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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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.
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."