Wausau news: Diversity Affairs is no more
The Weekly Wausonian for April 28, 2022
The Diversity Affairs commission is officially no more.
The new county board, which took a conservative shift in April’s election largely as a backlash to the A Community For All Resolution, approved the rules eliminating the commission. Those rules were designed by the previous board, but could only be adopted by the new board.
The new rules divide the duties of the commission among the other standing committees. The executive committee will be the ultimate clearinghouse for those policies.
Former Diversity Affairs Commission Chair Yee Leng Xiong says he was disappointed by the results, but that its former members will still work to support diversity in the county. He doubts that the current committee structure can adequately handle diversity issues. With new Afghan refugees, that will become only more difficult.
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What else in Wausau news?
The city on Tuesday approved a new executive committee, which is comprised of chairs of all the standing committees. The committee replaces three other committees and serves as something like a super committee, similar to the one the county has.
More ARPA funds were approved to replace the remaining city street lights with LEDs (most are owned by WPS, the city owns its share of lights) and to fund major improvements and maintenance for the city’s skatepark. The move will direct $225,000 of pandemic relief funds to the skatepark.
Around the metro
A fire in the town of Day earlier this month was initially treated as suspicious. Now, it looks like the fire was set off by an accident involving something called fractal woodburning. The technique uses electricity and varnish to achieve a lighting or tree effect on the wood. Not using proper equipment and professional training can be very dangerous, police say. Two people, Tanya Rodriguez, 44, and James Carolfi, 52, were found dead in the fire and believed to have died prior to the fire starting.
The chair of the county’s Republican party withdrew an extensive open records request filed after the April 5 election. Filed that Friday, the request had 11 items on it and included requests such as a list of all new voter registrations made for the April election; absentee ballot counts and all applications for absentee ballots; and many involving the voting machines and processes for county ballots. He still has a records request open for the city.
Wisconsin ranked eighth worst on a list of states for drinking severity. The state had 210 drunken driving fatalities in 2020, up 14.7% from 2019, according to the report from Zutobi. Wausau in 2020 actually had fewer drunken driving citations (272) than in 2019 (323), according to the Wausau Police Department’s annual reports.
Saturday, April 30: The WausaUltra event will take place this Saturday at Sylvan Hill. It’s unique (and a whole lot of running). Either participate in the two lap race, which is two laps of 4.167 miles) or the actual ultra, the Backyard, in which you run the lap over and over every hour on the hour until only one person can continue. There’s a kids event as well, but details will be announced on race day (it’ll be about a 1/2 mile though, to help you plan). If you enjoy pain and misery, read all the gory details here and sign up (registration button is kind of buried in the photo on the page, in case you have trouble finding it).
Friday, April 29—Sunday, May 8: Ever want to see someone do a live glasswork demonstration? Now is your chance, and there are plenty of opportunities here. Head on over to the Woodson Art Museum any day between April 29 and May 8 from 10 am to 3 pm to watch these live glassmaking demonstrations. According to the Woodson’s event: “The Corning Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop, a visually spectacular and fully functioning glassmaking studio on wheels converted from a semi-trailer, sets up shop on the Woodson Art Museum’s campus.” I’ll definitely be checking it out. See the event page for more details.
Friday, April 29: Bradley Sperger is one of Wausau’s most interesting musicians. The man essentially operates as a one-man band, using live-looping to create the sound of a full band. He builds songs live, on the spot, switching between instruments on the fly. (If you’ve listened to the Keep it Wausome podcast, he composed the theme song.) BTW it would be totally worth a trip to the Sawmill in Merrill to check out his music, and grab one of their wonderful beers (or selection of other Wisconsin greats). 6 pm. See the event page for more details.
Goals from five different players helped boost the Wausau Wolfpack Girls Lacrosse in its first conference win Tuesday. The Wolfpack beat Appleton United 9-6 in Appleton to kick off conference play, making the team 1-0 in the Bay Valley Conference, and 4-2 overall.
D.C. Everest and Wausau West baseball are tied for first place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Evergreens edged Wausau East 5-4 Tuesday, and the Warriors racked up the score 13-9 against Marshfield on Tuesday. Everest and West will battle it out Friday on the Warriors’ home turf.
D.C. Everest Girls Soccer sits atop the Wisconsin Valley Conference. Everest beat Marshfield 3-0 Monday, capitalizing on two goals from Jenna Baumann. Makenna Kampmann made four saves in the shutout win.
Everest and West girls softball are also tied, in this case for second place, in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. And D.C. Everest is tied for first in boys tennis with Marshfield and SPASH.
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