Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
A man who escaped from the Lincoln County Jail is back in custody. The man had sawed out two bars in his jail window before making his escape on July 3. Columbia County authorities stopped the suspect this past Thursday for a traffic violation. The man provided the deputy that stopped him with a name but did not provide proof of his identification. This led to Columbia County calling Lincoln County where they learned the identity used by the wanted man was in fact the name of a man who is already sitting in the Lincoln County Jail. Lincoln County deputies suggested that the person who was stopped was most likely their escapee. On Friday morning Columbia County deputies tracked down the man again and took him into custody. He had previously been sentenced to 15 years in prison for burglaries in Marathon County and was facing similar charges in Lincoln County when he made his escape.
In area briefs: Lincoln County Emergency Government Director Norm Heideman has appealed to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for warning lights to be placed at the intersection of State Rd. 64 and County Rd. W. Heideman is hoping the warning lights will improve safety at the intersection in the wake of a crash that left three people dead at that location in August. Wayne Smith of Merrill has been selected to serve on the Holy Cross Hospital board of directors. Smith will take the place of Harry Seidell who resigned from the board. Smith is the vice-president of Roberts Broadcasting which owns local radio station WJMT as well as WJMS and WIMI in Ironwood, Mich. Firemen rushed to the aid of Bob’s Food King this past Sunday after a leak sprung in the roof of the building sending water down into the store. Besides covering merchandise, the firemen checked for electrical shorts. The store was closed for safety reasons. Rev. Allen Behnke will be installed as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church on the south side of Merrill this Sunday. Behnke is a native of Wausau and recently served as Camp and Retreat Director of the North Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. (Found the good pastor online, it appears he just retired from a church in Wales, WI last year.) County Clerk Ken Oldenburg reminds hunters that your party permits for this year’s deer hunt are due in the mail by Oct. 1. You can pick up the applications at his office and first preference will go to those who did not get a permit last year.
Ball control was the name of the game as the Merrill Bluejay football team improved to 3-0 on the season sending visiting D.C. Everest home with their second loss on the season. Merrill ground out 193 yards of total offense on 60 plays while allowing the Evergreens only 32 plays in the game. D.C. Everest may have won the yards per play category, but they did not have the ball long enough to do anything with it as Merrill won the contest 12-6. Merrill next travels to Wausau East where they take on the 0-3 Lumberjacks. Coach Ira Rebella is not taking the Lumberjack team lightly, noting East has not forgotten about the thumping Merrill has given them during the local teams’ last two homecomings.
Merrill Chief of Police Charles Johnson remains hospitalized at Wausau Hospital Center after having open heart surgery this past week. His son reports the chief is doing well after the double bypass surgery yet no definite time has been set for him to come home. Captain Dennis Hintze is acting as chief of police in his absence.
What started out as a business venture between two college classmates is now a $4 million a year industry leader on Merrill’s north side. Mike Anderson and John Bocke were classmates when they met. The two both went to work out of college for the Parker Pen Company. They learned that a division of Parker Pen, Merrill’s Midwest Outdoors which operated factories in Merrill and Port Washington, were for sale. The pair bought the company and consolidated the operations to the Merrill facility which continues to grow now operating on a 55,000 feet site off of State Rd. 17. The company originally employed 40 people but now has 135 employees today. The main focus of the company early on was snowmobile gear but now 100,000 children’s jackets along with baseball jackets and private label clothing for the Harley Davidson company are produced. Anderson and Bocke stated they are both aware of new trends in the industry and hope to develop new customers so they can maintain their growth in the community.
The Merrill Bluejay football team lost to the Marshfield Tigers in an ugly contest this past Friday 7-0. The only score came on a trick play at the end of the first quarter when Marshfield called a time out but then had the quarterback pitch the ball to his halfback who then threw a 35-yard touchdown pass. This Saturday it’s homecoming in Merrill and along with it is the 43rd annual Silver M reunion. Golden M’ers this year include: Harold Engel, of IL, Phil Lagerbloom of NH, Herbert Schielke of Gleason, William Halder, Richard Heckman, Harold Sprauge, Earl Schuman, all of Merrill, along with Dr. Paul Everest of AL and Ward Oldenburg of Woodruff.
It is homecoming week in Merrill and the town is gearing up for the big celebration. The homecoming court has been named and they are looking forward to the big dance this Saturday after the game against Antigo Saturday afternoon. Court members include: seniors Aaron Hoffman and Lana Lemon, Mike Zuelsdorff and Marie Oldenburg, Dave Hoff and Lisa Hanson; juniors Mark Burger and Ann Ertl, and sophomores Jason Henrich and Megan O’Leary. The Silver M Group will also be meeting with the following getting inducted into the club: Pat Ament, Jeff Anderson, Bob Akey, Dean Berndt, Don Boquist, Jeff Eckerle, Phil English, Tom English, Rick Hass, Todd King, Bruce Muschinske, Bob Odegard, Keene Robl, Basil Woller, Tom Hildebrand, Jeff Schneider, and Coach Norris Hattlestad.
Two donations to speak of in this week’s paper. The Schneider brothers have donated a large Wall of Honor to Good Samaritan Health Center. The board will track the names of blood donors who have given three or more gallons of blood through local donations. The donation is in memory of their father Clarence “Cy” Schneider. Pictured are Jerry, Mike and Bill Schneider along with Douglas Verdier, Alan Cable, and Mike Hammer from Good Sam. Sheriff Ron Krueger is also pictured on page two with Tom Glaser of the McNaughton Correctional Center. He presented the sheriff’s office with a brand new dog house which will soon house the agency’s K9 unit. The dog house was built by prisoners at the prison near Lake Tomahawk. Sheriff Krueger also announces in an ad in this week’s paper that he is running as a write-in candidate for sheriff. Krueger was defeated in the primary two weeks ago.