Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin.
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A Republican proposal would fund Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' campaign pledge for tax relief, but would tap different funds to pay for it. Rather than pay for the cuts through Evers' preferred option — a reduction of the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit — the GOP proposal would fund it through state budget surplus funds.
STILLWATER — Though the three-year anniversary of Megan Goeltz's death is nearing, the event remains a raw nerve for her survivors, who described her loss during an emotional hearing Monday in Washington County District Court. "Our hearts are forever broken," her sister, Melissa Goeltz Lewis, said at the Jan. 7 hearing. The hearing brought to an end the criminal case against the driver in the crash that killed Goeltz, North Hudson resident Drew Fleming. He pleaded guilty to one count of reckless driving, a gross misdemeanor.
An off-duty St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving over the holiday weekend. Sheriff Scott Knudson said in a news release issued Wednesday, Jan. 2, that deputy John Shilts Jr., a seven-year veteran of the department, was arrested by Wisconsin State Patrol troopers after the Dec. 30 traffic stop outside New Richmond.
A seemingly common roofing project turned into a gruesome death scene in August at a rural River Falls home. Pierce County prosecutors allege one roofer attacked another with a circular saw while they were atop a home on County Road FF in the town of River Falls. The victim, identified by authorities as 37-year-old St. Louis, Mo., resident Israel Valles-Flores, died Aug. 6 on the rooftop after first responders tried unsuccessfully to save him.
TOWN OF PLEASANT VALLEY — Tire screeches aren't an unusual occurrence outside Troy and Jessica Reis' home. "No one slows down," Jessica said. The aging farmhouse is situated at an awkward rural intersection where drivers often make last-second adjustments to make their turns. There was no tire screech, however, leading up to the Dec. 16 crash that shook the house they rent. "It literally sounded like a bomb went off," Jessica said last week, recalling the incident, which happened at about 2:30 a.m.
Two southeastern Minnesota men suspected in a St. Croix County home invasion were indicted in Minnesota on federal robbery charges after a multi-jurisdictional investigation. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota announced Dec. 21 that brothers Lennie D. Brooks, 33, Zumbro Falls, and Randy L. Brooks, 23, Wabasha, were indicted on one count each of interference with commerce by robbery. A third person, 20-year-old St. Paul resident Autumn M. Nichols, is charged with the same count.
Authorities said alcohol may have been a factor in a head-on crash Saturday that killed a 21-year-old Somerset woman known for her love of horse riding. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office said Stefanie S. Biedler was killed in the crash, reported at 11:17 p.m. Dec. 22 in the eastbound lanes of Highways 35/64 in Somerset. Deputies began receiving reports six minutes earlier of a wrong-way driver headed west in the eastbound lanes.
Awakened by a loud crash in the middle of the night, a rural River Falls woman went to the first floor of her house and found the front end of a car inside it. Authorities later determined the car vaulted out of a ditch, flew 110 feet in the air before punching a massive hole through the side of the town of Pleasant Valley house. "The driver, the residents and others on the road were fortunate that this was not worse than it was in regards to personal injury," St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said.
A St. Croix County man and his sister were responsible for the theft of a Salvation Army kettle this month, according to Minnesota authorities. Anoka County prosecutors on Wednesday, Dec. 19, charged Houlton resident Travis H. Johnson, 30, and Lakeland, Minn., resident Amanda L. Johnson, 24, with felony possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor theft. According to a criminal complaint warrant:
Mark Gherty had set his sights on becoming a teacher. Though his father was a leading legal mind in St. Croix County at the time, the younger Gherty had plans outside the courtroom. And then the 1970s happened.