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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A Woodbury woman accused of smashing a man in the face with a brick-like object was sentenced last month to jail time. Brenda Dittbenner, 45, was convicted Aug. 26 of third-degree assault - a charge stemming from a March 2010 case when she allegedly confronted and battered her boyfriend. As part of a plea deal, the felony-level charge was reduced to a gross misdemeanor conviction.
The Royals earned their first win of the season Friday night behind a strong second-half output and a powerful rushing performance from running back Junius Wilson. Woodbury (1-1 overall, 1-1 Suburban East Conference) defeated Hastings 29-23 at home, securing head coach Andy Hill's first win for the team. "We just threw down the gauntlet and said, 'Hey seniors, it's your year,'" Hill said after the game, his second for the Royals after losing last week to Stillwater. The Raiders jumped on the board in the first quarter after Woodbury failed to convert a fourth-and-one attempt.
Closer than ever now, supporters of a baseball field for special needs children are looking to close the funding gap for the unique Woodbury ballpark. "Just because they have a disability doesn't mean they shouldn't have the same opportunities we have," said Ryan Warner, one of six local businessmen behind an effort to complete fund-raising for Woodbury's Miracle Field. Their marquee event occurs Sunday, Sept.
When Joe Cuoco sees images of the contorted steel beams that became grim symbols of Sept. 11, 2001, his memories stretch back farther than 10 years. Cuoco, a New York, N.Y., native, had a hand in erecting all that steel during construction of the World Trade Center complex, including the Twin Towers. "The design of the steel girders - I've never seen girders like that, ever," said Cuoco, who now makes his home in Woodbury with his wife Herborg.
STILLWATER - The Andy Hill era started off with a bang. Down 7-0 early in the first quarter against the Ponies, Woodbury found the end zone twice in two possessions, one of which stemmed from an onside kickoff recovery. The end wasn't as thrilling for the Royals, who lost 27-20 in a game steeped in drama; it was the first game for Woodbury against its former head coach Beau LaBore, who now leads Stillwater. Hill absorbed the blame for the loss - his first for the Royals as head coach after coaching six years in Virginia. The critical moment, he said, was "me making a very bad call." "That
A man who tried pawning a stolen 19th-Century violin at a Woodbury store was sentenced to prison this month in Washington County. David Joseph Brose, 36, received a 26-month prison sentence Aug. 11 from Washington County District Court Judge Gregory Galler.
By Mike Longaecker firstname.lastname@example.org It can take years to get a booth at the Minnesota State Fair's Heritage Square. However, a Woodbury man and his brothers developed a product that helped get them there on their first try. Jason Thompson and family will spend the next two weeks trying to convince State Fair-goers why they should buy what he and his brothers think is the next big thing in barbecuing: the "Great Scrape," a grill scraper made of solid oak. "We were fortunate enough to get in (to the fair)," said Thompson, a Woodbury resident. Fair officials said the process is h
An Oakdale substitute school worker stands accused of soliciting a vulnerable female for prostitution and using her to traffic sex. Tameishia LeeAnn Allen-Hodges, 23, made her first appearance in Washington County District Court Aug. 17 on one count of soliciting or inducing an individual to practice prostitution and one count of engaging in sex trafficking. According to a criminal complaint: Oakdale police received a report April 25 from a North St.
Washington County prosecutors apparently disagreed with an Afton man who thought mutual apologies ought to spare him from a burglary charge. Andrew Joachim, 20, is accused of entering a Lake Elmo garage Aug. 7 and attempting to steal seven snowboards.
Washington County's libraries would be closed for business two days a week under a budget proposal announced last week. The proposal calls for libraries to be closed on Sundays and Mondays - an option proposed Tuesday, Aug. 16, by county library officials looking to resolve a funding shortfall. Two key revenue streams that currently total about $500,000 are being cut off for 2012: funding from Lake Elmo, which is poised to secede from the county library system, and state aid for county programs. The plan also calls for 5.5 full-time equivalent positions to be eliminated.