By Shereen Siewert, Wausau Pilot & Review publisher

Happy Monday, readers, and thanks again for being here.

I skipped last week’s memo in large part because my heart just wasn’t in it. On top of all the chaos going on in the world, we had some difficult news about a family member. I needed some time to process.

Behind the scenes, we’re still working to tweak our new website, from the layout to the features. We’ve been trying to think like a reader in making these changes, asking ourselves what we’d want to see if we were you.

We added weather to our front page and an events calendar to supplement the events page we already have. We also added horoscopes, just for fun but we later found they don’t seem to work on mobile (gotta love those glitches) so we’re working that out. We’ll continue to add more events to our calendar, so if you have one for us to list just email with a link to the event website. It’s free. We’re doing that because we don’t think you should have to pick up a physical newspaper every week to find out what’s happening and what to do in the Wausau area – just bookmark the page.

Oh, and by the way, you can access the events calendar on a dedicated tab in our app, which is free for everyone, just like the rest of what we offer.

We’re also adding film reviews as well as a cocktail of the week feature, and we’re actively seeking out a weekly food columnist to give us a great recipe, a photo, and a brief write up. Interested? Email

Now, don’t think for a minute that we’re getting away from our focus on hard news. We aren’t. But we also recognize that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, and those features might just resonate with you right now. If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear them. Shoot me an email.

Oh, and we’re also looking for great panoramic photos of Wausau to place on our home page. If you have one we can use in our rotation (we’ll credit you, of course) please email a jpg to

This week we’re working on a piece about hate groups in the northwoods and throughout the state – and yes, they do exist. Another story we’re working on is about a tick-borne illness that can wreak havoc on your health, as it did for one elderly Wausau man. We’ll have another Humans of Wausau feature this week. And we’ll have a story on local policing and the impact of police unions, from Peter Cameron of The Badger Project.

The court system is back up and running, so we’ve updated our spreadsheet and will be updating you on cases we’ve reported on in the past, as they move forward in the system.

We’ll also let you know whether or not Marathon County decides to extend the COVID-19 emergency declaration through the end of the year. We explain that decision in this story, along with the declaration itself and what it means for us.

We had a call this week from a reader wondering if she had to pay to have an obituary listed in our newspaper. The answer is no: We publish them as a courtesy and view it as a community service. This is made possible through a sponsorship by Brainard Funeral Home, and from the support of readers like you. In fact, all our news coverage is free, and we’ll never have a paywall. But it isn’t free to produce.

We’d love for you to consider a monthly membership to help keep this project sustainable, and help us grow our coverage of the greater Wausau area. You can do that here.

Above all, thanks for your ideas, your suggestions, and your sense of community.

Until next week.


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