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No fines for campaign finance violations | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau News for May 25, 2023
The state’s ethics commission decided there would be no fines for campaign finance violations related to the 2022 Wausau School Board election.
Dr. Gillian Battino, who ran in the 2023 race but did not win, filed a complaint last spring with the Wisconsin Elections Commission against 2022 winners Jon Creisher, James Bouche and Joanna Reyes. The complaint essentially alleges that the three ran a joint campaign and split expenses — those contributions resulting from the split expenses violated campaign spending limits.
In a letter to Battino, the commission said the campaigns did indeed violate two state statutes and should have at least resulted in nearly $4,000 in fines. But, the letter says, the commission chose to exercise its discretion and only issue written warnings. It did not say why.
Battino also filed a complaint against two current board members who won this spring, Cory Sillars and Jennifer Paoli. The complaint alleges the two funneled money through the county’s Republican party to skate around the spending limits. That complaint will be reviewed in August.
This week, Wauonians readers got a look at how The Landmark’s renovations reveal the issues with affordable housing:
And read a look at how the shared revenue battle could impact Wausau:
What else in Wausau?
Charter school closer: Speaking of the Wausau School Board, they saw a draft of a contract for the first outdoors-based charter school in the district. Modeled after the Tomorrow River Charter School in Amherst, it would start with four classrooms and add one per year until there are nine. The charter school aims for a fall 2024 opening. But, it’s a little complicated with the restructuring plan still kind of up in the air.
The shuttle is back: Last year Metro Ride had to reject a request to provide shuttle service to the Wausau Hmong Festival. Why? Because the public transportation service struggled to find enough drivers to run even its regular routes. Now that situation has changed, says new Transit Director Matthew Rosenbloom-Jones. So the shuttle is back, which lets people park off-site without cluttering up neighborhoods.
PFAS confidential: Wausau’s city council voted to work with a law firm to seek damages cause by PFAS pollution. The city announced early last year that its wells were polluted with PFAS, and that’s led to many expensive measures to make sure residents get clean water. Expect more details in a coming edition of The Wausonian.
Around the metro
Fatal crash takes area students: Two D.C. Everest high school students, senior Emily Lewerenz and junior Danny Johnson, died in a crash over the weekend in Washington County outside of West Bend. According to police reports, the driver of the SUV they were in pulled out suddenly in front of a large truck. Other teenagers and the occupants of the truck were injured in the crash.
Pine Crest sale: The Lincoln County Board last week voted to look for a broker to sell its nursing home, Pine Crest. The nursing home had experienced financial losses in the past few years, leading the board to consider what it ought to do with the place.
West side open: Last week Malarkey’s Pub owner Tyler Vogt opened Westsider Diner and Lounge on the city’s west side. See my story in City Pages for the full details on what Vogt is trying to do with the place.
Thursday, May 25: Kevin Troestler grew up in Wisconsin, but he has one cool southern country/blues sound. Influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughn and The Allman Brothers might kind of give you a sense of what to expect with this Sauk City native’s music. He’ll be playing out on the Sconni’s patio, a nice place to chill and take in some music. And, it starts at 5 pm! The Wausonian is firmly pro-early start times for music. Check out the event page for more details.
Saturday, May 27: It’s Memorial Day, a national day to remember those who died serving our country. One way to celebrate is to watch the Memorial Day parade downtown, leaving from Trinity Lutheran Church on Stewart Avenue at 10:45 am and making its way to Opportunity Inc. on River Drive. Two tips: One, the farmers market is right there on River Drive, so why not make a morning of it? Two, I like the spot where Stewart Avenue makes its way to River Drive for good parade viewing and photos.
Wednesday, May 31: Andrea Larson ordinarily does the kind of events that make us hurt just thinking about them. One hundred mile races, running laps of four miles over and over for days, or just training by going up and down the steepest part of Rib Mountain for an entire day are just some examples. But the race Larson took on recently makes all that look like child’s play — the Barkley Marathons is considered the world’s toughest race and many years, no one finishes. Just getting to the start line is an accomplishment at this quirky race. Larson will recount her experience at Whitewater Music Hall. 8 pm. See the event page for 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.
Softball: D.C. Everest defeated Wausau East 9-0 Tuesday to advance to the next round of the playoffs. The Evergreens today (Thursday) will take on Valley rival Wisconsin Rapids, which beat Wausau West 10-0 to advance.
Girls soccer: D.C. Everest beat Marshfield 3-0 Tuesday to finish the season in first place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference by just one point. D.C. Everest, Wausau West and Wausau East will begin post-season play Tuesday.
Baseball: D.C. Everest beat Marshfield 16-0 in five innings to retain second place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Evergreens finish the season with another game against Marshfield, but are too many points behind first-place SPASH to contend for first place.
Roller derby: The Mid-State Sisters of Skate lost their opening bought at KB Willet Ice Arena. The Sisters of Skate lost to South Shore 201-126 Saturday. They’ll take on Madison at the KB Willet Area in a double header on June 3.
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