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 the rising morning sun may have been a factor in a Thursday crash that killed a New Richmond man. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Office said 27-year-old Joshua J. Derrick was killed in the two-vehicle crash that left a second driver hospitalized. That man, 49-year-old Brian W. Holldorf of Baldwin, was take to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with undisclosed injuries.
A 33-year-old woman was critically injured Sunday after being shot on private hunting land in Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said the woman, of rural Clear Lake, was leaving a hunting stand at 7:15 p.m. when she was shot in a field by a 17-year-old boy from Star Prairie who was hunting on adjacent property.
One person was airlifted and three others were transported by ambulance Sunday after a two-car crash near Bay City. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said 69-year-old Bay City resident John M. Farrell Jr. was taken by LifeLink III air ambulance to Regions Hospital. A Regions spokeswoman said he was listed in fair condition Tuesday.
Communities in Pierce and St. Croix counties were among municipalities that were awarded broadband funding grants from the state Thursday. The Public Service Commission (PSC) and Gov. Scott Walker announced the broadband grant awards, which total $7 million. The funds were distributed among 37 communities. The projects in Pierce and St. Croix counties represent build-outs of existing projects that have been developed in stages.
Lawmakers traveled this week to western Wisconsin to learn what residents think of a massive manufacturing project on the other side of the state. Foxconn was the only item on the agenda Monday, Oct. 1, at events in New Richmond and River Falls, where Somerset Sen. Patty Schachtner was joined by Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh and Sen. Janet Bewley of Mason.
Prosecutors on Friday charged a Pierce County Sheriff's Office deputy with multiple counts of child sexual assault. St. Croix County District Attorney Michael Nieskes, serving as special counsel in the case of Allen J. Wojcik, charged the 31-year-old with two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and two related counts. All four charges are felonies. The sheriff's office this week placed Wojcik on paid administrative leave. The allegations did not occur during the course of his work with the department.
A Pierce County Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of child sexual assault. According to the Pierce County Jail log, Allen J. Wojcik, 31, was booked at 5:32 p.m. Sept. 26 on suspicion of second-degree sexual assault of a child. He was transferred to the St. Croix County jail, where he was also listed on a Wednesday jail log.
A Bay City man was killed Friday when the tractor he was driving rolled on top of him, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. Deputies on Monday, Sept. 24, identified the man as Marlan M. Hanson, 71. Authorities were called at 1:26 p.m. Friday to a home on 300th Avenue in the town of Hartland for a tractor accident. Investigation revealed Hanson was trying to remove a downed tree on his driveway with an Allis Chalmers tractor when the machine rolled on top of him. The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office pronounced Hanson dead on the scene.
Four days of trial testimony and nearly 11 hours of jury deliberation in the case of a teenager who allegedly threatened to "shoot kids" were all for naught Monday after a juror was held in contempt of court, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack released all 12 jurors on Sept. 25 after learning one of them had brought in a document he had printed off the internet about the Parkland school massacre in Florida.
An investigation into drug activity at a Hager City strip club led to a felony charge against a dancer at the establishment. A criminal complaint filed Sept. 11 in Pierce County Circuit Court states the 32-year-old woman sold a bag of marijuana to an informant for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. Prosecutors charged the woman, St. Paul resident Chantal A. Jenkins, with one count of THC delivery, a felony. Jenkins' initial court appearance is set for Nov. 5.