Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
A Tomahawk woman charged with the death of a six-year-old Tomahawk youth will head to trial. Judge Donald Schnabel found there was probable cause to proceed with second degree murder charges after a preliminary hearing on Monday. According to testimony the youth died on Sept. 22 at Wausau North Hospital after suffering from maltreatment at the hands of the woman who was his babysitter. On page three the woman is pictured being escorted to the court house by Sheriff Ron Krueger.
In news briefs: The Fiscal Control Board agreed to cut the school budget and remove the 1.5 percent mill rate from the taxes; Common Council President Ellsworth Plautz requested the drop in the levy due to a recent loss the city suffered in tax revenues. The Weinbrenner Shoe Company has received a federal Defense Department contract. Weinbrenner has been tasked with making 130,608 pairs of non-sparking shoes in a contract worth $1.5 million dollars. Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at Machine Products on North Mill Street. Fire Chief Ray Priebe stated the fire started in a faulty chimney.
Firefighters Bill Hass and Elroy Pfingsten are pictured checking for hot spots. A Merrill man remains in serious condition at Wausau North Hospital after his 1971 Pinto struck a southbound Milwaukee Road train at North Star Drive last week. Channel 9 in Wausau has announced they will now share the same antenna at Rib Mountain; the 200 extra feet of tower should improve the signal at Merrill.
The Merrill Bluejay football team continued its winning ways with a 26-6 victory over Wisconsin Rapids at Witter Field on Friday. The Bluejays’ defense held the Red Raiders to only 50 yards of offense in the first half of the game. The Jays’ final Valley game comes this Friday when they travel to Rhinelander to take on the Hodags. Coach Ira Rebella noted that Wisconsin Rapids was the toughest team on the remaining schedule, but they are not looking past Rhinelander. Rhinelander is known for their tough defense, and they “throw the ball an awful lot” stated Coach Rebella.
It appears Lincoln County has a budget for 1986, but it was not without some controversy. Spending is increasing 11.3 percent but the taxes themselves are going down 4.4 percent. The reason for the balance is the county will remove an excess of $200,000 from the Highway Department surplus fund and borrow to cover the other spending. County Highway Committee Chair Elroy Schmidt was incensed by the cuts noting that no other departments in the county saw their budgets cut and wondered what the board would fund an emergency bridge replacement with. Supervisor Eugene Schmit complained that it seemed every time the county needed money they just went out and borrowed it. In other board action the group approved spending $70,000 to start the purchase of a system that would install computers in county offices. They also voted down the proposed contract with the courthouse labor union. The biggest sticking points appeared to be the 31 cent per hour raise and the requirement that all employees hired after Jan. 1 would be required to pay union dues whether they joined the union or not. On that same theme, on page two the school district has announced they have come to an impasse with the teachers’ union. Merrill High School Principal Lanny Tibaldo stated wages are the biggest stumbling block in negotiations. The school district is offering a 7.7 percent pay increase in salary and fringe benefits including insurance.
The Merrill Bluejay football team played their first game under the new lights at Jay Stadium but lost to visiting D.C. Everest 22-8 Friday. The first half of the game found the local team keeping up well with the 7-1 visitors with a 0-0 score at half time. But Everest took their first possession of the third quarter down for a score. An exchange of interceptions soon found the Evergreens on the Bluejay 19 yard line, and the visitors needed just three plays to put another touchdown on the board. Dave Schepp scored the only Bluejay touchdown by running one in from the four yard line. Backup quarterback Brian Lenz hooked up with Dale Simon for the two point conversion. Merrill travels to Wisconsin Rapids today and then hosts it final home game Nov. 1 against Wausau West.
The Merrill Bowling Hall of Fame is officially open and eight new members were introduced into its ranks this past Saturday at a dinner at Les & Jim’s. Art Burrows, Lorraine Hanson, Lee Johnson, Ruth Radlinger, and Joyce Saeger accepted the honor while posthumous recognition went to John Fowler, Ray Galipeau Sr. and Debs Loud. Burrows directed the lanes at Golden Arrow in Merrill and at the Wausau Bowling Center in the days before modern equipment. Hanson remains one of Merrill’s top women bowlers. She made the National Bowling Honor Count 68 times with series over 600. Johnson was the foundation for starting Merrill’s junior bowling program years ago. Radlinger is one of four life members of the Merrill Bowling Association. She organized the first state seniors’ tournament in Merrill, she was a state director for the Women’s International Bowling Congress for 11 years, and was the first women’s association secretary for 36 years. Saeger was an 18-year president of the Merrill Women’s Bowling Association. Fowler, who died in 1958, helped establish Fowler Drugs in Merrill and sponsored many teams over the years. Galipeau, who died in 1981, started women’s bowling leagues in Merrill and was the owner of Golden Arrow Lanes. Loud, who died in 1983, was the Merrill Men’s Association secretary for 28 years. His name lives on by way of the Debs Loud Memorial Award which is presented to the bowler who scores the most pins over average in the City Tournament each year.
The plans of Richard and Sharon Schmidt to open an antique store on Merrill’s east side came closer to reality recently. At the end of July a four hour project to move a carriage house from East First Street to behind the future store on River Street took place. Schuette Movers moved the building which had to have its roof removed and two sides folded down. It is estimated that the carriage house was built around 1895, and being history buffs the Schmidt’s just could not let it get torn down, something that seemed inevitable for the aging structure.
A structure that is meeting the wrecking ball is Bogey’s Bar at the corner of East Main Street and Center Avenue. The building, which went by several names over the years (Cork and Dyne) is being knocked down to make space for the apron of the new viaduct. Local circus enthusiast Dan Caylor is pictured on page four trying to preserve circus posters from the side of the building. The posters, which at one time announced upcoming shows, were covered for years by new siding.
Gruett’s Appliance Center in Merrill announces that Greg Kornack is the new service manager.
In the battle of the winless teams in the Valley Wausau East came out on top, defeating the Merrill Bluejays 27-0. The local team now has a string of Valley losses that stretches to 25 games. In his weekly column Norm Heideman gives a salute to the young players who hung on all season long despite all the adversities.