Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The man arrested by Merrill Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies two weeks ago on a felony warrant for two counts of murder in Texas remains behind bars in the Lincoln County Jail. The man was arrested after a traffic crash in the Town of Merrill which resulted in the warrant appearing during a routine check. District Attorney Richard Olson and defense attorney Wayne Hansen argued this past week on the validity of the a governor’s warrant to extradite the suspect back to Texas. Olson noted the warrant had a couple of grammatical errors and he should have a new corrected warrant by Monday.
The House of Merrill introduced their version of the latest cutting edge trend in the housing industry, an all-weather wood basement. The foundation of a home recently built on Anson Street on the south side of Merrill last week was constructed entirely of 2×8 studs covered by ¾ inch treated plywood. The panels are built in 24-foot sections at the House of Merrill plant on North Ohio Street. According to the company vice-president David Haile, the company has been studying the concept for the last two and a half years. The test home is owned by Val Chilsen and sits near the Merrill Golf Course. Haile notes 18,000 similar homes have been built around the country. The concept is supposed to provide a warmer basement which will then be used as living space when before it was not economical to use it in cold months. The company is moving fast with its projects, the Chilsen basement was put in place on Monday and the entire home was up by Wednesday.
The Merrill Blue Jay boys’ basketball team is off to a rough start after being handed a loss by the defending Valley Conference champion Rhinelander Hodags. Last week the Jays fell in a similar fashion on the road at Shawano. Erik Finanger, Jay Heldt and Mike Hoff, along with Scott Annis and Brian Koehler, all contributed to the Jays’ 46 points, but the lack of offense at the free throw line ended up being the downfall of the Jays as they scored just 8 points from the line despite taking 21 shots, Rhinelander, on the other hand, converted 20 of 24 shots. Merrill heads to Marshfield on Friday for its third game of the season; the Tigers are also 0-2 after dropping games to both Stevens Point and Everest.
The public is encouraged to attend a hearing this evening as the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors considers a .5% sales tax countywide. The county is looking to the tax to help hold down the proposed 26.6% tax increase which has been computed on the 1987 budget. The county expects the tax to raise $300,000 in the first year alone to help offset the tax levy. The public hearing will be held in the County Board room on the second floor of the court house. In other county news, the Solid Waste Committee is completing plans for the new landfill, known as the Nelson project north of Merrill. The committee has decided to add an access road into the property but the consultants have advised that will add $1 million to the cost of the project which is currently estimated to be $12.4 million.
A Merrill native will return to the city and lead one of its financial institutions. Park City Credit Union in Merrill has announced that Bill Johnston will return to Merrill and be the president of the credit union. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and former academic staff member of the University Computer Center, he brings a broad base of experience to the position including 14 years in the financial community with previous engagements at Community Savings and Loan and most recently as director of Lakeland Savings and Loan. Johnson, who is a graduate of Merrill Senior High School, is married to the former Laurie Babl; they have two sons and a daughter. (A true Merrill icon who really cared about his hometown, a man who always had to drive by the Court House as soon as he came back to Merrill after any trip away, and is still sorely missed by his family after passing too young.)
It is deer hunting week and Thanksgiving is two days away (early paper this week) so there is plenty to do around town. The entertainment section is a whopping four pages this week. Highlights include: Skippers will have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. The Rit’s Restaurant will be open on Thanksgiving from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Outlaw Bar and Supper Club will have a smorgasbord on Thursday and the cost is $4.50. The Moonlight Inn will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving with the music of Mike Holiday this weekend. South of the Border Restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving but this Saturday night a T-bone steak dinner Is $6.95 while a prime rib dinner is $8.95. Before you think Thanksgiving, think Italy says the folks at the Fairway Supper Club as their Italian buffet is tonight and only $5.25. The Legion Lounge will open at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and if you are sick of turkey their special will be frog legs, $4.50. The new owners at Lv&Av’s Country Fare, formerly Country Way (Club 64) will he having a Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday. No food at the Lincoln House Lounge on Thanksgiving but a choice sirloin dinner for two on Saturday is only $13.95. Tanglewood Bar has the Urban Cowboys on Friday, the Dog House has Frontier, Hubb Inn has the Duke Boys, and if you just want to have some good chicken the Beacon will have carry out bucket specials starting at 11 a.m.
A Merrill Police Officer is being hailed as a hero after fire destroyed the former Alfred Fleischfresser Department Store on Grand Avenue. In the early morning hours on Monday, Patrolman Don Seubert spotted heavy smoke coming from the building in the 400 block of Grand Avenue while on patrol. He found a resident who had jumped from a second story window and then he was able to make entry into the adjoining building and rouse the rest of the sleeping tenants as it filled with deadly smoke. The Merrill Fire Department was soon joined by firefighters from the Corning Fire Department who teamed to dump 400,000 gallons of water onto the blaze. Temperatures hovered near zero as street department workers shoveled ice away from the gutters as heavy slush began to form and cause the water to flood the street. The fire burned for nearly 10 hours, and in the end all that was left was a smoking pile of rubble from a building that was once a landmark on Merrill’s west side.