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Police say crime increasing at gazebo | The Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of July 22, 2021
Wausau police have been responding to an increasing number of calls to the gazebo at Big Bull Falls Park just east of downtown.
In May, police responded to three calls at the gazebo, a place where many homeless individuals spend time. In June that increased to 19 calls, including several medical emergencies, a stabbing and a report of a man hacking at the gazebo with a hatchet.
The news comes as crime increased substantially in June overall. Heroin overdoses numbered six, and overdoses are on track toward a record in 2021, Wausau Police Deputy Chief Matt Barnes says.
The Wausonian plans to have a longer, subscriber-only post about the increase in Wausau crime this weekend.
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What else in Wausau?
A number of Ethiopian refugees could be relocated to Wausau, if a new proposal is approved by the feds. The group Ethiopian Community Development Council has proposed relocating up to 75 Ethiopian refugees to Wausau, and could open an office here too, leading to new jobs. If approved by the Department of State, the first refugees could start arriving next year.
The Marathon County Public Library could have a new director by next month. Interim Director Leah Giordano is in the running, as is Kakauna Library Director Ashley Thiem-Menning. The library board will interview the candidates Aug. 2. The library’s board has been searching for a new director since its former director Ralph Illick resigned following allegations of a toxic work culture. Wausonian requested the full investigative report and expects to receive it soon.
Wausau Events is warning of a balloon fest scam. Apparently, someone created a fake event on Facebook for a balloon rally held at the Wausau Airport in October. Wausau Events has a fireworks event slated for September but no balloon fest — that was held in Stettin earlier this month.
Around the metro
Marathon County broadband received a pretty big boost last week. Bug Tussel and two other providers are working on plans to apply for grants that could see major broadband internet expansion in the rural parts of the county. The county has been working on improving broadband and is taking a similar approach to Oneida County — partnering with individual providers to help them apply for grants to build infrastructure.
Marathon County Board Member EJ Stark will be replaced this month. Stark resigned from the board a few weeks after the county’s executive committee voted against the A Community for All resolution, sparking a New York Times story that many of all political persuasions felt painted Wausau in a bad light. Stark did not give a reason for resigning.
Well-known party band Hip Pocket is slated to rock the biergarten at Bull Falls Brewery at 6 pm this Friday. Billed as the hardest working band in the Midwest, Hip Pocket is a huge band - as many as 25 members at once — and plays a variety of music from pop to blues to bluegrass and jazz. Check em out and try one of Bull Falls tasty beers.
Those who knew him already miss Coach Steff — and now you can say a proper goodbye. A Celebration of Coach Wayne Steffenhagen will take place 5 pm Saturday at Stiehm Stadium. A social will start at 5 pm and the program will start at 7 pm, which is high school football game time. Pay your respects to Coach Steff, who former athletes say helped change lives by inspiring them to be their best.
What’s better for kids than a ball game? A ball game with fireworks of course! The Wisconsin Woodchucks Friday night game will also feature fireworks after the game, so stop on down and watch the Chucks smash the Lakeshore Chinooks. Game time 5:35 pm Friday, fireworks to follow.
Bucks in six: The Wausonian is of course committed to sticking with local news, but this one just couldn’t be helped: The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night, making a dramatic comeback after being down two games to start the series. The Bucks are the NBA champions for the first time in the team’s history, winning the series 4-2.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks are now tied for second place in the second half of the Northwoods League season. The Chucks are 8-5 in the Great Lakes West division in the second half of the season, tied with the Madison Mallards and the Green Bay Booyah. The Chucks defeated the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Sunday 6-5. They take on the Lakeshore Chinooks at home Thursday.
On the pod
Photographer Tim Gutknecht joins the podcast this week to talk about his life as a pro photographer.
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