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. - There is a special place in Washington, D.C., dedicated to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, but you won’t find Lee Murphy’s name there. Not yet, anyway. But after more than six decades since his death, the necessary combination of perseverance and influence was achieved to include the late St. Croix County highway patrolman’s name on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall.
SOMERSET, Wis. - A Minneapolis man was on his way to kill his parents when he encountered a Somerset motorist who became the target of his aggression until police intervened, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. The Nov. 21 episode left a Somerset woman and a St. Croix County Sheriff's Office deputy with injuries following the apparently random act of violence on the road. The woman reported being chased on Highway 64 into Somerset by a stranger who crashed his SUV into her car multiple times along the way.
HUDSON, Wis. — The passage of time is hardly detectable as Mark Gherty discusses the shooting death of a 30-year-old Hudson mother 25 years ago. Distances, times of day, pieces of evidence — the Hudson attorney rattles them off with a passion and recollection about the Jane Neumann case that suggests it's something he's arguing tomorrow in court, not events from 25 years ago.
ELLSWORTH, Wis.—An alleged animal fighting operation discovered last month in Pierce County turned up an example of a bloodsport awash in cash, cruelty and crime that experts say generally flies under the public's radar. The Spring Valley-area bust resulted in more than 1,700 chickens and 20 dogs being seized, while the residents of the property now face dozens of animal fighting-related charges in Pierce County Circuit Court.
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.