Sixteen beautiful 4-H girls grace the front cover of the paper as they vie for the title of Lincoln County 4-H queen at this week’s fair. Competing for the tile are: Cathy Kaminski and Lynn Donn of Gleason; Rauni Muschinske of Wausau; Polly Postl, Carol Schoone, Janet VanderVoort, Robin Krueger and Lori Bohner of Tomahawk; Rose Skic, Sally Freund, Karen Sense, and Gloria Anderson of Merrill and Debbie Gilson and Theresa Johnson of Irma. The fair runs from Tuesday through Friday. Thursday is Merrill Day and all City Hall offices will be closed so employees can attend the fair. Friday is Tomahawk Day and the grand finale of the fair will be the demo derbies in front of the grand stand at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Although the location is still not known, the Lincoln County Board approved a centrally located landfill at their meeting Tuesday by a vote of 16-2 with Shook and Vaughn dissenting. Merrill City Engineer Chuck Pierotti stressed to the board that the current city landfill located in the sixth ward is weeks away from being full. The actual license holder and location of the site is still up to debate; a Town of Birch location has met with resistance from residents in the area.
Mike Wissen has been named the manager of the newly opened branch of Park City Credit Union in Tomahawk. A grand opening celebration is planned at the new location on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Tomahawk Mayor Martin Loftus, Credit Union President Sven Gustavson, and David Bagley manager of the Merrill office will be present for the ribbon cutting. Prior to becoming manager, Wissen was a loan officer at the Merrill branch.
A 36 year old Merrill man is dead and an 18 year old is in custody after a fire on Merrill’s west side. Merrill Firefighters were called to building at 608 W. Main St. after the fire was reported to them at 11:25 Sunday. Firefighters stated the building was totally engulfed in flames within 20 minutes of their arrival, and the Town of Maine Fire Department was called in to assist in extinguishing the flames. The body of Gerald Benzinger was found in an upstairs apartment. An autopsy in Madison showed Benzinger died of smoke inhalation. The suspect was taken into custody Monday after an investigation by the state fire marshal, who concluded the fire began on the ground floor in the rear apartment where the suspect admits starting a fire.
A 23 year old Tomahawk man remains in the Lincoln County Jail after he was formally charged last week with murder in the death of Ronald Dittmer, also of Tomahawk. Joseph Kasmierski was charged with first degree murder, and Judge Michael Nolan set a cash bond of $100,000. According to prosecutors, Kasmierski shot Dittmer outside of the home of Dittmer’s ex-wife in Tomahawk on June 20. Kasmierski has been hospitalized since the incident, suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face.
The fair starts on Tuesday and fairgoers are reminded of the new city ordinance which requires alcohol to be kept within the fenced area. Further, juveniles will not be allowed within the beer fences. Strict enforcement of the ordinance will be done by the Merrill Police Department. The ordinance was put into effect to curb underage drinking at the fair and similar events. Highlights of the fair according to an ad on page 14 include: Tuesday the Kids from Wisconsin, Wednesday tractor pulls in front of the grandstand, Thursday Cristy Lane will perform and on Friday the demo derbies will be held at 8 p.m. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon, kids can enjoy unlimited access to Belle City’s Amusements rides with the purchase of a $5 wristband. (For those who remember the “interesting” Belle City Amusements, I invite you to search for them on the internet. They are now one of the premier carnivals in the nation, playing many venues throughout the south – a sure change from when I used to lean a little, cheat a little, and have a little fun)
A Merrill man has been charged with a felony after he desecrated Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery, pushing over or damaging close to 80 tombstones. Police arrested the suspect on Tuesday after the damage was discovered Thursday morning. He told police he was drinking at the fair and got into an argument with his girlfriend; he was walking home through the cemetery and took out his frustrations on the stones. Park Superintendent Sheridan Schwark estimates the cost to fix the damage to be $10,000 or more.
On the entertainment pages it’s a grand opening at Grund’s Bar. Patti, Bobbi, and Jean invite you down to the grand opening of the bar where you will find the best of the old and some new. Bogies will have Sun Dog this Friday while the Pike will feature the Towner Bros. Playing in Cosmo one is “Another Stakeout” with Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez, in Cosmo two you will find a story 65 million years in the making with “Jurassic Park.” And Central Wisconsin Travel still has seats available for a charter flight out of CWA to Las Vegas. Packages start for as little as $279.