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 former Woodbury resident accused in 2008 of setting fire aboard an airplane is back in custody after being extradited by federal agents from Mexico. Eder Haron Rojas, 22, appeared in United States federal court Thursday in Fargo after being a fugitive for more than two years, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Rojas was charged in 2008 with one count of setting fire aboard an aircraft - a charge stemming from a May 7, 2008, incident.
The awards keep piling up for Woodwinds Health Campus. The latest came last week, when the hospital was named a "Best Hospital" in the Twin Cities by U.S. News Media and World Report. The rankings selected 720 hospitals nationwide from a list of about 5,000, according to a press release.
Did the "Jersey Shore" wash up on streets of Woodbury? Perhaps so, according to a couple men who offered a unique description of their alleged assailants in an assault case. According to a Woodbury police report, a patron at Throwbacks said he was beat up July 23 by one of two men described as "Guidos" - a term popularized by the Italian-American members of the popular "Jersey Shore" cable television program. The report states that the two suspects were at the bar and became loud.
A Woodbury man appears in court today on charges that he threatened another man with a handgun. Thomas John McGillis, 47, was charged with terroristic threats - a felony - after a July 10 incident at a Woodbury home. The charges stemmed from an incident at McGillis' residence. A criminal complaint states the ex-husband of McGillis' wife came to the residence that day to pick up a child. According to the complaint, McGillis met the man at the door.
Woodbury would be home to at least two major stops in a transit plan linking St. Paul with Eau Claire, Wis. Under a plan released last week by a commission tasked with mapping out transit possibilities along Interstate 94, Woodbury would see transit stations for either bus-rapid transit or light rail. According to the Gateway Corridor Commission, those stations would be located at Radio Drive and Hudson Road and at Woodbury Drive and Hudson Road.
DENMARK TOWNSHIP -- Cody Fudally had just completed a three-mile foot race where he battled flames, long hills, mud puddles and high winds. "I'm actually kind of wanting to do it again right now," the Apple Valley man said. "Seriously." Indeed, there was madness of all kinds on display Sunday at Afton Alps Ski Area.
ST. PAUL -- A group of Republican lawmakers proposed legislation Thursday that they said would prevent Minnesota's government from coming to a screeching halt in the event of another political stalemate. "This cannot be allowed to happen again," Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo, said of the state government shutdown, which lasted 20 days. He proposed reviving a 2006 bill authored by Lt. Gov.
By Mike Longaecker Firefighters said a lightning strike was to blame this afternoon for a house fire that left a Woodbury home heavily damaged. The house, located at 2725 Leyland Trail, received major smoke and fire damage to its interior, Woodbury Fire Department Commander Greg Schlichting said. No one was home at the two-story house at the time of the fire.
Minnesota flags flew at half-staff Monday in honor of a 24-year-old Woodbury soldier who died earlier this month. Ian Williams McConnell, an active duty Marine and 2005 Hill-Murray School graduate, died July 4. According to a news release from Gov. Mark Dayton's office, McConnell served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he performed explosive ordinance disposal. "Sgt. McConnell was compassionate and selfless and had a good sense of humor," according to a proclamation issued by Dayton. His parents are Andy and Elizabeth McConnell.