A new city department? Find out Thursday | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Feb. 23, 2023
UPDATE: The meeting was postponed. A new date has not yet been set.
City council members will meet in a committee of the whole (all members of the city council meeting as a committee, COW for shorthand) to discuss the possibility of a new city department.
According to committee materials, the new department would be called the Department of Social Development and Action, and based on the rest of the meeting’s agenda, appears to be a new department to address the homelessness crisis.
The COW will also hear presentations from Wausau police, fire and community development on the city’s responses to homelessness and from parks on the county’s response. It will also hear presentations from Sandi Kelch and Ben Lee about outreach efforts.
The potential department seems to be a response to the increasing homelessness problem in Wausau. That problem has brought controversy between various parties who have different ideas of how to treat the problem. That’s likely to come to a head Thursday.
Major story coming this weekend: I teased last weekend that a story that’s part of a major investigating I’ve been working on would be out yesterday. Some new sources came together at the last minute so I held off on publishing it. That decision will only make the story more solid, I promise. Watch for it this weekend and upgrade to paid to make sure you can read the entire story.
Around the metro
Drug money: The county’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee will come up with some recommendations for a large opioid settlement from which the county will receive a portion. The county a number of years ago elected to participate in a class action lawsuit against big pharma companies for their role in causing the opioid crisis. Counties ended up forking out a lot of money to battle the increase in addiction among county residents. That money must go to in some way mitigating those costs. Barron County used its funds to hire a special responder that’s partnered with its sheriff’s department.
Kronnie battle: Chris Voll took first place in the three-way primary for Kronenwetter village president. The incumbent president finished with 673 votes over Ken Charneski’s 339 votes. Joel Straub finished with 209 votes and was eliminated from the April primary, which will pit Voll against Charneski. Kronenwetter’s village board was the subject of a Wausonian investigation into why employees were fleeing the village.
Missing money investigation: Everest Metro Police are looking into allegations that the village of Weston’s utility clerk stole money from the village. Village officials discovered the missing money during a routine finance review and at the end of the review, fired utility clerk Theresa Coleman. Everest Metro police are investigating the missing money and have not charged Coleman with a crime, nor have they revealed how much was missing.
West side diner: Malarkey’s Pub owner Tyler Vogt was awarded a class B beer and liquor license for 628 Diner on 628 North Third Avenue. Seems to be a signal that something is happening on the site, which has been in the works for some time.
A new mug: Honest J’s was awarded a Class B beer and liquor license for Honest J’s, owners Devon Marx-Salzman and Arthur Wood III. That will be the new business in the former Ugly Mug spot in
Washington Square Third Street Lifestyle Center. Ugly Mug’s owners announced earlier this year they had sold the coffee shop to new owners.
Grilling acquisition: The owners of Jefferson Street Inn announced this week that they bought the City Grill restaurant, which is essentially attached to the hotel. JSI says they plan to offer a breakfast buffet to the menu for their hotel guests and also plan to revamp the menu this spring.
Gordman’s revamp: Rib Mountain officials confirmed to The Wausonian that a new business is eyeing the empty Gordman’s storefront on Rib Mountain Drive. Sportsman’s Warehouse is planning to occupy the space. It would be the chain’s only Wisconsin location.
Thursday, Feb. 23: Let it first be stated that I do not at all approve of karaoke. But with that out of the way, I know that many people do, and Whitewater Music Hall will be hosting a Broadway Karaoke night in conjunction with the Grand Theater. Sing everything from Rent to Phantom of the Opera, and of course grab one of their beers brewed right on site while you await your turn. Signup at 6:30 pm, singing starts at 7 pm. Find out more on the event page here.
Friday, Feb. 24: Go ahead, admit it. You’ve tried that trick where you start Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon right at the lion’s roar at the start of the movie The Wizard of Oz. It does match up in an eery way, doesn’t it? Even if you haven’t (I don’t believe you, but ok) you have to admit that Dark Side is one of the classic albums of our time, and this recreation of Pink Floyd’s classic at The Grand is sure to knock your socks off. 7:30 pm. Ticket and event info on the event page.
Saturday, Feb. 25: Ok, I don’t have a Harley Davidson (though if one of my readers wants to buy me one, I promise I will learn how to drive it). But I sure do like chili. Bull Falls Harley Davidson will host its third-ever chili cook-off 11 am this Saturday. $5 will give you five taste coupons to try various chilis and helps support the Wausau Firefighters Community Assistance Foundation. Eating = great. Eating and supporting a good cause = greater! Find out more info on the event page.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the family-oriented listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
Girls hockey: A knockout season came to an end Tuesday as the Central Wisconsin Storm lost to Hayward 4-2 in the sectional semifinal. The Storm beat their first-round opponents Northland Pines last week before falling to No. 3 seeded Hayward. The Storm finished the regular season 20-4, which included a 12-game win streak.
Boys basketball: D.C. Everest defeated Merrill 87-71 Friday and remains in second place as first-place Marshfield beat Wausau West to hold the top position. The Evergreens will head to Wisconsin Rapids Friday to cap off the season ahead of the playoffs. Boys basketball playoffs start Tuesday.
Girls basketball: Wausau West lost its last game of the season, falling 62-47 to Marshfield Thursday to close out the season. The Warriors finished the conference season in third place, the best of Wausau area teams. The D.C. Everest lost its first playoff game to Wisconsin Rapids, and West takes on Appleton East on Friday in its first playoff matchup. Wausau East in Division II won its first game against Ashland Tuesday, 67-48. The Lumberjacks will take on Lakeland Friday.
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