Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The vote is now unanimous, the future site of the elderly unit housing in Merrill will be the parking lot at the corner of Scott and East Main streets. At a joint meeting between the County and Merrill Housing Authorities the site was chosen over three other possible sites. The Merrill City Council had already put the brakes on a plan to build the potential high rise building at Streeter Square. The suggestion from Lincoln County that the building be built at Normal Park was also rejected as was land in the area of East Sixth Street and Memorial Drive due to its isolation. Lincoln County reports that their housing projects in Gleason and Tomahawk are vibrant, but Merrill is where the available space is lacking according to County Board Chair Neil LeMay. He chaired the joint meeting along with Merrill Mayor Ralph Voigt. Joe Jackelen, Executive Director of the Merrill Housing Authority, stated that now that the site has been chosen he can immediately begin applying for federal funding for the project. The decision on the number of units needed at the site was left up to the board which chose a 100-unit structure. Voigt and LeMay had thought a smaller structure was more feasible, but County Housing Authority Chairman Henry Meier pointed out that the bigger the structure, the lower the cost and better the chance of federal funding.
In area briefs: A total of 314 Merrill High School seniors will cross the stage tomorrow night in the East Gym. Senior class president Steve Zoellner will address his class for the final time, principal Jack White and MAPS Board President Roger Zuelsdorff will hand out diplomas, School Superintendent Roger Lowney will announce the scholarships, and Fredric Mumma will direct the band for the affair which gets underway at 8 p.m. This past holiday weekend was rough on motorists with several crashes with injuries and one fatality being recorded. The crashes with injury occurred on Bachelor’s Avenue in Gleason and on Business Highway 51 while another crash occurred on Grand Avenue and involved two Merrill men in their 20s. The fatal crash took place on State Rd. 17 just south of Bundy when a vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. A 20-year-old Rhinelander woman was killed in the crash, the second fatality on Lincoln County roadways this year. The Merrill Police and Fire Commission has selected Ned. R. Seubert as the next police officer for the city. Seubert, 22, of Marathon, had served as a police officer in Marathon for the past 21 months, he has a degree in Police Science from the Eau Claire Technical College. Ken Oldenburg, Clerk of Lincoln County, has announced he is seeking re-election to that post. He has served seven and a half years in that position.
If something is afoul at the Merrill Police Department the chief does not know what it is. The City of Merrill Health and Safety Committee met in closed session Monday evening to discuss allegations of improprieties within the department. Alderman and committee chair Dave D’Amico downplayed the allegations, saying after the meeting that no one would be referred to the Police and Fire Commission for any personnel problems. Mayor Richard Holt told the Foto News that they were not hiding anything, but rather the committee needs to look at changes made in recent years and if those changes could be causing problems. Chief Charles Johnson stated he knew nothing of what was discussed behind closed doors as he was not invited. He went on to predict that whatever the situation is, once it comes out it would not be “fit to print.”
In area briefs: Longtime Wisconsin State Senator and Merrill resident Clifford “Tiny” Krueger has announced he will run for Wisconsin Secretary of State in November. Krueger is looking to unseat incumbent Secretary of State Douglas LaFollette. “The old circus man has some showmanship in him yet,” said Krueger upon making the announcement. He retired from the Wisconsin State Senate in 1983 after representing the northwoods for 37 years. Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church has broken ground on a 4,400-square foot expansion to their church. Building committee chair Larry Wolf is shown turning over the first shovel of dirt last Sunday after the morning services. The Rev. John Henning and church member Lee Stebbins provide support to Wolf in the picture. The church has 780 members and just celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. Joe Younker has been appointed as the new administrator of Holy Cross Hospital. Catholic Health Corporation is loaning Younker to Holy Cross as they transition from being owned by the Sisters of Mercy to a yet to be named buyer. Younker recently was the administrator of St. Ann’s Hospital in Watertown, SD. Banburry Cross fabric store has announced they are going out of business. They are located at 802 E. 1st St.
The City of Merrill has hired a new police chief, and he is from out of town. Neil C. Strobel is a sergeant on the Waukesha Police Department and was hired as Merrill’s top cop out of 24 applicants. Strobel also teaches at Waukesha County Technical College; he has extensive knowledge in community programs and relations.
The Center Avenue bridge project is right on schedule according to the general contractor, Edward Kraemer and Sons. Two piers have yet to be installed but electrical work including light poles should be wrapping up in the coming weeks. Sidewalks will now be found on both sides of the bridge and wheel chair friendly ramps are on both ends. The city will also now run curb and gutter all the way down to Joe Snow Road on South Center Avenue. There were traffic delays on Riverside Avenue this past week causing problems for motorists heading to the south side; the cause of those delays was a struck gas main.
Two movies are hold overs this week at the Cosmo. In Cosmo One for the fifth and final week it’s Twister starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. In Cosmo two for the second week it is Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. No passes or discounts can be used for either picture.
Looking for work? Jobs on the employment page this week include: A part time cook at Good Samaritan Health Center, sewing machine operators at Fox Point Sportswear, the Town of Pine River is seeking a general laborer at the town shop, just call Lawrence Walters if you are interested, Mr. Movies needs workers for their new store and will hold open interviews on June 18th, Lincoln County needs a half-time clerical assistant in the Register of Deeds Office, Pine Crest needs a unit clerk, Mulligan’s Supper Club is seeking a line chef, and Skippers needs a breakfast cook.