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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An Eau Claire man left a New Richmond business holding the bag after selling it more than $16,000 worth of stolen lawn mowers, according to charges filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Prosecutors charged 36-year-old Ryan M. Sturz with one count of felony theft by false representation Nov. 16. According to a criminal complaint:
Prescott police are seeking the public's help in locating a missing teenager. Nineteen-year-old Rachel Elizabeth Hutcheson has been missing since late October when she didn't show up for work at Target in Cottage Grove, Prescott Police Office Chief Doug Ducklow said. He said she was last seen at her Prescott home, where she lives with her mother. Ducklow said there was nothing unusual that precipitated her disappearance and that it was "out of character for her to leave."
Authorities on Monday identified the Red Wing man killed in a two-vehicle crash in rural Hager City. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said 42-year-old Matthew Parker died in the crash, reported at 12:13 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. He was pronounced dead on the scene by the Pierce County medical examiner.
A nationwide warrant was issued last week for a St. Paul man accused of running an operation that took marijuana grown in Oregon and transported it to western Wisconsin, where more than 280 pounds of it were found earlier this year. The extradition warrant was signed Nov. 15 for 51-year-old Pheng Lee, who is charged with felony marijuana possession with intent to distribute and maintaining a drug trafficking place.
Multiple agencies responded Friday afternoon to a structure fire in the town of Somerset. Crews were called around 12:30 p.m. to 1649 85th St. for reports of a structure engulfed in flames. Somerset, New Richmond and town of St. Joseph fire crews were among responding agencies. St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, whose deputies also assisted, said horses that were inside the structure had escaped the blaze. Machinery and hay remained inside, he said. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
HUDSON — The passage of time is hardly detectable as Mark Gherty discusses the case of Jane Neumann's death. Distances, times of day, pieces of evidence — the Hudson attorney rattles them off with a passion and recollection about the case that suggests it's something he's arguing tomorrow in court, not events from 25 years ago.
An apparently random attack by a Minnesota motorist left a Wisconsin woman injured and a sheriff's deputy with injuries after he and three other officers battled to bring the man into custody. The incident was reported just after midnight Wednesday, Nov. 21, on Highway 64, where a woman reported being attacked by another motorist. "This was a random attack," St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said, adding that it appeared to be unprovoked. According to Knudson:
Ken Phillips' bike had cranked its last spin. The River Falls man was riding home from work last summer when the once-trusty bike's crank system conked out. He contemplated putting his backup road bike into action, but that was a short-term solution. The backup's tires were thin and slick — not viable for the four-season workload Phillips knew he'd need to put on the bike. "Rain, sleet, snow, ice," he said. "I'm serious. I do ride in the blizzards, too." Bicycling, after all, is Phillips' sole mode of transportation.
HUDSON — Attorneys on both sides of a high-profile St. Croix County threats case shook hands in late September after delivering impassioned closing arguments. The case was now out of their hands and into a jury's. Jurors deliberated until deep into the evening, when the deadlocked panel was sent home with orders to resume discussion the next morning. Morning arrived with the revelation that a juror had brought in a printout from home that he shared with other jurors — a violation of rules governing juror conduct during deliberations.
Hudson police weren't unfamiliar with the arrival of a White House dignitary — President George W. Bush made a campaign stop there in 2004. What authorities weren't familiar with was how to plan for it. "There was no blueprint that we could just start plugging people into," Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems said of Vice President Mike Pence's stop on Nov. 3 at Valley Cartage, where he campaigned for Gov. Scott Walker.