Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Three youths escaped from Lincoln Hills this past week in two separate incidents. One of the youths was taken back into custody Monday evening on US Hwy 51 near Spruce Road while a 16-year-old Marinette youth who escaped with him is still at large with Assistant School Superintendent Edwin Sybeldon believing that youth avoided the searchers and fled the area. The third youth, a 17-year-old Withee boy, fled while on a group outing fishing at Horseshoe Lake. He fled on foot out into the Underdown. As of this time no crimes have been attributed to the youths and random patrols of both Lincoln Hills’ staff and Lincoln County Deputies continue to watch the area.
Hutter Construction, the company building the new apartments on Scott Street in Merrill, reports they are about one week behind in their progress on the Merrill Housing Authority project. Motorists driving by will note the third story footings are being established at this time.
The auction of the former furnishings of what is now known as old city hall was a success. Rusty Sukow conducted the auction in front of an estimated crowd of 200. Most of the furnishings were moved outside for inspection before the bidding began at 1 p.m. The executive desk of the mayor sold for $90 while the desk used by a secretary went for $230. The chairs used in the former council chambers were the hottest item on the block; a local attorney purchased seven of them for $565 while nine more went to an Edgar man for $565. In total 124 chairs were hauled away for as little as $2.50 and as much as $85. A safe used by the police department fetched $210 and nine air conditioners were sold to six people for between $60 and $80 each. The gross receipts for the day totaled $5,656.50; Rusty Sukow will take $325 off the top of that for auctioneer’s fees.
This week’s local business focus is on Gene’s Shoe Shop, 813 E. 1st St. in Merrill. Gene’s is owned and operated by Gene Jr. and his wife Marie but was founded by Gene Sr. in 1942. Gene Jr. seemed more destined for a life on the field, excelling in football and playing for the semi-pro team known as the Merrill Foxes. But torn ligaments took Chauvin off the football field and into the classroom as he studied business. Jr. took over for Sr. when he retired 29 years ago and today the store is still thriving in Merrill’s downtown. The couple has noticed a lot of changes over the years with Marie recalling the tall skinny heels of the past while Gene remembers the stability of styles when everyone was wearing saddle shoes. Gene said for years the styles and colors of popular shoes seldom if ever changed but now the styles change about every four months.
The development of the Merrill Ridge Mall is one step closer to reality thanks to action last night by the Merrill Common Council. The aldermen voted 8-0 to approve an ordinance to rezone the area to thoroughfare commercial. The next step involves the developer Dwight Ziegler, president of the Dane Corporation of Madison, and Attorney Glenn Hartley preparing a special assessment agreement for presentation to the Board of Public Works and approval by the City Council. The special assessment agreement will outline the road development and utilities development for the project, and if all goes well the Dane Corporation is hoping to break ground by August 1st of this year.
Plans are underway for this year’s Lincoln County 4-H Fair which will be held Aug. 4th through the 7th. Although this is the centennial year for Lincoln County the fair itself traces its roots back to 1885. That year the fair had to be postponed for days due to all the rain but it is doubtful that will happen this year with the drought going on. The fair will kick off with a parade of 4-H groups through the grounds down to the grandstand on Thursday.
Looking for a new car? All it takes is some skill and luck at the Good Samaritan Health Center Golf Outing which will be held at the end of the month. Larry Kaderavek from Stark GM is pictured with the 1988 Oldsmobile which will be the grand prize if someone hits a hole in one during the tournament. Also pictured are Neil Christensen and Jim O’Day with the traveling trophy which will go to the winning four-man team in Sunday’s Corporate Golf Challenge.
Over 300 former students and staff members of the Lincoln County Teachers College gathered this past weekend for a reunion. The doors to the school closed more than two decades ago and the building which housed it was razed for what is now known as Normal Park. The group gathers every few years for a reunion although most admit their memories of the school are getting dimmer over time. Florence (Arenson) Thompson from the class of 1920 was at Lincoln Lanes for this year’s reunion, she remembered how the all wood building which had originally been built for the court house had high ceilings and tall windows. The oldest surviving graduate of the school was present, Mabel (Downie) Wittman age 98 of the class of 1911, but she actually began teaching after graduating from high school.
The auditor’s report to the city’s Finance Committee was not very kind when it came to past spending and warns that the city is in a poor position to borrow in the future. The auditor reported that over the last few years city departments have overspent their budgeted funds and then continued to spend with the money just being removed from the general fund. As a result the fund which once stood at $3.3 million in 1994 is now down to $569,494 as of the end of 1997. Finance Director Bruce Redlin believes the years 1993-1994 were the worst when it came to spending of the rainy day fund. The city’s bond rating could affect future efforts for loans, and the auditors are worried about future city retirements which come with the non-budgeted expense of paying off unused sick time. The committee did implement some immediate actions to try and slow the flow of cash including a hiring freeze and a requirement that any expense over $5,000 be approved by the council prior to purchase.
It looks like things will be quiet locally on the ballot come this fall. According to County Clerk Robert Kunkel no one has filed papers to oppose any of the local incumbents Clerk of Court Cindy Kimmons, Register of Deeds Jolene Callahan, Sheriff Paul Proulx, Treasurer Jan Lemmer, Coroner David Haskins, and District Attorney John Schellpfeffer. The deadline to file papers was 5 p.m. yesterday; all of the incumbents are running on the Republican ticket except for Lemmer and Haskins who are Democrats.
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr