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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Authorities said a man arrested in St. Croix County was the driver in a hit-and-run crash that left an Amery woman dead. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that 50-year-old Lisa Allen died Monday, Feb. 12 — three days after she was struck by a car while crossing a street in Amery. Witnesses to the Feb. 9 incident gave police the license plate and a description of the suspect's vehicle, which briefly stopped before allegedly leaving the scene.
The trail for a New Richmond man who allegedly bolted from authorities went cold last week. Too cold, in fact, according to court records. A criminal complaint against Kenneth R. Shutes Jr. states he ran from a Feb. 6 traffic stop, but eventually called 911 to report he was so cold he needed an ambulance.
• Deputies responded at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 to a driving complaint at N1090 825th St. in Hager City. A complainant reported seeing a vehicle cross the centerline and possibly strike a barrier in Minnesota. The driver, a Hager City man, was found in a nearby bar. He was sober, but arrested for violating bond conditions. • Deputies responded to a collision involving a power pole at 11:06 p.m. Jan. 28 at 1108 Partridge Ave. in Elmwood. The vehicle fled the scene but was later found. A Spring Valley suspect was arrested for a probation hold.
HUDSON — Authorities said a two-day sting last week led to the rescue of human trafficking victims and would-be prostitution customers in St. Croix County. The operation was timed months in advance to coincide with the Super Bowl, occurring in Minneapolis — just a half hour’s drive from Hudson, where state, county and local authorities launched one arm of a two-pronged sting.
Courtroom logic says jurors tend not to look at defendants when they return a guilty verdict. A panel of Pierce County jurors faced no such burden in January after finding Michaela M. Sousa guilty of felony child abuse. The defendant was nowhere to be found. Pierce County District Attorney Sean Froelich said Sousa attended the first day of the trial, but was a no-show the second day. "That is very unusual," he said. "I have never experienced that."
Scott Walker announced plans last week to turn the state budget surplus into checks for Wisconsin families. The Republican governor outlined that plan along with several other proposals he called on legislators to pass during his Jan. 24 State of the State speech. Walker proposed a child tax credit that would provide families about $100 for every child under 18 living at home. "This is your reform dividend," he said of the $122 million proposal. "You deserve it."
A North Hudson coin transport business was targeted by current and former employees who made off with more than $30,000 in currency, according to charges filed last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. The alleged thefts were uncovered after a routine traffic stop in Hudson that snowballed into a multi-suspect investigation as coin boxes, surveillance video and interviews surfaced, according to charges filed in the ongoing case.
TOWN OF OAK GROVE -- A western Wisconsin man was checked out for injuries last weekend after a Highway 35 crash in rural Prescott. Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to reports of a single-vehicle crash at 10:10 a.m. Feb. 3 near 1220th Street in the town of Oak Grove.
Deputies were called to a suspicious person report at 11:07 p.m. Jan. 22 at N802 240th St. in Maiden Rock. A woman was found in the woods. She was arrested for outstanding warrants. A man with her was arrested on suspicion of obstructing an officer and felony bail jumping. Warrant arrests • Deputies located a man with a felony warrant Jan. 22 at N5076 860th St. in Ellsworth. A 24-year-old man was arrested for a probation hold.
A snowmobile incident at 5:37 p.m. Jan. 19 at 690th Avenue and County Road E in River Falls led to a man's arrest. A deputy tried stopping a snowmobile for riding on closed trails and other suspected violations. The snowmobile fled into a wooded area, prompting deputies and Wisconsin State Patrol troopers to respond. The rider, a Prescott man, got away but was later found and arrested on suspicion of fleeing in a snowmobile, probation violation and criminal property damage related to DNR violations.