EXCLUSIVE: Everest Metro/Rothschild police merger coming | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Jan. 11, 2024
Readers of The Wausonian will be hearing the news here first: Everest Metro and Rothschild police departments are very likely to merge this year.
Weston’s and Rothschild’s village boards Monday approved studying the issue, and Schofield’s board Tuesday looked at doing the same. Leaders in the village of Weston expect the study will take about three to six months, though that the idea itself has been thrown around for three decades.
Language of the meetings seemed to be crafted similarly — it calls for an “Intergovernmental Study and Advisement Agreement with Village of Rothschild” according to the agenda. That and a discussion of police department staffing were included in closed-session discussions. Nothing indicates a police department merger specifically.
That means Everest Metro will be holding off on searching for a new police chief to replace the retiring Clay Schulz until the new department is in place.
But our reporter Devon Welsh cracked the story and confirmed the potential merger, and will be bringing you the full story on Friday.
What else in Wausau?
Water Utility employees underpaid?: The city’s HR Committee and Water Commission met in a joint session to determine whether or not the city’s water utility workers ought to be paid more - but the city’s HR Director, James Henderson, pushed back on that idea. Meanwhile, personnel expenses in the water utility have increased 100% since 2021, with little explanation. The Wausonian has a longer story in the works for later this week.
We have a triceratops?: The Marathon County Public Library is getting a triceratops skeleton replica courtesy of the, we just learned, former Colossal Fossils. The library will display the dino bones on the first floor and might use it as a traveling exhibition - but maybe not, since the head alone weighs 100 pounds. Colossal Fossils’ founder relayed to me that they’d decided to close down the non-profit in 2021. The dino museum had been located in the mall which was demolished that year.
Turf field of nightmares: The placement of an artificial turf field at Wausau West sparked heated debate at the Wausau School Board Monday, as part of the fallout from the collapse of the district’s school merger plan. The plan approved Monday would put the $1.8 million field at Jerry Johnson Field on the west end of the space at West, where there is already a field. It would host soccer, lacrosse and football, and the track circles the field. But a debate that raged for nearly an hour questioned whether there ought to be a larger plan in place before spending that money, which was part of the last referendum ask.
Around the metro
Critical incident in Rothschild: A Rothschild police officer is on administrative leave following a critical incident in the village. According to state police reports, officers conducted a welfare check in the 1000 block of Urban Street Wednesday evening (Jan. 3) and encountered a man who fled to the bathroom and obtained a gun. That man ultimately locked himself in a bathroom and apparently took his own life. State police are investigating the incident.
Kronenwetter nixes administrator offer: The village of Kronenwetter Monday officially nixed its administrator offer to Peter Kampfer, as the village goes a year and a half without a permanent person in the role. The board will interview its Department of Public Works director for the role later this month. The Wausonian got the scoop on the Kronenwetter administrator snafu last weekend.
Elections update: The Wausonian updated its election guide with Rothschild races and with one name taken off the county board elections. More on that process soon.
French bakery on the way?: Sources tell The Wausonian that a French bakery is working on a spot on Forest Street, that likely might open this spring. Details are mum right now, but The Wausonian will be keeping an eye out for more word on this development.
Lamplight Sessions adding coffee, food: After the coffee shop that opened in Lamplight Sessions closed down, the music venue is ready to launch a new venture — starting Feb. 5 Lamplight will be serving food and coffee in the mornings. From 7-11 am Monday-Saturday, Lamplight will serve espresso, coffee, bakery, juices and smoothies among other things. And they’ll have extended hours on Fridays and serve adult beverages and flatbreads. Besides a show on Jan. 18, Lamplight won’t be open until the new launch.
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Thursday, Jan. 11: Come see the tribute act that celebrates all things Bee Gee’s, that eponymous band from the 70s that has come to symbolize the disco era. They collected numerous hits in their time, including Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever and To Love Somebody, to name a few. This is the definitive tribute act, which can range in size from a small six-piece to a large 62-piece orchestra, depending on the venue. If you love the Bee Gee’s, this is where you will be. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $30. Check out the event page here.
Friday, Jan. 12: Brad Emanuel is the guy to get the party going in Wausau — and I’m not just saying that because we once went to music school together! Emanuel has a voice of gold, and the musical chops to match. But one of the things that really sets him apart — Emanuel knows how to work a crowd, and several musician friends of mine learned that craft by playing in his band. So it’s good to see him coming to The Garage, which is really starting to establish itself as an important music venue in the Wausau area. 8 pm. See the event page for more info.
Saturday, Jan. 13: Snowshoeing is one of those things that is more fun — and a little more challenging — than it seems like it will be. Especially in the days of the big bear paw style snowshoes (still the pair I use, which now people call “vintage”). Even more fun: snowshoeing by candlelight on Rib Mountain! Winter goes faster if you enjoy it, so check out this fun event put on by Friends of Rib Mountain. 6 pm. Limited snowshoes available, bring your own if you can. Free, donations accepted. See the event page for more.
Boys basketball: Wausau East defeated crosstown rival Wausau West Tuesday and is now tied for third in the Wisconsin Valley Conference at 3-2. The Lumberjacks defeated the Warriors 90-52, leaving the two as the top Wausau area teams. SPASH and Marshfield are currently tied for first.
Girls basketball: Wausau West remains the top Wausau area team, with a 3-2 record and fourth place in the conference. The Warriors beat the Lumberjacks 51-44 Tuesday to earn fourth place.
Boys hockey: Wausau West remains in second place in the conference behind rival SPASH, with a 4-1 record.
Girls hockey: The Central Wisconsin Storm are back to their winning ways, defeating Xavier and Fond du Lac each by the same score: 4-2. That leaves the Storm with an 11-3 record on the season.
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