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Weekly Wausonian | Community mourning Neena Pacholke, new Granite Peak acquisition and other Wausau News
Wausau news for Sept. 1, 2022
The Wausau area is mourning the loss of WAOW anchor Neena Pacholke, who it appears took her own life over the weekend.
Channel 9 reported that Pacholke, who was 27 and worked at the station for five years, died on Saturday. She was considered friendly and outgoing, but other outlets mentioned she’d experienced some tragedy and personal loss as of late.
A GoFundMe page has raised well more than $17,000 toward her funeral expenses, according to the website.
The Wausonian extends its condolences to her family and to her coworkers.
What else in Wausau?
Granite Peak owner Charles Skinner has purchased Big Snow Resort in Upper Michigan. That includes Indianhead and Blackjack, as well as restaurants and a hotel. Skinner said in a press release that the names will be phased out because they are offensive to Native Americans. The news comes as a plan to expand Granite Peak first proposed in 2014 has yet to materialize. (It’s now being considered as part of the overall master planning for the park.)
North Central Health Care has restarted its search for a new director. Current interim director Mort McBain says the executive committee had chosen a candidate and made an offer, only for his county to offer more money. NCHC will conduct a nationwide search for a new director. Meanwhile…
…that comes as NCHC is drawing heat for its decision to close a popular mental health clubhouse. NCHC announced Community Corner Clubhouse would be closing by the end of the year as the organization tries to shore up more than $2 million in budget shortfalls. The clubhouse is an important hub for those suffering from mental health issues.
Wausau’s City Council this week approved the funding to search for a new transit director. Greg Seubert announce he will retire in January, and the city seeks a new director as a consultant it hired is about to announce its recommendations for the flailing system. The city will use $22,500 from the transit department’s budget, which it has since it can’t hire enough bus drivers.
Speaking of Metro Ride, a Metro Ride bus crashed into a residential yard this week. WAOW reports that the driver of a semi-truck rear-ended the bus after failing to yield, sending it into a residential yard. Only the driver, who police cited, was injured in the incident.
Paid subscribers this week read a story about how residents have been meeting to discuss the difficulties including a mass exodus of staff in the village of Kronenwetter. It’s a side story to our series on the village of Kronenwetter, which has had a complete turnover of its staff in a year’s time.
Around the metro
The village of Weston rejected the idea of closing parts of its TIF district. Consultants for the village said the district could close early and still fund the Weston Avenue reconstruction project. It’s slated to close in 2031, but closing it early would allow new increment from those properties to go back to the tax levy.
Rib Mountain announced its Well No. 1 now tests with undetectable levels of PFAS. The forever chemical that is harmful to human health is being filtered by a resin substance that seems to be effective for the Rib Mountain’s sanitation sewer district.
This week in data
Property taxes taken from Marathon County’s portion of the bill went up this year. It’s the biggest increase in at least ten years. Here is how much county taxes have increased for the average homeowner each year. The Wausonian is tracking how much taxes will increase next year. (Updated to make wording more clear, as the previous verison made it sound like next year’s taxes would increase. That hasn’t been decided yet.)
Friday, Sept. 2: There’s something psychedelic and dreamy about Sleepy Gaucho (get it? Sleepy? Dreamy? ok…) that draws you in. This Milwaukee act is somehow hard driving with rolling melodies and a mood-setting ability that’s hard to explain. They’re bringing a five-piece act to Lamplight Sessions, which is a pretty damned cool new music venue in Mosinee. $15. Check out the venue’s event page for more info.
Satuday, Sept. 3: Remember Ginseng Fest? Well, it’s back! (Um, sort of.) Our CVB will host a Wisconsin Ginseng Celebration this Saturday at Veterans Park in Marathon City. Think of it as a pre-party to the full Ginseng Fest happening in 2024! For this celebration there will be children’s games and activities, ginseng garden tours, a lion dance, vendor booths, Hmong dance performances and just a whole lot to do with ginseng. Marathon County is a big ginseng exporter so it’s nice to see the event come back. 10 am-5 pm.
Fri-Sun., Sept. 2-4: Retro games are not only fun; I think they’re the most fun. And this annual festival, which celebrates all things retro gaming, is where you want to be if you agree! Play hundreds of games set up on TV sets around the room at Lincoln Lanes in Merrill: SNES, NES, Genesis, 3DO, Panasonic, Colecovision — you name it, they got it. I once spent way too long playing pinball one year. If you want to see more, check out the video below. $10 Friday or Sunday, $20 Saturday, $30 the whole weekend. See the event page for more details.
Wausau West football got a win in the last non-conference matchup before the conference season starts next week. The Warriors beat DePere 21-20 in a tight game. The Evergreens lost 35-21 to Chippewa Falls last Thursday. Everest will host Appleton West Friday and the Warriors will host Wisconsin Rapids Friday. Both games are at 7 pm.
Wausau East will not be yielding a varsity football team this year. District officials told The Wausonian that they’re fielding two JV teams and hope to have a solid varsity team for the 2023 season. Last year East played eight-man football because they didn’t have enough players, but had hoped to return to full-time play this year.
Wausau West Volleyball will host D.C. Everest Thursday for the first game of the conference season. East will play its first conference games next week. All games start at 7 pm.
Wausau East Boys Soccer will host D.C. Everest for the first games of the conference season Thursday, and Wausau West will host Merrill. Both games start at 5 pm.
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