Wausau news this week | May 13, 2021
Unmasking the schools, an end to UWSP dorms and more
Wausau schools starting this summer will allow students to be mask-optional.
The Wausau School Board voted Monday to make the change — originally proposed to be effective immediately but was changed to start in the summer to give parents, students and staff time to adjust.
The proposal was controversial — some board members said the proposal wasn’t in line with Center for Disease Control recommendations.
But proponents of the proposal said with cases so low and other districts taking up the idea, the time had come to ease mask restrictions. The board also lifted a requirement that siblings of those displaying symptoms at school need to be quarantined.
What else in Wausau news?
The dorms at UWSP—Wausau (formerly UW-Marathon) will no longer be operated by the end of the year, citing a lack of need. The county technically owns them and doesn’t yet have plans for the building, but some are eyeing it as a potential site for low-income or transitional housing.
Wausau leaders passed a repeal of a law that required a referendum to implement new fees, paving the way for new fees for things such as garbage pickup to replace the amount taken through taxes - but that will disproportionately impact working-class residents. See more in this weekend’s The Big Story.
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Around the metro
The Marathon County Public Library is slated to open June 1, according to the library’s director Ralph Illick. The library is training staff and the library’s opening should coincide with the completion of building projects including roof repairs.
The school district is working on updates for the school forest following the defeat of the referendum in April that would have funded a new environmental learning center. Some changes such as upgrading its data and internet infrastructure have already happened. The Red Lodge needs to be completely replaced, school officials say.
A soft opening for Wausau’s first dog park is slated for this Saturday. Some folks from the Dog Park Committee and other officials will be at the park at 9 am, otherwise the park will be open all day. The address is 224 Fourth Street (Corrected to include address, updated time of 9 am - an organizer previously told us 8:30 am.)
This might be worth taking a trip to Stevens Point for: The city will host an ArtsWalk downtown starting at 5 pm Friday. Downtown businesses become a series of art galleries featuring local art, as well as makers and business vendors. They’ll also have similar events in July and September.
Not that one needs an excuse to visit the Sawmill in Merrill, but this Saturday Drew Peterson will take the stage there at 7 pm. Enjoy Peterson’s Americana tunes, have a crafted beer and enjoy the cool interior of Sawmill.
The D.C. Everest girls soccer team is off to a blistering start on the season, leading the Wisconsin Valley Conference with a 3-0 record. The Evergreens have taken wins from Wausau East, Marshfield and SPASH. Jenna Baumann has been leading the way in scoring, with four of five goals against Marshfield for instance.
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