Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Spring may be in the air but a snowstorm left its mark on the blossoming trees in the area. A picture on the front page shows the short-lived visitor from this past week.
It is the challengers who take the seats on the Merrill Area Public School’s School Board. Three spots were open on the board, with incumbents Dennis Knott and Elmer Kahre competing with Lorraine Trantow, Lee Wegner and Thomas Sazama. When the votes were tallied, Lorraine Trantow came out on top followed by Wagner and Sazama. Dennis Knot was a close fourth followed by Kahre. In other ballot matters, Lincoln County voters followed the state wide trend in passing statewide referendums for court reform. Voters also passed a measure that would allow raffles by non-profit groups by an almost two-to-one margin. In township races, the Town of Schley incumbent chairman Clarence Montabon was most likely shocked when he was defeated by write-in candidate Donald Krueger by an 18-vote margin. In the Town of Pine River, incumbent treasurer Marilyn Gulke is asking for a recount after she lost to challenger Joyce Henrich by a difference of seven votes.
What’s Easter dinner going to cost you? At Drew’s you can get a three-pound canned ham from Patrick Cudahy for just $3.99, but if fresh is what you want a whole or half a ham is $1.09 a pound, while center slices or roasts are $1.59 a pound. In the bakery blueberry pies are just .69 and Vienna rolls are .59 a dozen. If dining alone is your thing a case of Kingsbury beer is only $3.50. Over at Red Owl smoked ham is .89 a pound while canned hams from Corn King are $4.89. Three packages of 12-count dinner rolls are $1 and canned yams are .39. Bob’s Food King has hams for .88 a pound, or if beef is your thing chuck roast is only .55. Looking to dine out instead? The Club Modern Easter buffet is only $3.75, and Corning Ballroom will have an Easter buffet with the music of the Rhythm Masters. Hinz’s Cork and Dyne will serve their buffet all day which features prime rib, roasted duck and ham. South of the Border, Dave’s Kountry Kitchen and Arnold’s Drive-In will be closed on Easter, but check out the after Easter special Monday at Arnold’s, $1.29 for a ¼ burger, fry and shake.
The three incumbents will keep their seats on the Merrill Area Board of Education following yesterday’s spring election. Jay Tlusty, Diane Mikkelson and Char Seetan will all return to the board after turning back challenges from David Reid, Robert Pfotenhauer and Dr. Jerome Mayersak. In state wide measurers, voters approved an expansion of gambling in Wisconsin by voting to allow a state run lottery and pari-mutuel betting with the lottery getting the most votes, winning by a 65% margin.
The Wisconsin DNR keeps throwing up expensive roadblocks as Lincoln County works to open a new landfill in the Town of Merrill. The site, known as the Nelson site, will now require additional testing which will delay the proposed opening by at least two months according to Robert Reichelt, sold waste manager of Lincoln County. The plans required and testing will also add $66,000 into the price tag. Most of the testing involves ground water monitoring and wetland assessment.
The Merrill Jaycees have officially kicked off their Riverfest plans with the announcement of 11 young ladies running for the title of queen. Tiffany Scheeler, Paula Smith, Dee Perez, Wendy Burgener, Kris Hanneman, Cheryl Blaubach, Penny Cherwenka, Linda Fischer, Sheila Pyan, Pam Lau and Sarah Woller all announced their candidacy for the crown which will be announced during the event at Ott’s Park in Merrill. New this year is a professional wrestling tournament featuring lady and midget wrestlers along with wet bikes, snowmobiles for the water. The event runs June 12th thought the 14th.
Mother Nature is not able to make up her mind as of late. Last week a warming trend brought about thawing and water backed up into known flood areas like Stange’s Park. This past weekend however, icy blasts blew in and froze most of the park over into a giant ice rink. Area rivers continue to flow with raging high waters.
The spring election results are in and Jeffrey Peterson, Ronald Behm and Karen Nocco will all find seats on the MAPS school board.
The stock boy who was hired in 1958 now strolls around his own store and still cannot believe it. Dave Bonnell and his family are celebrating the grand opening of Dave’s County Market in Merrill, something Dave never imagined he would be doing when he began working in an Antigo grocery store as a youth. He purchased the Merrill Red Owl store in 1975 after working there as a manager for several years. When the manager of the Pamida store in mid-city Merrill realized his store was closing, he called Bonnell at once to give him the heads up that the property would soon be for sale. Bonnell jumped at the chance to purchase the now vacant store which was completely gutted and re-built and stocked based on the latest consumer trends. Dave is joined by his wife Rita who is the bookkeeper for the company, and his daughter Barbara handles the computer and is the food court manager, eldest son David Jr. is in charge of frozen and dairy, while his youngest son Jeff is manager of the grocery operation with an interest in the new liquor department. Dave stated the family was a bit overwhelmed when they had their open house and 4,000 people came through the doors to check out the new store. The store will not only offer a full service deli and bakery but also an in-house bank and drive up parcel pick up. The store is open 24 hours a day in mid-city Merrill. (David Jr. will tell you the store is still open 24 hours, just not in a row.)
Everyone in the area knows that the name Trantow is synonymous with lumber but few know that the Trantow Lumber Company which is celebrating 100 years in business actually started out as a paint store. A front page story tells the story of European immigrants R.H. Trantow and his wife Bertha who opened a paint store in Merrill in 1897 in what is now Grund’s Bar. They lived in the apartment above the store while a Chinese laundry operated in the basement. Over the years the business grew and eventually filled the store fronts we know now as VIP Office Supplies back when coal was hauled from the railroad tracks and sold from the store, 6,000 tons of it a year. The Nahr Car Sales and Repair took over that store front and Trantow’s again moved east in the buildings now occupied by Thelma’s. Eventually Kent Johnson bought out his father Kenneth and now he and his wife Sue are proud owners of brand new facility they built in 1990 on Pine Ridge Ave. Although Kent does enjoy drafting projects, a state of the art computer design system has replaced the drawing board in his office.