Some top lawmen are wishing readers have a safe and happy Fourth of July Holiday. Police Chief Gerald Plautz expressed his concern over travelers as it is the most hazardous holiday when it comes to the number of people killed. Sheriff Robert Bassett also is concerned about safety and provides his five rules to follow when traveling, with number one being passing in safe manner. If you’re caught making an unsafe pass the cost is steep at $100 plus costs for the ticket.
Wisconsin Attorney General Robert Warren will be the speaker for the noon meeting of the Merrill Rotary Club on Tuesday, July 10 at the Lincoln House in Merrill. Warren will speak on the gas shortage and related matters. “The Energy Crisis – What Can We Do?” will be the title of Mr. Warrens speech. The Rotary Club also recently installed their new officers for 1973-1974. Arthur E. “Bud” Taylor Jr., is shown presenting the gavel to Rev. Dale G. Kuck who will serve as president. Other officers installed were vice-president Ramon Hernandez, secretary Hubert Evers, and treasurer Martin Burkhardt. Board posts were filled by Ray Hinch, Walter Schuster and Bud Taylor.
In business news, effective July 1 the Fata Voigt Insurance Agency has been purchased by Eugene “Gene” Block. The business will now be known as the Gene Block Insurance Agency. Ralph “Fata” Voigt will continue with the new firm as an insurance broker.
The use of two way mirrors in Junior and Senior High locker rooms has come under fire from State Senator Lloyd Kincaid, D-Crandon. Kincaid requested the school board conduct a public hearing on the use of the mirrors because of his concerns over possible violation of students’ privacy. School board President Diane Mikkelson said the mirrors were installed years ago to help coaches monitor shower areas and parents have long known about their existence but none have complained. Kincaid went on to say that there is no state law regulating the use of two way mirrors; he may introduce such a law if the Merrill School Board does not take action.
A local battle has ended between the Merrill police and fire departments and the result is a tie. The two took to the field at Athletic Park for a heated game of Donkyball last week. Pictured is Sgt. Don Trantow from the police department rounding first on his donkey as he tried to stretch a single into a double. Also pictured was fireman Doug Brandt as he rides his donkey named “Ben Gay” in an attempt to field the ball. The final score was 4-4.
The firm of Schmitt, Hartley, Arndorfer and Schnabel, S. C. announced today that Donald E. Schnabel has retired from the practice of law and severed his connection with the firm as of July 1. Schnabel, who retired as Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge in 1980, will resume service as a Reserve Circuit Judge in the state. The law firm will now be known as Schmitt, Hartley and Arndorfer.
The long awaited opening of the City Hall Apartments was held last Thursday. The once decaying building will now be home for residents who will occupy apartments on three floors. The main speaker for the event was Randy Alexander of Alexander Construction the general contractor for the rehabilitation of the building. Mayor Ralph Fata Voigt was the first to push for saving the building establishing “Save Merrill City Hall” with Bob Opsahl as its chairman in 1977.
A story featuring local DJ and Rock & Roll enthusiast Dan Lee covers most of page four in this week’s paper. Lee remembers how as a teen attending Wausau High School he and his friends would tune into WLAC out of Nashville which played a mix of early Rock & Roll and Rhythm and Blues. Then one day the local country / polka station played a new song that stunned Lee so much he called the station to find out who the new artist was. The DJ told him the young man was named Elvin Presley. Of course it was Elvis Presley, and Lee predicted he was going to make it big. Lee shows off his collection of 45 rpm records which he started collecting at a young age and now boasts over 23,000 of them. Inspired by a chance encounter with the late Buddy Holly, Lee tells of his journey from being the front man for a band known as Danny and the Revels to being a radio newscaster in Waupun and now the morning man on local WJMT.
Columnist Norm Heideman brings up an interesting question to his friend Bill Caylor. He wants to know if there is truth to the story that as a young lad Bill was sick and missed school for three days. According to the story the teacher sent a thank you note home to Bill’s mother on the third day.