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 teenage girl died Wednesday after the off-road vehicle she was in crashed along Highway 35 in Pepin County. The Pepin County Sheriff's Office said a utility vehicle crash was reported at 5:54 p.m. July 18 at W9557 Highway 35 in the town of Pepin. The victim was described as a 14-year-old girl. Her name was withheld pending family notification. Deputies said the girl was found with life-threatening injuries and was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Wabasha, where she was pronounced dead.
A Red Wing man was recovering Thursday after riding a motorcycle into a barbed-wire fence Wednesday outside a rural Ellsworth home. A spokeswoman said the rider, Anthony J. Pirri, 45, was listed in good condition Friday at Regions Hospital. Pierce County Sheriff's Office deputies were called at 2:18 p.m. July 4 to W5774 Highway 10 in the town of Ellsworth for a motorcycle crash. Deputies determined Pirri was driving an off-road motorcycle on private property when he lost control and struck the fence.
A 22-year-old Hastings man died last weekend after a trench collapse in Pierce County. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said 22-year-old Joseph T. Sanderson was airlifted Saturday, June 30, 2018, after the accident at N7155 690th St. in the town of Martell. Deputies said in a news release that Sanderson succumbed to his injuries later that day at Regions Hospital.
ELLSWORTH — The Prescott police officers fired by the city last year will not get their jobs back, a judge decided Tuesday. Buffalo-Pepin Circuit Court Judge James Duvall dismissed a lawsuit brought by former officers Bryan Massman and Ryan Most and denied motions from their attorney that sought to restore their jobs and provide them back-pay. The contract outlining the grievance process was ambiguous "at a minimum," the judge said, but concluded it was clear that, as probationary officers, they were not eligible for just-cause termination rights.
Officers responded to two separate crashes one day apart last weekend along the same stretch of Highway 35 in Pierce County. The first crash occurred at 10:35 a.m. Friday, June 22, when Pierce County sheriff's deputies were called to a motorcycle crash on Highway 35 near 1005th Street in Diamond Bluff. The driver, 65-year-old Thomas J. Kormylo, was taken by Red Wing ambulance to a hospital for undisclosed injuries. Deputies said the Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, resident was northbound on the highway when he swerved his 2007 Harley-Davidson to avoid a deer in the road.
Two people from Minnesota were injured Sunday in a Pierce County crash that authorities said appeared to involve alcohol. Pierce County sheriff's deputies were alerted to the crash at 5:50 a.m. June 17 on Highway 35 in Diamond Bluff near County Road O. According to deputies, the vehicle, a 2003 Ford Expedition driven by 26-year-old Elk River resident Kyiyoo Vinson, crashed and overturned several times in a ditch.
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.
The Red Wing man and Ellsworth woman sought in a western Wisconsin shooting case were arrested in Barron County, authorities announced Thursday. A post on the Barron County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page said the suspects, previously identified as Red Wing resident Shawn Goplen and Ellsworth resident Kari Blank, where taken into custody at the Rice Lake Dollar General store.
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.