Snowma-not-so-geddon | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Jan. 18, 2024
Wausau and central Wisconsin got a pretty serious snowstorm Friday, but it wasn’t the multi-day, everything is buried snowout the weatherfolks promised.
Still, it was a pretty serious snowstorm. The city activated its first Community on Call initiative, which saw area businesses and organizations help provide shelter for those without it. The Wausonian reached out to Community Outreach Specialist Tracy Rieger for specifics on how it went but did not hear back.
The snow made traveling difficult, but also added needed snow for the snow economy. Minimal snowmobile trails opened, Nine Mile Forest opened to fat biking and skiing, and Granite Peak got a nice boost to their snowmaking efforts.
Are Wausau’s water workers underpaid? And why have personnel costs dramatically increased in the water utility, with not many new positions? The Wausonian takes a deep dive with this story:
Plus read the details about the potential Everest Metro-Rothschild police department merger, which we had before any other news organization in the area:
What else in Wausau?
Demographer, to the rescue: The Wausau School Board recently scrapped an unpopular plan to redo its schools including merging East and West. But what to do next isn’t so clear. The board next month will consider hiring a demographer to help determine just that. The demographer, Mark Roffers, will deliver a presentation to the board on Feb. 12 and that will serve as his interview, so to speak, district leaders say. Roffers if hired would look at the current elementary school layout and make recommendations.
Search for a new super begins: The Wausau School Board will be working with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to find a new superintendent. Current Superintendent of Schools Keith Hilts announced his retirement following the scrapping of a major school merger Hilts had steered. District leaders expect the process of finding a new super to take about three to four months.
Around the metro
One less county board race?: It looked like there would be 14 county board races, but that appears to have been narrowed to 13 after a successful challenge against one candidate’s nomination papers. Kody Hart challenged two signatures of his opponent Jo Ann Egelkrout, and the clerk herself flagged two more. Ultimately it left her with less than the 50 signatures needed to appear on the ballot. But then we learned Egelkrout is challenging the decision with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. See the full story about all the challenges here.
Wanted Marathon County man arrested in Houston: The U.S. Marshals Service in Houston arrested a man on the lam from Marathon County. Peter Jewell-Reigel was arrested in a hotel parking lot where he’d been living in a car, following a standoff with police (he was armed with a knife), the U.S. Marshals Service says. Jewell-Reigel last month had been on the way to his probation agent to address allegations that he had unsupervised contact with a minor contrary to the terms of his probation when he removed the GPS device and fled his parents’ vehicle. Further charges have not yet been filed in Marathon County court.
Kronenwetter taps DPW director as next administrator: A position that’s been empty since Richard Downey left in the summer of 2022 is now filled. The village of Kronenwetter Monday night approved hiring the village’s Department of Public Works Director Leonard Ludi as its next administrator. The position had been filled by various people on an interim basis, including retired village of Plover (Portage County) administrator Dan Mahoney. And, the village is considering a mentorship contract with Mahoney to help bring Ludi up to speed on being an administrator.
Missing girl: Police are searching for a 13-year-old girl who went missing earlier this week. Police say Kaylee Powell was last seen around 4:15 pm leaving John Muir on foot. She is described as 4’11”, 210 pounds, wearing mostly dark clothes except for a Hawaiian shirt. Police have searched the Rib Mountain area on foot and with drones and so far haven’t found her. No foul play is suspected. Anyone with information on Powell’s whereabouts should contact the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency phone at 715-261-1200, and select option 1.
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Grand announces new ticketing system; MJ Live canceled: The Grand Theater has a new digital ticketing system, the non-profit announced. Tickets will now be delivered online first, but those who prefer print tickets can still find that option. Meanwhile, The Grand announced that the MJ Live show has been canceled due to the whole tour being canceled.
Thursday, Jan. 18: Lillie Mae is no stranger to the stage - she’s been playing since she was old enough to hold a guitar, and she’s bringing her country/Americana style to the cozy, intimate Lamplight Sessions in Mosinee. She plays guitar and fiddle, but her voice really stands out with its airy high pitch. It’s relaxing. Two of her three albums are on Jack White’s label and she has played on his solo albums. She’s joined by another Nashville musician, opening act Rachel Baiman. 7 pm. $36. Tickets are listed as low for this event but word is they typically keep a few extras around. See more at the event page.
Saturday, Jan. 20: When the NA3HL first came to town they were called the Timberwolves - but wisely the team change its name to the Wausau Cyclones, an homage to a hockey team that once played here in the 80s and 90s. The change seemed to do them good - they’re now winning a lot of games. This Saturday might be a good time to go see them - the Cyclones are adding corgi races to the festivities Saturday. Corgis are some of the cutest dogs around and the whole thing should make for a fun outting. 7:10 pm. $10 online, $11 at the gate. See the event page for more.
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: Games are typically played on Fridays and were canceled last week. East and West remained tied for third.
Girls basketball: Wausau West remains the top Wausau area team in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, at fourth place. The Warriors fell to 3-3 with a 71-50 loss to Marshfield.
Boys hockey: Secon-place Wausau West will look to improve on its 4-1 record as it takes on D.C. Everest today. West has not played a conference game since its loss to SPASH in December.
Girls hockey: After a two week layoff, the Central Wisconsin Storm will take on Beaver Dam at home Friday.
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