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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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.
Whether a New Richmond teenager's remark about "shooting kids" was a true threat or a bad joke is in the hands of a St. Croix County jury. Judge Edward Vlack gave the case to the jury at 11:23 a.m. Friday, when they began deliberating the fate of Nicholas H. Cherrier. The 19-year-old is charged with making a terrorist threat, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of three-and-a-half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The evidence portion of the trial wrapped on Thursday and lawyers presented closing remarks Friday morning before jurors received the case.
A Beldenville man was injured Wednesday after the car he was driving crashed in a rural Pierce County ditch. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said 20-year-old Cole Hayes was southbound on County Road J near County Road N at 7:51 a.m. in the town of Martell when the 2015 Fiat 500 he was driving missed a curve and entered the ditch, where it overturned. Hayes was taken by Ellsworth Area Ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital for his injuries, the extent of which were not disclosed. Ellsworth firefighters assisted deputies on the scene.
Jurors were shown a recording Tuesday of a New Richmond teenager explaining to an investigator what he said that raised alarms earlier this year at his workplace and around the community. The 19-year-old, who is on trial for making a terrorist threat, was interviewed March 30 by St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office investigator Cary Rose.
As UW-River Falls updates its mission statement for the first time in 30 years, it does so with a nod to connections far beyond the campus. University officials said the statement, which underwent a public hearing last week, will reflect a global perspective, updated offerings, vision and values representing the campus' evolution since 1988, the last time the mission statement was revised.
HUDSON — Online predator investigations in St. Croix County didn't start and stop with the Super Bowl. A joint operation among state officials and local law enforcement agencies made headlines and netted multiple arrests when the massive sporting event descended on the Twin Cities earlier this year. As it turned out, it was just the beginning of such investigations in the area. "The officers cut their teeth during the Super Bowl operation," said St. Croix County Sheriff Office Lt. Brent Standaert.
A St. Croix County jury will decide this week whether a New Richmond teenager's comments represented a threat that put a business and a school district on high alert — or whether it was all a bad joke. Attorneys on Monday, Sept. 17 laid out competing descriptions of how the events surrounding a March 29 comment by 19-year-old Nicholas Cherrier should be interpreted. The New Richmond man is charged in St. Croix County Circuit Court with one count of making terrorist threats, a felony to which he pleaded not guilty.
More than three-dozen felony charges were filed Monday against a Pierce County woman accused of housing an animal-fighting operation on her farm.