Discover more from The Wausonian
Lawsuits, charging indecision and other Wausau news tidbits
A random collection of short briefs I didn't otherwise have a home for, but are worth reporting.
My sister and I were just talking this week about how fast the month of August went. Time seems to speed up as we get older, especially in the summer. It’s crazy that the month is nearly over.
With that, here are some snippets that don’t really fit anywhere, but are interesting to note:
Pilot legal trouble: The Wausau Pilot and Review won in a defamation case brought by Cory Tomczyk, who sued the Pilot for alleging he called a child at a county meeting a three-lettered F word for a homosexual person. (The case was dismissed in circuit court.) But, legal fees are piling up as Tomczyk just filed an appeal in the case. That led the Pilot’s editor to send a letter to its readers asking for donations in order to survive. That led to a New York Times piece as well as a group calling for Tomczyk to resign from the state senate.
Clarification: Fixed awkward wording to make it clear who was suing who.
No decision on Kronenwetter case: After more than a month of harassment, with my tone becoming more terse with each email or phone call, the Lincoln County District Attorney finally responded to me about the legal case in Kronenwetter. The DA’s office has not yet made a charging decision, he finally told me. This case in question is the one former Kronenwetter Board Member Joel Straub brought forth about records being improperly handled in the dispute with his neighbor. Marathon County passed the case on to the Stevens Point Police Department to investigate, since Straub is a Marathon County Board Member (and thus it would be a conflict of interest) and that’s also why it went to the Lincoln County DA for a charging decision. There’s a saying that it’s easier to attract flies with honey than vinegar, but I’ve found sometimes in life you need to get out the fly swatter in order for them to take you seriously.
No charging decision on Weston clerk case: Back in January the village of Weston fired its utility clerk, Theresa Coleman, after an internal investigation alleged that she had stolen money from the village. The police were investigating a potential criminal case. Then, all went quiet. The Wausonian was the only one to reach out to the police chief in Weston to follow up. Chief Schulz told me they had recommended theft charges against Coleman. Then I reached out to District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon, who after more than one email which, like the above, grew more terse, informed me that the decision to charge has not yet been made. Another example of needing to get out the flyswatter.
TV appearance - set to air next year: Now that the interview is complete, I will reveal that I was interviewed for a segment on an A&E show called Taking the Stand. The episode will follow the Cindy Schulz-Juedes trial. Juedes was arrested in 2019 for the 2006 murder of her husband, Ken Juedes, and convicted in 2021. She was sentenced in 2022, and died in prison last month. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. Interestingly, the producer found my story about Det. Blaser and how he brought the case forward. The whole thing made me nervous because I know I didn’t cover the case in as much depth as it deserves, and that was especially brought clear by going through the process with the producers. I have to say they were awfully thorough, and sent me some information I hadn’t seen before.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why I didn’t dive into this case more. I think timing played a key issue. The arrest came right before COVID, and before a major change at City Pages, from independent newspaper to corporate owned. It was a time of turmoil and uncertainty. It also means the court system basically shut down for a while. It’s funny that the question I had on the day of the indictment — why now? — was ultimately the one that also intrigued producers of the show. But also, every time I read something new about the case, I come away with a different impression. There’s so many different, unusual facets that it’s hard to establish any kind of narrative or framework in the case. But I definitely want to know how she died, and if we ever are able to, why.