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A new city department? | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Jan. 12, 2023
City leaders will soon meet as a committee of the whole to discuss the problem of homelessness — that includes the possibility of forming a whole new department.
Here is what we know:
Here’s the language on the city council’s agenda Tuesday: “Approval of request by two alders, pursuant to Rule 13 of Chapter 2.16, to schedule a meeting of the Committee of the Whole for discussion and consideration of responses by the City and County to the homeless; comment by providers of services to the homeless and creating a new department of social development and action in Wausau city government.”
City council leaders revealed that the McClellan House, run by the police department and helped homeless people transition from the streets to their own places to live, closed because they stopped getting support from North Central Health Care.
The city’s new Community Outreach Specialist, working out of the police department, is making great strides. But the problem is much bigger than her — she can’t simultaneously get people into housing and perform the intensive case management that population requires to stay in housing. We looked at the data she is collecting here.
The main function of the committee meeting is to look at the big picture around homelessness - get a sense of the players, who is doing what and where the gaps are.
Council President Becky McElhaney revealed there is a lot of behind-the-scenes infighting amongst council members, particularly on this issue.
The Wausonian will continue to follow this issue as it develops.
The Wausonian recently published its monthly open thread, as well as a look at the new program to help endangered infants the county nearly cut and how it’s developing. Thanks to everyone who has paid to subscribe to The Wausonian lately - if you haven’t joined them, be sure to subscribe to see everything!
What else in Wausau?
Executive indecision: The city’s executive committee, first formed in April, finally met this week to discuss the city’s strategic plan. But far more discussion ensued over whether or not the new committee should even exist. Some council members claim it is a super committee and excludes council members from important discussions but the city attorney says it’s on level with the other city committees and doesn’t have power over them.
Packer penalty: Wausau Police arrested a former Green Bay Packer on charges related to domestic abuse. WSAU reports that Wausau Police arrested Bill Ferrario on Jan 3. He faces charges of disorderly conduct with a domestic abuse modifier, and is free on a $1,500 signature bond, according to court records. Ferrario played for the Packers from 2001-2002
Around the metro
New chief deputy: Newly elected sheriff Chad Billeb named Capt. William Millhausen as the Sheriff’s Office new chief deputy. Billeb held that role before he was elected sheriff in November. Millhausen has a long history with the Sheriff’s Office.
Leader gap: Marathon County is searching for three new department heads after several retirements or departures recently. Vicki Tylka, Social Services Director, went to North Central Health Care; Meleesa Johnson, Solid Waste Deparment Director, retired; and Terry Kaiser, director of the facilities, departed recently.
Saturday, Jan. 14: I know what you’re thinking: “Bingo? That’s for grandma!” Well, this is not your grandmother’s bingo. Moonshine Bingo combines heart-pumping music and glow lights with… well, bingo. Those who go know it’s a wild experience. This Saturday you can try it out yourself at the Eagles Club. Word is they also have a killer fish fry, but you didn’t hear it from me. 7 pm. See the event page for all the deets.
Thursday, Jan. 12: We know there is a trick to it. We know it. And yet, the trick is hidden so well by these professionals that we can’t help being blown away every time! Champions of Magic brings some of the best of what magic has to offer. You never quite know what you’re going to see but it’s pretty much guaranteed you will be amazed as you settled back into your seat at The Grand. 7:30 pm. (Seats were nearly sold out at the time of posting.)
Saturday, Jan. 14: Looking for something a little earlier in the day? The Foxfire Affair is a musical duo from Marshfield who know how to strum together a folksy Irish tune. With married couple Daniel on guitar and Claire on mandolin and harmonica and both singing, they play a variety of songs spanning centuries. The bonus here is you can grab a pint from Uncommon Pints, right in Rothschild’s… uh, downtown, would you call it? It’s a cool new place with an extensive beer selection, so that alone will make it worth the trip. 4-7 pm. See the event page for more details.
Girls hockey: The Central Wisconsin Storm sent Northland Pines packing with a 13-0 shutout in Eagle River. Michaela Gerum scored four goals in the win against Pines. The Storm are now 9-3 and head to Ashwaubenon Saturday.
Boys basketball: D.C. Everest is still nipping on the heels of first place. The Evergreens are still 3-1 as they face off against Merrill at home Friday. They trail Marshfield, which remains 4-0 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.
Girls basketball: Wausau West sent its crosstown rival Wausau East packing Tuesday in a 77-26 route. That leaves the Warriors tied for second with Marshfield at 4-1 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. SPASH leads the Valley with a 5-0 record.
Boys hockey: Wausau West remains in second place in the Valley at 4-1, with its only loss to SPASH. The Warriors aren’t scheduled to play again until Jan. 19.
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