By Shereen Siewert

Happy Monday, readers. I hope you took time to enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures over the weekend. It really feels like we’re on the verge of spring after about a year-long winter, am I right?

I have a few important updates to share as we start the week. First, if you noticed fewer stories in your inbox, on Facebook or on our site this week, you aren’t imagining things. Two things happened.

  • One, I had a complete knee replacement on Tuesday and was in the hospital until late Thursday. Since then, I’ve been alternating between a crazy amount of pain and the fog of medication, neither of which is conducive to getting a lot of stories written. At least, not complex ones. (I should probably have taken this a little more seriously, but here we are.) I hear the first week is the worst, and then things gradually improve. I intend to be back on my feet and reporting on City Hall and other key matters ASAP, but in the meantime I ask your patience.
  • Two, we had a bunch of issues with our content management system that started on Tuesday (talk about bad timing) that we are continuing to work through with our tech team. One of the major impacts: sharing to Facebook didn’t happen for a lot of our stories. I can’t stress this enough – signing up for newsletters is the best way to read our content and ensure you don’t miss anything. You’ll get a free daily, morning email with an automatic link to every single story we published in the past 24 hours. You can also get an afternoon update three days a week that I put together by hand and a weekly events calendar on Thursday afternoons that tells you what’s going on around here for the weekend and beyond. (The other reason we encourage our most engaged readers to sign up for emails? Facebook’s weird algorithm means you’ll only see a fraction of our stories and the posts of friends you follow no matter what you do, something both readers and businesses who rely solely on Facebook to advertise should consider.) Sign up here. It’s all free, and you can cancel at any time.

That said, we have some pretty cool things in the works:

  • We are close to choosing our next full-time reporter as part of the Report for America newsrooms chosen for 2021.
  • We hired a new advertising executive (watch for the official announcement this week) who will be dedicated to local businesses. She’s fantastic.
  • We will roll out a new invite-only Facebook group for members – including people who donated in 2020, 2021 and in the future – to give you a new, stress-free way to read our stories and engage in meaningful conversation. We promise. That should happen by the end of the month. We will keep our regular Facebook page for all as well as our Obituaries page.
  • We are starting to plan events again – with new ways for you to engage with us and be part of this community’s coverage.
  • Perhaps most importantly, elections are right around the corner. Watch for profile pieces in races for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction State Superintendent, Wausau School Board, Weston Board of Trustees, and Marathon County Circuit Court Branch 6 judge. We’re working on it.

As I mentioned, it feels like things are opening up and businesses are slowly seeing their customers return. If you have advertising questions, give Christina a shout at christina@wausaupilotandreview.com. If you tried to contact us over the past few months of chaos but you were unable to connect, please reach out. You can submit letters to the editor or ask questions by emailing me directly at editor@wausaupilotandreview.com.

I wish you all a tremendous week. Have a great day on purpose.

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