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Wausau news for the week of Nov. 16, 2023
South 12th Avenue Court is ordinarily a pretty quiet west side street in Wausau. But on Thursday afternoon, it was flooded with public officials and media; both from Wausau, and from Washington D.C.
The hullabaloo centered around Wausau’s first lead pipe replacement as part of the city’s new initiative. The city will be leveraging money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to start replacing an estimated 8,000 lead pipes within the city.
The house in question already had its pipes replaced, but workers left the hole in the front yard uncovered with a backhoe parked in front of it to celebrate.
Wausau is the first city in the nation to leverage those dollars toward addressing lead pipes; other cities will soon follow suit. Lead is linked to numerous adverse health outcomes, including damage to the brain and nervous system, and slowed growth and development.
Why Wausau? It stemmed from Mayor Katie Rosenberg visiting Washginton, D.C. last February, which City Pages covered. While there, she started making some inroads and made sure Wausau was at the top of the list, Senior White House Advisor Tom Perez told City Pages.
“You have a mayor who said I want to make sure my constituents can drink water that is safe,” Perez said. Perez credited Gov. Tony Evers as well for making sure Wisconsin is one of four states in an accelerator program for the lead pipe initiative. “We want to get it done in half the time in those four states. I think we’re going to meet that goal.”
Rosenberg told City Pages that the city plans to try to replace 500 lines in the first year of the program, and another 1,000 the next. Wausau got started early and they want to start the infrastructure replacement before other cities started using those dollars as well.
This week The Wausonian reported on an update to the Marathon County budget, shared a story about a couple who were cut off from power by WPS because they refused a smart meter, and gave a detailed breakdown of the end of the Wausau West/Wausau East High School merger.
What else in Wausau?
Bridge Street Mission closes on West Side property: The Bridge Street Mission closed on the Pied Piper Plaza on First Avenue, which it plans to use for its new location. The organization, which helps people recover from addiction and reenter society, is planning to start a new center in the building, which currently houses City Pages/Wausau Buyers Guide, Ablelight Thrift Shop (formerly Bethesda) and Caked It among other businesses. The new location will allow them to serve women as well. A director with Bridge Street was unable to give The Wausonian a timeframe for when operations will start in the new location or what will happen with the current tenants because there are too many variables.
Brand new street open downtown: It’s not every day a new street opens, but Second Street downtown is now ready for traffic. The street connects Forest Street and Washington Street, is two-way, and traverses next to HOM Furniture and the new Children’s Imaginarium, set to open Dec. 6.
Around the metro
South Area Business Association planning to dissolve: The South Area Business Association, around for 70 years to support businesses in the southern metro, is dissolving at the end of the year. Officials there tell The Wausonian that membership had decline in recent years, and that it was hard to get people to serve on the board as well.
Lamplight Sessions adds open hours: Lamplight Sessions, which is quickly becoming one of the Wausau area’s hottest music venues, will now have open hours on Friday nights serving drinks and food. The move comes after the coffee shop operating in Lamplight Sessions during the day closed up. Lamplight Sessions’ owners haven’t given more details about the menu but say they’re coming soon. The new open hours, outside of its shows, starts this Friday.
Venado Cerveceria has expanded its incredible inventory to offer you an even more diverse and delightful array of choices in wine and spirits, bringing you the best! We invite you to experience the epitome of indulgence at our location, 209 Grant Street, Downtown Wausau. Operation Hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 4-8 PM Friday and Saturday: 4-9 PM. Our bar exudes a fantastic vibe that guarantees a memorable time. Step into a haven of relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you're winding down after a long day or looking to kick off a great night out, our welcoming atmosphere and outstanding selection promise an unforgettable experience.
Friday, Nov. 17: Adam Greuel and Sarah Voss are already well known for their work in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and Dead Horses, respectively. Both bands are nationally known bluegrass acts, but the two lead singers have partnered up for Rucksack Revolution, a side project that’s garnered quite the following on its own. Come check out this mini-super group at Whitewater Music Hall in their spacious hall that was once a Masonic lodge. 8 pm. $15. Check out the event page for more.
Saturday, Nov. 18: It has been more than a decade since the Vienna Boys Choir has made an appearance at The Grand, but they’re back with this holiday-themed Christmas in Vienna show that’s sure to delight Wausau audiences. This group of young musicians has been touring for six decades bringing their music around the world. There are actually four touring choirs that make up the Vienna Boys Choir and they travel the world, playing 300 concerts per year. Come see what makes them so special and start building up that holiday cheer. 7:30 pm. Starts at $39, kids seats at $10 (limited number). Check out the event page for more.
Tuesday, Nov. 21: If you’re looking for a Christmas extravaganza, and got a little money to burn (well, not exactly a “little”) this is your place. Aspirus is holding its Festival of Trees opening night gala, with food, champagne, beer and mocktails, and proceeds benefit their hospice services. 6 pm. $80 before Nov. 16, $90 afterward. Otherwise, the Festival of Trees will run Nov. 22 through Nov. 26, where entrance is $5 per person. Check out the event page for more details.
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 hockey: The boys hockey season kicks off Nov. 28 with Wausau West heading to Wisconsin Rapids.
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