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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HUDSON, Wis. — Four days of trial testimony and nearly 11 hours of jury deliberation in the case of a teenager who allegedly threatened to "shoot kids" were all for naught Monday after a juror was held in contempt of court, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack released all 12 jurors on Sept. 24 after learning one of them had brought in a document he had printed off the internet about the Parkland school massacre in Florida.
RIVER FALLS, Wis.—A roofer fatally attacked a co-worker at a River Falls-area job site with a saw, authorities said Tuesday. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said a 37-year-old man died at the scene and a 24-year-old suspect was arrested on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide. The deceased was identified as St. Louis, Mo., resident Israel Valles-Flores.
ELLSWORTH, Wis. — A 26-year-old woman was sentenced Tuesday, July 24, to eight years in prison and five years on extended supervision for felony child abuse as a judge reprimanded statements she made in court.
STILLWATER, Minn. -- Data from the cellphone of a North Hudson, Wis., man involved in a fatal crash will be reviewed before his trial next year — nearly three years after the collision that claimed the life of a Hudson mother. According to Minnesota court records in Washington County, prosecutors and lawyers for Drew Fleming, 22, will be able to use data from the phone he had with him at the time of the crash that killed Megan Goeltz, who was pregnant at the time of incident.
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn.—Customer complaints led to criminal charges Tuesday for a 31-year-old Minnesota man accused of bilking the elderly out of snow-removal payments in Minnesota, Wisconsin and seven other states. The Wisconsin justice department on Tuesday, May 8, announced five theft charges — two felonies and three misdemeanors — against Matthew D. Erickson, the owner of Snow Angels LLC.
HUDSON, Wis. — Bail was set at $500,000 on Monday, April 16, for a western Wisconsin man who prosecutors say killed his 19-year-old son. St. Croix County District Attorney Michael Nieskes said in the bail hearing in Hudson, Wis., that first-degree intentional homicide charges were expected to be filed Tuesday against 42-year-old Kayle Alan Fleischauer of New Richmond in the shooting death of his son, St. Paul resident Chase Alan Fleischauer who also had attended college in Brainerd.
RIVER FALLS, Wis. — The River Falls school community was shaken Monday, March 19, following the death of a student. Superintendent Jamie Benson sent an automated voice message to families in the district confirming the death of a sixth-grade student. "The death of any young person is a loss that, in one way or another, affects us all," he said in the recorded message. Authorities were called at about 3:30 p.m. Monday to the middle school for a 911 report of an unresponsive student. The child, an 11-year-old girl, was found dead, according to River Falls police.
NEW RICHMOND, Wis.—The trail for a New Richmond man who allegedly bolted from authorities in far western Wisconsin went cold last week. Too cold, in fact, according to court records. A criminal complaint against Kenneth R. Shutes Jr. states he ran from a Feb. 6 traffic stop, but eventually called 911 to report he was so cold he needed an ambulance.
HUDSON, Wis. — A guilty plea was entered and two sexual assault charges were dismissed this week in the case of a former Hudson girls basketball coach. Under a plea agreement announced Tuesday, Oct. 31, Louis J. French pleaded guilty to using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Three other charges — first-degree child sex assault, repeated sex assault of the same child and causing a child to view sexual activity — were dismissed as part of the agreement.
ELLSWORTH, Wis. — A rural Elmwood man might have used unconventional means to raise dogs, but it didn't amount to the dozens of crimes he's charged with, his attorney claims. Stuart Earl West had research that backed up the diet of deer and cattle carcasses he fed the yellow Labrador dogs he bred and sold, defense attorney Keith Belzer said during the first day of testimony Monday, Oct. 23, in West's trial.