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Weekly Wausonian | City council member could be sued
The Wausonian, Aug. 19, 2021 week in Wausau news
A city council member is being threatened with a lawsuit by a county board member over comments attorneys say were slanderous.
Attorneys representing County Board Member William Harris wrote a letter to City Council Member Debra Ryan asking her to cease spreading slanderous comments about Harris and to stop tortiously interfering with Harris’s employment, and to issue an apology.
According to the letter, Ryan called Harris’s employer, Judicare (a law firm which helps low-income folks with legal advice) and told Harris’ boss he was illegally offering legal advice to the mayor about the A Community for All resolution. When the director told Ryan she found no factual basis for the allegations, Ryan became hostile and told the director she wouldn’t be director for long, according to the letter.
The letter says that even had Harris offered legal advice, it wouldn’t be illegal (but that he did no such thing). Ryan also allegedly repeated this info to other city council members, and disparaged Mayor Katie Rosenberg, calling her “naive.”
The letter asks for an apology on the council floor, or a press release made available to area media, as a remedy. Ryan has not responded to request for comment on the matter. Sans that resolution, Harris’ attorney argues, they plan to file a lawsuit for slander and tortious interference with Harris’ employment.
Two big stories coming this weekend: Documents reveal the true nature of the Michael Loy situation, and more details on the potential lawsuit against a sitting council member. These posts will be made available to paid subscribers, so check out our plans below to support local journalism!
What else in Wausau?
A petition is calling for the Wausau School District to impose stricter COVID-19 safety protocols. The WSD School Board elected to make masks optional and continue the policies from last May. The petition gathered 750 signatures, calling for the district to adhere to CDC guidelines, which call for teachers, staff and students to wear masks.
The state’s attorney general announced he is suing local Natural Resources Board Member Fred Prehn for not vacating his seat after the expiration of his term. Prehn’s term expired in May but he has continued to hold his seat, citing the fact that the senate has not confirmed Evers’ next appointment. AG Josh Kaul filed the suit in Dane County Circuit Court and asked for an expedited hearing.
Around the metro
D.C. Everest School District officials say they have concept plans for an indoor sports complex, similar to what Rhinelander built with its Hodag Dome. The D.C. Everest School District was to take up the proposal Wednesday night, past Wausonian’s deadline. Assistant Superintendent Matt Spets told City Pages that right now it’s a concept and details would need to be worked out depending on the community’s needs.
The Marathon County Board will take up a version of the A Community for All Resolution this month. A version without the word equity was sent on by the county’s executive committee following more than an hour of public comment. County Board Members could still propose an amendment that would add the word equity.
Wausonian exclusive: Former Weston Administrator Daniel Guild, who resigned from Weston and was later fired as Rhinelander’s administrator, has started a government consulting service. Guild runs Local Government Management Professionals, a consulting service for the public sector. Guild was arrested last year in March 2020 on misconduct charges and records tampering stemming from his time as Rhinelander’s administrator. The charges were ultimately dismissed as part of a court agreement.
This weekend kicks off Blues Fest, a weekend-long celebration of all things blues at Fern Island in Wausau. The lineup includes (Friday): Reverend Raven (5pm), Jay Stulo (7pm), The Jimmy’s (9 pm); Howard Guitar Ludtke (1 pm), Rick Estrin and the Nightcats (3 pm), Carolyn Wonderland (5 pm), Mike Zito and the Big Blues Band (7 pm) and Eric Gales (9 pm). Tickets (advance purchase) for the whole weekend are $55 for the weekend, $10 for Friday and $45 for Saturday (hint: there are free tickets for Friday on Wausau Events’ website). Prices are slightly more at the door.
Substyle is back! The band with a unique blend of pop, R and B and jazz was a Wausau favorite before they broke up in 2020, during the height of the pandemic. But now, the band has returned and is playing its first show back since then. And what better place that Ciao, a fine Italian eatery and sometimes music venue at 8 pm Friday. It’s their only summer show, according to the band’s event page, so make sure to check it out! “Bringing the crew back has been rewarding and a reminder that music can be fun,” Substyle guitarist and songwriter Harold Melo told The Wausonian. “We can’t wait to share this feeling with everyone!”
During the pandemic, let’s face it, we missed a lot of shared experiences, and one of those was outdoor movies! The Parks Department will host a Movie and Pajama Family Night at Marathon Park today (Thursday). Games for the kiddies will start at 7:30 pm, and the movie, Raya and the Last Dragon, will start at 8:30 pm. Just head to the big kitchen at the park to see the movie on a 35-foot screen.
Matt Brewer took over the 101 Pub last May, turning it into Matt’s 101 Pub. Brewer told The Wausonian he plans to keep the west side pub’s neighborhood feel but has added themed nights, more live music and partnered with West Side Tasty Treat to offer their Filipino food on some nights. He also has some expansion plans long term. See this week’s City Pages for the full story.
Frostman Fish Market is closing its west side location, and merging with Merrill Distributing. The market had existed for 74 years and is one of the last of its kind, harkening back when having markets for individual items was more common. Sherry Frostman will retire and Guy Frostman will join Merrill Distributing.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks have won more games this season than at any other time in franchise history. The Chucks finished with a 44-28 season record. The record put the Chucks on top of the Great Lakes West division and went more than a month without a loss, from July 8 to Aug. 12.
Falls high school sports are slated to kick off next month, with volleyball starting Sept. 2, football starting Sept. 3 and boy soccer kicking off Aug. 31. Wausau West soccer finished on top of the Valley Conference last season; D.C Everest volleyball finished tied with Marshfield on top of the valley; and the Evergreens football dominated a short Valley season. This year the Valley Football Association will include Appleton West, and Wausau East will only field an 8-person team.
On the Pod
On this week’s Keep it Wausome Podcast, Wausau author Chris Gerboth talks about his new book, which is available on Amazon and at Janke Book Store!
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