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 New Richmond-area man was arrested Thursday after a live pipe bomb was discovered at a Baldwin business. St. Croix County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brent Standaert said the item was reported just before 11 a.m. July 26 at the auction company Smith Sales, where it was found among items brought in by a woman. Deputies learned the Polk County woman was unaware there was an explosive device among the items she brought in to have auctioned off.
ELLSWORTH — Michaela Sousa faced stiff headwinds going into her sentencing hearing Tuesday in Pierce County Circuit Court. The 26-year-old had skipped out of two trials charging her with felony child abuse, the second of which ended in February with a guilty verdict and an empty defendant's chair. The unusual circumstances of her trial marked an apparent flight pattern that included Sousa running from police upon learning she was being arrested in 2016 after her daughter was found with serious head injuries.
A River Falls man was seriously injured Tuesday morning after the motorcycle he was driving was struck by a pickup truck in Hudson. Hudson police said the motorcyclist, whose identity wasn't immediately available, sustained severe leg injuries in the crash, which occurred just before 8 a.m. on Carmichael Road. Police said the pickup driver, a Hudson man, was southbound on Carmichael Road turning onto the eastbound Interstate 94 on ramp when it struck the motorcycle, which was northbound on Carmichael. The motorcyclist was taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
Boat stolen in Red Wing found on Mississippi River Water patrol deputies responded to a boat incident at 2:20 p.m. July 12 on the Mississippi River at Maiden Rock. A boat, found swamped and tied to shore in Pepin County, was determined to have been stolen in Red Wing. Staged car fight draws warning from officers
A teenage girl died Wednesday after the off-road vehicle she was in crashed along Highway 35 in Pepin County. The Pepin County Sheriff's Office said a utility vehicle crash was reported at 5:54 p.m. July 18 at W9557 Highway 35 in the town of Pepin. The victim was described as a 14-year-old girl. Her name was withheld pending family notification. Deputies said the girl was found with life-threatening injuries and was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Wabasha, where she was pronounced dead.
NEW RICHMOND — There is little doubt time is running out on the Lowrey Hotel. The inn, which caters to low-income renters whose struggles often involve addiction and criminal activity, is facing an Aug. 31 expiration on its lease. After that, the tenants, whose legal and financial status often create barriers to affordable housing, will be left with few options. Lowrey owner Stacy Wright said she has worked for years to earn the trust — not just of community leaders, but also of her tenants — and is saddened to see what Sept. 1 will bring.
A St. Croix County judge told a chronic drunk driver this week that decisions made during his next prison stint will likely determine how much longer he'll continue wearing a jail uniform. "If you don't change, sir, you're going to be in orange for the rest of your life," Judge Edward Vlack said Tuesday, July 17, while sentencing Roberts resident Shawn A. Harstad.
Mahlon Mitchell isn't fazed by the fact he's never held public office. In fact, the Fitchburg resident said he sees it as an advantage as he makes his bid to be Wisconsin's next governor. "We have had enough political pundits" and career politicians in Madison, the 41-year-old said last week in a RiverTown Multimedia interview.
NEW RICHMOND — There are no frills at the Lowrey Hotel. For $350 a month, you get a bed, a desk, a chair and a dresser. Cheap plastic racks provide a makeshift food pantry if you like. The hotel has one microwave for its 50 guests to share. Television, cable or internet? Try somewhere else. Lowrey owner Stacy Wright outfits guests with linens, towels and pillows that they can bring downstairs weekly to be laundered. She said she's not there to pamper her guests.
Officers on alert following a $25,000 fireworks theft in Somerset arrested a group of Twin Cities men in June after they arrived in the middle of the night outside a St. Croix County fireworks store in trucks allegedly packed with tools to commit a burglary.