Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
A petition with over 1,700 signatures was delivered this past week to the floor of the Lincoln County Board spurning two hours of discussion. The Merrill Civic Study Group, represented by Mrs. Mabel Schnabel and Myrtle Natzke, delivered the petition to the board in person prior to their monthly meeting on Tuesday. Harold Burton, chair of the Space Study Committee, told the group that they may be getting ahead of themselves as the committee has yet to make any recommendation to the board as to the future of the historic building. Supervisor Dave Moravec tried to stop that possibility completely at the meeting by making a motion that any future expansion of county buildings not happen at the Court House itself, but that motion died due to a lack of a two-thirds vote.
The first snowfall arrived in north central Wisconsin this past Monday. The snow was just enough to cover the trees but not enough to wax your skis.
The Merrill Bluejay football team has reason to celebrate after their homecoming victory on Saturday. The Jays quickly put 28 points on the board and then held off the Red Raiders from Wisconsin Rapids for a 28-15 victory. Erik Finanger put the first points on the board as he filled in for quarterback Keith Donner. Coach Ira Rebella is already looking past that game and preparing for Rhinelander this Saturday at home. Rhinelander is coming in at 4-4 after knocking off the Marshfield Tigers in overtime this past Saturday. Missy Summers was named Homecoming Queen; she is pictured in the sports section all bundled up for the chilly game with her driver Mike Zentner.
Looking for something to do or eat this weekend? Club Modern has tenderloin and crab legs or BBQ ribs as the special this weekend. Finn Power will be playing at Hour Place at 413 W. Main St. and the nightly special this Saturday at the Hwy. 51 Self Serv and Café is potato pancakes and breaded veal. The Silver Spur Bar will have signup this week for their big Halloween bash next weekend. Woodson Bush will play at Lincoln Lanes on Friday while a VFW sponsored dance will be on Saturday with the music of the Band Boys. The special tonight at Hinz’s Cork and Dyne is a 10 oz ribeye dinner for $3.75. Gary’s Bar, located five miles north of town, has Country Gold on Saturday with free admission. Dave’s Country Kitchen has the Bionic Hot Dog all weekend for only 60 cents. Champ’s Restaurant is rolling out a new menu item, tacos. They will have a complete menu for tacos and all that fills them starting this week. At the Cosmo it is Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch and Harvey Keitel in “Mother, Jug’s & Speed.”
Lots of news in this week’s paper: Lincoln County has passed their preliminary budget for 1987 and it calls for a property tax hike and salary freeze for every county employee. The City of Merrill has agreed to go to the four-day garbage route; Fridays will just be for picking up recycling. Two people are dead after a two-car crash in the Town of Birch after a Rhinelander man apparently fell asleep and struck a vehicle head-on being driven by a Tomahawk woman. Both were killed in the crash raising the death toll on county roadways to five for the year. The strike continues at Northern Wire Corp. The Merrill Police Department reports another arrest for criminal damage to property, and an Irma man was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Vandalism is reported to be widespread as the strike enters its third week.
In local business briefs: The Merrill Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Jacoby family as the new owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Merrill. Mary Ellen and Jim Jacoby are pictured with chamber ambassadors Dave Christianson, Robert Roe, Char Seetan and John Roberts. Margaret’s Laundromat has announced the facility is now equipped with all new washers and dryers. Deli-Delite in Merrill’s 6th Ward is now open for breakfast seven days a week. The members of Local #2344, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners recognized several of their members for their long term commitment to the Semling Menke Company, including Ervin Herdt, 25 years; Lawrence Zoellner, Ray Pfingsten, Robert Beyer, Harvey Berg, Louis Blum, all for 30 years; Al Kleinschmidt and Wilbur Howard, 40 years. GTE has opened a phone mart inside of Park City Credit Union. Stop in during normal business hours and pay your bill or check out some of the new phones they have to offer, some of which are even cordless.
The featured business of the week has been designated as Baker of the Month by the Wisconsin Bakers’ Association. Merrill’s own Eddie Miller actually runs three storefront bakeries but does all of his creative work at 400 W. Main St., Eddie’s Bake Shop. Miller got his start baking while serving during the Korean War where he was a baker for his Army unit. Miller had to feed 250-350 men and keep things clean in primitive conditions. When he returned from service his first job was at the Model Bakery before moving to Menasha and Loyal and later returning to Merrill with his family in 1965. He now employs 18 people and starts the baking process every Tuesday through Saturday beginning when he flips on the lights at 11 p.m. to have all of his products ready to go by 5:30 a.m. Eddie is always open to new recipes, but by selling over 300 dozen cookies a week his own seem to be just fine. (Long since retired, his sweet treats line the shelves at Dave’s County Market.)
Merrill Area Board of Education is moving quickly to implement the will of the voters by setting a timetable for the improvement or constriction of area schools. According to Greg Kautza, director of MAPS administrative services, a series of meetings have been held to fine tune the plans which call for $29.7 million in improvements. The first step that has been identified is to demolish the property on West 8th Street that formerly housed St. Francis Church and School and begin the preparation for the new elementary school there. It is anticipated that work on the middle school and high school will begin mid-March of next year. It is expected that all three buildings will be complete by fall of 1998.
Construction continues on the new Highway 51 Truck Stop which is being built south of Merrill in the Town of Scott. Don Kopplin and his wife Carol opened the Highway 51 Truck Stop in the Town of Merrill in 1975, and now Don and his son Todd manage it. The new facility south of town will include a 120-seat restaurant, showers, and a truckers’ lounge. A larger travel shop and convenience store are also included in the plans. The current truck stop will be permanently closed as soon as the new facility opens.
Local basketball standout Melissa Yuska has committed to Indiana University. Coach Bob Yuska is not only proud his program has turned out another Division 1 college product, but Melissa happens to be his daughter, too. Many observers note Melissa Yuska has the height to assist her, but her basketball skill rises above her height.