A front page photo taken from atop the courthouse looks south over the Standard Station across the viaduct at the massive traffic tie up with last week’s fishing opener. Cars heading north on Hwy 51 are backed up from the bottom of the bridge up past the concrete factory in the photo. Motorists should be prepared for this throughout the summer.
A delegation of 122 youngsters from Merrill will depart for the Wisconsin Dells on Friday for the 30th annual Safety Patrol trip. The group will leave at 5:45 a.m. on Friday and return Saturday at 4 p.m. Chaperones for the trip include Mrs. Harry Nelson, Mrs. Leslie Kienitz, Mrs. Gerald Plautz, Mrs. Tom Schotz, Mrs. Warren Weckwerth, Mrs. William Hass, Lawrence Hugi, Henry Leck, and Traffic Officer John Odegard who is director of the Merrill Area Safety Patrols. Hugi, Leck, and Odegard will drive the busses.
Faith Lutheran Church will be the official name as two churches south of Merrill finalize their plans to consolidate. Zion Lutheran Church – Town of Maine and St. John’s Lutheran Church – Town of Scott will continue to hold separate Sunday services but a long-range Parish planning committee is working on formal consolidation of the two congregations. Donald Hoff is the chairman of the committee whose members include Wilfred Laabs, Otto Porath, Harold Woller, Duane Kleinschmidt, James Gaeu, and Harold Gierach. Zion Lutheran Church of the Town of Maine is one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in the area. It stated in the mid 1860’s when Rev. Strieter of New London began conducting services in the Town of Maine. The congregation was organized in 1871 and 18 area Lutheran churches can trace their roots back to it including Trinity of Wausau and St. John and Trinity of Merrill. St John’s Lutheran Church town of Scott was started in 1888 by a number of Zion families further north into Lincoln County from the Town of Maine church. The Rev. Gerald L. Herman leads both churches.
Richard Ruge was the unanimous choice to be the new District 13 representative to the Lincoln County Board which represents Merrill’s sixth ward. Ruge was selected by County Board Chair Gordon Schroeder from the five applications that were submitted. Others vying for the position were Fred Reger, Roger Frisch, Harry Nelson, and Henry Golde. The position became vacant this past month when Patrick Nugent resigned both as county board chair and supervisor. Ruge is the corporate secretary at Merrill Manufacturing Corp; he previously taught at Merrill High School for 10 years.
The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday for their annual May session. Items approved at the meeting included funding for Pine Crest improvements, $350,000 for improvements to the Prairie Dells Dam, and over $1.5 million dollars to refund the principle on the county’s promissory notes for the safety building. In other board action, the new contract with the Social Services Workers Association that calls for a 4.5 percent wage increase and high contributions to the health insurance plan was approved. Wage increases for all elected officials and non-elected department heads were also approved. Their salaries will increase retroactive to January 1st by 3 percent, and another 3 percent raise on July 1st. Exempted from the raises were the County Coroner, Family Court Commissioner, and the County Board Chair.
According to the American Bowling Congress, the odds of doing it are 420,000 to one, but four Merrill men were recognized last week for bowling perfect games this past season at Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes. Jim Woller, Jim Sheridan, Gene Pfantz and Sid Sukow are pictured along with Frank Kloth who bowled a 299 game making them the top five scorers for the year.
People entering the cafeteria at Holy Cross Hospital got a trip back to “Jennyville” this past Thursday as hospital staff dressed as ladies and lumberjacks to get into the spirit of Merrill’s centennial year. Barb Schmidt, Margaret Sense, Carolyn Cohrs, Ceil Boyd, Brenda Morley and Sister Mary Thomas are pictured in their dresses. Also the winners of the hospital’s poster contest were announced; Kelly Moreland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Moreland, and Traci Hopper, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hopper, each will receive a new bicycle for their entries.
Merrill Police Officer Ken Neff is pictured with Susan Shear as they round the track at Jay Stadium with the torch for Special Olympics. The Torch Run is sponsored annually by law enforcement and participants receive pledges to benefit the cause.
Jim Brannan and his wife Sandy felt the best way to spend retirement is to get involved in their community, meeting and helping people. On April 1, Jim retired after 32 years as a sprinkler fitter for emergency systems. Not wanting a day to go to waste, Jim and Sandy opened Brannan Realty in the former Total Auction building on East Main St. The Brannans now hope the weather warms up in May so they can start showing homes to prospective clients.