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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At least two students have been questioned about their role in a suspected shooting threat involving Prescott Middle School that unfolded late Tuesday. Prescott Interim Police Chief Rob Funk said officers intervened after receiving information about threats made during Tuesday night’s girls volleyball game. “The alleged threat has been thwarted,” he said.
Prescott city officials rebuked allegations of time-card discrepancies in the aftermath of three police department firings. City Administrator Jayne Brand and Interim Police Chief Rob Funk last week denied time card falsification, reported by Hastings radio station KDWA. The station aired reports questioning the timesheets of three Prescott police officers.
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:
A North Hudson man returns to court this week after being charged with two counts of sexual assault. St. Croix County prosecutors charged Jacob B. Nelson, 20, with one count of third-degree sexual assault — a felony — and one count of misdemeanor sexual assault stemming from a Sept. 30 incident at his apartment. Nelson made his initial court appearance Oct. 4, where St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack ordered him to post a $5,000 signature bond.
A Polk County woman died and a St. Croix County teenager was seriously injured after the vehicles they were driving crashed Saturday. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 38-year-old Balsam Lake resident Aundria Schadow was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, reported at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Highway 8 and 170th Street in the town of Balsam Lake.
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.
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.