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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Ted Lillie has had a unique vantage point from which to consider the state's current budget dilemma. For weeks now, the state senator from Lake Elmo has been among the select few chosen to negotiate a budget deal with Gov. Mark Dayton.
Call it a happy accident - a very happy one. Woodbury High School senior Cassie Cedarholm happened to work really hard in school. It paid off when she was named the class of 2011's salutatorian after compiling a 4.29 GPA. "(I) never really was trying to be salutatorian," Cedarholm said. "This was just sort of a little nice bonus." She'll take that impressive academic pedigree with her this fall when she begins classes at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Cedarholm plans to study biomedical engineering at Cornell.
After completing elementary school, Prithwis Mukhopadhyay made out a list with three goals. No. 1: To immerse himself in math and science courses that provided challenge and rigor. No. 2: To explore research fields in science until he could narrow the focus on a certain field. No. 3: To study engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Check, check and check. "I don't think success ever comes easy to a person," the Woodbury High School senior said. "You have to have a goal.
Woodbury residents will get an up-close look this month at some of the Midwest's most highly trained dogs in action. From June 12 to June 14, the city will play host to the Region 18 trials of the United State Police Canine Association.
Two people were arrested in Woodbury following a drug investigation that uncovered a "large amount" of methamphetamines. According to a preliminary police report, members of the Washington County narcotics unit assisted Ramsey County drug officers who executed a search warrant at 10:48 a.m. June 3 at a storage facility at 881 Weir Drive. The warrant was for a recreational vehicle belonging to the two suspects and for two storage lockers at the site.
A Woodbury man pleaded not guilty last week to two felonies, including charges that he knowingly violated predatory offender registration. Bennie Chapman Jr., 41, was arraigned June 2 on one count of drug possession and one count of knowing- or intentional-notification failure. Police arrested Chapman last month after investigating activity at Red Roof Inn. A warrant had been issued for Chapman's arrest after a check of his Woodbury residence revealed he no longer lived there.
A study examining transit options for Interstate 94 through Woodbury last week added another consideration: managed lanes. The MnPASS alternative - which already provides a dedicated lane on west- and south-metro highways for carpoolers, motorcycles, buses and those who pay a fee - marks the eighth option under consideration by the Gateway Corridor Commission. The commission is tasked with narrowing the transit options along the interstate between Minneapolis and Eau Claire, Wis., as a solution to an anticipated jump in traffic levels. The other options under consideration are express buses
Expectations are sky-high for this year's Relay For Life of South Washington County. After leading the state in fundraising in 2010, local Relay organizers are looking to stay on top - and keep raising the bar. "We want that distinction again," said Mara Mayberry, co-chairperson of the local Relay event. This year South Washington County Relay organizers are aiming for a goal of $230,000. All money raised goes toward the cancer battle: cancer research and funding of cancer treatments. Last year the South Washington County Relay attracted 949 walkers.
A Woodbury man faces two felonies stemming from allegations he used his ex-wife's personal information to generate fraudulent unemployment payments from the state of Minnesota. Andrew J. Sinaberg, 44, was charged in April with identity theft and receiving unemployment benefits by false representation.
In a legislative session punctuated by disagreement, lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton found nothing to argue about in a bill driven by a Woodbury family. Dayton signed "Tyler's Law" into the books May 24 held a ceremonial signing Tuesday. Though the Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature could not come to terms on an overall budget deal - under threat of a partial government shutdown - Tyler's Law drew no protest.