Researched by Michael J. Caylor, Jr.
Congressman Dave Obey had strong words for the auto makers in Detroit as he met with local service clubs and auto dealers yesterday in Merrill. Obey met with the auto dealers Tuesday morning at Hinz’s Cork and Dyne and then had lunch at noon at Club Modern with the Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimist and Lions clubs. Obey told the auto dealers that he planned on supporting soon to be introduced legislation that provides harsh penalties to auto manufacturers who do not work to control gas guzzling in their vehicles. Obey claimed the United States could lower its daily need of 17 million barrels of oil per day to 15 if they would produce cars like their foreign counterparts. Obey further pointed out the huge increase in foreign car sales in the US, saying the United States manufacturers had already lost the battle with imports. After the meeting local dealers noted that high pressure controls by congress are what is keeping the auto industry from recovering, saying that Chrysler loses one million dollars a day and AMC motors loses $550,000 a day.
Even though students are looking forward to summer vacation, those attending Merrill Senior High School have selected their student council leaders for next year. Mark Latizg will be president, Julie Young vice-president, Sharon Kasper secretary, and Barb Fruend treasurer. Jim Richardson, advisor to the KEMO staff, would like to remind students they have to pick up their yearbooks soon. They will be first handed out during noon hour tomorrow at the concession stand. (How many of you just went back in time and smelled the popcorn coming from the concession stand?) After school students can go to the gym to pick up their books and mingle with friends to get theirs signed.
The local golf club has scored the Regional WIAA Championship after play at the Merrill Golf Club this past Friday. Mike Harbath, Bob Semling and Scott Cole all shot in the 80s, one stroke behind medalist Bill Wagner from Antigo. Despite winning the local title, Coach Willis Bogenhagen stated his team needs to do much better to place at the Sectional which will be held at Bass Lake Country Club in Antigo this Friday.
The engineering firm hired by the city to design a four lane section of East Main Street is ready to meet with the state DOT. Ken Oja and Howard Muehl of Donoghue and Associates showed the plan to the Board of Public Works yesterday. The project, which will expand Main Street from Memorial Drive to the Pine Ridge Oasis from two to four lanes, is expected to cost $1.2 million, money which is expected to come from a federal transportation fund. The biggest change is the removal of a median strip from Big Eddy Road to Pine Ridge Avenue. A smaller strip will be installed from the Carl’s Food Lane entrance to Pine Ridge. The plan also does not include a sidewalk, with the engineers noting they cannot justify the estimated $31,500 cost right now. In other action at the BOP meeting, Street Commissioner Phil Erickson reported on the first load of newspapers recycled by the city. About 20 tons of newspapers were recycled, and the city hopes to sell the truckload of them soon for an estimated $21 a ton. The bad news is it cost the city $974.96 in manpower to collect and load the papers, a considerable loss for the first time endeavor. Erickson and city engineer Charles Pierotti agreed that even if the city breaks even it will be a win as the landfill space is much needed. Further, a semitrailer will be set up and soon residents can directly load the papers which should save on manpower.
Good news on the employment front as Lincoln County has dropped its unemployment rate almost two full points from March and April of this year. The new rate is 10%, down 11.9%. The unemployment rate for Wisconsin also dropped from 7.8% to 7.3% in that same period. The steepest unemployment in northern Wisconsin is Vilas County with a 13.7% rate. (Today Lincoln County is sitting at 6.4% while Vilas County is still high at 10%, and Wisconsin is at 4.8 %)
Changes have come to the Merrill School Board after the death of board member Elmer Kahre. Wayne Schultz of the Town of Pine River has been appointed to replace Kahre whose term was to expire in 1987. An appointee to the board can only serve for one year before their seat has to be placed back on the ballot making for four open seats next spring. The board also elected Jay Tlusty as its president replacing Diane Mikkelson; Dee Olson was elected vice-president, Pat Weber treasurer, and Bruce Severt clerk.
The flags have all been placed in anticipation of this weekend’s Memorial Day events. This Monday the public is invited to join local veterans at St. Francis Cemetery for the annual event which will begin at 11 a.m. Eugene Skipper Schulz will act as master of ceremonies for the event. The spiritual speaker that day will be the Rev. Carolyn Saunders of Christ United Methodist Church in Merrill. Pictured on page one placing flags on the front of the Courthouse lawn are local veterans Cecil Hill, Heine Lemke, Leroy Ott, Lylas Berndt, and Ray Waschick.
School is starting to wind down and the paper is filled with school news and a few advertisements as employers wish their soon to be graduating employees good luck. The spring band concert will be tomorrow at the auditorium and it will feature all three bands from the Junior High. In addition to a mix of music Symphonic Band conductor Linda Becker has scoured the community for adults to join in with the ninth grade band for rousing renditions of “Rock Around the Clock,” “Highlights from the Music Man,” and John Phillip Sousa’s “Free Lance March.” Members of Al Tetzloff’s class had other fish to fry this past week as they toured the Woodruff Fish Hatchery. His students took part in a Trees for Tomorrow workshop, and the Woodruff facility was part of the program which was sponsored by scholarships from Wisconsin Public Service. Students in Roxy Hockett’s sixth grade science class at Washington are learning about the environment and conservation. They toured the landfill and a filtration plant and just completed posters for a “Design your own stamp” contest being sponsored by the US Postal Service. Their posters are on display at the Merrill Post Office. Another prom is in the books. The Merrill Senior High School Junior Prom was held a few weeks ago, and King Carl Schenzel and Queen Marci VanDerGeest held court over this year’s festivities. The theme for this year’s prom was “Out of Nothing At All.” Crown bearers were Melissa VanDerGeest and Eric Semling. A post prom party was held at Les & Jim’s after the event.
Researched by Michael J. Caylor, Jr.