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Night to Unite Parties Set for Tuesday in Stillwater Area

The Stillwater Police Department will be celebrating their annual “Night to Unite” event from 4:30-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 in Washington Square Park. Night to Unite is an event to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts, as well as strengthen and develop police community partnerships. Highlights of Stillwater’s Night to Unite event include tours of police equipment, fire trucks, a K-9 demonstration and a chance to meet Stillwater’s fire fighters, police officers, paramedics, City Council Members and members of the U.S. National Guard. There will be treats, games, and prizes. Continue Reading →

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Police Seek Information on Vandalism at Bayport BBQ

Bayport Police are looking for information related to vandalism at the Bayport BBQ. Someone spray painted all over the front of the restaurant, and screwed the front door to the door frame and broke off the screw heads. If you saw any suspicious vehicles or persons in the area of the 5th Ave North on Tuesday/Wednesday in the early morning hours of July 29, call the Bayport Police at 651-275-4400 or 651-439-9381.//

not how I planned on starting my day. lots of troubled people out there. contrary to the spray paint, we are actually… Continue Reading →

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Felony Charges Filed After Pedestrian Hit by Suspected Drunken Driver in Downtown Stillwater

A 26-year-old man was charged with felony criminal operation of a vehicle after hitting a pedestrian on Water Street in downtown Stillwater last weekend. At about 2:20 a.m. July 19,  Stillwater police were patrolling bar close on foot when heard a revving engine and saw a vehicle swerving and speeding onto Water Street from Chestnut just before it hit a pedestrian. Officers started running to their squad cars to stop the truck, when the officers heard a loud crash near the 300 block of Water Street South — and saw the truck hit a man who was standing with a group of people on the road near the Freight House. According to police, the impact violently threw the pedestrian, Ryan Jacoby, 23, of Somerset, Wis., into the air, causing him to spin several times before landing face down on the ground. Jacoby  was taken to Regions Hospital where he was treated for a broken nose, concussion and lacerations on his head and face. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Police Search for Suspect After Alleged Drug Deal is Interrupted

If you’ve noticed a police presence — including helicopters and K-9 officers — on Greeley Street, local law enforcement is searching for a person who fled after an alleged drug deal was interrupted. Police “interrupted a drug deal while looking for a juvenile runaway,” Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender said. “One party fled and we are looking for him.” According to police, there is no danger to the public. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Man Charged with Kidnapping and Criminal Sexual Conduct

A 26-year-old Stillwater man was charged today in Washington County District Court with kidnapping and two counts of criminal sexual conduct. Jeremiah Daniel Johnson, 26, of Stillwater, faces felony charges of kidnapping and 3rd and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct that allegedly occurred on Sunday, July 5. According to the criminal complaint:

Johnson found an 18-year-old woman, intoxicated, passed out and incapacitated, next to a telephone pole at the intersection of Edgerton and Case in St. Paul. Witnesses told police that Johnson saw the woman passed out on the sidewalk, got out of his truck, picked her up, with her arms dangling “limp and lifeless” and carried her to his truck and drove off with her inside, according to the complaint. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Prison Escapee Captured

Police have captured the inmate who escaped from the minimum security unit last week at Stillwater Prison. Patrick James Buswell is in custody at the Chippewa County Jail in Wisconsin, according to authorities. He was found at a rural residence in the Holcombe area, after investigators conducted interviews with his known associates. Buswell was arrested by the Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Unit, the U.S. Marshals and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation at 2:40 a.m. Wednesday. He is expected to face new criminal charges for his escape in Minnesota, plus possible narcotics charges in Wisconsin. Continue Reading →

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Motorcyclist Killed In Crash Near Boom Site Just North of Downtown Stillwater

A 54-year-old North Branch man is dead after he crashed his motorcycle near the Boom Site just north of downtown Stillwater Tuesday evening. The crash happened at about 6:34 p.m. on Highway 95 near Pawnee Avenue North, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The state patrol says Guy Donnelly, who was on a 2000 Harley Davidson, was traveling northbound Highway 95 when he veered off the road near the Boom Site and traveled about 250 feet in a ditch before crashing. Donnelly was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Police Continue Searching for Inmate Who Escaped from Stillwater Prison

Police are searching for an inmate who escaped from the minimum security unit at Stillwater Prison Friday morning. Local law enforcement have set up a perimeter and are searching for the man. According to Bayport Police:

“Approximately 30 minutes ago (10:30 a.m.), DOC offender Patrick James Buswell walked away from the minimum security portion of the Stillwater Prison. Buswell is described at 5′ 6″, white male, brown hair/eyes and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. If you located someone who matches this description, please do NOT approach and call 911 immediately.” Continue Reading →

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Updated: Death at Fairy Falls 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement about Monday’s incident at Fairy Falls:

On 6/8/2015 at 1309 hrs., Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Stillwater Police and Stillwater Fire responded to Fairy Falls in Stillwater Township on an unknown situation. When rescuers arrived on scene an adult male, 33 YOA from the Bayport area was located deceased. This male was NOT rock climbing and did not accidently fall from the bluff. At this time the Ramsey County Medical Examiner will be determining the cause of death, however it does appear to be self induced. We are giving the family time to notify relatives prior to the name being released. 

Updated from:

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a death at Fairy Falls, just north of Stillwater. Continue Reading →

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Update: Body Found in St. Croix River Identified as Abbey Russell

The body found in the St. Croix River on May 2 has been identified as Abbey Kae Russell. Russell, 24, was reported missing on April 25. Family, friends, volunteers and the local authorities conducting ground, aerial and water searches in Stillwater and on the St. Croix River every day until Russell was found. Foul play is not suspected in the death of Russell, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Continue Reading →

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Family Asks for Help in Nationwide Search for Abbey Russell: #GeoAbbeyRussell

Abbey Russell’s family is asking the public for help in a nationwide search for the missing 24-year-old. Russell disappeared from her Stillwater residence in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 25, leaving everything including her dog, phone, purse and car behind. 

Family, friends, volunteers and the local authorities have been conducting ground, aerial and water searches in Stillwater and on the St. Croix River every day since Russell went missing that time, looking for clues of her whereabouts. Stillwater Boat Owners Asked to Search for Signs of Abbey Russell

Sonar Searches of St. Croix River Turn Up No Sign of Missing Stillwater Woman

Update: Police Continue Searching for Missing Stillwater Woman

“As we close in on a full week without Abbey, we are begging people everywhere to help find her,” Abbey’s sister, Ashley Marg said. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Boat Owners Asked to Search for Signs of Abbey Russell

Stillwater police are asking people who have boats docked on the St. Croix River to search their boats for signs of Abbey Russell. The 24-year-old Stillwater woman disappeared early Saturday morning. She was last seen at her residence — in the area of Highway 95 and Poplar Street. Land, aerial and sonar searches on the river have turned up no sign of Russell. Continue Reading →

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Update: Police Continue Searching for Missing Stillwater Woman

Stillwater police continued their search for a missing 24-year-old woman on Sunday. Abbey Russell, 24, was last seen at her residence — in the area of Highway 95 and Poplar Street — at about 12 a.m. on April 25. If anyone has any information, contact the Stillwater Police Department at 651-351-4900. Extensive ground and aerial searches have been conducted since her disappearance was reported. On Sunday, dive crews searched the St. Croix River near the Old Saw Mill Marina, just north of downtown, Sgt. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Man Charged in Oak Park Heights Murder

A 24-year-old Stillwater man has been charged with second-degree intentional murder in the death of Nils Johnson. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced that second-degree intentional murder charges were filed late yesterday against Nathan Nigel Anthony Eldredge, 24, of Stillwater. A warrant for Eldredge’s arrest was entered into the national database and Eldredge was arrested shortly after midnight by authorities in Matteson, Ill. “We are heartened by the very efficient and thorough investigation by law enforcement in this case,” Orput said in a news release. “This office is preparing to extradite Eldredge from Illinois should it become necessary. Continue Reading →

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Update: Oak Park Heights Police Investigate Apparent Homicide

The Oak Park Heights Police Department is investigating an apparent homicide. Police have identified the victim as Nils Christian Johnson, 39, of Oak Park Heights. He was a member of the Stillwater Area High School graduating class of 1994. No one has been arrested, but police are investigating the case as a homicide. Police began the investigation April 12 after family members requested a welfare check at Johnson’s home at the Summit Park Condominiums in the 14600 block of 62nd Street North. Continue Reading →

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Speeding Vehicle Fled Stillwater Police Before Fatal Crash in St. Croix County

A vehicle fleeing police at high speeds through Stillwater on Sunday afternoon was likely involved in a fatal crash just minutes later in rural St. Croix County, Wisconsin. A 30-year-old Montana man was killed Sunday afternoon in the Town of Warren after he ran a stop sign on County Road E and was t-boned by a pickup truck on Highway 65. According to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, Jason T. Collins of Glendive, Montana ran a stop sign on County Road E at Highway 65 at about 3:28 p.m., when his 1998 Volkswagen Jetta was hit by a by a Ford F350 pickup traveling southbound on Highway 65. Continue Reading →

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Police Continue Search for Jennifer Houle, Vigil Set for Tuesday at U of M

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office will continue searching the Mississippi River for Jennifer Houle on Tuesday. Video evidence shows Houle, 22, “enter the Mississippi River” from the 10th Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis Friday morning, Minneapolis Police said Monday morning. Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder did not say if video evidence showed if Houle jumped or fell into the water, but footage does show she was alone at the time. No suspects are being sought. Houle was last seen between 1-2 a.m. March 27 at the Blarney Bar in Dinkytown. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis Police Continue Search for Jennifer Houle, Missing U of M Student from Stillwater

A prayer vigil was held for Jennifer Houle Sunday night at Stillwater Area High School. Houle, 22, of Lake Elmo, was last seen between 1-2 a.m. March 27 at the Blarney Bar in Dinkytown on the University of Minnesota campus. At about 3 a.m. Friday morning a purse — confirmed to belong to Houle — as found in the 1100 block of 4th Street SE. Houle was wearing a green blouse, black leggings, a black leather jacket and black boots, according to police. She is described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall, 140 pounds, with long blond hair. Continue Reading →

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Fire and Ice Keep Stillwater’s First Responders Busy

Fire and ice have kept local first responders busy this week. Stillwater firefighters have been called to two wildfires and two ice rescues this week, Stillwater Fire Chief Stu Glaser said. Stillwater firefighters responded to two calls for ice rescues on Tuesday. The first call came in at about 2 p.m. after a St. Croix Beach man was climbing on the ice near downtown Hudson when a chunk broke loose. Continue Reading →

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Police Investigating Burglary at Northern Vineyards Winery

Police are investigating a burglary that happened last weekend at Northern Vineyards Winery in downtown Stillwater. Police believe the burglar(s) scaled the deck on the Water Street side of the downtown winery at 223 Main St. N., forced a deadlock open on the second floor patio door, entered the building and stole a lockbox containing about $700 in money and customers’ checks. Police believe the burglary happened sometime between 7 p.m. Jan. 29 and 9:40 a.m. Jan. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Information on Missing Lake Elmo Woman’s Cold Case

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are asking the public for any information they may have to solve a case that has been cold for 27 years. It was snowing heavily on Jan.19, 1988 when Susan Swedell, then 19, finished her shift at the Oak Park Heights K-Mart and called her mom to say she was on her way to their Lake Elmo home. “She stopped at a gas station about mile from home and asked the attendant if she could leave her car there because she was having car trouble,” police reports read. “She got into another car with a man and was never seen again.”

Swedell is 5’4”, 100 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes. The man was tall with shoulder length curly hair. Continue Reading →

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Pine Springs Teen Charged in Shooting Death of Park High School Teacher, Frigaard’s Owner

Bailey Jordan Garcia was charged Monday morning with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Park Cottage Grove High School art teacher and bar owner David Frigaard. Garcia, 19, of Pine Springs was charged in Washington County District Court with the unintentional killing during a drive-by shooting, which carries a Minnesota Guidelines sentence of 261-367 month sentence. Bail was set at $2 million. According to the complaint filed in the case, Garcia, parked near the intersection of Stillwater Road and Mahtomedi Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. saw Frigaard’s truck come up to a stop sign, and he shot at the truck with a 30.06 rifle from his own vehicle before fleeing the area. Garcia crashed his vehicle and was later arrested by Washington County Sheriff’s deputies. Continue Reading →

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Police: Park Cottage Grove Teacher, Frigaard’s Owner, Shot and Killed in Mahtomedi

A Park Cottage Grove High School teacher and Willernie bar owner was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Mahtomedi. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was called at 3:17 a.m. on Jan. 24 to a report of a gun shot heard in the area of Highway 244 and 75th St. N. in Mahtomedi. While checking the area, investigators found David Robert Frigaard, 46, of Roseville, deceased. Continue Reading →

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Police Warn of Xcel Energy Phone Scam Targeting the Stillwater Area

Local law enforcement officials are warning of a new phone scam hitting the Stillwater area. A caller identifies them self as an Xcel Energy employee and reports that a bill is past due and service will be disconnected. If you receive this call, hang up and report it to law enforcement.

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Volunteer Opportunity: Stillwater Police Accepting Applications for Reserve Officers

The Stillwater Police Department is currently accepting applications to fill several reserve officer positions.  This is a civilian volunteer (completely unpaid) position. Applications are due by Jan. 31 at City Hall. Reserve officers “assist in the maintenance of law and order, the detection and prevention of crime, the direction and control of citizen and motor vehicle traffic,” according to the post on the city of Stillwater’s website. Reserve officers also provide parking control throughout the city, assist patrol officers with the duties of scene security and paperwork. Continue Reading →

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Update: Former Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki Charged with Fraud by U.S. Attorney’s Office

A day after being recognized for his service by the Stillwater City Council, former mayor Ken Harycki was charged in federal court with fraudulent accounting that allegedly helped conceal millions of dollars in tax liabilities for a Twin Cities area health care business. Harycki, 51, the owner of Customized Payroll Solutions in Stillwater, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government of more than $10 million by preparing and filing tax forms he knew to be fraudulent, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Thurlee Belfrey and his brother, Roylee, were each indicted on Medicaid fraud charges on Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune. The two men own and manage multiple health care businesses, including Royal Health Care, Model Health Care and Integrated Health Services, Inc.

Harycki began doing accounting work for the Belfreys and their companies in 2007, and he came under an IRS investigation in October 2012, according to the Star Tribune sourcing a federal search warrant affidavit. Harycki allegedly hid the fraud by using numerous bank accounts, making numerous money transfers per day between the bank accounts and creating business bank accounts in other people’s names. Continue Reading →

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Bayport Police Officer to Receive Lifesaving Award

A Bayport police officer will receive a Lifesaving Award next month after performing the Heimlich maneuver on a woman was choking on food while she was at home with her young children. Officer Zach Lund responded to a medical call in the Inspiration housing development at about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, according to a police report. Lund arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call. When Lund arrived, the “panicked woman” ran toward him with her hands around her throat indicating that she could not breathe, the police report states. Continue Reading →

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Update: Suspect Who Eluded Oak Park Heights Police on Wednesday, Arrested Thursday in Oakdale

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday night arrested the 32-year-old man who eluded police Dec. 3 in Oak Park Heights after allegedly shoplifting from Walmart and stealing a vehicle that had a 68-year-old blind woman in the passenger seat. Deputies arrested Derek Michael Vance, of Inver Grove Heights, following a short pursuit that started in Mahtomedi and ended in the Fleet Farm parking lot in Oakdale, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Commander Brian Mueller said. After the deputy initiated the traffic stop, Vance fled the scene in a stolen vehicle before crashing into a power pole near the dead end on Oakdale Drive, Mueller said. Vance then fled on foot, but was arrested in the Fleet Farm parking lot. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Police Investigate Theft of Christmas Tree from Officer Josh Lynaugh’s Gravesite

Stillwater police are investigating the theft of a Christmas tree with blue LED lights that was stolen from the gravesite of St. Paul police officer Josh Lynaugh. Lynaugh’s family has asked police for extra patrol inside Fairview Cemetery to deter future thefts. The value of the tree and lights is $150. The Lynaughs believe the theft happened after 7:30 p.m. on Nov. Continue Reading →

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Police Investigating Theft of $12K Cannondale Bike from Chilkoot Cafe and Cyclery

Stillwater police are looking for a man who allegedly stole a $12,000 Cannondale bike from Chilkoot Cafe and Cyclery. A man described to be about 20 years old and wearing a long white T-shirt and gray pants reportedly walked into the shop at about 6 p.m. Oct. 16 and stole a carbon fiber, matte-black Cannondale and a set of keys. Chilkoot owner Lee Stylos told police the man came into the store and said he wanted to buy a bike. Stylos said he went to help another customer while the man looking at bikes. Continue Reading →

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2 Stillwater Natives Killed after Shooting in Fitchburg, Wis.

Two Stillwater area natives were the victims of a double homicide on Friday at a home in Fitchburg, Wis. Ashlee C. Steele, 39, and Kacee M. Tollefsbol, 38, of Lake Elmo, were killed in a shooting at the Steeles’ home, the Dane County Medical Examiner’s office told NBC15-Madison. Both were graduates of Stillwater Area High School. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Fitchburg police arrested Ashlee Steele’s husband, former Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy Andy Steele, for double murder in relation to the shooting. The Steeles had been married for 16 years, according to the journal. Andy Steele, 39, was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and retired from the sheriff’s office, according to various media reports. Continue Reading →

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