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Wausau News Roundup: Police task force makes recommendations
The Weekly Wausonian for Feb. 3, 2022
Wausau’s Policing Task Force this week finalized its recommendations after roughly one and a half years of work. The task force, formed in August 2020 following Black Lives Matter protests in Wausau (the largest protest in the city’s history), has been meeting since then.
The recommendations cover a lot of ground, including improved mental health training for police (as well as increased mental health counseling for police themselves); outreach to minority and youth groups; and better outreach efforts to make people more comfortable with Wausau’s police force.
(The Wausonian is working on a larger, more detailed story about the task force and its recommendations, coming later this week.)
The policing task force will meet one more time to finalize its report and the prioritization of its recommendations.
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What else in Wausau news?
Wausau resident Fred Prehn, currently serving past his term on the state’s Natural Resources Board, has been replaced as chair of the board. Greg Kazmierski, a Scott Walker appointee to the board, has been named chair by the board. Prehn’s term ended last May but Prehn has refused to vacate for Tony Evers-appointee Sandra Naas, citing the fact that the legislature has yet to confirm Naas.
Around the metro
Many more people flew out of Central Wisconsin Airport last year than in 2020, when COVID-19 first emerged in the U.S. According to data provided by CWA, 76% more passengers flew out of CWA in 2021 than in 2020, as United announced it would no longer fly out of CWA. (The airline accounted for 10% of all CWA flights.)
A bill to fund a pilot program to reduce phosphorus runoff in the Fenwood Creek area is being circulated by Rep. Pat Snyder (R—Schofield) and other legislators. The program pays farmers to reduce their manure runoff, which in the past has led to fish kills at the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir.
The county’s Parks Commission approved buying land north of Brokaw County Park for bike, hike and ski use. The nearly 40 acres will be purchased with timber sale money and could be part of CWOCC’s plans to introduce mountain biking up there.
There’s something haunting and beautiful about the combination of Genevieve Heyward’s voice with her songwriting. She reminds me of Haley Bonar before she transitioned from a folksy/Americana act to electronica. This Friday, check out Heyward on the big stage at the Grand Theater. Tickets are only $10, and for these kinds of shows they tighten down the set up so you get an intimate experience with the artist. Check out this event page for more information. And check out ‘Take Care’ below to see what I’m talking about.
Whitewater Music Hall has become a really interesting place - a cultural hub for art, music and all other things interesting. So it’s pretty cool that the Wausau Community Theatre is going to put on this intimate show, Art, at the venue. Art is a show centered on one piece of art — a white canvas with horizontal black stripes — and the character’s reactions to it. It’s art critique, comedy, drama and everything else you could imagine, and far more intimate than a larger show. Thursday-Saturday 7 pm, $15 general admission and $20 reserved tables, check out the event page for all the details.
Are you just itching to get those snowshoes out? The Ice Age Trail Alliance Northwoods Chapter is hosting a snowshoe event at The Underdown trails with hikes from 1-4 hours Saturday, starting at 10 am. Cider and hot chocolate will be available. Meet at the Underdown Recreation Parking Lot, bring your snowshoes and have fun! It’s free. See the event page for more details.
The Wausau Woodchucks… wait, what did I just say? That’s right, you might have known them as the Wisconsin Woodchucks, but the Chucks front office just revealed that our beloved Woodchucks will now be known as the Wausau Woodchucks. The Northwoods League team were originally the Wausau Woodchucks, then became the Wisconsin Woodchucks in that brief time period when they were the only Wisconsin team in the league. The Chucks once again are from Wausau. All is as it should be.
Wausau West girls basketball just can’t be stopped this season. The Warriors are now 9-0 in the Valley Conference with a 77-52 win over Wausau East on Friday. Kenzie Deaton leads the team in three-pointers, second place in the conference with a .417 shooting percentage from downtown. And the pair of Kelly Kray and Molly Anderson have been getting it done on the boards, with 78 and 65 rebounds respectively.
Former D.C. Everest Girls Basketball standout Renee (Kasten) Hodell, a DCE record holder and UW-Stout standout, was given an appreciation award for her lifetime commitment to D.C. Everest Girls basketball Friday. Hodell received the award along with her husband and two daughters, also former DCE Girls basketball standouts.
With the season about to wrap up, Wausau West remains locked in first place with Stevens Point in boys hockey. West on Jan. 25 lost in double overtime to Wisconsin Rapids. Both teams have a game against Marshfield, but the Warriors head to Stevens Point Feb. 8 (Tuesday) to battle it out in a game that likely could decided the conference title, baring either of them losing to 4th place Marshfield.
The Central Wisconsin Storm girls hockey team has put together a 3-game win streak on the road, brushing past Western Wisconsin, St. Croix and blowing past Medford 11-1. The 16-3 Storm have four games left, including two at home before heading into the playoffs.
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