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Mental Health Awareness Month — An Opportune Time to View New Findings on Students’ Mental Health During the Pandemic

Through a grant from Security Health, area schools in Marathon County have been able to utilize the b.e.s.t. screening tool to determine how students are adjusting to school closures in terms of their mental health. This has helped school staff to create and deliver interventions to support our local students. 

In addition, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) conducted research with 160 middle and high school students from across Wisconsin (many from our rural schools) in a study entitled “The Voices of Wisconsin Student Projects: Learning, Coping, and Building Resilience During COVID-19.” Read the full article for the project’s findings regarding the impact of school closures on students’ learning and what coping skills they are employing during this difficult time. (Click the title for details.)

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Marathon County Public Libraries Aim for June Reopening to the Public

The Marathon County Board of Trustees set a tentative date of June 1, 2021, for all 9 MCPL locations to return to pre-pandemic hours of operation.

Get the details on what will be available (and what won’t) at that time, and read about some of the great summer programming they have lined up for their dedicated patrons — including outdoor family story times! (Click the title for details…)

Crafts & Classes • A virtual poetry reading on April 8 with at least 10 Wisconsin poets sharing work collected in the new Wisconsin Fellowship of Poetry book “Sheltering with Poems: Community and Connection During COVID.” Click here to learn more about it. Registration is required, and a link is included on the MCPL page. • All month (or while they last) at all 9 MCPL locations, pick up a Grab and Go project to create pasta sculptures and mosaics at home. Just add some glue and you’ll be surprised with what you can create! Free of charge. Registration to pick up a kit required at all locations except Wausau. • Our monthly Little Treasures craft for adults and teens is a colorful beaded wrap bracelet that would make a nice accessory for yourself or a gift for someone else. Also free and available while they last, so call ahead to schedule a pickup at the 8 branches, please. • Two (identical) gardening classes with Extension Marathon County on April 8 and April 15 on direct sowing and transplanting. These monthly classes are a huge help if you have a garden or thinking about starting one. Registration required. • Professor Brett Barker of UWSP at Wausau is leading a virtual Civil War book club through the Marathon County Historical Society. The group’s next meeting will be April 29. Keep an eye on the MCPL events page or the MCHS calendar of events for upcoming History Chats and History Speaks programs from the Historical Society, too! • Have you watched our virtual story times recently? Take another look with your children or kids you care for. We’ve made a few improvements to our video skills to make some fun videos you can watch anytime! Here’s one example and the schedule for Tuesday story times. • Our book clubs are still meeting virtually, but we have an eye on the summer and we’re hoping we can get together safely outdoors for some literary gatherings. Building Improvements Over the past year, while MCPL Wausau was first closed to the public and later open solely for computer use, we’ve taken advantage of the time to make some changes and improvements to the library. First up was new carpet and windows throughout the building. But the current renovations are a bit more substantial… When patrons are once again able browse through our shelves, they’ll find we changed floors for some of the collections. Also, a majority of the 30-plus public computers will be moved to the first floor so patrons who just need to check email or their social media accounts or print documents can do so quickly and efficiently. Use of the remaining computers on the second floor will be limited to reference purposes such as research or the writing of reports, as well as job applications and creating resumes. Another change that will likely be immediately noticeable is new furniture! We’re replacing tables and chairs and adding new workstations on both the first and second floor where patrons can easily plug in their own devices and tap into wi-fi for their own needs. New furniture also is in the works for our MCPL branch locations, too. Hours & Accessibility May Be Expanding… All MCPL locations will continue with limited operations through at least mid-April, when the Board of Trustees will make another determination whether to expand hours of operation at the 9 locations and/or expand in-person access to our libraries. MCPL’s administration continues to work closely with the Marathon County Health Department on the timing of expanded hours of operation and service. We look forward to a return of normal, but we always want to make sure all MCPL locations function in the safest way possible for our patrons and staff. We also look forward to the day when the public can see all the great things we’ve been doing to update our libraries, and we think you’ll like what you see — when you’re able to safely see it! Thank you for continuing to support your local libraries!

April Activities (& Changes Happening Inside) at Marathon County Public Libraries (MCPL)

Read on for an update on MCPL’s April classes and crafts (like virtual poetry readings and bracelet kits), and learn a bit about some of the renovations taking place to give the libraries a fresh new look. For example, pictured above is one of the new workstations at the MCPL-Wausau Headquarters that offers a place to charge devices as you work.(Click the title for details…)

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Who Was the 2021 Winner of the 37th Annual Wisconsin High School Mock Trial (Virtual) Regional Tournament?

Each year, thousands of high school students compete around the State in regional Mock Trial tournaments. This year, due to COVID, the Wausau regional competition was entirely virtual.

Mock Trial Participant Abby Trueblood provides an overview of the 2021 virtual event and lets you in on who walked away with the victory, as only 1 winning school (instead of 2) was allowed to advance to the State competition from our region this year due to the pandemic. (Click the title for details…)

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New Community-Based Vaccination Clinic Opened at Northcentral Technical College :: Ages 16+ May Now Sign Up to Receive 2-Dose Pfizer Vaccine

Marathon County began hosting a regional Community-Based Vaccination Clinic for those in Northcentral Wisconsin on April 6, 2021. 

The clinic is located at Northcentral Technical College’s Center for Business & Industry in Wausau and can vaccinate up to 400 people a day, with the capacity to grow that number to 1,000 a day as vaccine supply becomes more available from the federal government.

See how to sign up to receive your first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the full article. (Click the title for details.)

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Marathon County Slated to Open Large-Scale COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic in April

Marathon County will be 1 of 4 new sites in Wisconsin hosting a regional community vaccination clinic. Locations are planned to open sometime in April 2021, when the vaccine is more readily available.

So far, 40.1% of Marathon County residents aged 65 and over have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine.

The Marathon County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution authorizing County officials to take actions necessary to facilitate the regional vaccination site. Marathon County Health Department staff have recommended that the site operate on the grounds of Northcentral Technical College due to its onsite infrastructure, layout, and transportation access; however, the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is evaluating the recommendation and should be able to announce a site in the near future.  

Learn more about the vaccine’s rollout and eligible populations, how to sign up to receive vaccine alerts from Marathon County on your smartphone, and more in the full article… (Click the title for details.)

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March Is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month :: Learn How Marathon County Special Education (MCSE) Helps Students With Disabilities Transition From High School to Higher Education, Military Enlistment, or the World of Work

In Marathon County, approximately 14% of students attending high school are students with disabilities.

MCSE staff assist area students with making a smooth transition to life after high school. For the 2020–21 school year, Marathon County Special Education and ODC collaborated on writing — and then received — a grant for $10,000 to teach courses on healthy relationships and work skills.

Learn more about how MCSE helps transition its high schoolers to higher education, the military, or the world of work in the full article…(Click the title for details.)

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Karyn Powers :: Resilient, Remarkable, & Retiring After 30+ Years With the County

A month before her retirement, Karyn Powers strolls down memory lane and discusses her 30+ years working for the Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department.

Prior to returning to Marathon County after interning in Wausau her senior year of college, she spent 5 years working for the Department of Defense for the U.S. Navy in Iceland and for the U.S. Army in South Korea.

This adventurous woman traveled far and wide, only to find her way back to a public service position with Marathon County once more, where in addition to serving as Recreation Superintendent, she is an accomplished poet, author, painter, and, of course, lover of all things outdoors. (Click the title for details.)

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United Way of Marathon County Enhances Children’s Language Skills, Helps Teens Get Jobs at Upcoming Hiring Fair, & Surveys Family-Friendly Workplace Policies During a Pandemic

United Way of Marathon County’s Early Years Coalition and Partnership for Youth provide resources and activities for ages 0 to 21 years. Never has this work been more important than during a pandemic.

Learn how these coalitions keep kids learning and connected, as well as socially and emotionally well. Plus, get updates on this year’s (virtual) hiring fair, which allows teens to interview for and potentially accept a job on the spot. (Click the title for details.)

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2020 Election Day Roundup by the Marathon County Clerk

County Clerk Kim Trueblood provides a “behind the scenes” look at Election Day — and Night! — in Marathon County. 

Get some “fast facts” to see how this year’s General Election compared to 2016, and meet some of the staff and volunteers who work to ensure that everything runs smoothly — even during a pandemic — before, during, and after the election. (Click the title for details…)