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Weekly Wausonian | Wausau West locks down after gun incident
Wausau News for Oct. 21, 2021
Wausau West briefly locked down Friday after a student was suspected to have a gun.
The 14-year-old male student did in fact have an unloaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in his backpack when police investigated. The incident started when another student saw the gun and reported it to a school official.
The child is expected to face charges of bringing a weapon to school, and it is not yet known whether the child would enter adult court, police told The Wausonian. Juvenile court is most likely in this type of scenario. Police said they didn’t want to speculate on motive, but it doesn’t appear the student intended to harm anyone.
The school district praised the student for saying something to school officials when that person saw the gun.
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What else in Wausau?
The city opened up new parking spaces on Washington Street this week. The several dozen parking spots are in the place where the front of the mall was prior to its demolition. The larger plan is to make Washington Street two way, but for now residents downtown should enjoy the extra parking.
Aspirus officials say half of all the hospital’s COVID-19 hospitalizations required admission to its intensive care unit. Of those in the ICU, 88% were unvaccinated, Aspirus officials told The Wausonian. COVID cases are starting to drop in Marathon County after a brief rise: the seven-day moving average as of press time is 50 cases in the county, according to Department of Health Services data.
A city committee last week approved hiring Clark Dietz to generate a plan for replacing the city’s lead pipes. The Environmental Protection Agency advises against any lead exposure because it is a toxic metal harmful to humans. The report is expected to cost nearly $70,000.
Around the metro
The city of Merrill passed a vaccination freedom resolution last week. The resolution bars city employees from being forced to vaccinate, in response to President Joe Biden’s mandate that employers with more than 100 employees must require their employees to get vaccinated. Merrill Mayor Derek Woellner has indicated he will not sign the resolution.
County Board Supervisor Arnold Schlei has died. According to his obituary, Schlei died late Wednesday night last week. Schlei was currently serving as a supervisor covering the 12th District, which represented the towns of Easton and Wausau. Schlei also served as the town of Easton Chair and had served on the Wisconsin Counties Association.
One of my favorite memories of Japan, oddly enough, is learning the dance moves to Thriller from some of my younger colleagues. Ever since, I’ve had a soft spot for Thriller, including the song and the entire album. So if you haven’t seen this Wausau Dance Theater production taking the stage at The Grand Theater Saturday at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm, well zombie walk yourself over there and check it out. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children. Thril-lah!
Genevieve Heyward is starting to become a powerhouse in the music scene. If haven’t heard her Americana/folk/pop vocals, she has a great melodic voice with just a tinge of smokiness and sultriness to give her voice some real weight. Her music reminds me of Minneapolis artist Haley Bonar, with a tinge of small town Americana sadness to it. Heyward has played with Grammy Winners and has shared the stage with national touring acts. Come check her out at The Elbow Room, known to Pointers as “The ‘Bow” at 8 pm Friday.
Oh is Halloween coming up? Then I guess it’s a good time for the Wausau Ghost Tours this Friday and Saturday. Walking ghost tours leave at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm Friday, and costumed tours leave every 20 minutes between 6-8 pm. The costumed tours sound especially cool, with actors in costumes playing out the parts while you watch and enjoy. They cost $10 and are free to children 7 and under.
Wausau West won its last football game of the conference season Friday, defeating Hortonville 30-22. SPASH and Wisconsin Rapids also both won, leaving all three teams tied for first in the conference. Playoffs start Friday. Everest heads to Kimberly and West hosts Neenah. All games are Friday at 7 pm.
D.C. Everest Volleyball finished the Wisconsin Valley Conference season 10-2, tied for first with Marshfield. The Evergreens finished their last game of the season with a win against Wisconsin Rapids on the 14th. The Evergreens will host Wausau West today (Thursday) in the first round of the state tournament; and Wausau East will head to Marshfield.
Quin Babiarz of Wausau West made it to the third round of the WIAA Girls Tennis tournament, losing in three sets to Rya Arreazola of Janesville Craig. Babiarz was the No. 2 West singles player this season. West No. 1 singles player Mia Bailey made it to the fourth round of the tournament, finally losing to Netra Somasundaram of Middleton 6-2, 6-1.
Ironbull’s Red Granite Grinder had its first 144-mile female finisher this weekend. Johanna Ficatier of Rochester, Minn. took first in the women’s category, finishing in 10 hours and 36 minutes. Kendall Park of Madison took second and Jamie Zarda of Neenah took third. On the men’s side, Matti Lowe of Longmont finished first in eight hours, 20 minutes followed closely by Brian Werner of Onalaska and Christian Budzinski of Stevens Point. See the full results yourself.
On the pod
This week on the Keep it Wausome podcast, we sit down with Sharon Sobotta, a journalist who wrote about a woman’s journey from Kabul to Fort McCoy about two hours away. With Afghan refugees set to come to Wausau, Sobotta’s story cast light on what folks are going through to get here.
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