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T. (Thomas) O. Vechinski, M.D., of Tee Lane Drive in Merrill has announced his candidacy for the office of Coroner of Lincoln County. Vechinski, who is a physician-radiologist at Holy Cross Hospital, is presently serving as Coroner, an office he has held since January of 1973. Vechinski is a native of Port Edwards, WI, and attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned his BS in 1958 and MD in 1961. In announcing his candidacy, Vechinski stated, “For the past 18 years the Lincoln County Medical Society has continually had one of its members (a physician) available for the office of coroner because they feel very strongly that the coroner should be a trained and licensed physician. Lincoln County has always been looked upon with favor by other counties because they have been one of the very few who have had a physician/coroner.” 
In another election story, Dennis Montabon has announced he is seeking a second term as Lincoln County District Attorney. Montabon was born and raised in Tomahawk and graduated from Tomahawk High School in 1961. He earned his BS from UW Madison and his Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He had been employed as special investigator with the federal ATF based in Chicago during 1972. He will run on the Democratic ticket. 

Things are busy around downtown Merrill. Sophie Settle, co-owner of the Cosmo Theatre, is pictured on page one rescuing her petunias and sweet peas she had planted in the alley behind the theatre as graders move in to reconstruct the area. On page five, a large crane is pictured hoisting barrels to the top of the Lincoln House for a roofing project and on page two, John Johnson and Terry Travis are pictured painting light poles on East Main St. The pair is painting 200 light poles around the city using gloved hands instead of the traditional brush and pail. 

It’s not even the Fourth of July but the deadline is nearing for Labor Day Princess. Applicants must be a union member herself or come from a union family. Those interested have until Friday to contact either Rose Hehling or Goldie Touchett. All contestants will appear on the Jerry Goestsch Show!

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A spectacular fire observed by over 2,000 people has destroyed a Merrill landmark. Just before 8 p.m. Sunday night, the alarm was sounded for a fire at Lierman’s Ballroom located on County Rd. K at Hillside Drive in the Town of Merrill. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene they were able to make entry into the building but when the roof collapsed and caused injury to firefighter Rudolph Neubauer, the order was given to evacuate the building. Firefighters from Merrill, Tomahawk, Gleason and the Little Florida Mobile Home Court all battled the blaze which destroyed the building. Merrill’s fire chief Harvey Emanuel thinks an electrical problem caused the fire which started near a troublesome ice machine. Firefighters remained on the scene until 5 p.m. Monday. (New Testament Church now)

Merrill native Keith Zuelsdorff made history at the Merrill Golf Course this past Saturday when he aced the number three hole. Zuelsdorff was the first golfer since 1964 to make a hole in one on that green. WAOW in Wausau has named number three as one of the most difficult holes in North Central Wisconsin. Zuelsdorff used a five wood to send the ball the distance where it one-hopped and dropped. The foursome consisted of Zuelsdorff, Tom Weckwerth, Tom English and John Huss. 

Merrill Area Public Schools administrators have asked for a 5.6% budget increase as costs of staff rise with a looming 8.2% rise in salaries and fringe benefits. A part of the total increase of $540,360 is five teacher’s aide positions which are being added to elementary school computer centers. The good news is text book spending is down $26,000 but computer related spending will be increasing from $20,000 to $30,000 for software and hardware. (A former well-placed source reports MAPS budgeted over $400,000 last year for computer related stuff and that does not include nine full-time people)

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Robert Frenkel Jr. is the lucky winner in the Pamida grand opening celebration. For opening a new store in Wautoma, Pamida ran a drawing at each of its Wisconsin stores in search of a winner for a $5,000 US Savings Bond. Frenkel’s name was drawn at the Omaha office and was the biggest prize store manager John Perry has ever given out. Frenkel is a recent graduate from UW Stout and says he will appreciate this more when the bond matures. 
In order to be in compliance with ADA regulations, the Merrill Post Office is planning a zig zag patterned ramp in the front of the building along with automatic doors and hand rails to make it accessible for the handicapped. The building was built in 1916. 

Pat and Kathy Zimmerman wish their customers and friends well as they turn over the keys after 18 years at Champs Family Restaurant. Kim Schwartzman and Laurel Streich have assumed ownership of the business.