Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
So far hunters in Lincoln County are safe, but 10 other counties mostly to the west and south have had all hunting and fishing banned due to the extreme drought conditions. This Saturday is supposed to mark the opening of small game and the deer bow season, but because of the emergency fire restrictions the DNR is not allowing sports enthusiasts to pursue their sport due to the danger of fire. Carl Ecklund of the DNR Ranger Station in Merrill said that as of 11 a.m. Lincoln County remains in the clear but if much needed rainfall is not received we could soon find ourselves under the same restrictions.
A dramatic fire has destroyed a building in Merrill’s Sixth Ward. On Saturday night just after 10 p.m., Merrill firemen rushed to the scene of the fire at 104 S. Foster St. where the H. G. Kania Hardware and Plumbing store was engulfed in flames. A call was placed for all off duty firemen which eventually brought 19 Merrill firemen to the scene to fight the fire which was described by Fire Chief Ray Priebe as a “stubborn blaze.” Priebe stated the fire likely started due to a faulty extension cord. When firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke pouring from the building and were at first unable to make entry. According to Captain Joe Schneider it took until about 3 a.m. for firefighters to bring the fire under control with firefighters concentrating on the adjoining buildings which remained undamaged. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries in the incident, one from flying debris from an explosion and a second, John Riesinger, was injured when he was bitten by a dog he rescued from the blaze.
The Gleason Fire Department has a new truck to show off. The department recently took delivery of a brand new fire truck this week. It takes the place of a 1953 truck which was hand built by Fire Chief Fred Friedl of Gleason. The volunteer department was formed in 1948 and Friedl has served as the chief since it began operation.
The Merrill Bluejay football team suffered their first loss of the season, falling to host Wausau East on Friday. East was celebrating their homecoming when the Jays came visiting and the visitors were soon outscored 13-0. Coach Rebella is already looking forward to this Saturday as they host the undefeated Antigo Red Robins. Rebella noted the Jays will have to play mistake-free football if they want a chance to overcome the powerhouse from the east. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.
It’s finally going to hit the big screen in Merrill. Direct from Gleason, Wisconsin by way of the Rebane Picture Studio – it’s “The Giant Spider Invasion” playing this week at the Cosmo. Steve Brodie, Barbara Hale, Alan Hale and Leslie Parrish star in the film which is in Cosmo 1 for the week.
Pictures around Stange’s Park show the flooding that occurred over the weekend. Friday’s rainfall caused the banks of the Prairie and Wisconsin rivers to quickly overflow this weekend. The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company reports the peak flow at the Wisconsin River dam at Merrill was 19,559 cubic feet per second on Saturday night; the normal flow is 2,179 CFS.
The Merrill Bluejay football team continues to step up on the defensive side while the offense continues to lag as the local boys fell to Stevens Point during the homecoming game this past Saturday. Coach Greg Schofield expressed his frustration over the mounting losses this season but noted he feels the players are playing up to their abilities. The Jays had a chance to go ahead on a final drive in the fourth quarter but time ran out as they marched down the field with the game ending at a 7-3 score. Next week is not going to get much easier as they travel to Stillwater, MN to take on the local team there who is undefeated and ranked in the top five in the state. The newest members of the Silver M Club were on hand for the event, they include: Jerry Henrichs of Sun Prairie, Bill Johnston of Fond du Lac, Gary Bondioli of Marshfield, Ed Briggs of Wausau, and Sid Sukow, Marty Anderson, and Richard Hull of Merrill.
Explosions rocked downtown Merrill this past week, but it was all for the better. Workers were blasting out the concrete of what remains of the Center Ave viaduct. The old bridge has been under construction all summer long and the new bridge is slated to open next week with a parade over the bridge set to take place on Oct. 12. The bridge will remained closed until then as workers finalize the structure for us. When the grand parade opens the structure on the 12th, the Merrill City Band will lead the procession over the bridge playing the theme from the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” followed by the Junior High Symphonic Ban who will play “Go For it,” and finally the Merrill Marching Jays’ Band will follow playing the song “Old Man River” as they come over the new bridge. This celebration also kicks off Make a Difference Day in Merrill; volunteers for that endeavor should sign up on the Courthouse lawn until 10:30 a.m.
It is Octoberfest time in Merrill and the retailers are ready with specials. Miller Home Furnishings has La-Z-Boy recliners for only $299 and reclining sofas for only $599. Johnson Pharmacy on Merrill’s west side will have 15% off their Halloween decorations and 25% off their Halloween cards. Al’s Furniture and Bedding has a mattress sale with twin sets starting at only $329. Green’s Flower Shop has all of their plants and giftware at 20-50% off, while Brose’s Flower Center has 20% off storewide. Lincoln Jewelry Company has an anniversary sale as well where they have 20-50% off all diamond jewelry. Bring your photos into Snyder Drug this week as double prints are on sale for only $5.99. Hargrave’s Appliance Center will help you say goodbye to cable with a dish package starting at only $199. The Guy’s Shop and Thelma’s have 20-50% off of select clothing at both of their downtown locations; Caylor’s has flannel shirts for $15.99. Short’s 5&10 has household items for fall clean up and its craft corner is up and running for the Octoberfest sale; Bruce’s Cover All has 25% off all Pittsburgh Paints. Trantow’s Do-It Center has an insulation sale going on with prices starting at $6.79; Taffy’s Hallmark has 20% off store wide.
The Merrill Bluejay football team had their homecoming ruined by the Antigo Red Raiders. The boys displayed a tough defense but the visitors took advantage of an inconsistent offense for a 19-0 win. Coach Duane Gray noted it was the toughest loss of the season for the boys, and he had noted that if they could have only moved the ball some more the momentum would have led to points on the board. The 0-5 Blue Jays travel to take on 1-3 Rhinelander this Friday. The Silver M Club’s golf tournament was won by Dan Rajek, Jim O’Day and Steve Drew.