Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
It appears the Lincoln County Court House will soon be growing. The County Board yesterday approved a measure that would hire an architecture firm to build a two story addition to the original building in order to house the four extension offices, a jury room, two large conference rooms and meeting rooms, social services, the county nurse, and the US Department of Agriculture. The board also authorized a building committee to plan and implement the addition to the court house. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen anytime soon.)
Three Appleton residents are dead after a two vehicle crash Sunday evening in the Town of Pine River. The incident occurred at State Rd. 64 and County Rd. W when a vehicle being driven by a Merrill man collided with an auto occupied by the Appleton family. The deaths bring the number of fatal accident victims to eight for the year.
The local championship for the Merrill Golf Club has been decided but did the winner have an unfair advantage from a higher power? The Rev. Stephen Koenig was obviously blessed as he bested the group playing for the championship this past week beating out George Johanson for the title after 36 holes. In the class A competition Mike Zwirchitz topped Tom Zentner, in class C it was Don Iattoni over Larry Holl, and in class D Ira Rebella repeated his championship over Don Taylor. The class B championship will be played at a later date between Bill VanDeHey and Jerry Voigt. On the ladies side, Pat Fochs was the overall champion, Ruby Whitburn took class A, Lydia Bauman class B, and Judy Loesel class C. On the diamonds, Bud and Dee’s Round Up was crowned the Lincoln County Slow Pitch Champions after defeating Paul’s Pub on Thursday night 5-4. In the Lincoln County Baseball League the Merrill Giants, Beacon Bar, and Henrichs Club will all advance to tournament action at the Wisconsin Baseball Association Tournament at Abbotsford this weekend.
When a man is hungry he has to eat. So said Hung Le and Vern Heinlein of Flying Machines Inc. of Wausau. The pair landed their helicopter in the parking lot of South of the Border Restaurant this past Monday when they felt the urge for lunch. A picture of the copter in front of the building is on page 17.
Shoppers on Merrill’s west side will soon have a new choice in grocery shopping as Drew’s West opens its doors tomorrow at 9 a.m. The Drew family promises the new store will have prices that match their east side store. Owner Steve Drew is pictured with manager Ron Prey as they ready the store for the grand opening. The store will be open until 10 p.m. daily except Sunday when they will close at 6 p.m. A nice ad welcomes Drew’s to the westside from its business association; members of that include: Dan Rajek DDS, Double Bogie’s Bar, Eddie’s Bake Shop, Ed Drygalski – Prudential Insurance, Electrical Wiring and Supply, Estelle’s House of Fashion, Granny’s Bargain Bin, Hull’s Ben Franklin, Irv & Dar’s Hour Place, Johnson Pharmacy, Kozy Korner, Lincoln County Bank, Maty’s Hair Club, Merrill Monument, Midwest Sports, Miller Home Furnishing, Quality Furnace, Radio Shack, Reindl Printing, S&S Bar. (Four are left on the west side out of 24 listed)
Meanwhile, the Merrill Chamber welcomed the Hapke Family as the new owners of the IGA in Merrill’s Sixth ward.
Labor Day is early this year as it falls on Monday the 1st. The annual parade will wind its way through the city starting at 10 a.m. from the west side. On Friday the coronation of the Labor Day queen will take place at Les & Jim’s, and the young ladies vying for queen this year are Tammy Graap, Michelle Olsen, Tia Raddatz, and Michelle Woller. After the parade two bands will be performing at the armory. Ron Kautz and the Merrill Central Labor Council head up the parade.
There are lots of new faces at Merrill Area Public Schools this year. In the annual introductory photo the following professional staff are pictured: Jim Blair, Senior High Library; Tim Gould, special education and vocational instruction; Bruce English, dropout program; Terry Manning, drop out program; Greg Eichelkaraut, Junior High Science; Erik Larson, assistant principal at Senior High; Dennis Enquist, elementary at Lincoln and Franklin; Tony Crabb, vocational at Senior High; Joe Mertens, psychologist; Elayne Ollmann, elementary at Lincoln; and Lynn Rochon, elementary at Pine River.
Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson has removed Lincoln County District Attorney Jim Blask from office and appointed Madison Attorney John Schellpfeffer to take his place. Schellpfeffer was sworn in on Friday afternoon by Lincoln County Judge J. Michael Nolan in front of family, friends, the media, and staff members of the judicial system. Blask had made an emergency appeal to the governor for reinstatement to office but that appeal was denied. Blask has been at the center of controversy for months with the most high profile event of his tenure being an altercation with a referee after a basketball game at the Merrill Senior High School, a confrontation in which Blask admitted shoving the ref. Schellpfeffer has been a special prosecutor in the past, and he also announced he will seek the office of DA in November. As Blask and attorney Mike Graveley are the only candidates on the actual ballot, Schellpfeffer will have to run as a write-in candidate.
Merrill is once again on the move, it has established itself on the world wide web. If you want to see what is happening around town you just need to dial into the internet and look up www.dwave.net/~merrill/merrill.html (for real). Merrill is one of the first communities in north central Wisconsin to be live on the web.
Construction season is still here in Wisconsin and a couple of projects are hoping to finish up soon. The Center Avenue bridge remains closed as concrete work takes place. The re-constructed bridge is hoped to be open by Oct. 15. Flagmen still assist with traffic on South Center Avenue at Riverside Avenue as paving takes place on both ends of the new viaduct. On US Hwy. 51 the concrete highway between Merrill and Tomahawk will not be open in time for Labor Day meaning traffic is expected to be backed up for miles as a stop light currently helps control the flow at the end of the four lane just north of town. The Wisconsin DOT has issued a state wide alert for motorists to take the scenic route north on Labor Day weekend to avoid the expected back up at Merrill. Downtown Minocqua is not any better and the ride home is expected to involve some long waits. Also, due to the bridge being out the Labor Day parade will start at Weinbrenner’s this year. South State Street is now congested with the detour traffic, prohibiting its use.