The Marathon County Housing Task Force was created by Police Chief Ben Bliven partly due to concerns various members of the public had with a City of Wausau loitering ordinance.
Local leaders from City Government, non-profit agencies, and others have come together as part of the new Housing Task Force (now under the direction of United Way of Marathon County) to strategize solutions for our homeless population.
Learn the priority objectives the Housing Task Force will be taking action on to reduce homelessness in Marathon County. (Click the title for details . . .)
Working in Judicare’s Civil Unit, Harris represents victims of domestic and child abuse, low-income clients facing homelessness, and clients facing employment discrimination.
Elected to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors in April 2020, Harris now represents the Downtown Wausau area and plans to advocate for measures that address poverty and homelessness, as well as transportation.
Learn about Supervisor Harris’s recent bold move to ensure local fair elections, his push for a pilot program to restart bus service from Wausau to Rib Mountain, and more. (Click the title for details…)
The 4th annual Central Wisconsin Book Festival takes place September 21–27, with events spanning over the course of 6 days. The coronavirus pandemic spurred an all-virtual festival for 2020. Fans of the written word can watch the full lineup of guests (via Zoom) from the comforts of home this year.
Check out this year’s lineup, which includes: a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, a U.S. Poet Laureate, a New York Times bestselling author, a panel discussion on homelessness, and much more. (Click the title for details…)
Emergency Management Director Philip Rentmeester answers common questions about who has authority to make local decisions during a crisis, what Emergency Management Directors do, how to sign up to receive emergency alerts via text, phone, or email, and more.
Learn how Emergency Management was involved in distributing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) acquired from the Strategic National Stockpile to support the Marathon County Health Department with their response efforts, as well as other roles the department has played during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Click the title for details…)
Learn how your local, hometown airport in Mosinee — CWA — is using this time of decreased passenger traffic to take on some major renovations, including:
* Remodeling and updating the concourse with new seating, increased charging stations, new dining amenities, touch-free restrooms, and more
* Constructing a new access road and reconstructing a taxi lane that will serve Spirit Medical Transport, existing tenants, and future development
In addition, CWA and the airlines have changed policies and procedures based on CDC guidelines, giving passengers increased confidence to travel safely by air when necessary. Learn how CWA is operating under COVID — and see the newly remodeled airport inside and out.(Click the title for the full story…)
August 18, 2020, marks the Centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which stated that the right to vote could not be denied based on one’s gender.
This historic milestone granting women the right to vote will be celebrated in Marathon County through a number of virtual events, including (Facebook/Zoom) panel discussions, interviews, and learning community sessions.
A few of the topics to be discussed during the several-day program in August 2020 include who worked to support the 19th Amendment, how amendments work, what role social and civic groups played, what to expect for women over the next 100 years — including an interview with Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg — and much more! (Click the title for details…)
In March of 2019, the Greater Wausau Region Economic Development Strategic Plan was unveiled and led to the creation of the Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership (GWPP) to identify and assemble resources to establish a tactical path forward, focusing on the 3 strategic goals of Talent, Innovation, and Placemaking.
The GWPP’s new regional talent attraction and retention website: GreaterWausau.org, plans to save and reposition the Clark Island Powerhouse building as an innovation center of excellence, and much more. (Click the title for details…)
With all of the uncertainties that have come with COVID-19, you may be asking yourself, What CAN I do this summer to stay active? Public Health Educator Jenna Flynn connects you to ideas and updates on options put forth by the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department. (Click the title for details…)
The Marathon County Board passed a proclamation on June 23, 2020, recognizing Elder Abuse Awareness in Marathon County.
Elder abuse affects seniors across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races. Learn how to identify and report suspected elder abuse. (Click the title for details . . .)
Changes to 4-H programming and some exciting, new community and county partnerships are helping keep kids engaged and learning this summer. Some of the alternative programming options will not disappear after the COVID-19 crisis — They are being considered as welcome additions to reach even more youth and families across Marathon County. (Click the title for details…)
With such monumental changes happening in our society right now, libraries are an important resource to provide historical context to recent events to help you process what’s taking place in the news. MCPL Library Specialist Chad Dally highlights resources and reading lists for adults and children regarding the topics of race and inequality in our history and society and informs you of the library’s latest reopening plans. (Click the title for details…)
Retired Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger and Campus Executive Ann Herda-Rapp discuss why the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point at Wausau campus makes sense as a college choice this fall for students in Marathon County.
Annual tuition of only $5,196 and the ability to now get a 4-year degree in Business Administration, Nursing, or Social Work are just a few great reasons to attend UWSP at Wausau. What’s more, during these tough economic times, application fees are being waived from June 5 to 15, 2020. (Click the title to read the full story…)
All 9 Marathon County Public Library locations will remain closed through at least June 15, 2020, as staff members work to prepare a plan to re-open in the safest way possible for communities and staff.
The libraries continue to offer revamped services (such as curbside pickup, virtual storytimes on Facebook, craft projects on MCPL’s YouTube channel, and other great online programming) to assist patrons during these uncertain times. See videos of these new services — and learn about other new offerings MCPL will have after they re-open — in the full article. (Click the title for details…)
Trauma Informed Care practices acknowledge the effects of trauma, strive to prevent traumatizing (or re-traumatizing) people, and promote healing within a safe environment. Nine Marathon County departments that tend to work with people impacted by trauma the most (or have staff who are regularly impacted by trauma) were assessed to determine the extent that Trauma Informed Care practices were being implemented by the people, physical spaces, and policies and procedures of Marathon County Government. (Click the title for details…)
The Marathon County Conservation, Planning, and Zoning (CPZ) Department has started the process of adding nearly 7,000 Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (commonly called “POWTS” or “septic systems”) to its Maintenance Program. State regulations now require counties to include all septic systems and holding tanks — regardless of age — in the POWTS Maintenance Program. (Click the title to read the full story…)
There are a variety of ways to get involved in foster care that fit your interests, skills, and availability. For example, with 3 children of their own, Teal and Jenny Fyksen generously opened up their hearts and their home to provide 10 hours per week of respite care to 3- and 4-year-old siblings in an attempt to help a family avoid foster care placement for their children. Read their story as part of a dedicated team working together to help a family in need, and what happened when the aftereffects of coronavirus struck.
You can also donate supplies that will get matched to foster families or volunteer at several area churches who provide foster parents with meals, transportation to appointments, child care, or mentoring. Read on for heart-warming local stories and for various ways you can assist with foster care in Marathon County. (Click the title for details…)
See the latest updates on the renovations and future of health care in Central Wisconsin. NCHC is making great progress on its Warm Water Therapeutic Pool, Youth Psychiatric Hospital, Community-Based Residential Facility, and Skilled Nursing Tower. (Click the title for details . . .)
With trips to the grocery store being limited these days, we’re all trying to make our food supplies last as long as possible.
Meleesa Johnson, Director of the Marathon County Solid Waste Department, offers some helpful tips for understanding food-product dating phrases like Best by, Use by, Sell by, and more.
And with Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, what better time to practice the first of the 3 R’s in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by reducing our food waste? (Click the title for details . . .)
With 42% of Marathon County high school students reporting significant problems with anxiety in a 2019 survey — and considering the additional stressors that the current COVID-19 crisis is placing on our adolescents — the time to address the mental health and well-being of our youth has never been more critical.
Thanks to the Marathon County School-Based Counseling Consortium, students throughout 57 schools in the County now have access to a school counselor or school psychologist during their school day to support them with school-related or personal challenges, regardless of their age or disability status. With students at home now, such services have been extended in many schools to include TeleHealth sessions via Zoom to help students with anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as other mental health needs. (Click the title for details…)
While 9 area libraries’ doors are closed to the public through May 26, 2020, staff continue to provide relevant programs and services to library patrons. Learn how to use Wisconsin’s Digital Library — a statewide catalog of FREE e-books, audiobooks, and videos. Or visit MCPL’s Facebook page for daily virtual story times. The MCPL blog features recipes to help you with your extra meal-prep demands under the Safer at Home order, and points you to hundreds of FREE online educational classes and resources such as Gale Courses.
Library staff are also making plans to offer curbside pickup and to continue providing programming in alternative ways, such as virtual book club discussions and craft kits that the public can pick up and take home — both options to avoid having large groups gather in one place. (Click the title for details…)
With community members not able to meet, network, or socialize in person these days, our Editorial Board thought we’d help folks get to know Marathon County’s new Administrator a bit better.
Get a peek inside Lance Leonhard’s mind regarding County Government challenges, opportunities, and more (including whether he watches Tiger King or not) in the full article. (Click the title for details…)
NCHC continues to provide care and services for its residents while taking heightened precautions to prevent the spread of illness. (Click the title for details . . .)
Over the last 4 years, Katie Rosenberg has written nearly 30 articles for the County’s newsletter. Her profiles and ride-along stories were some of our readers’ favorites.
As she transitions from being a County Board Supervisor to her new role as Mayor of the City of Wausau, Katie reflects on some of her favorite pieces of writing and personalities she met along the way. (Click the title for details . . .)
MCDEVCO is working daily to assist small businesses in Marathon County with questions about loans, grants, and federal programs available to businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about how businesses, municipalities, and others can look to MCDEVCO for helpful resources and mentoring as the State implements a phased reopening of businesses through the Badger Bounce Back plan. (Click the title to read more…)
Over 750 people attended the Chinese New Year Festival — including a special guest appearance by Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes — to learn more about Chinese culture and enjoy award-winning entertainment. Get a recap of the event, complete with pictures and a video clip of the traditional lion dance. (Click the title for details . . .)
Each year, thousands of high school students compete around the State in regional Mock Trial tournaments. This year, the Wausau Region hosted a couple of perennial powerhouse teams, including: Rhinelander and DC Everest. So who walked away with the regional victories? (Click the title for details…)
Read the full Broadband Assessment and Plan (or an Executive Summary) to learn what a consultant identified as Marathon County’s needs to expand high-speed internet access to 90% of the County and implement a system that can grow to accommodate future growth. (Click the title for details . . .)
In a creative partnership, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office and Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department have teamed up to hire 2 Recreation Deputies to enhance public safety on County-owned lands.
Read the full article to learn more about these Deputies and the State aid that will help fund 70–80% of the costs of one of the positions. It’s a win-win for all involved! (Click the title for details . . .)
In August of 2019, the Marathon County Board declared an emergency with respect to the structural integrity of the County Jail. After several months of significant work, the repair and reconstruction project is finished and the County Board has declared the emergency over.
Read the full article to learn what the jail’s specific issues were and to see photos of the reconstruction project. (Click the title for details…)
Marathon County Government employees and leaders observed the Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. holiday with a focus on Dr. King’s message of service. The MLK “Day On” event challenged attendees to ask how they could better serve our community and learn more about those they work alongside and serve.
Get a run-down of the County’s annual MLK Jr. “Day On.” (Click the title for details…)
In early 2019, a select group of Marathon County employees formed a local GARE team to participate in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) learning community.
Each Marathon County service and department is affected by racial inequities — whether through its program offerings, services provided, hiring practices, meeting times, or other systems or facets of government. GARE has created tools that help advance racial equity when government decisions are being made in regard to such things as policies, practices, programs, and budgets.
Get the scoop on some action steps being taken based on what these local GARE team members learned over the past year. (Click the title for details…)
Chad Dally of the Marathon County Public Library walks you through what the census is, how it will work in Marathon County, and how you can make sure you get counted since census information will have critical and wide-ranging impacts for the next 10 years, affecting the federal government down to local offices — and much more.
Learn how you can participate in the 2020 census, or even get paid to be a census worker! (Click the title for details…)
County Administrator Bard Karger offers a summary of the 5 things people have been asking him about most often during the final month of his decades-long employment with Marathon County.
Learn about the process (and timeline) for choosing the next County Administrator, as well as Brad’s insightful reflections on his 31 years in Marathon County Government.
(Click the title for details…)
Marathon County Board Supervisor Yee Leng is a 25-year-old man who has dedicated himself to bringing Hmong voices to the table in local government in Marathon County not merely as token committee members, but as fully participating members of a policy board.
Residents of Hmong descent make up roughly 5% of Marathon County’s population. But up until recently, our elected bodies haven’t reflected that diversity. Yee Leng Xiong is working to change that.
(Click the title for details . . .)
Although admission is always FREE, inviting out-of-town friends and family to join you for a visit to the museum helps the local economy. How?
In 2019, the estimated economic impact of non-local visitors to the Woodson Art Museum was $1,138,496 from day-trip visitors and $1,799,712 from overnight visitors, according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s economic-impact values. So, why not give Marathon County the gift of an economic infusion this holiday season by inviting friends and family to Wausau to visit the Woodson Art Museum with you to view their origami exhibitions?
(Click the title to see some of the works on display at the museum . . .)
Enjoy our Wisconsin winters more with 6 specially picked adventures that are sure to provide you with heaps of winter fun. Try something new, or pick up an outdoor pastime from your childhood.
HOLIDAY HINT: Sylvan Hill Tubing “gift certificate” coupons can be purchased at the Park Office or Sylvan Hill. They make a great last-minute holiday gift idea or stocking stuffer!
(Click the title for details . . .)
Over 60 panels and presenters — including keynote speakers Hilary Ware of Netflix and Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine — will highlight collaborative and innovative approaches, best practices, cutting-edge research, and success stories that focus on “Building Communities of Equity and Opportunity.”
(Click the title to learn how to register, present a poster session, become a sponsor, and more . . .)
Dementia is the one disease that can be made better or worse by our actions and reactions.
When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, we often see them change. We may doubt ourselves, question their actions, or get upset or frustrated. But this pattern is, and should be, familiar to us. Our whole lives are hallmarked by changes in the brain, and with each change — from early on to later in life — we adjust, adapt, and continue to help our loved ones grow.
We invite you to read this short article which offers a fresh perspective on caring for someone with dementia. (Click the title for details…)
During the 2nd year of providing mental health counseling services in Marathon County public schools, over 500 students received onsite counseling in school. According to a new impact report, students who utilized the new counseling services feel that they are helping to improve their mental well-being.
Read the report and learn about participating schools, mental health providers, and supporting community organizations in the full article. (Click the title for details…)
Starting January 12, 2020, Marathon County Public Library Headquarters in Wausau and its 8 area branches will operate under a new set of hours.
During the workweek, some locations will be open a few hours less, some will be open a few hours more — and on weekends, all 9 locations will now be open on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. (Click the title for details…)
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. There’s still time to head to the Humane Society of Marathon County to check out their current senior guests awaiting a home.
Think of the GRATITUDE a senior dog or cat would show you this Thanksgiving season if you adopted one of them!
See several of the adorable senior pets (like Samuel & Miley shown above) needing homes in Marathon County right now, and learn a bit about the adoption process (including a special Senior for Seniors discount program) in the full article. (Click the title for details…)
In October, the Central Wisconsin Joint Airport Board signed a long-term agreement to locate Spirit’s air medical transportations services at CWA in Mosinee. With this move, Spirit serves our region and beyond with 2 helicopters, 5 ground bases with 12 ambulances and intercept SUVs, and 1 fixed wing airplane.
Spirit comes to CWA with a highly trained crew consisting of first responders, nurses, pilots, and mechanics. The operation will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Construction of the nearly 75,000-square-foot hangar will begin in November, and Spirit management anticipates that the new facility will be fully operational in August of 2020. (Click the title for the full story…)
The Marathon County Park System will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2020!
This anniversary celebration provides a great backdrop to update the County’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (CORP), which will help guide the maintenance, planning, and development of the park system for the next 5 years (2020–2024) while also aligning Marathon County with state and regional initiatives to promote outdoor recreation.
The County Board will consider the latest draft of the CORP at their December meeting, so it’s not too late for your voice to be heard. (Click the title for details . . .)
From the 1st annual County Fair in 1868 (which opened with a speech given in German celebrating Marathon County farmers for their “patient toil”) to the annual Diwali “Festival of Lights” events in Rothschild, the Hmong New Year celebrations in Weston, and many more — our local cultural festivals aim to bring people together from all across Marathon County. These events often help us better appreciate our differences, learn new things, challenge some previously held assumptions, and get to know our neighbors better.
See photos and video from some of our most recent cultural festivals and learn about a brand-new cultural festival in store for January 2020 in the full article. (Click the title for details…)
October means the start of indoor ice skating at the Marathon Park Ice Arena. Learn about skate rentals and public-skating hours at the indoor ice arena at Marathon Park.
Plus, the public is invited to the County’s first-ever “Scary Skate” on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, where children and youth can get treats and meet and skate with the Wausau RiverWolves Hockey Team in a spooky Halloween-themed atmosphere at Marathon Park Ice Arena Rink #1. (Click the title for details)
Thanks to a generous gift from its Foundation, the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) Wausau Headquarters plans to create a makerspace that could incorporate everything from cutting-edge technology and software to basic sewing supplies — and many things in between.
There’s no date set for a grand unveiling, which means there’s still time for community members to share their ideas! What would YOU like to see at MCPL’s makerspace? (Click the title for details…)
As Jane E. Graham Jennings reflects on her work at The Women’s Community over the past 20 years, she remembers the pain of loss, and the glory of survival.
She chronicles the buildings, people, and milestones of this non-profit organization, now slated to be de-funded by the County over the next 4 years due to budget cuts. (Click the title to read more…)
It’s estimated that Marathon County has around 6 Mennonite or Amish church schools, hosting nearly 360 students in Grades 1–8. Marathon County Special Education respects the religious freedom of the Amish and the Mennonites to educate their children on their own, yet County staff have a legal obligation to offer them their support and educational expertise with children who have special needs to help these communities achieve their educational objectives for all their children. (Click the title for details…)
With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it seemed a good time to showcase who is protecting YOUR sensitive government information: The City–County IT Commission.
This month in our “I’m Glad You Asked…” series, IT Help Desk Staffer Dané Kudronowicz responds to 5 common questions people ask our local government IT professionals. It’s full of tips and resources to avoid becoming a victim of a cybercrime. (Click the title for details…)
County Administrator Brad Karger asks: “Does this year’s Budget Message help you understand the priorities, constraints, and clear connections to the County’s Strategic Plan?”
The public is invited to read the County Administrator’s Budget Message and to attend this year’s Budget Hearing (8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at the Marathon County Courthouse in the Assembly Room, B-105).
Learn more about the proposed 2020 County Budget and how you can weigh in on this initial draft. (Click the title for details…)