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Weekly Wausonian | Children's Imaginarium lands in Wausau
Wausau news for Oct. 14, 2021
A long-planned children’s museum will kick off construction next summer. The Children’s Imaginarium, what was previously called the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, will start construction in part of the HOM Furniture building and be complete by fall, if all goes according to plan.
The Imaginarium will have five themed rooms: The Air Zone, The Water Zone, the Construct, the Market and The Farm, along with a science and technology lab called The STEM Tree. There will be rooms for general-purpose programming, birthday parties and more.
The founders Maggie Gordon and Tammy Szekeress say funding for the project, which began the planning stages in 2013, is 90% of the way toward its $3.4 million goal.
HOM Furniture will be remodeled and the furniture store will occupy the middle section of the more than 100,000 square foot building. One side of the building will house the Imaginarium. The other will house other retail. That makes the Imaginarium the first project in the mall redevelopment project.
Paid subscribers this week read a story about suspicious spending by the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, and got an early peek at the Imaginarium story. Enjoy the free version as long as you want, but when you’re ready to take your Wausonian citizenship to the next level, consider becoming a paid subscriber to support local, independent journalism and see all The Wausonian’s content.
What else in Wausau?
The Wausau School Board set a policy against board members speaking during the public comment part of a meeting. Taking up the bulk of the board’s Monday meeting, the board didn’t prohibit the practice but made clear it’s discouraged and speakers do so at their own peril. The issue came from board member Jane Rusch speaking during the public comment period of a school board meeting on a topic not on the agenda, which school attorneys say is an open meetings violation. A citizen complained about it. Rusch told the board the idea that it was an open meeting violation is ridiculous.
The Wausonian is about to turn one! The first issue came out in late October last year. It has grown quite a bit in this time, and thanks to everyone who has subscribed, either free or paid, and has continued to support the publication. I appreciate you!
Wausau Events announced a new airport event: Wings over Wausau. The event will be an airshow with plenty of fun for the kids, and the organization is moving Chalkfest to the same weekend. That ticked off the folks running Taste N’ Glow in Stettin a bit, since the balloon rally was traditionally held the same day as Chalkfest. But Taste N’ Glow told The Wausonian that they’re also working on adding to the event with some surprises coming up next year.
This week in data
Marathon County has raised its tax rates for the first time since before 2010. This year’s rate will be $4.55 per $1,000 in valuation; just a touch increase from $4.52 in 2021 ‘s budget (passed in 2020). The impact on taxes will be a little more though, because of a tax levy increase approved by the state. See the change over time here:
I’ve always loved the name Pert Near Sandstone. “Pert near” cracks me up as a phrase. So this event 7 pm Friday looks awfully promising: An evening with Pert Near Sandstone and the River Valley Rangers looks to be a power-packed evening of bluegrass at Whitewater Music Hall in downtown Wausau. Tickets are $20, and you’d better get them while they’re available! See all the details on Whitewater Music Hall’s event page. (As an alternative, 20 Watt Tombstone is playing a local show at The Pollack Inn 9:30 pm Saturday.)
But if you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos, check out the opening night of the Wausau Cyclones this Friday. That’s right, I said Wausau Cyclones. The Riverwolves changed their name for this season, taking on the old hockey team’s name I remember watching as a kid in the 80s. (That’s right, I lived Stranger Things in real life!) Check them out 7 pm Friday as they take on the St. Louis Junior Blues at Marathon Park. Get tickets here.
If you just gotta get your gravel bike on, Ironbull has you covered with its Red Granite Grinder, kicking off 7 am Saturday. Mileage ranges from 12 to 144 miles and costs between $45 and $100. You’ll ride all over the dang county depending on the option you choose, with a mix of gravel and road riding. See more on the registration page.
Quin Babiarz of Wausau West is the top seed of central Wisconsin tennis players in the state tournament ready to kick off today (Thursday). Babiarz, a sophomore, is seeded 42 in the tournament and will play Rhinelander’s Annika Johnson. Mia Bailey, West’s No. 1 singles player, is seeded 52nd in the tournament and will play Ameila Ansay of Nicolet today. West’s Anika Eder and Katie Meyer (seeded 12th) will take on Maia Samuelson and Ava Mayer of New Berlin Eisenhower in doubles action today as well. West had the only tennis players in the Wausau area to make the state tournament in singles and doubles.
The Warriors football team trounced Appleton West 42-6 Friday to pull neck and neck with SPASH in the Valley Football Association Conference. Wausau West, Wisconsin Rapids and SPASH are tied for first in the Valley Football Association with 5-1 records. The Warriors will end their conference season Friday against Hortonville, a game they’re expected to win. Losses by SPASH and Rapids would give West the conference title heading into the playoffs.
On the pod
Did you know Wausau has a new poet laureate? It’s Dawn Anderson, and she’s super cool. Check out my talk with her on the Keep it Wausome podcast:
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