Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Another week has passed and again the Foto News is reporting another fatal accident involving a young man from Merrill. Randall L. Hinke age 19 of Matthews St was killed instantly early Saturday morning after a traffic crash on North Center Ave. Hinke was operating a motorcycle which left the roadway and struck a van near Bishop’s Carpet Store. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact and Hinke was pronounced dead on arrival at Holy Cross Hospital. Police are also busy investigating an assault that occurred on West Main Street Friday evening. An 18 year old girl reported she was walking to her Sixth Ward home when she was accosted and assaulted at the west end of the bridge. The man, described to be in his 20’s, fled the scene.
In news briefs: The Lincoln County Board which is soliciting bids for the remodel of the historic Lincoln County Court House has deleted all wording that involves an elevator for the project; Judge Donald Schnabel has been a vocal critic of the plans to add an elevator. The crew from Knotty Pine Bar has been crowned champs of the Thursday night pool league A division. Members of the team are Smoky Minton, Chuck Hoffman, Jim Moser, Bob Mootz, Larry Romatoski, Fred Behrens, Doug Smith, Ted Lemanski, and Jim Van Rooey. They are pictured with sponsor Lloyd Hackbart. The B division crowned Club 107 with the championship. Members of that team are Randy Zahn, Don Stadler, Jeff Zahn, Carmen Ziemer, Chuck Dittmar, John Schultz, and Larry Langbecker. They are pictured with sponsor Neil Callahan. As a sign of the warming temp’s A&W Drive In is seeking car hops, apply at the North Center Ave restaurant.
The 34th annual School Safety Patrol trip to Wisconsin Dells will depart Merrill this weekend. The trip is funded by the United Way and involves the patrol groups from Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Midway, Pine River, Lincoln, Maple Grove, St. John’s, St. Roberts, and Trinity Schools. The group will leave Merrill at 5:45 Friday and return around 4:00 PM on Saturday. Bus drivers will be Lawrence Hugi, John Odegard, and Greg Spoehr who will also act as chaperones. Women chaperones accompanying the group include Mrs. Leslie Kienitz, Mrs. Warren Weckwerth, Mrs. Thomas Schotz, Mrs. Jay Proft, Mrs. Richard Hall, and Mrs. Dennis Hintze.
In what the paper describes as yet another chapter in the north versus the south, Pine Crest Nursing Home has survived another attempt to privatize the county run health care facility. By a vote of 11-11 the 22 member board tied on the resolution to authorize a study about privatization of the facility. Town of Bradley Supervisor James Theiler introduced the measure to the board. He stated the town of Bradley does not want to ante up $3000 per year to make up the monetary loss caused by Pine Crest. Supervisors Robert Sumnicht and Elroy Schmidt stated in defense that most residents want the facility to remain publically owned calling it a model institution which actually does return money to the county at the end of the year depending upon grants. Elaine Roskos, administrator of Pine Crest, told the group that this issue comes up every 3-4 years and it is nothing but a historical battle between the two halves of the county. She stated the facility is currently at 99% of capacity and is open to any resident of the county regardless of their zip code noting that 10 full time residents of the home are from Tomahawk. (I think we just watched this movie again a few months ago)
Church Mutual Insurance Company has broken ground on a $5 million dollar expansion of their facilities on Merrill’s far-east side. The 55,000 expansion is in response to rapid growth for the company over the past two years according to Company President Dieter H. Nickel. Occupancy of the expanded facilities is expected to take place by late summer of next year. It will have the capacity for 475 employees; the company now employs 238 people in Merrill and expects that number to increase to 275 by the time the addition is ready for occupancy. Local dignitaries spoke at the ceremony including Rep. Tom Ourada, R-Antigo and Merrill Mayor Richard Holt. The Rev. Alden Beversdorf, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Merrill, offered the invocation during the ceremony. The general contractor, Hutter Construction of Fond du Lac, showed how serious they were about moving ahead as they began working on the expansion minutes after the ceremony concluded.
The Merrill City Council has accepted the resignation of Alderman Robert St. Clair of the 8th ward. St. Clair will leave his post as of July 1st as he and his wife Eda are retiring and moving out of the city. Applications will be accepted to fill the seat until the next election which is April of next year. In other action the council approved spending just under $14,000 to repair the outdoor pool, approved the annexation of the tract of land from Pine River where 3’s Company Restaurant sits, approved a water rate increase of 10%, and heard a report from financial consultant John Mayer on the need to start putting money away for capital improvement projects such as the looming upgrade to the sewage disposal facility. The overall financial report on the city was favorable with the city having $264,000 sitting in surplus in the general fund.
Students in the Merrill School District will soon be providing safety tips to students state wide thanks to the Green Bay Packers. In a program coordinated by the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department, one city a year is chosen to provide the safety messages that are printed on the back sides of collector cards printed by the Green Bay Packers and distributed by law enforcement officers throughout the state. This year Merrill was selected as the city that will contribute the safety messages and now DARE officers Ken Neff and Rick Hermsen will be busy soliciting the advice from area third through sixth graders. As this year’s cards salute the teams bringing the title back to Title Town, it is estimated the cards and the important messages will be hot commodities among the state’s youth.
Looking for something to do this weekend? On Saturday the band Muzik Works will be playing at the Dog House Saloon in Irma. Kurt Russell is starring in “Breakdown” in Cosmo One while “Jurassic Park” is playing in Cosmo Two. Spike’s Bar and Grill is open for lunch every day at eleven and offers daily specials. The Tip-Top Carnival is playing this weekend in the Walmart parking lot as part of the spring celebration. Laurie Lee’s has the music of Sun Dog, and Chris Aaron and Cold Shots his weekend. At the Deja Vu tavern Darlene is back behind the bar week days from 11:00 to 3:00 PM. Mr. Movies has the latest releases including “Daylight” with Sylvester Stallone and “One Fine Day” with Michelle Pfeifer. Lincoln Video on Merrill’s west side has Heavy, Swingers Thinner and Star Trek along with new Nintendo games.