Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
The County Board has approved a study of Pine Crest Nursing Home. The study will not only include the future needs of the facility but also if it is feasible for the county to continue ownership. Supervisor Eugene Schmit of Tomahawk pointed out that the nursing homes in Tomahawk are not county owned and are making money. Supervisor Richard Olson of Merrill stated a comparison of the operations was not fair. The resolution to conduct the study passed 11-10. A second resolution to adopt an ordinance restricting public employees from receiving gifts or gratuities was laid over. The ordinance would prohibit county employees from accepting gifts from anyone who is seeking to obtain contractual or other business from the county. There was no explanation for the delay.
Democratic candidate for sheriff, Harry Owens, blasted current Sheriff Robert Basset while addressing the Gleason Lion’s Club this past week regarding meal service to the inmates. Currently the Sheriff receives $1.30 per inmate per meal to feed them but he can keep any money left over after the meals are bought. Owens stated in his remarks that the sheriff refuses to disclose what if any profit he is making on the meal system which would technically become part of his salary. Owens would like to see the county take over the meal system all together and keep the sheriff and his salary out of the food budget.
The fair is a week away, but this weekend the annual St. Francis Carnival will be held on the church grounds. Besides the normal carnival food, the big chicken dinner will be served on Sunday until 2 p.m. (I could go for some of Granny Caylor’s potato salad which she made by the tray full for that)
The folks at the Hodag Country Music Festival finally confirmed what local residents have known for a long time: the Jackson Family is the best band in the state. The group won the battle of the bands competition at the annual event outside of Rhinelander this past Friday competing against bands from Green Bay, Racine, Baraboo and the UP of Michigan. The group won a regional contest sponsored by WJJQ Radio in Tomahawk before going on to win the top prize of $1,000 for their first place finish. Band member Joni Jackson related that they all cried after they realized they had won and noted it was the biggest moment of their lives. Besides the cash, the group got to take the main stage and open the music fest on Saturday with the Star Spangled Banner and another set of music. Joni is joined by Dad Paul Jackson with the rhythm guitar, son Carl Jackson, the group’s song writer and lead guitarist, daughter Jeni on the fiddle, and Jeni’s fiancé T. J. Kiley on the drums.
The Foto News is a day early this week due to it being Crazy Day tomorrow in Merrill. Besides bargains all over town, you will find a parade, a carnival, an auto show, a band concert and bed races down Genesee St. The Sixth Ward Business Association will also hold their annual water fights on North Foster St., parking meters are free throughout town, and Merrill-Go-Round will be offering half price fares.
Wisconsin Public Service will be giving some dam tours this Saturday. You can stop at the Merrill Hydro plant off of South Park Street for a public open house to tour the recently installed high efficiency turbine units. This is the first addition to the WPSC system since the Grandfather Fall’s plant went into operation in 1939. (It was a very interesting tour)
Candidates for local offices continue to come forward. Marlene Fox has announced she will seek re-election for the County Clerk’s job. Fox spent 10 years in the clerk’s office before being elected to the post four years ago; she has also served as the Town of Birch Town Clerk. Twelve-year veteran Deputy Sheriff Bill Voigt has announced he will seek the democratic nomination for Sheriff this fall. Voigt would like to improve the relationship with the residents, and the agency and wants to restore the morale within. Voigt is an Army veteran who returned to his hometown to work as a deputy. He holds degrees in criminal justice and liberal arts and is an animal abuse investigator for Oneida County. Jim Blask, a state prosecutor from West Allis, has announced his candidacy for District Attorney in Lincoln County. Blask emphasized his background in “thousands of prosecutions” throughout his 22-year career in law. He plans on taking a leave of absence from his current job to campaign door to door in Lincoln County.
It came down to the last game of the season, but the Merrill Girls’ Senior League crowned the Church Mutual girls its champions. The ladies scored a 9-8 victory over second place Brickner Ford to win their third title in four years. Pictured for the photo were: Julie Maschke, Marci Fox, Pam Grefe, Brook Hinner, Andrea Peroutka, Erin Wistein, Jamie Jannusch, Amy Rybarczk, Molly Sheridan, Breanne Osness, Liz Wyma, Leslie Wunsch, Stacy Pike, Molly Neumann, Ann Latzig, and coaches Tim DuFrame and Jerry Wistein. Missing from the photo was team member Katie DuFrame.
The much promised 1994 Lincoln County Progress Edition of the Merrill Foto News has been delayed for delivery until Aug. 17. There is too much progress to report at this time.