Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The Merrill High School class of 1977 will soon walk across the stage in the East Gym. The ceremony will begin tomorrow at 8 p.m. As the school year ends MAPS is saying goodbye to four teachers who will retire with 128 years of combined experience. Senior High teachers Mrs. Hildegard Engel and Mrs. Florence Schewe along with Felix “Pete” Preboske and Junior High teacher Gordon Langenkamp were all recently honored by the Board of Education as they begin the next phase of their lives.
A Sturgeon Bay woman was killed in a traffic crash Saturday morning in the Town of Merrill. The woman was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling south at White Birch Road. According to investigators the rear tire of the vehicle blew causing it to roll over off the roadway killing the woman instantly after she was thrown from the wreck.
In area news briefs: The beach at Council Grounds is officially open as of Saturday. Linda Brandt and a yet to be named person will serve as life guards for the summer. The two bedroom House Of Merrill home that was built by the Merrill High School building construction class is for sale. The two bedroom house is sitting behind the high school and is available for inspection; the minimum bid is $13,764. Three things of interest on the west side; the Robbers Roost is now opened at 500 W. Main St. The new bar serves food starting at 11 a.m. each day. Bob and Barb’s Club 64 is now officially open. The newly remodeled restaurant has an opening special of a lobster dinner for $7.95. If chicken is your thing, the Knights of Columbus is holding their annual chicken BBQ this Sunday at St. Francis beginning at 11 a.m. in the gym. (With plenty of Granny Caylor’s potato salad)
Wisconsin Public Service and Park City Credit Union, two neighbors on East 2nd Street in Merrill, have solved their space problems as the two have decided to swap buildings. The southern building (now Young’s Pharmacy) is currently occupied by Park City Credit Union but their growing needs requires more space. On the north side of the road, Wisconsin Public Service has an abundance of space now that they no longer have a showroom to sell appliances. The two hope the space swap can take place quickly.
It is the end of the school year and the MAPS Board of Education is bestowing awards on employees for their efforts this past year. Betty Latzig was named the Support Person of the Year. Betty is a secretary at the Junior High School and has served under four different principals during her tenure. In nominating Betty for the award, Principal Strand Wedul noted how she is well received by both parents and students. Also recognized for their efforts this past year are Carla Schmidt, a part-time aid at Pine River School, Hilma Krueger who just retired after 27 years as head cook for MAPS, Gene Rice who received the Custodian of the Year award, Norm Ziemke who heads up the maintenance department, and Larry Schmidt, who not only transports students safely every day but has also transported countless sports teams safely to their destinations.
The City of Merrill is looking for a new alderman as 8th Ward representative Robert St. Clair served at his last meeting on Tuesday. St. Clair has resigned his position as he and his wife are moving to the Gleason area. In remarks to the council, St. Clair thanked his fellow alderman for their work and stated he felt they were all working for the best interests of the city. In action during the meeting the council approved a request to expand Thielman Street to the east to meet up with a planned emergency access road that Wisconsin Public Service is looking to install. Wisconsin Public Service is in a space crunch and wishes to move their operations to a large facility located on East Main Street. The company would build a north south access road for emergency use from that facility and the city will assist in adding roadway up to the city limits (Eagle Drive). The council also approved the renewal of the lease for the Weinbrenner Shoe Factory for one more year; the terms of the lease include rent of $476.
Don’t be rushing to increase your speed out on the highway just yet. The new 65 MPH speed limit in Wisconsin is not actually legal until the signs are placed. The state is in the process of manufacturing signs and should have the affected highways posted by the end of June. The state is allowing the increase of speed only on highways that are designated as rural interstate highways, so four lanes may not necessarily mean the road has the increased speed allowance. Drivers who push the speed on roads not yet signed or roads not designated will likely face citations, stated Ronald Fredler, secretary of the Wisconsin DOT.
Now that Memorial Day is passed, Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk is reminding patients that the emergency room is now staffed with a doctor throughout the weekend. Also, additional on call doctors will be at the ready over the Fourth of July holiday. The hospital is a full primary care facility providing medical/surgical care, OB services, cardiac monitoring, rehabilitation services and alcohol and drug inpatient treatment. After Labor Day the weekend doctor will go back to an on call status.
A letter to the editor from a current employee of the Merrill Walmart speaks of her desire to see the workers there organize into a union. The letter states that employees of Walmart are very dedicated, but they are also overworked and over stressed. The author notes a vote on the matter is coming up in a little over a month.
Seven long time MAPS employees are calling it a career with the end of the school year. Jean Howick spent over 26 years with MAPS working out of central office, Lois Latzig worked over 39 years with MAPS starting in a one room school in Pine River before moving on to Washington School and even some time in rented classroom space at St. Stephen’s Church. Carol Finanger has been teaching music at Washington and Jefferson schools for the past 21 years, but when she started out she also covered Midway and Maple Grove as well. She does not plan on stopping the music though as both her and her husband play professionally. Patrick Hoffman stopped making toothpicks in 1959 and has been working for MAPS ever since. He has worked jobs from food service to radio operator and spent 11 years on the night shift at the Junior High. He is retiring out of Maple Grove School. Ken Bashara has taught for 31 years with his modest personality continuing as he refused to be interviewed for the story. He split his time between the classroom and administration. Robert Wojtusik is wrapping a 35-year career in education; he taught health. Dr. Ralph Neale is also calling it a career. He has been at MAPS for six years and has spent 38 years in education. A full interview on Dr. Neale will be in next week’s paper.