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Ordinance could change look of Wausau city sidewalksSubmitted: 06/13/2013
Story By Adam Fox

WAUSAU - If you frequent the sidewalks of downtown Wausau, you could soon notice less room to walk.

That's because a new ordinance allows you to eat and drink on city sidewalks.

The Wausau City Council passed the ordinance earlier this week.

Restaurants will be allowed to set up cafés outside of their buildings.

Orval Quamme owns a yogurt shop in downtown Wausau. He thinks the change will attract more business.


"I think it's a terrific idea, absolutely terrific, Quamme said. "I think the business will capitalize on that because open air dining is a terrific thing."

But everyone isn't happy.

Another ordinance passed says mobile food vendors can't work within 75 feet of restaurants selling similar items.

Karla Van Wagner owns the Yo Chubby Gringo cart.

She has made a petition online with 180 signatures hoping to decrease the distance from 75 feet to 25 feet.

Michael Vraney is a downtown customer. He says both sides need to find a compromise.

"The point is for everyone to be sustainable and make a profit," Vraney said. "Having food trucks and restaurants are good for Wausau. I think everyone can win if they come to an agreement."

The new ordinances will be tested this Wednesday, June 19, when the summer Concerts on the Square begin.

The event starts at 6 pm.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients.  Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.

Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015.  He then moved to Connecticut.  

At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments.  Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.

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CONOVER - Crowds gathered in Conover Community Park today for a little winter fun. The Northwoods Blizzard Blast provided winter games for people of all ages. 

Dylan Kleffman spent his Saturday doing some of his favorite winter activities. 

"So far my favorite thing was the pony and the snowshoeing," said seven-year-old Kleffman.  

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STEVENS POINT - An alarm system used only in extreme emergencies -- like an active shooter -- went off at a Stevens Point school Friday.  Thankfully, that report was a false alarm.

Stevens Point police were called to Ben Franklin Junior High School at 12:19 p.m.  Police responded within three minutes.  Some students were already leaving the building when officers got there.

Police made sure students outside got a safe distance away, then sent teams in to sweep the building.

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SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

Those accusations baffle Thomas.

"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.

Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.

"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.

Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.

Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.

"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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MADISON - A suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing nearly a dozen women has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

Twenty-year-old Alec Cook faces a total of 21 counts, including strangulation, sexual assault, stalking and false imprisonment involving 10 women dating back to March 2015. Five of the charges are misdemeanors. The rest are felonies.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Once landfills run out of space, the county must decide where the garbage will go. At a meeting on Monday, it was announced that the Vilas County landfill has about 10 years left before it will have to find a new location to dispose of trash. Oneida County had a similar decision to make years ago. 

Fifteen years ago, the Oneida County landfill was capped. 

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MINOCQUA - U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau) admitted today he felt a "pang of regret" when he decided against challenging Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin for her seat in 2018.

But he said the pang of regret in having to spend more time away from his eight kids was even greater.

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