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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Two people from southeastern Minnesota was hospitalized Friday after the motorcycle they were on struck a deer on a Pierce County roadway. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department said 47-year-old Robert Hoth and 50-year-old Cheri Hoth were airlifted after being thrown from the crash, reported at 7:06 p.m. May 18 in the town of Maiden Rock. Deputies said the crash occurred on Highway 35 near 452nd Street, where the motorcycle, driven by Robert Hoth, ran into a deer. The crash sent the southbound bike into a ditch, where the Rochester residents were ejected.
A Red Wing man and an Ellsworth woman were being sought by authorities Monday in connection with a western Wisconsin shooting. The Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said arrest warrants were issued for 34-year-old Shawn H. Goplen and 36-year-old Kari L. Blank. The sheriff’s office said Goplen and Blank were suspects in a shooting reported at 10:42 p.m. Sunday in Dunn County’s town of Tainter.
A Red Wing woman was injured early Friday after the vehicle she was in crashed into a Pierce County ditch and flipped. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said the crash, reported at 12:14 a.m. May 18, occurred on Highway 35 east of 570th Street in the town of Isabelle. The driver was identified as 20-year-old Olivia Brown. She was taken by private vehicle to Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Wing with non-life threatening injuries.
A Prescott mother and her live-in boyfriend returned to court this week on allegations they kept four children living in an apartment so reportedly soiled that a police officer said a fish tank appeared to be the cleanest thing in the residence.
ELLSWORTH — A Prescott man convicted of plunging a knife into a woman's neck was sentenced last week to prison. Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joe Boles said even though the near-fatal assault Dennis A. Frank committed last year on the woman appeared out of character to those who knew him, the hints of premeditation and the phony story he told police dictated a prison term. The fake story, Boles said at the April 4 sentencing, was an attempt "to get him off the hook."
A River Falls man with a history of criminal convictions is back in jail and charged with multiple felonies after a string of incidents Saturday in Pierce County. The Pierce County District Attorney's Office charged Chase G. Kohl, 33, with five felonies — operating without consent while carrying a weapon, burglary, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, taking and driving a vehicle without consent, criminal property damage and being a convicted felon in possession of firearm.
Two Hager City men were ticketed for reckless driving after they allegedly raced down a Hager City roadway, where one vehicle nearly struck an oncoming vehicle and the other crashed into a business, according to authorities. A Pierce County Sheriff's Office accident report states Randy W. Trok, 68, and Tony S. Burow, 41, were both northbound March 31 on County Road VV when the incident occurred. Trok's vehicle, a 1930 custom Ford coupe, crashed into Hager City Glass Co. property.
A Hager City man was hospitalized Tuesday while attempting to put out a fire that destroyed his garage. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said 59-year-old Douglas Volenec was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Wing for injuries sustained while trying to extinguish the blaze on his own.
An Ellsworth Middle School student who allegedly referenced bringing a gun to school was taken into custody Wednesday morning. An automated voice message from Ellsworth School District Superintendent Barry Cain went out the morning of Wednesday, March 21, alerting families to the situation. Cain said in the message the student did not make any threats toward others and that it didn't occur at the school. The text did, however, "mention thoughts of bringing a weapon to school," Cain told families.
A La Crosse man picked up his third active fleeing police charge last week after a traffic incident beginning at the High Bridge connecting Pierce and Goodhue counties. Pierce County prosecutors charged 22-year-old Dean J. Mickelson with two felonies — attempting to flee an officer, meth possession — and three misdemeanors stemming from the March 5 incident. He was released on a $20,000 signature bond after a March 6 hearing before Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joe Boles.