The Merrill School Board had a busy agenda at their regular monthly school board meeting at the High School last Wednesday. The board approved purchasing a laboratory building which will be built on the south side of the administration office on Sales Street. The building will be built by the House of Merrill and the $47,866 cost will be offset by federal and state aid. John Van Dyck was approved as the new vocational agricultural instructor, replacing himself. Van Dyck had resigned from the position but was convinced to reconsider after it was determined that enrollment was up in the program. Junior High assistant principal Ken Gallenberg explained that more students are interested but had been turned away due to lack of facilities. Van Dyck also noted that all 11 girls who joined the ag program since its inception have either found work in the agriculture field or married farmers.
Over 500 people attended the homecoming of Tomahawk native Lt. Colonel Raymond Schrump, the recently liberated prisoner of war who starved and suffered in North Vietnamese prisons for five years. Lt. Colonel Schrump, a Green Beret officer, left for Vietnam in 1967 after visiting his parents in Tomahawk. He was captured May 23, 1968 while trying to recover the body of a fallen infantryman. He was held captive until Feb. 16 of this year. Tomahawk’s Mayor Loftus introduced Schrump and gave him a key to the city, former Congressman Alvin O’Konski gave an emotional speech saying “For God’s sake America, keep America strong.” In his remarks Schrump noted “I learned a lot in captivity, and one thing was what a great country this is.” (A search of the internet shows Schrump is 82 and living in North Carolina where he volunteers at a veteran’s museum. He was encouraged to join the Army by a Lincoln County Judge after being caught drinking underage at a Tomahawk tavern).
On the entertainment page, Club Modern is featuring prime rib dinners for $4.25, The Music Men will be at Les & Jim’s this Friday and Saturday, Higgin’s Place will feature Arkon on Friday and D. R. Review on Saturday, and the special on Friday is all the beer you can drink for $1. The Pink Top is offering a deluxe burger for 89 cents and Dick’s Riverside specials include 1/2 a fried chicken for $1.75, T-bone steaks for $2.50, and the Friday fish fry $1.35.
It’s a record some people are not proud of, 12 new prisoners were booked into the Lincoln County Jail on Monday in a one hour time span. Five of those prisoners were being held under the Huber law but most were spending time on warrants. Not only was the record set for most prisoners booked in an hour, it tied the record for prisoners being held at the jail at one time – 25. The jail is capable of holding 31 prisoners under ideal conditions. That record however was not longstanding. By this morning the all-time high of 28 prisoners was reached by 4 a.m. Chief Deputy Robert Lee noted deputies are out serving some of the 141 arrest warrants they hold ranging from battery to unpaid fines. (Average prisoner count in 2013 is 150 prisoners a day)
Sheriff Ron Krueger is optimistic the investigation into the murder of 63 year old Ruth Tiffany is moving ahead. Tiffany was found dead last week in her rural Merrill home with seven stab wounds to her chest. She may have been dead for several days before she was discovered. Krueger noted several people had been questioned but the only prisoner being held was Tiffany’s Dachshund who had been evading capture by hiding under the trailer home Tiffany lived in. The dog remains under the sheriff’s custody at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
The City of Merrill is entering the computer age, and at a bargain price. Virchow and Krause of Madison will provide the city with a computer, five work terminals, a base storage unit and a printer for a price tag of $71, 973. The purchase came after a seven month study into the needs of the city and an extensive application process for vendors. Although a date has not been set for installation, the computers will first hold utility billing and accounting and will be used for word processing. Over the winter, the plan is to convert payroll and police records onto the system. The total cost of the system includes the 240 hours of training.
The Rev. Paul Nutlon has been appointed to serve the area Methodist churches. Born in Neilsville, Nulton is a graduate of Asbury College in Kentucky. He will serve Christ United Methodist Church along with Wildwood Chapel, he is presently serving in Plover.
The City of Merrill has purchased 110 acres of land along the Wisconsin River near Council Grounds State Park and will go ahead with the Merrill Area Recreation Complex (MARC). A fund raising goal of $1,200,000 has been set to begin the development of the complex. The total cost of the project is estimated to run $3 million dollars and will include three adult softball diamonds, four little league fields, four soccer fields, a multi-purpose building and part of a pedestrian walking path.
Travel wars are on between two local travel agencies. Central Wisconsin Travel Alliance has a four day trip to Las Vegas flying out of CWA for only $279, hotel packages start at $339. Viking Travel can send you to Reno from CWA for only $220 along with reduced hotel packages. You have to travel by Aug. 30 and two week advance booking is required.
If you are looking for a job, there are plenty of part- and some full-time opportunities on the business page: Subway is hiring for part time evening work, the Merrill View Motel is in need for housekeepers with no experience necessary, Merrill Catholic Schools is seeking a vocal music teacher for the next school year, Baumgart’s needs part time office help, Pike Bar needs a bartender, Hwy 51 truck stop has an opening for graveyard cashier, JW Window Components is looking to hire a production supervisor, Fox Point needs sewing machine operators, JW Perry has an opening for a truck driver, and First Financial Bank is looking for a head teller.