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Turnout was light for the spring primary election yesterday with only a few matters on the ballot. In Lincoln County’s District 1, William Dexter and Stanley Vaughn will move into the general election. In Pine River’s District 6, Ewald Katke received the greatest number of votes followed by Edward Weege; both men will be on the ballot come spring. In the Tomahawk Mayoral race, incumbent Martin Loftus appears to be headed to an 11th term. He far exceeded his closest competitor as the field was narrowed to two. In the Supreme Court race, Justice Horace Wilke led in the county; he is a major proponent of judicial reform. In other political news, Harvey Struck, a local candidate for Merrill mayor, announced he will not be able to accept the office if elected in April. Struck was notified by the VA that by taking the job he would lose his VA pension. City Clerk Bob Klug has given Struck until Friday to file a form to have his name removed from the ballot.

A grand opening starts next week for Merrill’s newest restaurant, The Chicken Kettle. Roy and Jean Lange will hold their grand opening starting next Friday. Some of the featured chicken that will come out of the kettle include Chicken Kiev, French Poulet Au Tarragon, English Chicken Wellington, Chicken ala King, India Chicken Curry, Italian Chicken Cacciatore, Spain Paella Chicken, Mexican Enchiladas DePoilo and Chinese Chicken Chow Mein. All lunches are $1.30, all chicken plates are $1.40, all chicken dinners are $2.40 and the all you can eat Scandinavian Smorgasbord is only $3.00 on Sundays only. Being a chicken is not a safe species this week as Champ’s has a 20 piece bucket for $4.75 while Club 64 has one for $4.95 that includes Jo Jo’s.

The Merrill Blue Jay boys’ basketball team is headed to Green Bay after sweeping regional play this past weekend. On Friday the Jays downed the D.C. Everest Evergreens by a score of 54-44 and then went on to defeat Wausau East on their home turf, 78-51. The Jays will be without the services of Bruce Muschinske in sectional play; he broke his foot during the first quarter of Saturday’s contest. Along with that bad news, the Jays will face a strong team in their first game this Friday night as they take on the Green Bay Southwest High School team. Their standout player Randy Weddle scored 34 points the last time he was on the hardwood and another player on the team was just named state player of the year. Tipoff is at 8:30 Friday in the Brown County Arena.

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Today’s front page picture shows the idle Kitchenette at Stange’s Park. Residents had hoped an early spring was in order but once again snow and cold have filled the area and it might be at least a week before temperatures are back up to the normal range. The headline writer also reminds readers to keep their boots handy and notes with all of the snow we got this year there won’t be any picnics in this park anytime soon. (We feel for you then and now)

The Merrill Action Corporation held its organizational meeting last Thursday as a part of the city’s comprehensive plan. The purpose of the committee is to work toward the development of a stronger commercial district using the tools presented at the planning process and using surveys from business owners in the central business district. Stockholders may purchase shares at $25 each, but each shareholder gets only one vote regardless of the number of shares owned. Officers of the group include: Clifford Livingston, Chairman of the Board; M. Bud Nelson, President; Tim Sandholm, Vice President; Ronald Lass, Treasurer; and Thomas Geiger, Secretary. The board of directors includes Don Koll, Dee Olsen, Charles Pierotte, Mike Ravn, and John Stronczer.

The paper is filled with ads this week including a special section wishing our Merrill Blue Jay girls’ basketball team well as they once again head off to the barn in Madison for their third straight WIAA playoff berth. In sectional play this past week the girls ran over the Marshfield Tigers 48-36 on Thursday but had a close contest with Eau Claire Memorial on Saturday, winning 46-43 to earn their trip to the U.W. Fieldhouse. Lisa, Lisa, and Lucy led the scoring during the two games as Lisa Heckendorf scored a combined 24, Lisa Bonnell 29, and Lucy Fruend chipped in 17. Lisa Bonnell has been voted onto the Wisconsin Valley All-Conference Girls Basketball team as a result of her play this year and Lucy Fruend, Liz Ott, and Margaret Bonnell each received honorable mentions to the same team.

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The T.B. Scott Library Board voted unanimously this past week to hire a Chicago based architect to explore all avenues in expanding the facility. The library has been challenged for years by such things as overcrowding, lack of parking, the threat of flooding, handicapped accessibility, and the continuing growth of the collection. The largest concern besides the need to grow is the need to preserve the historical aspect of the building – the original Carnegie Library which was built in 1911. The firm that was chosen is well known for their recent work building six libraries and expanding 18 others. A full report is expected at the end of April.

The Blue Jay boys’ basketball team is headed to the sectional tournament in Green Bay after winning at regionals this past weekend. The Jays defeated Antigo 42-34 on Saturday at the local field house. Antigo had pulled within four points in the final seconds of the game but key free throws by Phil Ourada and Greg Schneider as well as a blocked shot by Jamie Wistein made the difference in the game. The 14-7 Blue Jays now head to Green Bay where they will take on the 17-5 Green Bay Preble on Friday night in regional action.

Merrill’s Ruth Radlinger has reached a huge milestone by bowling in the Wisconsin Women’s Bowling Association State Tournament for the 50th time. The tournament was held in Appleton and consisted of 3,864 teams. Over the years, Radlinger reported she always got her entry fee money back via prizes including one year when she won a ruby ring for the single high game of 269. She has been a director on the state board for the last 20 years but plans on retiring from that post this August.