Church Mutual Insurance Company announced another year of substantial growth this past year for the Merrill based insurer. Company President Dieter H. Nickel reported at the annual meeting last week that company assets had increased to $13,536,200, a 14.2% increase. Nickel noted that industry leaders reported a generally negative year for insurance companies during 1973 with a predication of a 9.2% net loss for most policy holders yet Church Mutual saw a 16% increase. The company also saw expansion with offices opening in Indianapolis and Denver and a new division office in Columbus Ohio with an expansion of the sales force in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Colorado and Wisconsin. In the outlook for 1974 Nickel introduced the new System 3 Computer system in the Merrill Office and the expansion of sales into Georgia which will bring the number of stated it operates in to 20. (Church mutual is now in all fifty states according to last week’s Foto News which also noted premium production of $618 million with a policyholders’ surplus of $473.2 million. Not bad for a company that started in what is now Trophy Bar.)
After being called away for business, Norm Heideman let his better half shine as his wife Joy is pictured on the front page accepting an award from the Merrill Knights of Columbus in his honor. “Jigs” Heideman was recognized by the club during their annual sports banquet Tuesday night for his work as a little league football and baseball coach. He initiated the American Legion Free Throw Contest and is a director for the American Legion Baseball League. He is past director of the former Merrill Rangers and Foxes. The award is given to a man who has helped to foster sporting activities in the Merrill area.
A resolution before the county board to eliminate two deputy positions was tabled on Tuesday. Supervisor Elroy Schmitt motioned to table the item pending the outcome of a study being conducted on staffing needs within the agency. Sheriff Bassett received permission to add one deputy to his staff which is now slated to be eliminated along with one other spot. A resolution ratifying the contract between the deputies and the county was passed that calls for a $20 increase in their salary in July along with $55 in January and a pay rate of time and half for any hours worked over 40 hours per week. A resolution to limit Sheriff Basset’s clothing allowance for uniforms only was lost on a 12-7 vote.
Elizabeth McHenry, Deputy County Clerk since August of 1973, announced today she will be a candidate for the office of Lincoln County Clerk on the Republican ticket in the fall election. For the first seven years McHenry had been in charge of payrolls, for the last three years she has been the county accountant/book keeper. McHenry is a graduate of Iowa State University and has resided in Merrill with her husband William for the last 22 years. Ken Oldenburg announced last week he would not seek re-election this fall for the post.
The Merrill Area Education Association has donated to the T. B. Scott Library in memory of “Mully” and “Billie” Taylor. MAEA Reps Floyd Korpi and Bob Monti are pictured with library director Curt LeMay as they look over a microfilm reader; something the library hopes to purchase with the assistance of the $600 donation from the teachers association. The Taylors, who were avid readers and historians, died in a house fire this past month at their Merrill home. In a related article, the Merrill Fire Department is accepting applications for free smoke detectors using funds that have been donated in the wake of the fatal fire at the Taylor home. The local teachers association along with Social and Sick, Weinbrenner Shoe Company, and the Merrill Jaycees are heading the effort. Priority will be given to low income, elderly, and handicapped residents.
On the entertainment page, Bogies Bar is bragging they are the first bar in town to offer Coors Beer on tap. Andre’s Pizza and Pub is expanding. Located next to Wally’s Video on East Main Street, Andre’s is now offering delivery until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The party pack special for the week is a 21-piece chicken, two pizzas, and two six packs of Pepsi for $20. Also on the entertainment page, Cal’s Chips now has 16 flavors of ice cream to choose from, the Cosmo is showing “Educating Rita” and Steve Martin in “The Lonely Guy,” while Lierman’s Ballroom will have the music of Southern Comfort this weekend.
Local pool players received honors as the guys of Sport’s Bar #3 recently wrapped up their sixth Thursday night Men’s Pool League title in a row. They compiled a 131-67 record to top Sport’s Bar #2 by 15 games. Pictured are Todd Johnson, Speedy Clark, Tim Case, Jack Graap, Scott Olson, Craig Josiger, and Jesse Callahan. The gals from Sport’s Bar #3 lost just one match all season on their way to a first place finish in the Wednesday night pool league. They posted a 145-53 record to top the 136-62 mark set by Beacon Bar. Northway Bar #1 edged out Avenue for third place 121-77 to 120-78. Pictured from the Sport’s Bar team are Brenda Zettler, Marlene Graap, Debbie Alvin, Candy Ostrowski, Patti Clark, and Jodi Gipple.
For the first time in the mill’s history, Ward Paper Mill has gone a full calendar year without a lost time injury. Mill General Manager Brian McDonald credits the mill’s 150 facility members for accomplishing the mark. Ward Paper is a branch of International Paper’s fine paper and business section and has been on the Merrill industrial scene for 88 years.
The Merrill Bible Church held a dedication this past Sunday for their new church and community building. In addition to the church choir, special music was offered by Nancy Koehler, the Kramer Family, and Carolyn Krupnik. The new church is located on Eugene Street.