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Wausau police clarify misconceptions about 'snowball ban' in lighthearted Facebook video Submitted: 12/06/2019
Story By Stephen Goin

Wausau police clarify misconceptions about 'snowball ban' in lighthearted Facebook video
Photos By Wausau Police Department

WAUSAU - As nearly eight inches of snow fell in Wausau last week, a local media outlet reported on a nearly 60-year-old law banning snowballs in public places around the city.

In part, Wausau Municipal Code 9.08.020 reads, "no person shall throw or shoot any object, arrow, stone, snowball or other missile or projectile, by hand or by any other means, at any other person or at, in or into any building, street, sidewalk, alley, highway, park, playground or other public place within the city."

The story of that ordinance was picked up nationally by the New York Post, Newsweek, New York Daily News, Fox News, Today.com and other media outlets.

Barstool Sports went as far as calling Wausau "the worst town in America" because of the ordinance.

Friday, the Wausau Police Department took to Facebook to clarify any misconceptions in a lighthearted video. In the video, police can be seen throwing several snowballs.

Police took issue with the fact that national reports made it sound like the law was new.

"The ordinance that I just read was enacted by our Wausau common council in 1962, long before I was even born," said Dep. Chief Matt Barnes.

In the video, Barnes stressed that the ordinance was in the interest of public safety and included other projectiles, not just snowballs. He also reported that people were not often cited for the offence.

"The Wausau Police Department has used this ordinance and issued citations about 10 times in the last 15 years," said Barnes. "Over that time only on two occasions has it been used to address people throwing snowballs."

Wausau's Mayor Robert Mielke made an appearance in the video to let people know that Wausau is still a "fun" city, despite the ordinance.

"We do like to have a great time here in the city of Wausau, there's a lot of great things in our city, great people, great employees and a wonderful place to live," said Mielke.

In 2018, a town in Colorado repealed a similar snowball ban that also made national headlines. Such bans appear to be common in municipalities across the United States. 


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NATH hosts e-cycling fundraiserSubmitted: 08/14/2020

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RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.

NATH and The Good News Project partnered for the third year in a row to host an e-cycling fundraiser.

"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.

NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.

"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.

"While our expenses have not gone down, even gone up some, our income, which is fundraising grants, and gifts, has gone down," says Covin.

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"I mean COVID has hit the bowling business really, really hard no matter where your bowling center is," said Sharon Cline, bowling manager at Hodag Lanes.

And with the construction on Stevens Street, the bowling alley was in a tough situation.

"The construction was also a big play for us because with all the construction out here it was tough for anybody to get through," Cline said.

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"I probably started bowling in the early '80s on the Wednesday night women's league," said Sherri Schilleman, Rhinelander resident. "We had the 9 o'clock slot I believe back then."

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