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ECDC hires first Wausau director ahead of refugee resettlement | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau News for Oct. 28, 2021
The Ethiopian Community Development Council hired its first director, one of the major steps in starting the process of resettling Ethiopian and Afghan refugees in Wausau.
The ECDC announced it hired Adam VanNoord as its first local director. VanNoord started Oct. 25.
VanNoord is a Wausau native but also has worked internationally with refugees in Algeria. He appeared on a webinar hosted by New Beginnings and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service explaining the process of refugee resettlement.
Wausau will soon be home to Ethiopian as well as Afghan refugees.
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A consultant hired to study the city’s transit system and come up with recommendations will soon be surveying riders and the broader community. The company, RLS Associates of Ohio, hopes to have its final recommendations to the city by September 2022.
Speaking of transit, numbers cited by consultant RLS show a major decline in ridership. Metro Ride went from nearly 800,000 annual riders in 2012 to just 486,550 in 2020, and ridership so far this year is under 300,000.
The Wausau School District is considering merging schools. The proposal would mean not only combining elementary schools but also high schools, with 9th and 10th grades attending one school and 11th and 12th combining others. Although data by the Wausonian showed an increase in enrollment based on the Third Friday Counts this year, the trend is still toward declining enrollments in Wausau and other Wisconsin schools.
Around the metro
Bug Tussel, hired to address the county’s lack of broadband in rural areas, put up the first equipment of what will be a major broadband rollout. The company plans to build 18 towers and lay 300 miles of fiber to cover much of Marathon County. The initial equipment went up on a tower in Little Chicago, a tower the company had built previous.
The owner of Malarkey’s is calling on Wausonians to correct a bad Yelp rating of the Grand Theater. Although the theater has a very positive rating on Google, a handful of Yelp reviewers gave the theater a poor rating; something Malarkey’s owner Tyler Vogt says is not reflective of true sentiment about the Grand. “I assume this is what tourists, fellow ticket holders and others see first too,” Vogt wrote.
The city council in Stevens Point approved a new location for Great Northern Distillery in the former Belke Lumber site. The distillery, currently in Plover, would be a bigger location and the proposal aims to keep the historic value of the old lumber facility.
This week in data
The Wausonian had a longer story about this, which you can read for free; but essentially, the numbers of people quitting at city hall have drastically increased. This mimics nationwide trends as more and more people are quitting jobs, and more often without another job lined up.
If you’re looking to do a little head-banging this weekend, check out the halloween party at the Polack Inn this Saturday night. Kicking off at 9:30 pm, the event features bands Elk Startled by Thunder, CASHED, and Catastrophic Heroes. More details on the event’s Facebook page.
And if you’re looking for a fun and safe Halloween event for the kiddies, check out the new Trunk or Treat event 2-5 pm at Marathon Park. Back for its second year, the Trunk or Treat will have decorated vehicles lined up and a nice way for kids to collect candy in a safe environment. See the event page for more.
Both Wausau West and D.C. Everest were eliminated in the first round of football playoffs last Friday. West lost to Neenah 26-7 and the Evergreens lost to Kimberly 40-0.
D.C. Everest volleyball will take on River Falls at 5pm today (Thursday) at Wausau West in the sectional semifinal. Everest defeated West and Eau Claire Memorial to advance to the Sectional semifinal. Riverfalls was the No. 1 seed in the tournament and enjoyed a first round bye. Wausau East lost its first round match in the tournament.
D.C. Everest boys soccer made it to the sectional second round, losing 4-1 to No. 1 seed Hudson. The Evergreens defeated metro rival Wausau West 1-0 to advance to that round. Wausau East also made it to the second round of the Division II tournament, defeating West De Pere 3-1 but falling 1-0 to Pulaski.
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