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DCE grad drops out of AG race | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau News for Oct. 7, 2021
A D.C. Everest grad who planned to challenge Attorney General Josh Kaul has dropped out of the race.
Ryan Owns sent out an email Monday thanking supporters but saying he’s dropping out of the race because of “character assassinations” which got far worse than he’d imagined.
Though he doesn’t say specifically what attacks he’s referring to, the announcement comes several days after a story about Owens allegedly deleting podcast episodes in which he criticized Trump, including one with right wing radio host and Trump critic Charlie Sykes.
Owens said in his statement that the attacks were bothering his family, including his autistic son, and that his family was more important.
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What else in Wausau?
North Central Health Care opened the new version of its county nursing home, Mount View Care Center. The renovation is part of the overall $72 million campus renovation that also includes a new warm water therapy pool, a new youth crisis stabilization center and a new adult treatment center. NCHC’s interim CEO Jill Meschke told The Wausonian because of recent developments such as COVID-19, the facility might no longer completely pay for itself through costs savings, though the savings are still substantial and will eventually pay off.
Neighbors in the Bugbee Avenue area are concerned about a new solar panel farm meant as part of the Water Treatment Plant overhaul. Those neighbors are concerned about trees being taken down in order to install the panels, and the costs as the water treatment plant will already raise water rates for city residents. City staff told The Wausonian that right now the panels are only a proposal. The Wausonian will be keeping an eye on the situation.
The new apartments on Sturgeon Eddy, on Wausau’s southeast side neighborhood, are complete. The new building houses 25 units, compared to only 15 from the previous building. Scherrer says those old apartment buildings were more than 100 years old but Wausonian research shows the buildings were complete in 1929, built by Charles Magee, a lumber baron who also had an oil business in town.
The Community Partners Campus has closed on a Grand Avenue location. The building will serve as a hub for multiple non-profit agencies in town, the idea being to give someone a one-stop shop for getting services they need while making things more efficient for the non-profits as well. The CPC first tried to buy the Daily Herald building on Scott Street and the city-owned lot at 1300 Cleveland Avenue, but those fell through. A plan to locate in the county’s social services building was also briefly considered.
Wausonian exclusive: The city of Wausau hired Randy Fifrick as its next Economic Development Manager. Fifrick will replace Sean Fitzgerald, who held the position while the city searched for a new Community Development Director to replace Chris Schock. The city hired former Wausau River District director Liz Brodek as Community Development Director, who started in August, and Fifrick is Brodek’s first hire. Fifrick essentially started the village of Kronenwetter’s economic development department and served in that position for 11 years. He also served on the county board, until resigning recently. Fifrick starts Oct. 15.
Around the metro and beyond
Republicans filed a complaint with the FEC regarding spending by the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC. The PAC, organized by Minocqua Brewing Company founder Kirk Bangstad, is organizing a class action lawsuit against Wisconsin school boards that have not mandated masks in their schools. The allegations are numerous, and The Wausonian has been investigating the spending. Paid subscribers will see the whole post on Friday.
This week in data
One of the skills I’ve been building is the ability to code data visualizations using the Python language. (Python is not only one of the easiest languages to learn but has great functionality in data science among other applications.) This week I decided to look at unemployment data through 2020. It’s interesting that there was a big spike in unemployment, but it crashed pretty quickly back to pre-pandemic numbers.
Expect more of these, and for them to become more complex as I learn about Python and the matplotlib library set (one of several that can be used to code data visualizations).
If you haven’t been to the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, the Painting the Figure Now IV exhibit would be a great place to start. See the work of some of the top painters in the country and the world as they compete in this juried exhibit. The museum is open noon-5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and entrance is free though donations are accepted.
If you haven’t been mountain biking at Nine Mile Forest recently, this weekend is your last chance of the season! Starting at 2 pm the Central Wisconsin Off-Road Cycling Coalition will hold its annual end-of-the-season celebration as Nine Mile transitions into its fall/winter activities and the trails close to mountain bikers. If you wanted to try out single-track for the first time, it’s a good chance to check it out with other riders around. Group rides at 2 pm, bonfire and beer at 4 pm and an update about the group at 5 pm. Come check it out!
If you’re looking for something for the kids to do, be sure to check out Ringle Harvest Day in downtown Ringle. Nearly 100 vendors will pack the tiny town of Ringle with all kinds of little odds and ends. And there will be police and fire equipment, a petting zoo and other fun for the kids and adults. Check out the Harvest Fest event page for more.
Wausau West Football is now tied for first place in the Valley Football Association conference. The Warriors defeated SPASH 41-22 Friday, handing the Panthers their first loss of the season. Wausau West is now 4-1, tied with SPASH and Wisconsin Rapids at the top of the conference. The Warriors host Appleton West Friday, and will finish their season against Hortonville Oct. 15.
Wausau West tennis finished at the top of the Wisconsin Valley Conference meet Thursday, racking up 36 points at the meet. SPASH took second with 29 and Wausau East garnered 19 points for third place. The Warriors’ No. 1 singles player, Mia Bailey, took the top spot with a bye and two straight-set matches, losing only two games the entire meet. Quin Babiarz took the champion spot at No. 2 singles, and Talia Schlindwein took first at the No. 3 singles, winning a tight 7-4, 6-4 to hand West the win. See the entire results here.
Speaking of tennis, Mia Bailey got off to a strong start in the playoffs, earning a 6-0, 6-0 shutout win over Eau Claire North’s Morgan Pressler in her first subsectional match. Subsectional action will continue this week.
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