Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
The Merrill City Council Chamber was packed for last night’s meeting as local youths turned out to protest what could be the end of their youth center. City leaders were looking at the building on East 2nd Street that formerly held Harry Seidell’s garage, but the public service commission voted last week to not purchase the property. Alderman Patrick Nugent’s motion to use $28,500 from the sale of land surrounding the former depot to seed a new facility was approved. Of the 125 youths present, several spoke, including Linda Tholl, 16, who requested the city consider placing a youth center at Normal Park. She was informed the city could not use the land as it is owned by the county. The council did vote to purchase bonds for the financing of the purchase of the Church Mutual building to be used as a city hall. A Chicago based company was the winning bidder with a 5.93 percent interest rate.
The County Board delayed the funding of an expansion of Pine Crest Nursing Home. The resolution to fund that project was once again delayed and will be considered again at the September 20 meeting. The board did vote to pay the architectural fees associated with the project at a cost of $71,207. The board also authorized the funding of the construction of a maintenance warehouse for the Forestry Department. A summons concerning the legal bills of former Sheriff Robert Basett was referred to District Attorney Dennis Montabon.
The Merrill Bluejay football team is off and running with a 14-0 win over the Shawano Indians on Friday at Shawano. Senior Pat Nelson scored the first touchdown of the contest on a 59 yard scamper. The final score of the game came after a 22 yard run by Nelson set up a first and goal at the Shawano five yard line. Quarterback Bob Semling hit John Zuelsdorff in the corner of the end zone for the second touchdown. Bluejay Head Coach Ira Rebella named Nelson the offensive player of the week with Steve Rajek being named the defensive player of the week. This Saturday the local squad takes on Stevens Point at Jay Stadium which is Parent’s Day.
Merrill will not have a full time mayor, so says the voters. The September ballot only contained one item, should the City of Merrill switch from having a part-time mayor with a two year term to a full time mayor with a four year term? By a two to one margin, the measure was soundly defeated in each of the city’s eight wards, 1,129 to 557. Current mayor Richard Holt is disappointed with the results noting the hours he devotes to the job warrants the full time job. Thirty percent of the voters turned out to cast ballots on the measure. Holt went on to say he is not sure if he will run for office this spring, adding that without the additional benefits and pay the job leaves no security and a minimal pension and will not attract a young candidate.
Three past winners of the Anson Scholarship gathered with the grandson of the namesake Leonard Anson this past week to pay tribute to the contribution to education of Merrill students. Leonard Anson Donoghue, along with past winners Robert Savaske, George Krembs, and Frank Plano, met in the library of the Merrill Senior High School to discuss the effects winning the scholarship had on their lives. Anson stated he just wished his grandfather would have lived to see the effects the scholarship left on the community, something he always wanted to give back to in appreciation for what Merrill meant to his family. Savaske, a 1946 winner and now president of M&I Citizen’s American Bank, noted the scholarship is now valued at $2.75 million dollars. He also noted that the original contribution by Anson’s widow of $100,000 is $744,000 in today’s money. George Krembs, an electrical engineer with IBM living in West Hurley, New York, and Frank Plano, a retired newspaper executive, are hoping to survey the 57 winners of the award to create a testimonial on how it changed their lives. Principal Lanny Tibaldo hosted the event.
The Merrill Bluejay football team started the season with a loss on Saturday, with Gordon Schofield’s Red Robins defeating Greg Schofield’s Bluejays 29-0. The opposing team from the east scored all of their points in the first half with the elder Schofield showing mercy on the younger by benching his starters for the second half. The two quarterbacks for Merrill, Robin Smith and Brian Lenz, found themselves sacked by the opposing team a combined seven times. Dave Schepp led the ground attack for the Jays with seven carries for 30 yards. Antigo gained 225 of their 253 yards on the ground. Next week Merrill will travel to Wausau East to take on a team that narrowly lost to D.C. Everest in its first game.
The annual progress edition is out and many local businesses are found inside of it. They include: Brannan Realty, The Drapery Den, Snyder Drug Store, Merrill Sheet Metal, Lincoln County Bank, Lincoln Video, Green’s Floral Shop, Lokemoen Optical, Shorts 5&10, Thelma’s, Lincoln Jewelry Company, Family Medical Clinic, C&H Packaging, First Financial Bank, and Carl’s Food Lane. Side articles in the progress edition speak of our local ties to World War II including a picture of Harold Koth of Tomahawk as he stands on the beach of Iwo Jima this past February, 50 years after he landed there. There is also a short story noting the contributions to media that were made by Hans Von Kaltenborn, one of Merrill’s most famous sons who grew up in the 700 block of East 1st Street. (Readers not familiar with Hans should really google the name, came from a small town and left his mark on the world)
Drew’s Supermarkets are celebrating 50 years in the grocery business. Specials found at both stores include spare ribs for .98 a pound, a dozen eggs .39, 12 packs of Pepsi products two for $4.89, and Old Style beer for $4.69 a 20 pack. Nine names will be drawn out of a bucket per week until October 21 when all 51 finalists will gather and pick out a key, one of which starts a 1995 Dodge Neon.
The Wisconsin National Guard Armory at Merrill has taken delivery of an M1IP tank. It took much maneuvering to unload the giant machine which was brought up from Milwaukee. Similar units are being delivered to Antigo, Marinette and Mosinee.
The Marshfield Tigers visited Jay Stadium this past Friday and left with a victory, blanking Merrill 20-0. Turnovers were the downfall of the local squad, and Coach Greg Schofield plans on working on blocking and tackling this week as well. The 0-2 Jays head to Stiehm Stadium this Friday to face the Evergreens.
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.