drake, of Stillwater, are due in court this month and in December on multiple aiding and abetting charges, including theft and possession of stolen property - all felonies. The charges stemmed from a mix of car theft and purse-snatching reports. According to criminal complaints filed against Peltier and Dra
CenterPoint Energy received numerous calls just after 10 a.m. today reporting the smell of natural gas originating in Andover. Rebecca Virden, a company spokeswoman, said the release - which triggered an emergency response plan - was the result of crews performing preventative maintenance and repair at an Andover station. An earlier version of this story reported the smell was also detected in Oakdale -- a report Virden said was miscommunicated due to "confusing" Twitter posts.
It's the mother of all golden birthdays, and a Woodbury boy gets to experience it this week. On Friday, Corey Nagle celebrates his 11th birthday. In case you had missed it, Friday falls on Nov. 11.