Three people remain hospitalized after an overnight fire at Park Place. At 5:08 p.m., Richard Hayes spotted the fire and phoned it in from the West Side Supermarket. Mayor Ralph Voigt followed the fire department to the scene and made the call for all off duty firemen and policemen to report to duty. The fire was contained to the fourth floor apartment of Miss Margaret Obermeyer who with the help of her neighbor Mrs. Duranceau tried to extinguish the flames as they burned in the carpet. Miss Obermeyer remains at Holy Cross Hospital being treated for smoke inhalation along with Fire Chief Ray Priebe and Patrolman Jack Kleinschmidt, who are also being treated for smoke inhalation. Four other residents were also taken to the hospital to be checked. Assistant Fire Chief Tom Kulawinski stated the damage from smoke and soot extends from the fourth to the seventh floor. Firefighters Harvey Emanuel and Fritz Heller are pictured atop of the department’s ladder truck that was raised to the window to pour water into the smoldering room.
With the recent approval from the DNR, the City of Merrill has purchased 40 acres of land it is beginning to transition to the new landfill. The old landfill in the Sixth Ward will be closed soon and equipment will be transported to the new site off of Merrill Town Hall Rd on the Kraft property. The city bought the land from Robert Kraft for $20,000 and hopes to have the property in marginal operation within three to four weeks, but City Engineer Chuck Pierotti said they would be lucky to have it in full swing by the first snow. In other city business, the council voted down a request from Merrill Distributing to open a warehouse on the end of Cedar Street with attorney George Russell representing a group of home owners in the area.
Merrill football coach Ira Rebella is looking to re-build as he prepares his players for the upcoming season. Rebella’s main concern during the pre-season is to find two good running backs and a defensive tackle to replace graduating seniors. The first inter-squad game will be played Friday night.
Howland’s Ace Hardware is celebrating their 80th year in business and the 100th year of Merrill by revealing their newly remodeled and expanded store. A celebration will take place this weekend at their downtown location and will showcase the new look. Staff members pictured in the full page ad include: Beth Howland, Lee Howland, Mike Howland, Dolores Howland, John Howland, Harry DuFrame, Joni Volz, Marge Hommering, Don Leander, Hermie Krueger, Fran Hetfeld, Shirley Schmoeckel, Grace Schmitz, and Neil Steinagel.
Another new business is open in Merrill and was welcomed by the Merrill Chamber Ambassadors last week. Pictured in his new shop with ambassadors John Roberts and Jeff Peterson is Wally Touchette of Wally’s Video. The store located at 320 Grand Ave. will feature rental and sales of Sylvania and Panasonic home video, pre-recorded movies, recorders and video accessories, along with rentals of televisions, laser video discs, a 50″ television, and the whole works. The store is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
And in the business section, there is a sure sign it is about to open: Hardee’s is hiring! According to the ad, there are job openings on all three shifts available. Applications will be taken at the Merrill Job Service located on the second floor of city hall starting Thursday, Aug. 25.
Call it what you will, but the City of Merrill and the Foto News have teamed up to publish the names of the over 300 individuals who have failed to pay their court ordered fines to the city. City Attorney Jim Godlewski states the fines date back to 1979 and total over $101,000. Police Chief Charles Johnson supports the publication, noting that court ordered sanctions and warrants are just not effective in getting people to pay. The fines range from $10 for not wearing a seat belt to over $1,200 for operating after suspension.
The fund drive for the Merrill Recreation (MARC) Complex has slowed but organizers report they have received pledges totaling $475,000 of the $1.2 million needed for the project. A phone solicitation of area residents is ongoing and so far 29% of those contacted have made a financial commitment to the project, an estimate lower than expected. The next step in the plan is to present the site plan and bid out for grading of the property which should start next spring.