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Weekly Wausonian | Wausau School Board hiring attorney to investigation band teacher situation
Wausau news for the week of May 11, 2023
The latest development in the Wausau East Band Teacher scandal includes the Wausau School Board hiring an outside attorney to perform its own investigation into the situation.
That situation, summarized: A student claimed Wausau East Band Director Rob Perkins targeted him with racist, homophobic language and aggression. Following a vague press release about Perkins returning to the classroom following a district investigation, members of the Hmong community (the student is Hmong) signed an open letter calling out Perkins, and a post from one of the student’s family members further detailed the accusations.
A counter-narrative posted over the weekend from some Wausau East band students say Perkins is being maligned, offered explanations and alternative versions of the events, and said their voices are being silenced.
It’s a complex situation with the district having performed the initial investigation and now the Department of Public Instruction and the school board performing their own. Here is some of our coverage:
The Wausonian didn’t just focus on this situation. We also covered the sale of Bull Falls Brewery, including the news that they owed hundreds of thousands to the city:
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What else in Wausau?
McClellan, for real this time: The City Council has now made it official: The McClellan Ramp will close in June, and probably come down next year. The top two floors will close immediately. City leaders are taking down the ramp because it is old and dilapidated, and would cost a pretty penny to keep operating and safe. And, city parking ramps are barely being used as it is, the city’s finance director says. Residents with passes for McClellan can park in the Jefferson ramp (levels 2-4)
Survey says: City leaders released the results of a survey about what kind of housing residents want to see in the Thomas Street neighborhood. That housing will go on remnant parcels left over from the reconstruction of Thomas Street. Past housing on remnant parcels drew controversy because they didn’t fit the neighborhood and were deemed unaffordable. The city will help with the affordability element.
Drug bust: Wausau Police say they have made a huge drug bust Tuesday night, seizing a copious amount of drugs, money and a revolver. Police arrested Samuel Teague, 40, on domestic, drug and weapon offenses, they say. Police say they seized “approximately 460 grams of marijuana, 215 grams of powder cocaine, 52 grams of crack cocaine, 1 revolver, and approximately $4,000 in cash” from a residence in the 800 block of Single Avenue.
Around the metro
Still missing: Police still have no clue what happened to Tara Jane Sullivan, who went missing from her home in Weston last month. Her phone was found in Ringle, her car found in Shawano and her house was damaged when police went there. Anyone who has information about Sullivan should call the Sheriff’s Office at 715-261-1200 (option 5).
DeSantis visits town: Potential Republican presidential hopeful and governor of Florida Ron DeSantis visited the Wausau area over the weekend for the county Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner. Though he technically hasn’t announced that he’s running for president, he’s taking the kind of actions that make it likely he will challenge Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
Traffic void: The city of Schofield announced that the lane closures on Grand Avenue are now over — the closures started afternoon traffic jams in the southern metro heading south. Apparently a pavement void led them to shut down the lane while crews repaired them.
Best brewery in America?: Sawmill Brewing Company is the most popular brewery in America. That’s according to the Hop Passport 2023 March Brewsanity Tournament, which made its decision last month. Sawmill competed against 1,200 breweries in a round-robin style tournament to earn the distinction.
Thursday, May 11: Basketball Divorce Court caught my eye initially with their name — but this group brings a combo of speed metal and power punk that gets you up and moving. They’re joined by Careful Gaze and local punk favorites CASHED. 9 pm. See the event page for more details.
Friday, May 12: We’ve already highlighted Early Eyes in our May 1 feature; this pop-R&B style act has a very laid back Steely Dan-vibe to it, mixed with modern sensibilities. Joining this Minneapolis-based act is Horace Greene. 7 pm. See more at the event page.
Saturday, May 12: You probably remember Harold Melo, the talented guitarist of Substyle. Harold joined forces with John Pearson, whose Nick-Cave like vocals combined with Melo’s country style to create a memorable Johnny-Cash like sound with The Short-Pay Riders. See them at Malarkey’s Pub this Saturday. 8 pm. See the event page for more.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the family-oriented listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
Softball: D.C. Everest needed to win Wednesday night’s game at Wausau East to remain in first place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. A win Wednesday night would put them tied for first with SPASH and Wisconsin Rapids, all at 8-2.
Baseball: D.C. Everest remains the top Wausau area team, second place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Evergreens have two losses this season after falling 2-1 to Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday.
Girls soccer: D.C. Everest leads the way for Wausau area teams, second place behind Marshfield in the Valley Conference. The Evergreens head to Wausau East today (Thursday) for a chance to get one game closer to first-place Marshfield.
Boys tennis: D.C. Everest lost to SPASH 5-2 last week to fall to second place in the Valley. The Evergreens are tied with Marshfield at 3-1 in conference play but they’ll head to Marshfield today to settle the score.
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