Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
Articles in this week’s paper note how groups and individuals are objecting to the latest plan from Madison to add fees and taxes via Governor Patrick Lucey’s transportation program. The Lincoln County Automobile Dealers Association express their displeasure to the measure on page three while on page 10 State Senator Clifford Krueger is shown addressing the Merrill Rotarians on the issue Tuesday. He advised the luncheon that the legislature may be called in for a special session in December to decide on the bill. Krueger noted that most of the money raised through taxes and fees is destined for Milwaukee and Madison to assist with their mass transit programs. Krueger stated, “Instead of trying to work out their troubles, Milwaukee continually looks to Madison to bail it out.” As a part of the plan Lucey is seeking a yearly registration fee of $75 and a special efficiency tax of $100 on most new vehicle purchases. He also would like to add 2% to the gas tax, putting a 4% sales tax on each gallon sold. The bill would also allow counties to add wheel taxes for every vehicle registered in their municipality.
Lincoln County appears to be one step ahead of the state when it comes to traffic forfeitures. Traffic tickets written in Lincoln County by Troopers from the Wisconsin State Patrol now list Lincoln County as the plaintiff in the matter. This allows the county to seize all of the fines levied, fines that were previously sent to state coffers. So far the county has been able to divert $20,700 for traffic cases. (Almost $90,000 in today’s money.) The effort is in response to the state making the counties supplement the local district attorney’s salary, a move that is costing Lincoln County $4,500.
Things were not looking the best going into the fourth quarter of the Merrill Bluejay football game at Rhinelander on Friday. A cold and slippery field led to key turnovers and found the local boys at a 0-12 deficit. But two quick scores by quarterback Bob Semling soon turned the tide to a 13-12 lead and the eventual 19-12 win. The last conference game of the regular season comes this Saturday when the Jays host Wausau West. West is coming off of a 12-7 upset victory over the Marshfield Tigers, while Merrill is looking for their fifth straight victory and hopes to end the season in second place with a 7-2 record.
There will be a change on top of the Street Department as Street Commissioner Phil Erickson has announced his retirement. Erickson will end his 38-year career with the city at the end of January according to a letter he submitted to the board of public works yesterday. Erickson began working for the city in 1947 and was first elected street commissioner in 1978. Since he was elected his office was challenged twice when city officials put a measure on the ballot to make the elected position an appointed job, a referendum that was defeated both times. Because it will only be two months between Erickson’s last day and the April election, the city will not be required to hold a special election, but they will place an interim person in the spot. In speaking to the board, Erickson also noted that city residents are throwing out everything but the kitchen sink. Erickson thinks with the future closing of the landfill residents are afraid fees or restrictions will soon be placed on garbage collection, leaving residents to do some quick fall cleaning.
Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes was the setting for a banquet on Tuesday as members of the public, students, faculty, and dignitaries celebrated the recent award presented to the Merrill Senior High School. The school was recognized as being in the top 200 schools in the nation. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Herbert Grover spoke as did David Bowell who was representing the US Department of Education. State Senator Lloyd Kincaid presented a plaque on behalf of Governor Tony Earl, and State Representative Tom Ourada presented one on behalf of the legislature. Mayor Richard Holt offered remarks on behalf of the city. Principal Lanny Tibaldo noted the team effort it took to win the award and spoke of how proud he was to be part of the team. Kathy Colclasure represented the school’s faculty, while Vince Zoellner, president of the student council, was the student representative.
Outside of the banquet, members of the teachers union conducted an informational picket. The teachers are currently without a contract for the 1985-1986 school year. Scott Nocco, head of the teachers union, expressed his frustration that the school board has not worked hard enough to resolve the contract impasse. Local superintendent Thomas Strick noted that both sides had agreed to arbitration to resolve the matter and questioned why the teachers were there with pickets instead of celebrating the national recognition.
The drought is over. The Merrill Bluejay football team has broken their 27-game losing streak by defeating the Hudson Raiders at the Metrodome 28-14. Coach Greg Schofield noted the victory was even sweeter playing in the confines of the Twin Cities’ Metrodome.
Darlene Amelse led the pack in the recent cross country meet at the MARC Center. She placed third at the Merrill Sectional which will advance her to the WIAA State Meet at Wisconsin Rapids this Saturday. It should be noted that every photo of the event shows the three inches of snow which covered the ground for the event as well as scarves, and mittens, and stocking caps.
Looking to have some fun this weekend? Halloween parties fill the entertainment page. You can find a scary good time at: Kathy’s Corners on County Rd X in Gleason where live music is from Hot Ticket. Piggots Pub has the music of Long Rider. Gesundheit will have karaoke and cans of Coors beer for $1. Harry-O’s has prizes for anyone in costume, the Pike Bar has the music of Deja Blue, Hank’s Old Time Tavern in Gleason has Black Forest playing on Saturday for their Halloween bash, Ole’s Bar at the Lincoln Center has Finn Power Saturday night, DeJa – VU has a costume contest, karaoke, and will buy you your first drink on Saturday. At the Arena the music of Rock Island will be heard on Friday while on Saturday they will host Howard “Guitar” Luedke & the Blue Max Band. Les & Jim’s has their 13th annual costume contest and moonlight bowling on Saturday. If a movie is on your mind check out Michelle Pfeiffer in “Dangerous Minds” at the Cosmo.
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.