Posted inBreaking News

Amid COVID-19, some defendants, even with lengthy records, released on bond

By Shereen Siewert Judges in Marathon County have granted multiple bond reduction requests amid the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing even habitual offenders with a history of non-compliance their freedom while awaiting trial. Andre Kelly, who has eight open cases in Marathon County, five of them involving felony charges, is one of those defendants. Kelly faces more […]

Posted inSirens

1 dead after high speed crash in Two Rivers

By Shereen Siewert One person is dead following a high speed chase that ended in a crash, prompting the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation to launch an investigation into the incident. Few details have been released about the crash, which happened Sunday morning in Two Rivers. DCI officials say Manitowoc County Sheriff’s […]

Posted inInvestigations

Fields of waste: Artificial turf fields become mounting disposal mess

Marjie Lundstrom and Eli Wolfe FairWarning Nearly three decades ago, the federal government issued a somber warning. America’s scrap tires had to go somewhere without gobbling up landfill space. Billions of cast-off tires already had accumulated in ugly stockpiles and millions more were  “scattered in ravines, deserts, woods, and empty lots,” sparking toxic fires that […]

Posted inNews

Eagle River snowmobile trails set to open

By Darren Siewert Just in time for the holiday season, trails in the “Snowmobile Capital of the World” will open to riders on Friday. The Vilas County Parks and Recreation Department announced this week that its state-funded snowmobile trail system, including the Eagle River 500, is about to officially open for the season. Offering more […]

Posted inBreaking News

Stevens Point School District: Staff member arrest unrelated to recent threats

By Darren Siewert A Stevens Point Area School District staff member has been arrested and is on administrative leave, an issue officials say is unrelated to recent threats that have plagued the district. A letter to parents and staff was issued on Thursday. The full letter, from Superintendent Craig Gerlach, reads: “While we are unable […]

Posted inNews

Riverlife Village developers propose $5M condo project

By Shereen Siewert The group currently constructing the Riverlife Villages Phase I development on the city’s east riverfront is now proposing high-end condos just south of the current project area, a $5 million proposal that includes city participation of $485,000. According to city documents, Riverlife Wausau LLC also seeks land from the city for $1, […]

Posted inBreaking News

2 injured in Hwy. 29 Weston rollover

By Darren Siewert Two people are injured following a single vehicle rollover Tuesday in Weston. The crash was reported at about 11:50 a.m. Tuesday on westbound Hwy. 29 near Camp Phillips Road. Crews from SAFER were dispatched to the scene. There’s no official word on the severity of the injuries involved or what led to […]

Posted inElectionsNews

Elections: Thao, Gisselman, Smith won’t seek another term on Wausau City Council

By Shereen Siewert Three of 11 Wausau City Council representatives will not seek another term to represent their districts, Wausau Pilot and Review has learned. Gary Gisselman, who represents Dist. 5, and Dennis Smith, who represents Dist. 11, have filed non-candidacy papers, according to Deputy City Clerk Mary Goede. Dist. 10 will also have a […]

Posted inInvestigations

Shame and secrecy: When teens abuse parents

Christine Herman, Side Effects Public Media Nothing Jenn and Jason learned in parenting class prepared them for the challenges they’ve faced raising a child prone to violent outbursts. The couple are parents to two siblings. They first fostered the children as toddlers and later adopted them. (KHN has agreed not to use the children’s names […]

Posted inNews

Wausau considers eliminating anti-snowball ordinance

By Shereen Siewert City officials are considering eliminating a decades-old anti-snowball ordinance after a story that originated in a Minnesota news outlet went viral and led at least one publication to call Wausau the “worst city in America.” After the story emerged, Wausau Pilot and Review asked City Attorney Anne Jacobson to clear up a […]

Posted inNews

Environmentalists fight Wisconsin over massive power line

By Joe Kelly Courthouse News MADISON, Wis. (CN) — Two environmental groups sued Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission in federal court Wednesday, claiming it violated due process in approving its part of a multistate power line corridor that will take private lands through eminent domain. The Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, claim the […]

Posted inSirens

Charges filed in death of Annastasia Evans

By Shereen Siewert FRIENDSHIP, Wis. – The Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation announced Thursday that Adams County District Attorney Tania Bonnett has filed charges against Robert J. Olson following the identification of human remains in Adams County on Nov. 23. Robert J. […]

Posted inNews

Snow, hazardous travel expected Thursday

By Shereen Siewert Drivers can expect continuing snowfall and hazardous travel conditions Thursday, with up to seven inches of snow expected  in central and northern Wisconsin. A winter storm advisory is in effect for Marathon County until 6 p.m. Thursday as snow continues to fall throughout the area. According to the National Weather Service, accumulations […]

Posted inSirens

Multiple crashes reported throughout Marathon County

By Shereen Siewert Police and rescue crews have responded to multiple crashes Monday afternoon as a winter storm system is bringing ice and snow to the region, creating treacherous travel conditions throughout the area. Crashes include a single vehicle rollover on Hwy. 29 westbound, west of Wausau; a three-vehicle crash on I-39 southbound at mile […]

Posted inNews

Winter weather advisory issued for Marathon County

By Shereen Siewert An updated forecast by the National Weather Service in Green Bay shows a winter weather advisory now in effect for Marathon County as freezing drizzle develops in the region, lingering through mid-morning. Expect patchy freezing drizzle to slowly transition to snow by late morning as colder and deeper moisture wraps into the […]

Posted inSirens

Police: Human remains discovered in West Allis

By Shereen Siewert A group of three children discovered human remains Saturday in a wooded area in West Allis, according to police. The remains, which are in a state of “advanced decomposition, were discovered just after 9 a.m. Dec. 7 near 74th Street and Oklahoma Avenue. An investigation is underway to identify the remains. The […]

Posted inNews

Wausau considers ban on overnight winter street parking

By Shereen Siewert Overnight parking on all Wausau streets between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. from December through February will be prohibited entirely if a new proposed ordinance is approved Tuesday by the city council. Currently, the city employs an “odd/even” strategy, allowing street parking on alternating sides of the street year round. The new […]

Posted inHumans of Wausau

Humans of Wausau: Jeff Morgan

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles in the Humans of Wausau series, which is funded in part through a grant from the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. Follow the Humans of Wausau Facebook page here. By Kelli Oligney for Wausau Pilot and Review Jeff Morgan, 67 Q: How did you […]

Posted inSirens

1 dead in Marathon Co. crash

By Shereen Siewert One person is dead after a vehicle struck a home off Hwy. 29 near Abbotsford, police said. The two-vehicle crash happened at around 7 p.m. Monday on Hwy. 29 at mile marker 136. Police say one of the vehicles veered off the roadway and hit a home. Traffic on Hwy. 29 was […]

Posted inSirens

BREAKING: Human remains discovered in Adams County

By Shereen Siewert A hunter in Adams County discovered human remains on Saturday, according to an announcement from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. A hunter came across the remains late Saturday afternoon in a wooded area in Adams County. Law enforcement responded to the scene and the remains were confirmed to […]

Posted inSirens

Rib Mountain hunter found dead

By Shereen Siewert A 66-year-old town of Rib Mountain man died Saturday while hunting in Lincoln County, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. A 911 call at about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23 reported a hunter was found not breathing by other members of his hunting group. Emergency crews responded to the land, off Beaver […]

Posted inNews

$17 million Landmark Apartments renovation proposed

By Shereen Siewert A Wisconsin developer is proposing a roughly $17 million historic rehabilitation of the Landmark Apartments in downtown Wausau to restore and renovate 94 apartments for low income renters. Gorman and Company will rely in part on the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, created in 1986 and made permanent in 1993, to […]

Posted inOpinion

Guest Column: Drug smuggling prompts rise in drug abuse in central Wisconsin

By Scott Parks, Marathon County Sheriff In October 2019, the Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force announced a groundbreaking investigation into a methamphetamine (meth) trafficking ring responsible for bringing untold amounts of deadly drugs into Wisconsin. As Marathon County Sheriff, I joined federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to form the task force, a federally […]

Posted inNews

BREAKING: Former Weston administrator is target of felony investigation in Rhinelander

By Shereen Siewert Search warrants reviewed by WXPR in Rhinelander reveal former Weston Administrator Dan Guild is the target of a felony investigation that prompted a lockdown of Rhinelander City Hall, according to a WXPR’s Ben Meyer. Detectives from multiple agencies entered the building just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, and executed search warrants […]

Posted inSirens

1 dead in Waupaca Co. crash

By Shereen Siewert A 59-year-old Mosinee woman is dead following a two-vehicle crash Thursday in Fremont, according to the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department. The crash was reported at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of eastbound Hwy. 10 at Old 49 Road. Police say a car pulling out from the stop sign on Old […]

Posted inSirens

Rhinelander City Hall on lockdown, warrants executed in misconduct investigation

By Shereen Siewert Multiple law enforcement agencies are at Rhinelander City Hall on Thursday, locking down the building as part of an ongoing misconduct investigation, according to a news release from Oneida County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dan Hess. Investigators from the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice entered the building just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, […]

Posted inNews

Federal report: Wausau Superfund site at risk from flooding

By Shereen Siewert A U.S. Government Accountability Office report released this month identifies Wausau’s Superfund site as one of 23 in Wisconsin deemed vulnerable to flood hazards, resulting in potential public safety issues. The report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent agency that works for the U.S. Congress, assessed how flooding, storm surge, […]

Posted inCommunity

Wausau Pilot & Review Big Buck Brag Board: Send us your photos!

The 2019 deer hunting season is nearly underway, so make sure you show off your big bucks from central and northern Wisconsin. We want to see your buck and you sitting alongside your trophy! Thanks to Burks Bar, our gracious sponsor of this year’s Big Buck Board! Please send your pictures to advertising@wausaupilotreview-newspack.newspackstaging.com along with […]

Posted inBreaking News

Ringle woman accused of chronic neglect in mother’s death

By Shereen Siewert A 48-year-old Ringle woman is facing felony charges in connection with the death of her 78-year-old mother, whose emaciated body was discovered in October with multiple serious wounds and significant signs of chronic neglect. Mary E. Tessmer faces charges filed Nov. 19 in Marathon County Circuit Court of intentionally subjecting an individual […]

Posted inSirens

Weston tavern shooting suspect formally arraigned

By Shereen Siewert The lone suspect in a May shooting that left one man critically injured was formally arraigned Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court. Sergio Retana, Jr., of Weston faces charges of attempted first degree homicide, first degree recklessly endangering safety, possession of a firearm as a felon, carrying a handgun where alcohol is […]

Posted inNews

Marathon Co. denies funding for critically understaffed DA’s office

By Shereen Siewert The Marathon County Board of Supervisors this week rejected a budget amendment that would have funded an additional assistant district attorney and legal secretary position in a department facing the largest prosecutor understaffing in county history. In a Nov. 12 presentation to the county, District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon said such significant understaffing […]

Posted inSirens

Wausau traffic stop leads to major drug seizure

By Shereen Siewert A single traffic stop by Wausau Police last week took more than 2,000 doses of methamphetamine off the street and resulted in criminal charges for three Wausau-area suspects. Treg Leder, 29; Tianna Polo, 23; and Johnny Walker, 29, all face criminal charges in connection with the traffic stop, which resulted from a […]

Posted inNews

Wausau’s proposed loitering ordinance draws national criticism

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Assistant City Attorney Tara Alfonso was the author of the proposed ordinance, and attributes written statements in public documents to Alfonso. The original story attributed the comments and ordinance to City Attorney Anne Jacobson. Documents in the city’s online packet refer only to the “Office […]

Posted inBreaking News

Wausau mayor claims taxes are going down; city documents, finance director say otherwise

By Shereen Siewert Mayor Robert Mielke publicly announced on Monday that property taxes for 2020 are decreasing in Wausau, statements made six days after Finance Director MaryAnne Groat stated that property taxes will increase. In a Nov. 11 interview on WSAU, Mielke said this will mark the third straight year that property taxes have decreased […]

Posted inSirens

1 dead in Taylor Co. crash

By Shereen Siewert A 22-year-old Medford man is dead following an early morning crash Saturday in the Taylor County town of Browning, according to a news release. Taylor County Sheriff Larry Woebbeking identified the victim as Zach B. Smola. The crash was reported at about 2 a.m. Nov. 9 on Hwy. 64 by a homeowner who […]

Posted inNews

Marathon Co. Board to fill vacancies Tuesday

By Shereen Siewert County leaders on Tuesday will appoint two new representatives to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors to fill existing vacancies. Supervisors will consider Kelley Gabor, who owns a logistics company, to represent Dist. 8. That district was vacated after Karen Kellbach stepped down, shortly before her death. Former Wausau City Council member […]

Posted inInvestigations

Wisconsinites use cannabis as a medicine, but research and the law are not yet on their side

Marijuana’s illegality nationally makes it difficult to study, and its prohibition in Wisconsin makes it hard to obtain for people who rely on it for treatment By Shayli Kipnis Wisconsin Watch After four decades of using strong prescription drugs to treat Crohn’s disease, a chronic digestive disorder, Patty developed an aggressive form of skin cancer. […]

Posted inHealth

4 Wisconsin hospitals earn “D” safety grade

By Shereen Siewert Four Wisconsin hospitals, including two in northern Wisconsin, earned “D” safety grades in an annual nationwide study released this week by the nonprofit Leapfrog Group. The annual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is a public service provided by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization “committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the […]

Posted inOpinion

Opinion: Council president responds to backlash on proposed downtown ordinance

Editor’s note: Lisa Rasmussen is president of the Wausau City Council. The views of our readers and guest columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email us at editor@wausaupilotreview-newspack.newspackstaging.com. By Lisa Rasmussen Recently, some have offered sharp criticism of the […]

Posted inCommunity

Community rallies around retired EMPD captain with terminal diagnosis

By Shereen Siewert Jim Vercimak and his wife, Teresa Volpe, aren’t used to accepting help. They’re more comfortable offering it. But now, community members are rallying around the Weston couple, after Volpe’s daughter made public their very private and difficult fight with Vercimak’s terminal illness. Vercimak, who spent decades serving the community as an Everest […]

Posted inNews

Senate to consider tougher drunken driving penalties

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate is set to vote on two bills that would stiffen drunken driving penalties and potentially generate millions of dollars in new prison costs. The first bill would establish a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. State prison officials estimate the change would […]

Posted inSports

Woodchucks announce $1.5M Athletic Park renovation plan

By Shereen Siewert The Wisconsin Woodchucks on Monday announced a planned $1.5 million renovation for Athletic Park, the second phase in a multi-phase, privately-funded plan. The renovation on the park’s first base side includes premium stadium seating, a new collegiate-quality dugout and two new concession stands. The new social seating area will be covered. This […]

Posted inSports

$3.25M sports field proposed for Airport Park in Wausau

By Shereen Siewert A local soccer club is proposing a $3.25 million sports field development at Wausau’s Airport Park, a project that is expected to generate significant economic impact for the region. MC United is proposing the development, which would be funded largely through private and community foundations. The nonprofit soccer club is proposing artificial […]

Posted inBreaking News

Legality of Wausau’s proposed fines for homeless questioned

By Shereen Siewert Federal court rulings have repeatedly determined that prosecuting homeless people for sleeping on the streets when there is no shelter available is a form of cruel and unusual punishment that violates the Constitution. Homeless advocates are now raising legal concerns about Wausau’s own proposed ordinance, which was passed unanimously last month by […]

Posted inNews

City mulls infrastructure upgrades, property transfer for proposed riverfront brew pub

By Shereen Siewert Members of the city’s economic development committee will consider major infrastructure upgrades to support a proposed $1.5 million brew pub on the city’s east riverfront, but have not yet publicly disclosed how much the project will cost taxpayers. A closed session to discuss and possibly act upon the proposed upgrades to make […]

Posted inSirens

Victim identified in fatal Oneida Co. crash

By Shereen Siewert Police have identified the pedestrian who was killed after being struck by a vehicle in Oneida County as 65-year-old Larry Badgley, of the town of Schoepke. The crash was reported at about 7:30 a.m. Oct. 29 on CTH B near Meister Stockley Road. The driver of the vehicle, a 16-year-old girl, called […]

Posted inHumans of Wausau

Humans of Wausau: Jenna Tomcek

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles in the Humans of Wausau series, which is funded in part through a grant from the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. Follow the Humans of Wausau Facebook page here. By Kelli Oligney for Wausau Pilot and Review This slideshow requires JavaScript. Jenna Tomcek, 33 […]

Posted inSirens

1 injured in Lincoln Co. crash

By Shereen Siewert At least one person was injured in a two-vehicle crash Thursday in the town of Schley, according to a Lincoln County release. The crash happened Thursday afternoon on Hwy. 17 and CTH C. Police say a 23-year-old Oshkosh woman pulled into the path of a northbound vehicle driven by a 24-year-old Gleason […]

Posted inInvestigations

How a little pot can lead to big consequences for tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents

The hundreds of collateral consequences of low-level marijuana convictions include barriers to jobs, housing and financial aid By Natalie Yahr Wisconsin Watch The police officer stopped 18-year-old “Michael” as he pulled out of a central Wisconsin bowling alley one day in 1997, driving an old model Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue. “Where’s the pot?” asked […]

Posted inInvestigations

‘I’m still discriminated against’: Wisconsin lawmakers propose easing burdens on marijuana offenders

Proposals could help those with past arrests or convictions seek jobs and other opportunities; experts say the existing expungement law is hard to navigate By Natalie Yahr Wisconsin Watch   When Madison barber and business owner Brian Britt, 42, stepped up to a folding table in the entryway of the Urban League of Greater Madison, […]

Posted inSirens

Police: 1 dead in Portage County ATV crash

By Shereen Siewert A 50-year-old town of Stockton man is dead following an ATV crash Sunday in Portage County, according to a news release The Portage County Communications Center received a call at about 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20 regarding the crash, which happened in the 6600 block of Second street in the town of Stockton. […]

Posted inSirens

1 dead in Eau Claire house fire

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — One person is dead after a house fire in Eau Claire. Police say the fire broke out just after 4 a.m. Saturday. Officers arrived and confirmed one person was inside the home. Police and firefighters entered the house and found the victim dead. The name of the victim and cause […]

Posted inSirens

Cemetery shooting suspect due in court Friday

By Shereen Siewert The suspect accused of shooting three people, one fatally, in a Wausau cemetery is due in court Friday afternoon for an initial appearance. Henry “Hank” West, 64, is being held on a $1 million bond and is expected to be formally charged today with first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of attempted […]

Posted inNews

Riverlife Park turf being replaced

By Shereen Siewert Four months after Wausau’s Riverlife Park officially opened, efforts are underway to replace the turf — at no cost to the city. Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Jamie Polley said the repairs are necessary because the turf material, which was installed in the spring, failed and was pulling […]

Posted inBreaking NewsSirens

2nd victim dies in Wittenberg-area crash; Names released

By Shereen Siewert A Wittenberg couple is dead following a two-vehicle crash Monday in the town of Franzen, according to a Marathon County Sheriff’s Department incident report. Police have identified the victims as 71-year-old David Ashenbrenner and 78-year-old Dorothy Ashenbrenner, both of Wittenberg. The crash was reported at about 7:30 p.m. Monday on Hwy. 49 […]

Posted inSirens

5th arrest made in illegal THC vaping case

By Shereen Siewert A fifth person has been arrested in connection with a multi-million dollar THC vaping operation in southern Wisconsin. Police say 22-year-old Jordan Lynam, of Racine, is in custody and is likely to appear in court as early as Oct. 17. Police in September seized about 31,200 vape cartridges containing about 1 gram […]

Posted inInvestigations

While millions are spent to fight the opioid epidemic, a meth crisis quietly grows in Wisconsin

Methamphetamine cases in Wisconsin have ballooned by 450 percent. Service providers and health officials say more money is needed to combat it. Parker Schorr The Cap Times Jess Przybylski had never really dealt with loss. Then the father of her children was killed in a car crash. In 2011, her friends offered her methamphetamine to […]