At a special meeting last Wednesday night, the Merrill Area School Board approved the bid of Gritz Builders of Schofield for the new Jefferson Elementary School in the Sixth Ward. The low bid for the project was $544,535 with additional partitions and architect fees bringing the total cost to $598,091. The actual price tag was slightly higher than anticipated due to a rise in steel costs, but the school board has been setting aside surplus cash for the last three years to provide for until state aid arrived. With the Fiscal Control Board voting in February to set a $1.5 million yearly budget, the surplus fund is no longer needed. Superintendent Roger Lowney is also pictured showing off the new central offices for the schools. The building at 1111 N. Sales St. was opened last week and Lowney is shown with his secretary Jean English going over construction costs for the new facility which figured to $13.30 per square foot.
An editorial marks the passing of Harvey J. Schultz, who died yesterday at Wausau North Hospital after an illness of nine years. The 65 year old Pine River native was born in 1907 to the late John F. and Mabel (Chase) Schultz. According to the author, Schultz was the guiding force of the 4-H Fair Board since it started in the 1930’s serving as president, secretary, treasurer and director and Harvey and his cane will be missed at this year’s fair. Besides serving on the fair board, Schultz was a member of the Lincoln County Board, Merrill Cemetery Association, a member of the Christ United Methodist Church Choir, the Lincoln County Selective Service Board during WWII and was former chairman of the Town of Pine River. Funeral services for Schultz will be tomorrow at Christ United Methodist Church; Rev. John Eldred will officiate and burial will take place at Merrill Memorial Park.
The Tomahawk Fire Department is featured on the Tomahawk Page today with Chief Lester Hanke showing off the department’s newest purchase. The department purchased an old bread truck to be used as an equipment van. The truck is now stocked with all of the department’s raincoats, mitts, a portable pump, and smoke ejector. The 22 members of the volunteer department have Plectron alarm systems in their homes to alert them to danger.
A veil of secrecy covers the investigation into the death of a Tomahawk man. The shooting occurred Monday afternoon around 1:30 p.m., yet no details including positive identification of the persons involved have been released as of press time this morning. According to unofficial sources, Ronald Dittmer of Tomahawk was found shot to death in his car outside of a home on South Tomahawk Ave. Joseph Kasmierski of Tomahawk was also shot, allegedly a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Wausau Hospital Center for treatment. He is listed in stable condition under deputies’ guard this morning. Although the shooting took place in the City of Tomahawk, the Tomahawk Police Department refuses to release any information about it, referring media to Lincoln County District Attorney Christopher Coakley. Coakley has been unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, another murder investigation continues but Sheriff Ron Krueger will not confirm a 28 year old man arrested in Shawano on parole warrant is a suspect. Krueger says his agency has developed new leads in the investigation into the death of Ruth Tiffany but no one has been charged yet. Other media outlets are reporting the man arrested in Shawano is the prime suspect in the case.
Four men searching for heat leaks at Merrill Manufacturing felt the heat Friday morning after their early morning inspection brought a host of helpers. The night watchman at Lincoln Wood phoned in a report at 3 a.m. that men were on top of the roof of the neighboring factory. Soon, six county and city officers, five squad cars, an aerial truck and an ambulance were on the scene and law enforcement officers with guns drawn climbed the Merrill ladder truck to the roof. The men explained they were roofing contractors and were inspecting the roof for leaks using an infra-red camera; a process that can only be done during the night. It took a bit to confirm the men’s story and the fact that an employee failed to show up to provide them with a ladder leading them to climb onto the roof by stacking garbage into a pile and climbing on each other’s shoulders. One of the roofers declared he hadn’t seen that many guns pointed at him since Vietnam.
The Boy Scouts from Troops 303 and 304 took over Merrill City Government last week. The boys sat in with various city leaders and concluded their day with a City Council meeting. Participating students included: Chris Bartling, mayor; Mark Peterson, City Clerk; Richard Forster, City Treasurer; Todd Hinz, Street Commissioner; Russell Peck, City Attorney; Scott Vandre, Chief of Police; Scott Monnot, Fire Chief; Robert Hartson, Assistant Fire Chief; Troy Hinz, Park and Rec Director; Jason Corroo, City Engineer; Chad Richardson, Transit Director; Roger July, Airport Manager; and Tab Prentice, Building Inspector. Alderman were: Dave Kamke, John Wendt, Mike Anderson, Ted Laabs, Craig Vandre, Andy Monnot, Ross Monti, and Todd Prentice.
Park City Baptist Church is celebrating having their own home after organizing nearly four years searching. Pastor David Milleson and his wife Nancy came to Merrill in 1989. The two were researching starting a Baptist Church in Merrill and spent four hours a night over six weeks calling residents of the Merrill area looking for interest. 450 families indicated they would be interested in a Baptist Church returning to Merrill so the Milleson’s moved here and conducted their first service at Les & Jim’s on Oct. 15, 1989 with 55 people in attendance. This year members of the New Life Community Church contacted Pastor Milleson and asked if his congregation would be interested in their church at Parkway Drive and Grand Ave. The new church was dedicated this past Sunday, the second such time it has been dedicated as a Baptist Church; the building was originally built and named the First Baptist Church of Merrill in 1901.
The Gleason Lion’s Club is preparing for its sixth annual Heritage Days this weekend. Many activities are planned from Friday through Sunday including tractor pulls, pedal tractor pulls, antique motorcycle, tractor and car shows, and a cross cutting sawing competition. Live music will play during the pancake breakfast on Saturday and a large parade will begin at 11 a.m.