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
- Member for
- 5 years 7 months
St. Croix County jurors convicted a Hammond man last week of his eighth impaired driving offense. It took the jury less than three hours June 6 to convict Jeffrey A. Cormican of all four counts, including OWI-eighth offense, which calls for a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years. The 49-year-old was also convicted of operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration — a felony — and two misdemeanors, resisting an officer and operating while revoked.
The alarms were raised came when a Hudson police officer saw a truck that matched one reported stolen days earlier. The second red flag went up when he watched the truck roll through a stop sign.
HUDSON — The trial for a New Richmond teenager accused of telling others he planned “to shoot kids” was set last week in a hearing where the judge announced there was probable cause to move the case forward. The defendant, Nicholas H. Cherrier, also pleaded not guilty at the Friday, June 1, hearing to felony terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. A three-day trial is set to begin July 31.
The former owner of a Hudson craft brewery is suing the Twin Cities business that acquired it in 2015, alleging it’s not abiding an agreement reached during the sale. The case was filed May 29 in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
A Somerset man was killed and a Houlton man was injured Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle crash outside Hudson. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office said 35-year-old Pedro Luis Vera Cornier was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff’s deputies were called at 7:03 a.m. to county roads E and I in the town of St. Joseph for a two-vehicle crash. It was determined Vera Cornier was driving a 2004 Chevy Aveo that was found with severe driver’s-side damage.
Fire displaced two residents and destroyed a 19th-century home Saturday in Hudson. Hudson firefighters said the 481 Jacobs Lane home was left uninhabitable after the fire, which took eight agencies to battle. St. Croix County property records show the home is owned by Mary Ann Windolff. Hudson Assistant Fire Chief Jim Perucca said she and her adult son were forced to make housing arrangements. No one was injured in the fire, which Perucca said began in the basement. The cause was undetermined, but Perucca said it appeared "electrical in nature."
HUDSON — A Roberts man implicated in a church embezzlement scheme with his wife was convicted Monday of three criminal charges but avoided prison. Unlike his wife — a former St. Paul school administrator who was sentenced last year to two years in prison — Michael LaVenture will avoid time behind bars after pleading no contest to three misdemeanor theft counts. "I'm sorry for what happened between my wife and the church," a choked-up LaVenture said during his June 11 sentencing hearing.
A River Falls lawyer will challenge for an Assembly seat while a former Capitol police officer will seek to unseat the St. Croix County sheriff. Filings for the November election closed Friday, June 1, in Wisconsin, leaving a three-way Democratic primary for the Senate District 31 seat. Taylor resident and Wisconsin Farm Bureau local affairs director Steve Boe and Trempealeau County Supervisor Jonathan Schultz will compete with former Assembly member Jeff Smith, of Eau Claire, for the 31st Senate District seat.
HUDSON — The New Richmond man accused of shooting his son pleaded not guilty last week to first-degree intentional homicide in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Kayle Fleischauer, appearing for the first time in court wearing street clothes after being released on bond the previous week, also pleaded not guilty to a second count — possession of a firearm by a convicted out-of-state felon.
A Hastings man blamed his gambling addiction on an embezzlement scheme that netted him $70,000 at a Prescott-area golf course, but a plea agreement struck Tuesday will allow him to repay that money while addressing his problems. Robert P. Magnuson pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft May 29 in Pierce County Circuit Court, a charge that will be dismissed if the 58-year-old abides the terms of an agreement.