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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Prescott city officials rebuked allegations of time-card discrepancies in the aftermath of three police department firings. City Administrator Jayne Brand and Interim Police Chief Rob Funk last week denied time card falsification, reported by Hastings radio station KDWA. The station aired reports questioning the timesheets of three Prescott police officers.
A Maiden Rock man told officers he had been out trapping gophers before being found asleep inside a vehicle parked in a field, where he was arrested on suspicion of his sixth drunken-driving offense. Tod C. Krogstad made his initial court appearance Oct. 2 in Pierce County Circuit Court on one count of OWI-sixth, a felony charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Krogstad, 53, was released from jail on a $5,000 signature bond set by Court Commissioner Jorv Gavic. According to a criminal complaint:
Bumps and bruises were reportedly the extent of injuries after an Ellsworth School District bus and a semi-trailer collided the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 11. According to an automated message sent to district families, the crash, which occurred near the Red Wing Regional Airport in Bay City, didn’t result in serious injuries for the 13 students on board bus No. 15 or its driver.
Wisconsin judges always get the final say in sentencing — including the power to override plea agreements between lawyers. A Pierce County judge demonstrated exactly that level of discretion this week in sentencing a drunken-driving offender on his ninth such conviction. The judge, Joe Boles, didn't believe the punishment fit the crime. "I cannot go along with the recommendation," Boles said at the Monday, Oct. 9, sentencing hearing for Mark B. Harmon, a homeless man who previously lived in Lake City, Minn.
TOWN OF CLIFTON -- A loose Great Dane running on a Pierce County road led to a weekend motorcycle crash that hospitalized two Minnesota residents. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said Randolph residents Jeffrey Thompson, 46, and Stacey Popp, 45, were southbound at 8:24 p.m. Oct. 7 on County Road F in the town of Clifton when the motorcycle they were on struck the dog.
A Pierce County man who faces 125 animal neglect charges returns to court Tuesday, Sept. 26 on allegations he was scouting land for a dog kennel when he violated terms of his bond. Prosecutors charged Elmwood resident Stuart E. West with misdemeanor bail jumping after an Aug. 7 incident in rural Pierce County. He makes his initial court appearance Sept. 26.
Hudson police opened a death investigation Wednesday after the discovery of a woman’s body along the St. Croix River. Police Chief Marty Jensen said the woman was a 74-year-old Hudson resident. Police were attempting to confirm her identity with relatives, he said. The death, he said, does not appear suspicious “at this point in time.” The chief said the woman had not been reported missing.
A St. Paul skydiving instructor had anything but a soft landing last month after allegedly attempting to parachute from atop a St. Croix County cellphone tower. Court documents filed this week state the man’s parachute got hung up on power lines on the way down, snagging him and causing him to receive an electrical shock. The 44-year-old survived the July 29 incident, but was later charged with two felonies stemming from the failed attempt, which left 127 customers without power for nearly two hours.
A popular east metro golf course must pay out $130,000 to former employees who were the targets of sexual harassment and reprisals by the owner, according to a Washington County District Court ruling. Judge Mary Hannon ruled Monday, Aug. 21, that William Doebler and Mississippi Dunes Golf Links violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) and allowed a hostile work environment for employees who faced sexual harassment and reprisal. Hannon admonished the golf course in her ruling, saying its failure to respond to sex discrimination allegations was "alarming."
A Prescott man was arrested on suspicion of multiple felonies Tuesday after a stabbing at his apartment. Prescott Interim Police Chief Robert Funk identified the suspect in a news release as 66-year-old Dennis A. Frank, 66. The victim, a female, was not identified Wednesday pending family notification. She was hospitalized “and is receiving care,” the release states. According to the release: