Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Could the next governor of Wisconsin come from Merrill? State Senator Clifford “Tiny” Krueger is considering a run for the state’s highest office this next November. Krueger said he has once again been approached by residents of the state encouraging him to run for the seat currently held by Martin Schreiber. Krueger seriously considered running for the spot four years ago when the former Governor Patrick Lucey was up for re-election. The next step in the process is assessing Krueger’s strength throughout the state; he is hoping to make a decision in about three to four months. At this time Republicans Robert Kasten and Dr. Lee Sherman Dreyfus who is the Chancellor of UW Stevens Point are both seeking the nomination of their party. (Put your money on the one with the red vest)
In area news briefs: A rural Merrill man is being held in the Marathon County Jail on multiple charges including attempted rape. The arrest stems from an incident that occurred at an all-night gas station on Merrill Avenue in Wausau. Firemen at the Merrill Fire Department will be fireproofing trees this year. Lt. Harvey Emanuel reminds you to make sure the tree is dry when you bring it in, the cost is $1. A rural Gleason woman was killed in a two car crash yesterday north of Merrill. Helen Lange died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. Lange was ejected from a vehicle she was a passenger in that slid out of control on an ice covered State Rd. 17. A Hamburg man was killed after a farm accident Monday; Allen Baneck died at Holy Cross Hospital after he was caught up in the mechanism of a corn elevator while working on his farm. Due to a fire, Ron Priebe’s law office has been temporarily relocated at the Nienow Law Office. The poster contest by the Knights of Columbus to “Keep Christ in Christmas” has been judged by Mrs. Jean English and the winners from St. Roberts, Trinity and St. Francis have been announced; they include Dean Frick and Kay Russell taking first place, Jane Brannan and Michael Knab second place, and Patti Sladek and Jody Sukow third place. They are pictured with Bill Borchardt and George Diagostine of the Knights. The Rev. Bernard Wilke will be installed as pastor of First Baptist Church in Merrill this weekend; Wilke of Wausau is a graduate of Central Bible School in Aurora, IL. The new officers for the Merrill Women’s Golf Club include Mary Hinch, president; Ruth Bolden, vice-president; Anne Cleary, secretary; and Thelma Meyer, treasurer.
If you are looking to go out this weekend or get something to eat there are plenty of options. Kentucky Fried Chicken has a 15 piece meal for $6.99, Dave’s Country Diner has all you can eat chicken dinners for $2.75, and Pizza Hut has a coupon in the paper for $2 off your to-go order. Chip’s Restaurant has the Champ for .99 or two hamburgers for just .49, both include a drink. The Corning Supper Club has closed their dining room every night but Friday until further notice; also they have Christmas parties booked every Saturday through December.
The City of Merrill has adopted their 1988 budget. Overall taxpayers will see an increase of 2.5% as the city budget increases $440,000 including debt repayment. The overall city budget totals around $9.5 million for next year. The council also approved contact agreements with city hall staff and the Merrill Professional Police Association, an agreement which calls for a 3% increase in wages and new deductibles for health insurance.
If you have any gift requests Santa will be in town starting this weekend. He will appear in the parking lots of Merrill Federal Savings and Loan, Lincoln County Bank, and Plawman’s Play House in the sixth ward the next two Saturdays. He will be in Santa’s Cottage and will hand out treats sponsored by the Merrill Business Council. (What ever happened to Santa’ Cottage?)
The Merrill Blue Jay girls basketball team is celebrating a victory after defeating rival SPASH this past Saturday 45-41. Merrill has not won a game since they went into the state tournament last season where they were defeated by Kimberly. Since starting the season the girls had dropped four straight, the longest losing streak under coach Bob Yuska. Merrill led most of the game against their Valley foe although SPASH tried a late game comeback that brought the contest within two points. Jeni Schwocho led the offensive with 13 points and 11 rebounds, the best game in the senior center’s career. Paula Ashbeck came off the bench and chipped in 11. Merrill will host Rhinelander Thursday night.
Reid Doering has died. Doering was not involved in local politics, he did not work for any city or county road crew, but it was thanks to him Merrill got a new bridge over the Prairie River on North Pier Street. Back in the 1960s the city had been trying for some time to get state aid to replace the narrow bridge over the river but when the state budget was complete Merrill always fell short in their request for funding. That all ended when Doering went to cross the bridge in 1968. Doering was driving a large truck which had a trailer hauling a tractor when he tried to cross the bridge which partially collapsed under the weight. About a year later when city officials gathered to dedicate and cut the ribbon on the new Pier Street bridge – a bridge funded by aid from state transportation funds, it was only natural that Mayor Ralph “Fata” Voigt invited Doering to cut the ribbon.
Questions are being raised about the financial state of the City of Merrill in light of a recent Committee of the Whole Meeting of the Common Council. Don Rahn a CPA of the Virchow-Krause Accounting firm in Madison told the group the city should have about anywhere from $800,000 to $1.2 million on hand at all times in the rainy day fund. Not only can the fund be used for emergencies it can also cover things like payroll while the city waits on tax or revenue sharing agreements with the state. Although Finance Director Bruce Redlin does not share an exact number he conceded the city was short more than the expected $750,000 it should have on hand. Redlin promised taxpayers the city is not broke as he anticipates shifting funds to cover debt payment and other needs.
A picture on page 2 shows the new Spirit of Marshfield air medical helicopter loading a patient in front of the Tomahawk Fire Department. Firefighters and police officers from Tomahawk ran out from lunch with Santa to set up the landing zone for the air crew. The new helicopter service can provide a quick ride to the hospital in Marshfield for critically ill or injured patients. (We used to have two helicopters in the state before Spirit, now we have more than a dozen. I think pretty much every reader knows someone whose life was affected by this service with more triumphs than tragedies.)