Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
People move in and out of Merrill all the time, but when Don Smith and his family recently moved out of the city it seemed half the town paused to watch. Smith moved the home he and his family recently purchased from 707 E. 1st St. – next to the fire barn – to a new location on Hillside Drive. Smith purchased the home which faced the wrecking ball as it sits on the land which is slated to become the new senior citizen high rise tower in Merrill. The property where the home sits had been owned or occupied by some of the earliest settlers of Merrill including Andrew Warren Jr and T.B. Scott. The home itself was believed to have been built in 1913. William Kamke had recently owned the house and he officially turned over the keys to Smith before Dale Movers of Minneapolis loaded the home up and drove away. If all goes well Smith hoped to have temporary heat in the building already last night. (It did not last 100 years, lost to the tornado 2011)
In area briefs: Val Chilsen has resigned his position as Director of the Agency on the Aging. He is headed off to La Crosse where he will assume the job as executive director of the Western Wisconsin Health Systems, an agency responsible for increasing and improving health systems in a 17 county area on the western side of the state. Chilsen had previously served as public relations director at Holy Cross Hospital and the Holy Cross Junior College. He had also been the editor of the Merrill Daily Herald from 1963-1969. The annual Jaycee haunted house opens tonight; it is located in the old Gibson Department Store next to M&I Citizens American Bank. The offices of Dr. M.P. Kendall, DDS will be closed until further notice due to illness. Dave Blaise of the Town of Pine River notes the worst thing to have happen in winter is a broken down snowmobile. That is why he has opened the Snow Shack, a Scorpion dealership and small engine service center. It is open seven days a week on Hwy 64 east. Ray Rehwinkel better not claim he isn’t lucky anymore. The Town of Corning dairy farmer claimed he never had much luck at contests before he walked away with the 1978 Chevy half ton Scottsdale pickup truck after attending the Dairy Expo in Madison. Congratulations to Dave and Carolyn Wendt, new owners of Country Sports, 413 Grand Ave.
Could the Merrill Blue Jay football team be sharing the title in the Wisconsin Valley Conference? This Friday’s contest against the Antigo Red Robins will likely decide their fate when it comes to this year’s crown. Antigo started out slow this season by losing its first two games but they have bounced back and have become one of the most powerful defenses in the Valley. Merrill defeated D.C. Everest 37-16 this past Saturday and got help from the Marshfield Tigers who knocked off Stevens Point 13-7. Look for John Wais, Dale Yorde and Dave Grisa to be the leaders out of the Jay backfield, the teams are statistically almost in a dead heat heading into the contest.
Parents of students in the MAPS school district are concerned about class sizes and have asked the BOE to address the issue at Pine River and Maple Grove schools. Teachers also note some classes at Midway School are crowded as well. MAPS does not have a written policy when it comes to class sizes but according to Diane Mikkelson of the BOE they are seeking a temporary solution and are looking at adding some teacher’s aides to the bulging classrooms. It appears in all schools that the most crowded classrooms can be found in the K-3 sections of the buildings.
News briefs: The county Solid Waste Committee and the Town of Merrill are still bargaining but it looks like they will go to arbitration on the access road issue. The county estimates it will cost them $100,000 to push in and pave a road from US Hwy. 51 (County Rd. K) to Heineman Road. Glen Hartley is the attorney for the county, Elmer Swanson leads the Town of Merrill. Area residents met last week with officials from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to discuss the expansion of US Hwy. 51. DOT officials want to push the four lane road from Merrill to Minocqua. The Ward Paper Mill in Merrill has begun a 34,000 foot expansion. The addition is to its finishing/warehouse facility. This project is seen as a positive development after Arvey Corp announced they are looking to sell the company to Hammermill. The Merrill Marching Jays keep raking in awards, finishing second at the state championship at Oregon this past week. Merrill’s three drum majors, Brian Marnholtz, Paula Ashbeck and Tim Seidler also received first place awards for their word in the AAA division. The officers for the student council at Merrill Junior High have been announced, president is Manda Siewert, vice-president Missy Kraetsch, secretary is Missy Busha and treasurer is Paul Kraetsch.
The Corning Volunteer Fire Department now has a permanent home. The fire department was formed in August of last year and began service on Jan. 1. The members had been storing their equipment in the town shed but now their new 80×40 building has been dedicated and officially opened. The department now has 37 members and has 19 runs in its first 10 months of service. Ed Dinges is chief of the group, Roger Wendt is chairman of the department.
The Antigo Red Robins have ended their regular season with a perfect 9-0 record, thanks to a loss they handed Merrill this past Friday by a score of 34-0. Merrill threw a variety of schemes at the home team as Coach Gordy Schofield faced off possibly for the last time against his son, Merrill head Coach Greg Schofield. The younger Schofield brought out the polecat, something Gordy Schofield heard of, but has never coached against. Merrill ends the season at 2-6 in the Valley and 3-6 overall. Scott Monnot was awarded the team’s defensive MVP title while Kevin Blake was voted by his team as the offensive MVP.
The Merrill Blue Jay football team has ended their season with a zero in the win column as they fell to SPASH 42-12 this past Thursday at Jay Stadium. MHS Coach Duane Gray noted the size of the SPASH front line put a damper on the team’s offense who racked up 123 yards, compared to 338 yards for SPASH in the contest. Coach Gray is very optimistic of next year with 10 juniors coming back who started games this past year.
Looking for work? Lots of jobs on employment page: Pine Ridge Quick Lube needs a full time technician, Champs Restaurant is hiring waitresses, Club Modern needs a waitress and a cook, Weinbrenner Shoe Company would like a cleaning person and machine operators, MAPS has the need for a junior high lunch room supervisor, Lincoln Hills School needs a nurse and a dentist, Good Samaritan Health Center needs help on the housekeeping staff, Wausau Insurance has openings for claim reps, the Merrill Police Department is hiring dispatchers and clerks, Taco Bell needs closers and openers, Miller Home Furnishings needs a truck driver and warehouse worker, JW Perry is hiring for seasonal work, Mulligans Super Club is hiring all positions, Ku’s Wokery needs a wait person, an unnamed business is looking for a deli manager, and the Foto News is looking for delivery people.