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Together Through the Seasons :: National Skilled Nursing Care Week (May 9-15, 2021)

On May 9–15, 2021, we’ll celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week to honor the collaborative commitment of skilled nursing care facilities and their staff throughout Marathon County in providing compassionate care to their residents during this unprecedented time under a global pandemic. We thank you for your sacrifice, talent, and compassion.

Be sure to click over to the full article to get an inside (and outside!) peek of the new 96-bed skilled nursing facility being constructed at the North Central Health Care Campus in Wausau. (Click the title for details…)

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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.)

New Recreation Superintendent Mark Dorow to Manage City & County Recreation Facilities & Programs

Mark Dorow comes to the Wausau / Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department with over 11 years of experience providing recreation programs, with an emphasis on aquatic programming. 

Learn about Mark’s background, his collaboration with Wausau Area Pickleball to offer pickleball classes and a tournament at the newly renovated Marathon Park pickleball courts, and more. (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…)

An Update from the Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership on the Wausau Center Mall Redevelopment & Rib Mountain / Granite Peak Ski Area Expansion

The demolition of the Wausau Center Mall in May 2021 creates an opportunity for new development in an 8-city-block area to revitalize the downtown economy. See project renderings and plans for the space, which include a mix of housing and retail with an open, urban landscape featuring a beer garden, 4-season public market, a winding pathway down to the river, and more. 

Read on to learn more about the economic development plans for Downtown Wausau, as well as those for Rib Mountain / Granite Peak Ski Area. (Click the title for details…)

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Marathon County Continues to Be a Leader in Wisconsin for Health

For the past several years, Marathon County has been ranked in the top quarter or third of the 72 counties for our health. Being among the top-ranked counties demonstrates our commitment in achieving our goal of working toward being the healthiest, safest, and most prosperous county in Wisconsin. 

See how the current health-ranking results break down in terms of our strengths — and our areas for improvment — in the full article. (Click the title for details.)

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Expanded Marathon County Sheriff’s Office K9 Program Featured in National Magazine

What started out as a grassroots effort to raise money for 1 canine in the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office has now grown into a law enforcement K9 program made up of 4 dogs, plus a fund to support all the dogs well into the future. The level of community support for this program — which utilizes NO tax levy dollars provided by the County — has recently garnered attention in national magazines.

Read on to see why Marathon County is making national news (and see pics of our beloved K9s and ways to support the program). (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…)

Community Corner Clubhouse — Celebrating 25 Years!

If you are looking in Marathon County for a resource that has uniquely helped reshape lives, look no further than North Central Health Care’s Community Corner Clubhouse. The facility and its staff help adults with mental illness and AODA (alcohol and other drug addiction) issues realize their potential by providing them with a Clubhouse where they can meet friends, build self-confidence, learn valuable life skills, and discover untapped talents. 

In 2021, Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenburg officially declared April 1 “Clubhouse Day,” marking Clubhouse’s monumental 25th anniversary year serving the Wausau community. (Click the title for details . . .)

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Meet Marathon County Staff Volunteering as Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Northcentral Wisconsin

In 2019, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin was able to serve 348 children. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that number decreased in 2020 to 237.

Tracy Vick, Nikki Burkholder, and Zachary Ruesch are 3 dedicated local government employees who volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin. After reading their stories, consider if becoming a Big to a Little in need might be a good fit for you, too! (Click the title for details…)