Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Events fill the front page for those looking to celebrate our nation’s birthday. As always Tomahawk will have the most going on with a four day celebration ending with a giant parade, water fights, water ski show, and fireworks. Locally Merrill will have a band concert followed by fireworks at dusk at the fairgrounds. Earl Schuman and Ed Dittmar are in charge of the display which is being sponsored by the VFW and American Legion. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation expects this to be the busiest July 4th weekend on record with 650 million vehicles are expected to take to the roadways. WIS DOT also reminds you that State Troopers will be out in force to make sure you are obeying the 55 MPH speed limit.
Lots of stories this week about action around the ball diamonds: Sharon Detert and Karen Dietzler led the hitting attack as the Henrichs Club downed Gooze’s 10-0 in slow pitch softball last week. Les and Jim’s edged Club 107 5-4 with Cindy Olivotti hitting a home run in the game. Em and Elly’s defeated Grund’s 14-4 when Donna Schult hit two homers while Rose Schleif tripled and Terry Klug doubled. Church Mutual edged Plauman’s Playhouse 1-0 where Brenda Zettler hit a home run for the only score. The Men’s Slow Pitch League held their second tournament of the summer and Club 107 walked away with the championship, their second this summer. The boys of Club 107 defeated Les and Jim’s Cocktail Lounge 3-1 at Knotty Pine. Bruce English dropped a fly ball into center field to allow the three men on base to score. The Blatz Bombers placed third in the tourney while The Pub was fourth. In the Lincoln County Baseball League double headers filled the weekend and the Giants are now undefeated as they tromped Irma 11-3 in the first game of the day this past weekend. Bill Helmuth earned the victory for the Giants striking out eight. In the second game Mark Simon blasted a three run home run in the first inning which was all the Giants needed to defeat Irma 5-0. Henrichs Club played Gleason and defeated them twice on Sunday, 8-0 and 10-2. Steve Wendorf pitched the first game in which he struck out seven followed by David Wendorf who pitched the second game where he allowed only two hits.
The city of Merrill wants to know what you think of how our east city limits looks. With the redesign of the roadway and now four lanes of road the city wants to brighten and make the area more welcoming. Your ideas and others will be discussed next Tuesday at the Lincoln County Annex Building.
During his time at Wisconsin Public Service, Charles Jameson has seen a lot of water pass over the dam, and now he is turning the dams over to his successor, Ron Felix. Charles, or Bob, Jameson has been in charge of the western hydro operations for Wisconsin Public Service since 1980. A Green Bay native, Jameson joined WPS in 1953 as the Merrill hydro plant manager before being promoted to oversee the 15 dams in western Wisconsin that are managed by WPS. Jameson noted that during his tenure the Merrill dam was improved to increase wattage, the aging Hat Rapids dam near Rhinelander was completely rebuilt, and repairs were also made to Grandfather Dam north of Merrill. Ron Felix has been working for WPS since 1970, and he came to Merrill in 1980 where he became foreman at the Merrill dam.
Trinity Lutheran Church, Town of Berlin has a new pastor. Rev. Jeffrey Limpert has been assigned to fill the vacancy at the church; he is a graduate of the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary at Mequon and had been the vicar at Grace Lutheran Church in South St. Paul, MN. The Minnesota native is married to Judy and they have one son Joshua. Vacancy Pastor Ronald Winter will be conducting the service for Pastor Limpert’s installation, Prof. Martin Westerhaus of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary will be preaching the sermon. (I found Pastor Limpert online and he is still serving in Rochester, MN)
The City of Merrill has developed a five year comprehensive plan. Rick Roll, city planner for Vandewalle and Associates discussed the plan with the Foto News this past week. He noted his company’s year-long research into the plan which involved community members and government officials. He further noted that Merrill faces challenges like most communities in Wisconsin. Highway 51 runs east of the town, not through it and as result extra effort is required to get traffic downtown. According to the study Merrill needs to diversify its economic strengths, its tax base, and continue residential development. Preserving existing businesses and bringing in others will offer more opportunities for graduates to stay or come back. A local unnamed business owner commented to the Foto News that because the plan was formulated involving local government, many of those in the business community are skeptical of the plan and were unwilling to participate in it. The plan itself was pretty much common sense according to the unnamed sources. According to Roll the next phase of the plan is to get a much needed expansion started at the T. B. Scott Library, and involve local emergency services in the strategic planning process. Also, soon to be involved in the project will be the Park and Recreation Department as a part of the Open Spaces Plan.
It’s Crazy Days in Merrill and bargains can be found all around town. Some of the ads this week include: Drew’s Piggly Wiggly stores will be having a corn roast, it’s only $1 per ear, The Optimist Club will be selling their famous cheese curds at the Merrill Federal Savings and Loan lot, Harry-O’s Bar will have the music of Rock Island outside starting at 8 p.m, Diamond Dave’s is offering both taco and margarita specials, Mr. Movies has the latest releases on special including Chris Farley in “Beverly Hills Ninja” and Jackie Chan’s “First Strike,” at Spike’s Bar you will hear Howard “Guitar” Luedtke and at Laurie Lee’s Tavern they will have a dunk tank on the street along with a chicken dropping contest. Midwest Sports is using this time for their summer clearance, baseball gloves are 50% off and bats are 40% off. Time Out Sports Bar is having bar Olympics with the Miller Lite Challenge; Al’s Furniture has swivel rockers starting at $99 and twin mattress sets for $69. Johnson’s Pharmacy has 50% off double prints and specials on summer items like sunscreen and sunglasses. The Clark Station has a 12 pack of Sunny D for only $2 and specials on their fountain drinks. The Merrill Dairy Queen has Peanut Buster Parfaits for only $1.25; Deja-Vu Bar has the music of Sound Hound DJ and $1 bottles of beer. Lincoln Jewelry Company in downtown Merrill has up to 50% off selected merchandise, Pickz and Petals inside Dave’s County market is knocking $5 off each 8” or larger hanging basket, Snyder Drug Store is offering any roll of film developed for $2, and Thelma’s and the Guy’s Shop is doing their summer clearance where you will find 50 to 70% off of all merchandise. Burger King says buy one double cheeseburger, get the second free. And Caylor’s, always your first stop on Crazy Days, will have their outdoor bargains with most blouses going for $5 or less and shoes starting at $10 a pair.