Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
In an address to the local Rotary Club, Wisconsin’s Ninth Congressional District Representative Robert Kasten took some shots at Madison and the taxation caused by our elected officials. Kasten, for all practical purposes, has been campaigning for the Republican nomination for governor for the 1978 gubernatorial election during the last several months. His comments on state issues mainly deal with taxes, over regulation, and government excesses. Kasten pointed out that Wisconsin charges more taxes on $10,000 in income than most states do on $25,000 in income. He blames the DNR and the Health and Social Service agencies as two of the government agencies that are costing taxpayers more and more money. He also said the trend in Madison is to take control away from school boards, county boards and city and town councils. He encouraged the audience to help shift the power back to the people from the politicians. Kasten also noted that thanks to the resources in Wisconsin we could actually be completely independent of the other states.
Some changes around town in leadership: Mark Wilkom will assume the duties of administrator of Pine Crest Nursing Home on or around Nov. 1. That post has been vacant since Michael Berry resigned to accept a similar position in Dubuque, IA. Wilkmo comes to Merrill from Shawano where he was administrator of the 135-bed Maple Lane Health Care Facility. Lincoln County had to hurry to fill the top spot at Pine Crest or state assistance funds would have been suspended. The Merrill Optimist Club has installed their new officers. At ceremonies last week it was announced that Charles Johnson will serve as president, Andy Semling will be vice-president, Lanny Tibaldo treasurer and Dennis Donohue secretary. Jack White has resigned his position as Principal of Merrill Senior High. White will serve until the Christmas break before he assumes the position of superintendent of Hayward Public Schools. The class officers have been selected for the school year at Merrill Senior High. From senior to sophomore the officers are: presidents, Luke Janowiak, Marke Winkelman and Amy Lemon; vice presidents, Randee Block, Deann Wright and Kris Tholl; secretaries Sandra Hinz, Marsha Lemmer and Lori Duginski; treasurers: Denis Turner, Sandy Sunn and Becky Akey.
In sporting news the Merrill Blue Jay football team was cold and wet at the end but they spoiled the homecoming game for Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln this past weekend. The Jays defeated the home team 20-7 to take their record to 5-1 (6-1 overall) with sole possession of second place in the Valley. Merrill will next head to Marshfield to take on the Tigers Friday night. Merrill native Paul Kienitz has been honored as the Offensive Player of the Week by the WSUC for his role in the UW-Superior defeat of UW-Stout Oct. 1 at Menomonie. Kienitz plunged for four touchdowns and rushed for 132 yards in 23 carries to not only become his team’s leading scorer but also the leading rusher with 290 yards in 65 attempts.
We might have ourselves a landfill! The Lincoln County Solid Waste Committee was informed this past week that the DNR has approved the plan to use the Nelson property as the next sold waste landfill. The DNR report is 31 pages long and includes 57 conditions prior to the actual opening of the landfill, but manager Robert Reichelt feels the planning is finally over the last major hurdle and it should be downhill from here. Due to the need for a new access road the projected open date may not be until 1989.
The City of Merrill is working on their budget and in anticipation of the final steps the Common Council has changed the language in several areas of the employee handbook including eliminating comp time. The council also clarified permanent hours for employees at the police and fire departments who have varied hours. The concern was that an employee could build an endless amount of comp time and then demand payment when the city was short on funds. The budget process for the city will begin on Oct. 20 and the planning session is expected to last all day.
Dave Borchardt of Merrill has been bestowed with the honor of the Pilgrim Degree from the Loyal Order of Moose. This is the highest award given in the organization. The Loyal Order of the Moose has 1.8 million members in the United States and 25,000 in Wisconsin of whom only five have received this honor. Borchardt is employed as a police dispatcher for the city of Merrill and has owned Club 107 since 1978; previously he was employed as a police officer in Milwaukee. Borchardt is pictured with Tom Schotz, governor of the Merrill Moose Lodge, and John Kannenburg of Wausau who also holds the Pilgrim Moose status.
October is Restaurant Month and the following have ads on page 16: Champ’s Family Restaurant on North Center Avenue features all you can eat potato pancakes on Thursday night and is open seven days a week. The Fairway Supper Club has a Sunday brunch and Friday fish specials, located overlooking the golf course on O’Day Street. Linda and Steve are celebrating 20 years at Club Modern; they have a salad and snack bar you will love. Puttin’ on the Rits is located at 1219 E. Main St., and they offer prime rib and fish fries on Friday along with broasted chicken. Pizza Hut on North Center Avenue is proud of their fast delivery and is now offering pan and thin crust pizzas. Skipper’s Restaurant in downtown Merrill has daily breakfast and dinner specials and make sure to try their homemade soups. The Highway 51 Truck Stop is located just north of Merrill; they have a driver’s lounge and gift shop in addition to their home cooking. Pine Ridge Restaurant is right off the intersection of Hwy. 51 and 64 with breakfast served 24 hours a day. Kentucky Fried Chicken is on North Center Avenue; they also cater parties. Hardee’s, also on North Center Avenue, is one of the newest restaurants in town, and according to their motto they are “out to win you over.”
Roxanne Sladek is proud that lunch was served and served smoothly on Monday, the first day in the new cafeteria at Merrill Senior High School. Where basketball games were played, wrestling matches were decided, and a host of activities were held, the East Gym is now the school cafeteria. Workmen are already modernizing the current kitchen to prepare for the building to transition into a middle school. The three lunch lines now have bar code readers so you don’t have to worry about your lunch tickets anymore.
Merrill Street Commissioner Ralph Sturm knows you don’t like it, but it’s now the law of the land and more importantly look at the money they are saving. Sturm estimates the city is saving $200,000 a year with the new recycling initiatives now in place, and he hopes that amount increases with more compliance. The city is now able to do a full day’s pick up with one truck before they head off to the landfill.