Congressman Dave Obey paid a special visit to the Merrill Senior High School this past week and held a question and answer session. With Congress on vacation, Obey has been touring the district visiting high schools in an effort to dissolve some of the growing skepticism about politics. The Congressman’s main topic was the international implications of the energy crisis but he also touched on impeachment and congressional actions.
Holy Cross Hospital is showing off the newly renovated facility with a special preview for elected city and county officials, the chamber and the news media. Harry Seidell, president of the hospital Board of Directors explained the renovation was necessary in order for the hospital to maintain its accreditation status. According to Sister Jeanne Marie, in 1973 the hospital had 3,145 patients occupying its 77 beds and the average hospital stay was six days. Also in 1973 there were 288 births and 1,118 surgeries. The emergency room which opened in September of 1972 has treated 5,843 patients. Pictured in the new x-ray suite are County Board Supervisors James Gaeu and Elroy Schmidt, City Treasurer Al Saeger and Alderman Bob Egan.
The Sixth Ward Business Association elected new members at its monthly meeting last week. Lloyd Hackbarth takes over as President, Henry Golde Vice President, Mrs. Bud Ament as secretary and treasurer is Mrs. Andrew Fischer.
It’s Winterfest Time in Merrill and the boys at Bogie’s Bar are looking to defend the broomball title they won at last year. Team captain and tavern owner Don Boquist is pictured cradling the Centennial Cup as fellow teammates Paul Kienitz and Tom English look on. According to Park and Rec. Director Karen Lafky, any team that keeps the cup for three consecutive years gets to keep the traveling trophy permanently. Other happenings during Winterfest include inner tube races, cardboard box races, ice skating competitions and tug-o-war, all at Lion’s Park. The Ice Drags will be going on at Lake Alexander, snow and ice sculpting contests will be held at Normal Park and a potato pancake feed will be Sunday at the Eagle’s Club.
No injuries were reported but bus driver Rose Ann Salter went for a wild ride after the steering wheel of the bus she was driving broke off in her hands as she drove down West Main Street Monday morning. Salter was alone in the bus, having just dropped her last passengers off moments before the incident occurred. Unable to control the bus, it went down the snowy roadway before breaking through the impact cables and headed down the embankment toward the Wisconsin River. Several small trees slowed the bus and Salter bailed out as it came to stop before reaching the water.
More candidates for local offices are coming forward. George Knospe of 8th Street is seeking his fourth term on the county board representing the city’s third district. Knospe is a former staff sergeant in the U. S. Air Force and is currently employed as a custodian at St. Stephens Church. Street Department veteran employee Don Hanneman has announced he will run for the position of Street Commissioner. Hanneman is a heavy equipment operator for the department and cited the need for a comprehensive plan to improve the overall quality of our city streets. Also, Nancy Pfotenhauer of Cottage Street announced she will challenge Roger English for the fifth ward alderman’s position.
Merrill is still in the grips of an unbelievable cold snap that has been hanging on since Christmas. The cold streak has chewed up our fuel supply, bundled up the citizenry and frozen vehicles and houses alike. A new term, wind chill warning has added an ominous sound to the cold weather. Temperatures of 27 to 31 degrees below zero have not been unusual over the last couple of weeks and at the same time nasty winds have produced wind chill factors of 50 degrees or more below zero. With the temperatures slated to slowly rise this week, residents are looking for a heat wave this weekend as temperatures get up to around zero.
An ad on page 11 notes a chaperoned bus trip will be leaving the parking lot of the jail at 6:30 PM on Friday going to High Roller Skating Center in Schofield. The cost of the ride is $5 and that includes the transportation, admission and skate rental. The bus will return promptly at 10:30. You must be at least 14 years of age.
Also the “Country Music Event of the Season” will be held this Saturday at Les  & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes as the Jackson Family January Jam gets underway. Doors open at 1:00 PM and the show starts at 2:00 as the likes of The Black Canyon Band, Kentucky Blend, The Jackson Family, Southbound, Mary’s Hodag Band and The Duke’s with Triple Shot take the stage. The event will be hosted by local DJ Terry Tee. Admission is $4 in advance or $5 at the door. Besides Les & Jim’s, tickets can be purchased in advance at The Hub Inn, Tomahawk’s Country Pub, Jerry’s Music of Wausau or at the Oneida County Labor Temple in Rhinelander.