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McClellan's last stand | Wausau news
Your Weekly Wausonian for the week of April 27, 2023
The ink on the decision to close down the McClellan Street ramp nearly had dried when city leaders pulled back on the brake lever.
The city’s Finance Committee had already decided to close the ramp June 1, since maintaining it another year would be costly, and the thing is almost at the end of its life anyway (and starting to become unsafe). Considering Gerald Ford was President when it was built, and that its occupancy is 30%, it makes sense to just tear it down, leaders decided.
But not so fast, members of the city council said Tuesday evening, roughly a couple of hours later. The plan never went through the city’s Capital Improvements and Street Maintenance committee, which is charged with handling all things streets. Process was being subverted, council members argued.
Mostly it’s about crossing Is and dotting Ts, though. Considering the ramp is so unsafe city staff are probably going to close down the top two floors soon, it’s unlikely the ramp will avoid the wrecking ball.
This week, readers had a few stories to sink their teeth into. The Wausonian learned on Monday that a Kronenwetter board member was arrested Sunday:
And then The Wausonian received the report about a city council member’s OWI arrest in January, reporting it a day before anyone else:
And on a lighter note, subscribers also got a guide to area restaurant deals, something The Wausonian plans to update frequently:
AND! If you want to see news as it develops, follow along with my notes on Substack’s app. It’s a free app and you can read all The Wausonian’s articles on it, plus those from other great writers.
What else in Wausau?
No mo mowing in May: City Council members once again passed No Mow May, which allows residents to keep their yards long to help the bees. And, like last year, you don’t need to put up the sign. (But you can if you want to.)
The tower that never was: I used to hear rumors about a second Dudley Tower. I think this is what people were talking about: Attorney Anne Jacobson in the meeting about the McClellan ramp coming down admitted that the city had agreed to build a skywalk from the Dudley Tower to the McClellan Ramp; but never followed through with the agreement. That also would have involved another tower of some sort to connect the buildings. That never happened, and since the ramp is probably coming down, it doesn’t look like it ever will.
Band complaint: A Wausau School District spokesperson sent a rather confusing and vague email to media Wednesday afternoon. Here’s the gist: A student brought a complaint against Wausau East Band Director Rob Perkins. The district investigated the incident for two weeks, decided Perkins would receive some education and the district is hiring a consultant “to better understand and improve the experiences our students and staff are having in our schools.” Perkins will return to the classroom today (Thursday), the district told parents. Then the district said it would not answer any more questions (believe me, we have a few!). A similarly vague email was sent to parents at East.
Seeking investments for the mall project: T. Wall Enterprise is seeking investors for its downtown apartment project, and one local businessman have told The Wausonian he and others were specifically solicited for an investment, despite the project slated to start construction later this year. T. Wall advertises two phases for the Foundry on 3rd on its investment page, despite the second not having yet been approved for tax incentives. The city gave T. Wall $10.8 million in reverse tax incentives (including fees) for the first phase of the project. (And that doesn’t include street construction the city will perform.)
Around the metro
Still missing: Police officials are still investigating the disappearance of a 47-year-old Weston woman last week. Tara Jane Sullivan’s cell phone was found in Ringle, her car was found on Highway 29 abandoned, but police are still unclear about her whereabouts. They now believe she might have left the area, as she had ties to the Fox Valley area.
No energy, OK?: Members of the Marathon County Board last month voted to create an energy task force aimed at increasing energy efficiency and saving taxpayer money — but this month, just kidding, because the board took it back. Turns out they passed it wrong — the county attorney says it should have been a supermajority 2/3 vote so the board had a do-over, this time nixing the idea.
Break-ins abound: Marathon County Sheriff’s Office officials say there have been a rash of car break-ins recently. Cars in Rib Mountain, Wausau and Rothschild have been hit in the early morning hours last week. Lock your doors and keep your valuables inside your house, police say.
Kreger’s TV: Kreger’s Bakery announced this week that they will be contestants on season 2 of Crime Scene Kitchen. Hosted by Joel McHale, the Fox show challenges contestants to piece together the identity of a dessert just by a few crumbs and a couple of elusive clues. The season premiere is May 22.
Bull Falls up for sale/auction? Bull Falls Brewery appears on an auction site new mill capital. According to the listing, the business is up for sale until the date of the auction in mid-June, and then the equipment will be auctioned off. The Wausonian reached out to Bull Falls Brewery for comment but did not hear back by press time.
Ebenezer closed: Ebenezer Grocery and Taqueria has closed — all the signs are gone and the building is completely empty. Besides being a Mexican grocery store, Ebenezer served authentic tacos and other Mexican food at very affordable prices.
Saturday, April 29: In case you don’t know who Bradley Ballard is, he’s not only one of the owners of Whitewater Music Hall, but he’s a pretty badass country singer. This Saturday night, Ballard will be joined by his whole band, including the jaw-dropping lapsteel playing of Dale Reichert, Thomas Seubert, Jed Cordwell and special guest Billy Bronsted. The Bradley Ballard Band’s blend of Cosmic Country will knock your socks off, so I’d swing on down and check it out. 8 pm. More details on the event page.
Sunday, April 30: The Rothschild Pavilion is historic, and it presented one of the last performances of rock legend Buddy Holly before he died in a plane crash. Come bring a picnic and enjoy the sounds of the Wausau Symphony and Band. Hey, it’s a Sunday afternoon and that’s as good a way to spend it as I can think of. 4 pm. Free, but donations are encouraged. See the event page for more info.
Tuesday, May 2: Looking for something for the little ones to do? Give Monk Gardens’ Tots in the Garden a try. Your 3-5-year-old can play with an activity, a game and enjoy a story in the lush Monk Gardens grounds. A little nature goes a long way. 10 am. See more on the event page.
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.
Local MMA fighters win their fights: Elite Team Central Wisconsin gym owner (and my jiujitsu teacher) Ben Price and (fellow student) Devin “Turtle” Lutovsky both won their fights Saturday at the 3 River Throwdown in Onalaska. Price won by split decision; Lutovsky won by second-round knockout. See Price’s fight below (Price is in the solid block trunks and has a beard):
Softball: The Evergreens continue their knockout season, sitting 5-0 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. D.C. Everest defeated Marshfield Tuesday 10-1 to retain the top place in the conference. Addison Kluck is leading the way for the Evergreens with three wins on the mound and an ERA of 1.40. And Mara Meverden is batting hot for the Evergreens, going 8 for 13 with a .615 batting average (she’s second place in the Valley in batting).
Baseball: Since losing its first game of the season, D.C. Everest has won three straight and is now tied for the No. 1 spot in the Valley Conference. The Evergreens shut out Wausau East 9-0 to earn the top spot, tied with Marshfield.
Soccer: D.C. Everest remains the top area team in girls soccer, with a 1-0 record and second place in the Valley Conference. The Evergreens will look to extend that streak when it hosts Merrill today (Thursday).
Boys tennis: D.C. Everest is tied with SPASH for first place in the Valley Conference, with a 2-0 record. The Evergreens look to extend that streak when they take on Wausau East at the Lumberjacks’ home turf.
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