By a unanimous 9-0 vote the Merrill City Council moved to call a Fiscal Control Board meeting Monday night to reconsider their recent vote to construct a new Jefferson School in the Sixth Ward. The council chambers were packed with close to 70 citizens as the petition with 714 signatures was presented to the council asking for a referendum on the project. Despite three prior referendums that failed the fiscal control board voted in February to construct the new school at a cost of $550,000. City Attorney William Wulf explained calling the meeting does not mean action will be taken; one of the board members who voted to go ahead with the project would not have to vote to reconsider the measure.
With St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday there is much to offer for entertainment plus some dining specials as found on the entertainment page: Corning Bar will feature the Polka Teens, Mosser’s Hub Inn has the music of Jackson 2, Dick’s Riverside Club features the Music Men, Schmidt’s Ballroom has the battle of the bands with Dan Raflik and his Polka Pals and Don Frodl and his Orchestra, while Schult’z Country Inn has a free concertina and dance party. Gary’s Bar will have Peace Train on Friday and Black Death on Saturday, Club 64 has Rick and Dino after 9 p.m., and the Fin -n- Feather will showcase Dale Evan’s Quintet both Friday and Saturday. John Lyon has announced the former Mr. Don’s Steak House is under new management and will be known as the Union Cocktail Bar and Party Hall.
After an emotional season the Merrill Blue Jays had to settle for third place in the sectional championship at Marshfield on Friday after they fell to a familiar foe Shawano by a score of 54-45. Coach Don Kerr’s game plan to keep Dennis Blunk in check was successful with Blunk only scoring 14 points, but Dave Born scored 20 points. The Jays had fallen behind by as many as 11 points but whittled the deficit to five points thanks to the shooting of Rick Semling. Shawano then went to its delay game which is its bread and butter late in match ups. Shawano did not have much time to enjoy their victory, they lost to Antigo 52-51 Saturday thanks to a last second tip in by Antigo’s Jim Schofield. With the pressure off on Saturday the boys took on Nekoosa and easily handled the small school 68-45. Dave VanDerGeest led the Jay’s with 15 points followed by Bruce Muschinske and Rick Semling with 12, Tom Rajek 11; Keith Zuelsdorff eight; Bob Grunenwald and Randy Rajek four and Steve Dahm and Todd King two. This was the final game for Coach Don Kerr. It was announced Wednesday that Kerr had resigned from his coaching position but would stay on as a teacher at MHS. Asked why he resigned Kerr told the Foto News simply: “I resigned because I was asked to.”
The Merrill Golf Club has been sold. Harry “Bob” Youstos and his sister Doris Glaser both of Wausau bought the course which was jointly owned by Lincoln County Bank and Merrill Federal Savings and Loan. The banks took the course over as a part of a foreclosure action in 1981 and operated the course as a public course last year; the first time in over 50 years the once private club was open to the public. Youstos is the owner of the Trappe River Golf Club and the Mint Cafe of Wausau. The course will open as the “Merrill Public Golf Course” as soon as the weather permits.
The Lincoln County Board voted to spend some money and is looking for prices in an ongoing desire to repair the Prairie Dells Dam. The Board first voted to spend $500 as Lincoln County joins numerous other counties around the state opposing recent federal court decisions giving Chippewa Indian Tribes unlimited hunting and fishing rights on public lands in northern Wisconsin. The board also voted to transfer $8,693 for the beginning phase of work to repair the dam as they await word from the DNR on if they will be allowed to operate the dam. Repair costs have been revised up to $330,000. Pine Crest will be getting a face lift thanks to $180,000 in borrowing. The money will be used to replace old windows, add new lighting and repair an elevator in the nursing home.
The Cinderella season of the Blue Jay girls basketball team came to an end in Madison on Friday with the girls losing for the first time in 23 games to Oak Creek. The Jays were impressive in their quarter final match against Oshkosh West with a 56-39 win. Coach Bob Yuska pulled his starters in the fourth quarter after the lead had ballooned to 22 points. Lisa Bonnell led the team with 16 points followed by Jan Wickman with 14. When the girls took on Oak Creek on Friday it appeared it would be an easy contest until the fourth quarter. The girls took a fifteen point cushion into the locker room at half time and were still leading 31-23 at the end of the third quarter, but then the wheels fell off. Oak Creek went on a scoring frenzy as foul trouble started to affect the ladies. A dismal 30 turnovers proved to be the difference in the game as the Jays lost their momentum to the powerful Oak Creek team who also came into the game at 23-0. As the Jays headed home on Saturday Oak Creek was defeated in the championship game by De Pere 52-45.
Norm Heideman talks about swift justice in this week’s Quotem Pole. With the help of Ralph Storm Jigs describes the second murder to occur in Merrill. The event took place in 1890 when Dave Sarvis was slain during a gambling game at Sarvis Saloon. Merrill Police Officers Hotz and Robert Truax were wounded as they attempted to apprehend the assailant David Handler. Fearing a lynch mob the police secretly took Handler to a cabin owned by Dan Chandler at the mouth of the Newwood River. A mob did form that night and went to the jail at Merrill in an attempt to hang Handler but they all went home after learning he had been removed for safekeeping. The next day Handler was brought to Wisconsin Rapids where he was tried and convicted and sentenced to a life of hard labor at Waupun with the stipulation that every January 1st; the anniversary of the crime he would spend the day in solitary confinement.
In victory described as “absolutely crazy, unbelievable, and a wild finish” the Merrill Blue Jay wrestling team claimed is second straight WIAA State Tournament last weekend in Madison. The Blue Jay’s bounced back from a 19-6 deficit in the Division one finals match to a 27-22 lead, then held on for a 27-26 triumph over Pulaski. Jess Koch started the Jay’s comeback with Todd Rebella, Jim Weix, Brian Severt, and Adam Christensen, Chris Welker, Mike Osness, and PJ Steinbeck all contributing to the five point lead heading into the final match of the tournament, heavy-weight Brian Krueger taking on Simon Skenadore from Pulaski. Skenadore had a 50 pound advantage going into the match and the Merrill fans held their breath as Krueger avoided the pin and kept the Jays’ championship intact.