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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A large law enforcement presence closed off a section of Highway 35 Monday morning in Prescott. The situation, which closed the road from Kinnickinnic Street to Walter Street, was a "police incident," said Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand. She could not confirm reports of a possible standoff situation, but said officers remained on the scene as of 11:35 a.m. "We don't exactly know what's going on," she said. Prescott police, along with Pierce County Sheriff's Office deputies and an ambulance, were seen near the north end of the closure.
A Pierce County sheriff's deputy was injured last weekend after an apparent accidental gun discharge in South Dakota. Aurora County Sheriff David Fink said Marty Shepler was shot inside a vehicle while retrieving a pistol when "it went off." Fink said the incident, which was reported to authorities at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, appeared to be an accident. "That's what I believe it is," he said.
Residents of the St. Croix River valley woke up to minus-30 temperatures Wednesday, with even harsher windchills. See the attached photo gallery for images of those who braved the cold.
A Prescott teenager was injured Saturday after the SUV she was driving crashed into a tree. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said 17-year-old Lauran Korfhage was taken by ambulance to Regina Hospital in Hastings for her injuries, the extent of which were not disclosed. The crash was reported at 1:39 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, on 1180th Street near 497th Avenue in the town of Oak Grove. Deputies concluded Korfhage was northbound on 1180th Street when she lost control of a 2009 Lincoln MKX, which went into a ditch and struck the tree.
TOWN OF HUDSON — Anyone who's explored the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness knows the value of a good map. Maps depicting waterways, portage routes and campsites help visitors navigate the massive northern Minnesota wilderness, where charging stations are nonexistent and manmade landmarks are intentionally sparse. "This," Hudson resident Joe Spadino, clutching a map, said, "is the lifeline up there." But the map he held in his hand last week is unlike any other depicting the Boundary Waters.
A Hastings man was prepared to plead guilty for his role in a fatal motorcycle crash that killed his girlfriend, but a judge said he needed more convincing before accepting the man's plea to a reduced charge. Joshua D. Sykora began proceedings to plead guilty Friday, Jan. 4, to one count of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle in the June 25, 2016, crash that left 38-year-old Brooke A. Ptacek-Baker dead. The joint plea agreement called for Sykora to serve one year in jail and five years on probation; a four-year prison term would be stayed.
Two southeastern Minnesota men suspected in a St. Croix County home invasion were indicted in Minnesota on federal robbery charges after a multi-jurisdictional investigation. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota announced Dec. 21 that brothers Lennie D. Brooks, 33, Zumbro Falls, and Randy L. Brooks, 23, Wabasha, were indicted on one count each of interference with commerce by robbery. A third person, 20-year-old St. Paul resident Autumn M. Nichols, is charged with the same count.
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.
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: