Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
A packed house in the public meeting room at Lincoln Hills School last night heard concerns from residents and legislators as the group tries to address the growing problem of runaway students from the school. Several residents spoke of their up close encounters with youths that had escaped the facility and wandered into their Town of Birch properties. The majority of the 100 residents who gathered spoke in support of erecting a fence around the school. Lincoln County Judge Donald Schnabel stated a less costly alternative to the fence is allowing for stricter discipline when dealing with violent or destructive escapees in an adult manner. State Senator Clifford Krueger spoke to the crowd and noted when Lincoln Hills was conceived it was never designed to hold the violent offenders who now call it home. He blamed a lack of adequate facilities in the state to house the rising number of violent offenders.
Two men are recovering after a vehicle being pursued by Merrill Police crashed into two parked cars on East Street. The 21-year-old driver from Gleason was speeding in excess of 80 MPH when the crash occurred at 2:11 a.m. Sunday. His passenger, age 27 of Merrill, suffered a broken arm in the crash.
It is Fair Time in Merrill and soon we will find out who will be the Lincoln County Fair Queen. Lori Duginski, Jackie DuPlayee, Sarah Amelse, Donna Radtke, Patricia Schleis and Kaya Hackbart are all vying for the crown. The grandstand has a well-known act which will be sure to pack them in, direct from Nashville is it the “Queen of Country Western Music” Kitty Wells. She will perform two shows in the grandstand on Thursday; cost of the show is only $2.50 for adults. On Wednesday an up and coming rock band you might have heard of called “Styx” will be playing at 7:30 p.m., the cost of that concert is only $6. (The fair ran Tuesday through Friday back then, and it is sort of amusing to see now that Styx was the Wednesday show and the tractor pull and demo derby were featured higher on the ad. Styx was weeks away from shooting to the top of the charts and forever stardom.)
Lincoln County Highway Commissioner Francis Fox has died. Fox, 64, of Merrill, died last Wednesday at Holy Cross Hospital. Fox was named to the county forestry and land agency in 1937 and in 1942 he assumed the role of county agent. He was elected as Lincoln County Highway Commissioner in 1949 and has served in that position until the present time. Fox’s funeral was this past Friday at St. Robert’s Church; he is survived by his wife, Marie, and a son, Thomas, of Washington D.C.
The MAPS Board of Education has approved a $13 million budget for the 1987-1988 school years. Taxpayers will see an increase to $14.60 per assessed $100,000 in real estate, a jump from last term’s $13.70. The board did approve the addition of a program to focus on at risk students and students with emotional issues. Junior High Principal Strand Wedul championed the cause noting that the need for such services to help students at the Junior High is great. Merrill Mayor Richard Holt also addressed the BOE and asked for an investment from that group to help the city with long term parking problems around the Senior High School. Holt stated the city wants to buy the two houses west of the Prairie River bridge and the house at the bottom of the steps at Lion’s park in order to add additional parking to the area. The most common users of the parking would be students attending MHS, and Holt feels if regulated and co-funded by both the city and school the congestion in the neighborhoods surrounding the school would be eliminated. The BOE expressed interest in developing a parking permit program to help regulate the parking area; they asked Holt to return with a formal proposal next month. The estimated cost for the three buildings and parking lots is in excess of $100,000.
Tomahawk residents are being advised not to call the hospital if you need an ambulance. The hospital is taking over ambulance service from the city on Aug. 1 and this is creating confusion on whom to call if there is a need. According to Kris Foley of Sacred Heart, all you need to do is to call 911 and the police officer on duty at Tomahawk Police Department will page out the EMT’s. When the hospital takes over the service, the EMT’s will be on duty at the hospital 10 hours a day and then be on call.
Normal Park was packed this past Crazy Day’s as over 1,000 people watched the first annual Little Red Wagon races. Fred Kroll and Paula Stadler in the Hardee’s wagon won the modified division while Todd Drury and LaNae Jabas took home the crown in the drag and obstacle division. Over $1,000 was raised for the Make a Wish Foundation.
A profile on the features page tells of John Hatz of the Town of Schley and his flying school. Hatz is more famous in aviation circles for designing the Hatz biplane which has won championship awards for design and workmanship and is currently on display at the EAA convention in Oshkosh. Hatz has been flying for 44 years and has seen his Hatz byplane flown nationwide with 33 currently flying throughout the nation. As an instructor in aviation for the last 41 years Hatz claims his J3 Piper Cub is one of the busiest airplanes in the state as he and 20 students fly it throughout their training which is also provided out of the Wausau Municipal Airport. Aircraft is truly a family affair for the Hatz’s as John’s three sons, Aaron, Clifford and Allan are responsible for mechanical work while he does the flying and pilot training. (I often see his son Lyman land on Main Street in the evening…)
Lincoln County Bank is taking a large step forward by allowing its customers to have access to their cash for hours a day at a new ATM machine at Drew’s Piggly Wiggly. This fully functioning bank machine allows you to make deposits, get cash, transfer money, check balances and even make your loan payment. Bob Roe of LCB states it’s like having a bank without a teller. The machine (which is twice the size of a modern ATM) will be available in the lobby at Drew’s during regular business hours.
A native of Merrill will be ordained this Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill before he sets off to Minnesota to begin ministering to residents there. William G. Utech, son of Marvin and the late Eva Utech, will be ordained during the 10:30 a.m. worship service at Trinity. A life-long resident of Merrill, Utech was confirmed in that very same church in 1973 by the Rev. Donald C. Schulz. Utech graduated from Merrill High School and went on to Concordia College in St. Paul before enrolling in Concordia’s Seminary in Missouri. He will begin his service to the Lord as Pastor of Holy Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bloomington where he will be installed as pastor on Aug. 16. (Found him on the internet and Rev. Dr. Utech is now Assistant to the District President for Missions in the Minnesota South District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.)