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First childcare grant hits Marathon County | The Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of March 9, 2023
A group that’s been meeting for more than a year received its first grant to combat the growing childcare crisis.
The group of county, city and community leaders received a $75,000 DreamUp! grant from the Department of Children and Families.
The group will put $60,000 toward $5,000 grants for Marathon County childcare centers to aid in staff retention, supplies and minor renovations. The remaining $15,000 of the grant will go toward administration.
Childcare facilities and available openings for children have been dropping for more than a decade in Marathon County. There were 250 centers in Marathon County in 2010; that dropped to 83 in 2022, and that number is expected to drop more without intervention, says Marathon County Health Educator Aaron Ruff.
The Wausonian has highlighted the childcare crisis before.
In case you missed it, The Wausonian published two stories since the last weekly Wausonian:
What else in Wausau?
Opportunity out of controversy: City leaders are looking at developing affordable single-family homes on remnant parcels left over from the Thomas Street reconstruction. The city will hold a meeting 5:30 pm March 27 at GD Jones Elementary School to get input from residents on the potential houses. In an interesting twist, the meeting will include childcare, refreshments and Hmong interpretation in order to be as inclusive as possible.
Survey says: A new survey of downtown businesses conducted by the Wausau River District found that 47% of downtown business owners say unhoused people are having a negative impact on downtown business. And only 39% said they were having trouble finding employees. That information was presented as part of the Wausau River District’s annual report to the city. Parking, signage and crime were also cited as challenges to downtown businesses. The city will hold a Committee of the Whole later this month to discuss a new department that would address the homeless problem.
Around the Metro
New director: Marathon County named a new director of Social Services. Christa Jensen will take over the role after serving as interim director and working previously at Social Services. Jensen will replace Vicki Tylka, who lefter after years in the role to become the managing director of community programs at North Central Health Care.
Lucky transformation: Lucky Mai’s Traditional Hmong Clothing and Jewelry opened in the building on Third Avenue that formerly housed Valley Communities Credit Union’s Wausau branch.
Yummy transformation: This week’s copy of City Pages includes a story about the new Sugar and Spice, a cheesecake shop that opened in a building that was formerly Frostman’s Fish Market on the near west side. The Wausonian has sampled the cheesecakes and they are indeed delicious.
The return of Angelo’s Pizza?: Nothing official has been released on Angelo’s Pizza’s official Facebook page, but it appears the restaurant is slated to open soon, if it has not already.
Fri-Sat., March 10-11: What can you say, sometimes a plan just comes together in short order. That’s the case with this Sconni’s Bluegrass Festival coming up this weekend. Check out bands including the area’s top country/bluegrass acts, with headliners such as Adam Greuel and Lightning420 (featuring one of the members of Trampled by Turtles), and locals such as Chad O’Kennedy and Billy Bronsted. $35 for Friday, $50 for Saturday or $75 for both. Details and tickets on the Facebook event page (BTW it says through the 12th but that’s just because they anticipate the show going past midnight.)
Fri-Sat., March 10-11: Speaking of music fests, Blues Cafe, a winter, indoor version of the Blues Festival always held every summer at Fern Island. If blues is what you’re looking for this weekend, come out to the Rothchild Pavilion and check out Alex Wilson, Vanessa Collier, Nick Moss and plenty more talented blues acts. Blues Cafe brings some serious 12-bar talent to the area and if you love blues or just want an excuse to hang out at the Rothschild Pavilion, you’ll want to be here. More details at the event page.
Sunday, Mach 12: Ok, so I admit I was thoroughly disappointed when I saw Chicago on the event page at The Grand and realized it was the musical, not the band (side note: Terry Kath is the most underrated guitarist of all time, BTW; people don’t talk about him nearly enough). But once I got over that, this is a powerhouse of a musical. Come see this Tony and Grammy-winning show at The Grand Theater in celebration of its 25th Anniversary. Ticket info here.
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.
Boys basketball: D.C. Everest did the best of Wausau area teams postseason, but all area teams are now eliminated. The Evergreens lost to Hudson 64-44 in the sectional semi-final Saturday. Wausau West was also eliminated by Hudson, losing to the No. 2 seed 58-39 Friday. And in Division 2, Wausau East lost to Shawano 75-70 Friday.
Girls basketball: The Wausau West girls put on a strong post-season run, but came up short in a sectional final against Hortonville 69-41 Thursday. They were the last Wausau area team left in the postseason.
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