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A stall on the mall | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Aug. 31, 2023
Wausau leaders this week held off on approving an extension of the city’s development agreement with Wausau Opportunity Zone and T. Wall Enterprises for the first project in the Wausau Center mall redevelopment project.
The project, which was to see a 150-unit luxury apartment complex built on one part of the former mall site, hit a snag as developers struggled to bring in additional capital as costs rose and bank lending shriveled.
City leaders chose to have city staff put some of WOZ’s promises in writing into a new version of the development agreement that would see work start next year. That should come back to the city within 60 days.
See more about the project and the decision in a much longer story here:
What else in Wausau?
PFAS addition: City leaders say the city will now be testing four new compounds in response to new DNR recommendations on PFAS. City leaders early last year announced that they had found elevated PFAS levels in all six of the city’s wells, leading to millions of dollars spent addressing the problem. City water rates went up as a result.
Chief Barnes: Deputy Chief Matt Barnes was named the city’s new police chief by the Police and Fire Commission this week. Barnes has served on the department since 2001 and held numerous roles, culminating with Deputy Chief. Barnes officially takes over as chief Friday, though a swearing-in ceremony has not yet been set.
KATS closure partially due to grant snafu: Keep Area Teens Safe announced last week that it was closing the doors at its Hillcrest House facility, which provided shelter to homeless and troubled teens. KATS founder Mary Jo Freeman told The Wausonian that the closures were due to the organization not receiving the grants it hoped to, including one in which it was initially awarded, only to learn there was an error and that KATS was actually the runner up.
Open Door surprise: An Open Door official on Monday said they understood the need to terminate its contract to provide a day center, with on caveat: No one bothered to tell Open Door about it. They learned about it by reading City Pages, said Open Door official Bill Panzigrau. They said in fact their day center was opened all but two days of the time period city officials said they weren’t sure if Open Door was actually open.
Around the metro
Lawsuit brewing: Minocqua Brewing Company’s owner filed suit in federal court last week alleging that town of Minocqua officials targeted his business for his political beliefs. MBC owner Kirk Bangstad, whose brewery names its beers after progressive politicians and has a line of coffee called “Woke,” says he was treated differently than other business owners by town officials, leading to him being unable to obtain permission to have a beer garden. That led to numerous violations of county codes that led the county to revoke his business’ permit, he says. Bangstad continued to operate the brewery despite the revocation.
At Venado Cerveceria, it’s always wine time. Open 4-8 PM Tue - Thur & 4 - 9 PM Fri & Sat. Located at 209 Grant Street, downtown Wausau.
Thursday, Aug. 31: It’s-a-me, Mario! Yup, the plucky plumber from gaming consoles dating back to the 1980s is coming to the 400 Block this Thursday. This is the last entry in the summer movie series in which the Parks Department projects movies on a big screen for you and the family to watch. The latest is the Super Mario Brothers Movie, which got rave reviews with Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, Charlie Day (of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fam) as Luigi and Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach. Bring a blanket, chairs and your own snacks to enjoy during the film. 7 pm. Check out the Wausau and Marathon County Parks Department Facebook page for more info.
Fri.-Sun., Sept. 1-3: Like Anime? Then No-Brand Con is where you need to be. The three-day event features panels of experts on various topics, guests that include notable voice actors and actresses, famous YouTubers and cosplay artists, and plenty of vendors to browse. Also included are tabletop game rooms, video game rooms, and a “No Mercy” room where you will be invited to mercilessly mock bad TV shows, movies and other media. No Brand Con is unique - they have a whole back story complete with evil corporations detailed in episodes on YouTube. It’s pretty wild. Check out their website for more details.
Sunday, Sept. 3: Tractor pulls seem very rustic Wisconsin, but a vintage tractor pull seems even more so! Come check out this vintage tractor pull this weekend as part of your Labor Day celebrations. The pull includes multiple heats and divisions, and the folks at Willow Springs thought ahead, including plenty of games and other activities for your kiddos to enjoy while you take in those classic tractors pulling things. All parking is on the south side of the road for this event. Bring your own lawnchairs, food and beverages will be available all day. Tractor pulls start at 11 am. Check out the event page for more details.
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.
Football: D.C. Everest and Wausau West each notched their second wins in a row to kick off the season. D.C. Everest beat Chippewa Falls 24-14 Thursday, and Wausau West trounced De Pere 42-7 Friday. Conference games start this week.
Girls volleyball: Wausau West heads to D.C. Everest Thursday as girls volleyball season kicks off this week.
Boys soccer: D.C. Everest heads over to Wausau West Thursday as the boys soccer season starts this week.
Girls tennis: D.C. Everest heads to Wausau East and Wausau West heads to Stevens Point Thursday as girls tennis kicks off this week.
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