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 Maiden Rock man told officers he had been out trapping gophers before being found asleep inside a vehicle parked in a field, where he was arrested on suspicion of his sixth drunken-driving offense. Tod C. Krogstad made his initial court appearance Oct. 2 in Pierce County Circuit Court on one count of OWI-sixth, a felony charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Krogstad, 53, was released from jail on a $5,000 signature bond set by Court Commissioner Jorv Gavic. According to a criminal complaint:
Police credited construction workers with freeing a woman who was found pinned under her own car Wednesday in New Richmond. New Richmond Police Chief Craig Yehlik said the crash, reported at 5 p.m. Oct. 12 in the 1000 block of Tamarack Place, occurred when a 65-year-old woman was run over by her own car. He said the woman, whose identity was not released, parked the car in her driveway and walked behind it. The unoccupied vehicle began to roll backward and struck the woman as she got to the street.
Bumps and bruises were reportedly the extent of injuries after an Ellsworth School District bus and a semi-trailer collided the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 11. According to an automated message sent to district families, the crash, which occurred near the Red Wing Regional Airport in Bay City, didn’t result in serious injuries for the 13 students on board bus No. 15 or its driver.
Motorcyclists injured Deputies responded at 8:24 p.m. Oct. 7 to county roads F and MM in Prescott for a motorcycle-vs.-dog crash. The driver and passenger both sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized. The dog's owner was located. Sexual assault reported in Hager City
A revoked driver convicted 14 times of drunken driving crashed into a cage of propane tanks before being stopped by police, who found alcohol in his system, according to charges filed this week in St. Croix County. The Monday, Oct. 9, incident led to one count of felony operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration-15th offense and a misdemeanor count of operating while revoked against 64-year-old Mark Alan Johnson. He was also cited for failure to notify police of an accident.
TOWN OF RICHMOND -- A New Richmond High School student was killed Wednesday, Oct. 11 after a crash involving a semi-trailer. St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said the student was a 16-year-old girl. Her identity was not immediately released pending family notification.
Wisconsin judges always get the final say in sentencing — including the power to override plea agreements between lawyers. A Pierce County judge demonstrated exactly that level of discretion this week in sentencing a drunken-driving offender on his ninth such conviction. The judge, Joe Boles, didn't believe the punishment fit the crime. "I cannot go along with the recommendation," Boles said at the Monday, Oct. 9, sentencing hearing for Mark B. Harmon, a homeless man who previously lived in Lake City, Minn.
TOWN OF CLIFTON -- A loose Great Dane running on a Pierce County road led to a weekend motorcycle crash that hospitalized two Minnesota residents. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said Randolph residents Jeffrey Thompson, 46, and Stacey Popp, 45, were southbound at 8:24 p.m. Oct. 7 on County Road F in the town of Clifton when the motorcycle they were on struck the dog.
'These boots are made for walkin' • Police found a woman walking at 2:44 a.m. Sept. 25 at Highway 63 and 825th Street South in Hager City. She said she was walking to Red Wing and was getting tired. She was told to stay out of the roadway. • A woman waved down police at 2:56 a.m. Sept. 25 at N1090 825th St. because she wanted a ride home. She was advised to call a taxi. Sticky fingers • A boat was reported stolen at 11:02 a.m. Sept. 25 at W9710 290th Ave. in Hager City..
Critter patrol • A motorist reported hitting a deer at 5:41 a.m. Sept. 18 at highways 29 and 63 in the town of Martell. There was damage to the vehicle. • A rogue cow was out for stroll at 5:08 p.m. Sept. 18 at 410th Avenue and County Road D near Ellsworth. Police found the owner and the cow was escorted back to the pasture. Sticky fingers • A complainant reported theft by fraud at 10:23 a.m. Sept. 18 at W10918 County Road FF near River Falls. Lost phone