Petition circulating calling for restructuring referendum | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of March 2, 2023
A petition calling for a pause to the Wausau School District’s restructuring plan and calling for a referendum instead is gaining momentum.
The online petition has so far garnered nearly 1,800 signatures as of Wednesday morning.
Superintendent Keith Hilts stated at a committee meeting Monday that he didn’t think it was a good idea, since the average person wouldn’t put in the time to truly understand the issue.
Meanwhile, school board members expressed interest in the idea, at least in terms of holding an advisory referendum next spring. That would give the board an idea where residents truly stand, and allow time to educate the public more. Board Member Lance Trollop said Monday that when he speaks to residents against the plan, they tend to be upset about something that’s not true: for example, thinking that bigger schools will lead to bigger class sizes.
This week The Wausonian took a deep dive into Bridge Community Health Clinic’s complete lack of doctors and dentists:
What else in Wausau?
Record storm: Last week’s snowstorm hit a record on Wednesday, according to WAOW’s Justin Loew. That resulted in canceled flights and tow bans put in place to keep public safety workers safe. But, it also led snowmobile trails to open and the possible extension of the winter sports season.
Ethics delay: An ethics complaint filed against three school board members for their 2022 campaigns will be delayed until May, according to the person who filed the complaint. Current school board candidate Gillian Battino filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission alleging that James Bouche, Jon Creisher and Joanna Reyes shared expenses that exceeded state contribution limits. No explanation for the delay was given.
Day center: Last year city officials approved a plan to expand Catholic Charities’ warming shelter for homeless folks to operate all year, as well as expand into a day center. Tuesday the city approved a little extra ARPA funding to instead have Open Door operate the day center instead, with some help from Catholic Charities. Open Door is a resource for recently released inmates, helping to ensure they have food and clothing and helping them reintegrate into society.
This time for real: The Wausonian reported last week on a committee that would look at the possibility of creating a new city department to tackle the city’s homelessness problems. Two things happened: The Wausonian accidentally published Wednesday evening instead of scheduling for Thursday morning; and the city at the last minute postponed the meeting, apparently due to the weather. (See the above brief.) That meeting has now been rescheduled for March 28. Otherwise the agenda looks the same.
Around the metro
House fire: At least one person died in a house fire in the town of Elderon, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office officials say. Authorities found the remains of one person but have not yet identified that person, they say.
Too lenient: A popular Everest Metro school resource officer unexpectedly retired last year, and now we know why. A records released obtained by WAOW showed Frank Wierzbanowski, known by the kids as Officer Frank, often ignored D.C. Everest officials’ demands to issue citations in line with the district’s no-tolerance policy around drugs and alcohol, including vaping. Wierzbanowski disagreed with the policy, said he didn’t think the district should dictate how police handle their business and admitted that he lied about having issued citations when he didn’t. The Wausonian will have a deeper report this weekend.
Thursday, March 2: Many of you have already read about it, but Lamplight Sessions is hosting Portland country act Jenny Don’t and the Spurs. Jenny Don’t got her start as part of a punk band before a kitchen conversation sparked the idea of starting up a country act instead. Since then they’ve been touring as Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, with Jenny’s big, melodic Patsy Cline-style voice blending perfectly with those string-bending country licks. Find out all the info included in our review.
Friday, March 3: If you watch a lot of PBS, you’ve probably already heard of Ireland with Michael. But this live version takes it to the next level. As venue Grand Theater puts it, Ireland with Michael live is “a multimedia experience, combining a five-piece band, world champion dancers, excerpts from the PBS show, and of course, the golden vocals of the voice of Riverdance on Broadway, Michael Londra.” Sounds like one entertaining evening to me! 7:30 pm. See the event page for more info.
Saturday, March 4: Your typical bar band around here doesn’t come armed with a bevy of horns backing them — but The Positions are not your typical bar band. This high-energy horn-based funk band can really jam. Watch this eight-piece act light up the state at Arrow Sports Club this weekend. 9 pm. See 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 basketball: D.C. Everest finished the Wisconsin Valley Conference season tied for second place, the best of the Wausau area teams, after defeating Wisconsin Rapids 70-48 Friday. The Evergreens will host Appleton East Friday in the first round of the playoffs. Wausau West won its play-in game Tuesday against Eau Claire North 56-54. The Warriors head to Hudson Friday for their first round game. Wausau East won its play-in game Tuesday 68-53 against Waupaca. The Lumberjacks will head to Shawano Friday.
Girls basketball: Wausau West has advanced to the sectional semifinal of the playoffs after earning wins against Appleton East 73-70 and Superior 54-51. The Warriors will take on Hortonville in Stevens Point today (March 2) for the chance to advance to the sectional final. D.C. Everest lost its play-in game, and Wausau East in Division 2 beat Ashland in its play-in game but lost in the first round to Lakeland.
Combined swimming?: The Wausau School Board heard a proposal Monday to combine Wausau East and West swimming. East has consistently had a team, school officials said, but West generally hasn’t. The district will decide on the proposal at a later meeting.
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