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 St. Croix County (Wis.) sheriff's deputy likely consumed at least 15 shots of vodka before getting behind the wheel of his squad, where he was found passed out with the vehicle's transmission in drive and his foot on the brake. Those findings were detailed in an internal investigation report on former deputy Ryan Fowler, who resigned his position Dec. 1, as part of a separation agreement with St. Croix County.
A death investigation is continuing in a northwestern Wisconsin county after the discovery of the remains of a Hudson man, who was a confidential drug informant, were found inside a burned building. The Rusk County Sheriff's Office did not respond to inquiries about the incident, reported Dec. 7, at a mink ranch property in the town of Stubbs, about 130 miles northeast of the Twin Cities. According to multiple sources, the remains found in the building belonged to Jeffrey W. Putbrese, a 28-year-old from Hudson.
ELLSWORTH, Wis. -- A Maiden Rock, Wis., teenager was charged with a felony after a high school dodgeball game allegedly turned violent. Pierce County prosecutors charged 18-year-old Jacob Sigler with one count of substantial battery in connection with the Oct. 11 incident at Ellsworth High School. A criminal complaint filed Dec. 15 alleges he slugged another student in the head after an intense volley of dodgeballs. Court records state Sigler’s first court appearance is Feb. 3. According to the complaint:
NEW RICHMOND, Wis. — Violent episodes over the course of three days in St. Croix County bars led to multiple charges against a Minnesota man with a lengthy criminal history. Stillwater resident Trevor P. Bjorkman sucker-punched a man Friday, Dec. 16, at a Somerset establishment two days before brandishing knives and leading authorities on a two-hour, below-zero manhunt in rural New Richmond, according to charges in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
TROY, Wis. -- A Wisconsin girl killed in a crash last week swerved off the road to avoid being struck by another motorist on her cellphone, according to new information...
A Minnesota man who cultivated a notable alter-ego as a sports fan was allegedly connected to more than 170 pounds of seized marijuana after drug seizures in his home state and in Wisconsin. St. Croix County (Wis.) authorities called the discovery of more than 134 pounds of suspected marijuana at a Houlton storage unit — the largest drug seizure they have handled in recent memory.
BALDWIN, Wis. -- St. Croix County prosecutors charged a former Baldwin daycare worker and state officials fined the facility after the woman allegedly broke a toddler’s leg while handling him...
HUDSON, Wis. - A wild ride through multiple farm fields that allegedly inflicted thousands of dollars in crop damage led to felony charges last week for five people. St. Croix...
PRESCOTT -- A Prescott man accused of assaulting a police officer and threatening the officer’s family returns to court this month in Pierce County Circuit Court. Prosecutors charged 32-year-old Christopher...
ELLSWORTH -- An Ellsworth man was charged with a felony sex crime in Minnesota, where he is accused of soliciting underage sex. Robert John Thomas, 26, waived extradition to Hennepin...