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 54-year-old Ellsworth man was charged with his eighth drunken-driving offense this week after a River Falls traffic stop. Percy L. Lacey was charged with felony OWI-eighth offense in Pierce County Circuit Court after the Sunday, June 18, incident. He was released from custody on a signature bond after his initial court appearance. According to a criminal complaint, a River Falls police officer was patrolling Highway 65 near Cemetery Road at 2:57 a.m. when he spotted a car crossing the centerline and struggling to stay in its lane.
MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker says the legislative districts he and his fellow Republicans approved in 2011 meet every constitutional standard — and he believes the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold them.
A Hammond man escaped serious injury after a weekend motorcycle crash in Pierce County. Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were called to the crash at 3:27 p.m. Sunday, June 18, to County Road CC and 130th Street in the town of Maiden Rock. Officers learned the driver, identified in a news release as 59-year-old Donald A. Kranz, was westbound on County Road CC when he lost control of his 2009 Harley-Davidson on loose gravel.
A River Falls man was in critical condition Tuesday, June 20, after an early-morning crash in Pierce County. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as 72-year-old Donald Engel, the driver of a 2001 Chevy Silverado that crashed on 830th Street near Highway 65 in the town of River Falls.
Three out-of-town women ended up behind bars last weekend after allegedly entering a North Hudson home without permission shortly after they'd been kicked out of a neighboring bar. The St. Croix County District Attorney's Office charged 27-year-old Natalia S. Rodas, 24-year-old Grey L. Waletich and 23-year-old Elizabeth B. Horkan with criminal trespassing, theft and disorderly conduct. All three charges are misdemeanors.
Pierce County prosecutors charged an Eau Claire man with armed burglary after he was allegedly found inside a rural Maiden Rock home. In addition to the felony charge, the suspect, Loren L. Suttles, 54, also faces misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing and theft. He made his initial appearance June 13 where he was released from Pierce County Jail on a signature bond. According to a criminal complaint:
HUDSON — One minute it was a typical, relaxing day on the beach. And then the screaming started. "Everything 180'd real quick," said Oakdale, Minn., resident Cole Ulrich, who was among those spending June 6 on the beach.
A St. Croix County sheriff's deputy was greeted with gunfire while attempting to serve legal papers, according to charges filed this week. The St. Croix County District Attorney's Office charged Alex A. Goossen, 25, with negligent handling of a weapon Wednesday, June 7. Goossen, of Baldwin, pleaded not guilty to the charge. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell ordered Goossen to be held on $500 cash bond, which he posted June 8. According to a criminal complaint:
The case against a Minnesota woman accused of vehicular homicide marks the first time the substance carfentanil has gone under Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory microscopes.
A rural River Falls couple was displaced after their home was destroyed by fire last weekend. The River Falls Fire Department said the town of Clifton home, owned by Nancy Fisher and Gary Johansmann, sustained heavy interior damage in the Sunday, June 11 fire. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Moody said the owners were out of town at the time of the fire and that no firefighters were injured while battling the blaze, first reported at 10:38 a.m.