The neighbors to the north have reached out to students at the Merrill High School with a generous donation. This past week MHS principal Ellis Evans accepted a donation from Glyn Woollam Canadian Council and Trade Commissioner of $700 worth of books about Canada. Woollam explained the Canadian government is not happy with the coverage Canada receives in the United States, particularly at the student level. Merrill is one of four high schools in the state to get the donation from the Canadian government; the others are Rhinelander, Superior and Platteville.
Church Mutual Insurance Company, headquartered here in Merrill, reported its greatest one-year growth in the 75 year history of the company during 1972. Dieter Nickel, President and Chief Executive Officer reported the company’s assets increased from $9.2 million to $11.8 million or 28%. Church Mutual, founded in 1897 serves 19 states from Ohio to the State of Washington. (According to their web site – Church Mutual now operates in all 50 states and lists assets as $1.2 billion)
Two overtime contests led to different results as the Merrill Blue Jay boys’ basketball team ended conference play and began regional action. On Friday night the Jays ended regular season play with an overflow crowd on hand at MHS. The game was tied 46-46 with 19 seconds left but an errant pass by Merrill set up a jump shot by Antigo’s Jeff Lund putting the Red Robin’s ahead for good. Dave VanDerGeest led the Jays with 22 points while Rick Semling helped out with 10. The Jays began WIAA regional action on Tuesday at home against Wausau West. At the end of regulation the game was tied 32-32 in what an emotional Don Kerr described as the most physical and defensive battle the Jays faced all season. In the last seconds VanDerGeest hit a 20 foot jump shot to propel the victory over West 36-34. Athletic Director John Ader advised those interested in play-off tickets for the Friday contest against Wausau East can buy them Thursday only at the Merrill Athletic Department. Limited tickets will be available at the door.
In wrestling news Michael Londerville became a state champion at the UW Fieldhouse on Saturday night. Despite falling behind early, Londerville came back to pin Ed Smith of Manitowoc at the 3:06 mark. Michael is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Londerville of Route One, Hamburg. He credited coach Norris Hattlestad’s encouragement as the inspiration to defeat Smith who had never been pinned prior to his tangle with the Merrill youth.
Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk has announced plans for a major remodeling project. After a year of planning, the hospital plans on constructing an emergency vehicle garage on the north side of the structure. The current garage is on the back side of the hospital. This makes it difficult to find for visitors and its size does not allow modern ambulances to pull into it. Along with the garage space a new entry way will be added on the east side of the building for outpatients and a parking lot will be added for additional parking in future plans. The ICU unit of the hospital will also be remodeled and heart monitoring equipment which can be monitored by a computer at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander will be installed.
“Crime and You” was the topic of a one-night seminar presented last week at city hall. Speakers for the event included Sgt. Michael Soucy of the Sheriff’s Office, officer Michael Caylor of the Merrill Police Department, Sheriff’s detective Dave Haskins, MPD juvenile sergeant Jack Kleinschmidt, Sue Gatterman of social services, DA Chris Coakley, Judge J. Michael Nolan and probation officer Lee Wegner. The seminar was held in hopes of giving the general public a chance to ask questions about crime and law.
The Merrill girls’ basketball team took its first step on the road to the WIAA State Tournament with a regional championship in Wausau last week. The Jays thumped Wausau East for the third straight time this year 68-38 on Thursday and beat Wausau West on Saturday 57-49. This extends the Jays’ unbeaten streak to 20 games for the season. The girls will take on Stevens Point in sectional playoffs on Thursday. The Jays have already beaten SPASH twice this year and if they win again Thursday they will advance to the sectional final at Medford on Saturday.
The City of Merrill is looking to form a special district within its boundaries to do public improvement without cost to the taxpayers. A TIF or tax incremental financing district is something the city has never had but at a council meeting February 9th the council decided it’s time to start thinking about them. City Attorney Jim Godlewski and Community Development Director Mike Martin are exploring the future of TIFs for the city.
Two bowling feats are noted in this week’s sports sections. Nancy Mootz cleaned up the 7-10 split at Lincoln Lanes January 28th, believed to be the first ever by a Merrill woman. Bowling in the Monday night league Mootz threw hard at the seven pin and it came back out and clipped the ten pin. Mootz had turned her back before it happened though knowing the odds were not on her side. Also at Lincoln Lanes, Bryan Plautz did not bowl a 700 series in his Thursday men’s league last week. That did not matter much to Plautz as his second game of the night was a 300 game. Plautz bowls with Dave Sherfinski, Jim Woller and Dave Sharbius in the 760 league.