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 Hager City man was hospitalized Saturday after his boat caught fire on land. According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Mark Anthony Bradley, 57, was working on his 1988 Celebrity boat at his home when its motor burst into flames. Authorities were called at 5:57 p.m. to the N1075 825th St. scene, where the trailered boat was on fire in the yard.
A warning shot rang out this week in the town of Hammond during an encounter authorities say stemmed from a misunderstanding between a property owner and a city assessor. According to a St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department report, a Hammond man fired off a warning shot with his rifle Thursday morning after seeing a man sizing up a shed on his property.
The owner of a Somerset fireworks business is offering a reward following the theft of fireworks. Apple Grand Prix reported about $8,500 worth of fireworks was stolen the night of June 11 from the County Road VV property, according to the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office. According to a news release, owner Robert Dewall believes the stolen fireworks are being resold. A $5,000 reward is being offered.
The Wisconsin State Patrol trooper accused of driving drunk during a crash that left a passenger injured pleaded not guilty last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Loren David Johnson, 31, made his initial court appearance Wednesday, June 10, before St. Croix Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman.
A St. Croix County prosecutor is receiving a promotion. St. Croix County Attorney Eric Johnson announced Wednesday that prosecutor Michael Nieskes will take on the role of deputy district attorney. “Mike is an experienced prosecutor and administrator who brings many assets to my office,” Johnson said of the Hudson resident. “I believe the appointment of Nieskes to deputy district attorney utilizes those assets and benefits St. Croix County.”
Multiple injuries were reported Saturday after a crash on Interstate 94 in St. Croix County when a pickup truck came unhitched and caused chain-reaction crashes. The incident began at 10:06 p.m. Saturday at the Highway 65 exit when an eastbound motor home driven by Michael J. Pagel, 63, of Green Bay, lost the pickup truck it was towing as it circled an off-ramp roundabout.
Crashes around Pierce County kept emergency responders busy over the weekend. According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, that began Friday night when an Ellsworth teen’s vehicle crashed and struck a tree in the town of El Paso. Sixteen-year-old Mylon M. Anderson was uninjured after the vehicle he was driving swerved to avoid a deer in the road and crashed at 9:57 p.m. on 400th Street near 450th Avenue. Other reported crashes included:
Mischa Redmond loves fast, expensive cars. Just don’t call him a car snob. “I really don’t want to be that guy,” Redmond said, colorfully describing the insufferable, snooty type. The Hudson man certainly doesn’t seem the part. Clad comfortably in T-shirt and shorts, he doesn’t bat an eye as he steps out onto a River Falls sidewalk to find his car being swarmed by teenagers. Instead of shooing them away, he invites the youngsters to check it out. Redmond even unlocks it so they can hop in the driver’s seat. The car, by the way, is a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan.
Parties return to court this week in a developing dispute that has stalled the draining of a Willow River State Park lake. Little Falls Lake -- a delta along the Willow River in Hudson and St. Joseph townships -- was poised to be drained June 1 amid state agency concerns that a dam there is in jeopardy of failure.
Bathtub assault -- Officers were called June 1 to W8050 170th Ave. in Hager City for a party at a vacant home. A person there was thrown into a bathtub containing cold water and was assaulted.