Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
A buggy stop at a local blacksmith shop by the Rev. J.B. Erhart in the Village of Irma 50 years ago resulted in the roots of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church being planted and they continue to grow to this day. The early members of the church rented space from the Baptist Church until 1928 when, with $3,500 and a set of blue prints, the new Pastor Edmund Manns set out to build a permanent church building. It is the same church and parsonage used today although a major expansion took place in 1967 and the bell tower was erected in 1971. During the past 50 years there have been 14 pastors and several vacancy pastors serving the congregation. At one time the church had branched out beyond Irma and counted four other churches as a part of its parish. The Rev. John McClelland states that many of the former pastors will gather this Sunday as the congregation celebrates their anniversary of continuing to do God’s work.
Sixteen jobs are expected to be created under the federally funded Comprehensive Employment and Training Act known as Title II. None of these jobs are guaranteed to become permanent and those applying must be unemployed for at least 30 days or underemployed. County jobs with a monthly salary include: secretaries at the sheriff’s office and county extension, $411 per job per month; tax description office, $424; health aid for county nurse, $394; secretary at county building in Tomahawk, $411; crew worker for forestry department, $3.00 per hour; 2 ambulance drivers in Tomahawk, $820 per month. City of Merrill jobs wages are: three sewer cleaners, a swing man for water and sewage and a park and rec employee, all for $3.03 an hour. In Tomahawk, a policeman at $705.85 a month and two street department employees at $3.66 an hour. (The ambulance “driver” spots involved being on call all of the time, that is probably why the higher salary. The disparity in the Tomahawk vs. Merrill street department wage would mean almost $7,000 more per year in today’s dollars!)
It’s Crazy Day’s in town. The West Side Business Association has a full page ad inviting shoppers to head west. Businesses include: Woller Coin-Op Laundry, Mel’s Big Dollar, Ken and Ken’s Bar, Fran’s Barber Shop, M&G Plumbing and Heating, ROW Cash and Carry, Eddie’s Bake Shop, Merrill Carpet and Linoleum, Schulze’s Pharmacy, The Corner Shop, Hull’s Ben Franklin, Pritzl Printing, Waldburger Furnace Shop, Quality Furnace, The Color Spot, Sy’s Discount, Estelle’s, Dick’s Westside Supermarket, Raynan Upholstery, and Eleanore’s Beauty Shop.
Recuperating in the hospital just got a little cooler in Tomahawk. Sacred Heart Hospital just installed 24 air conditioning units in patient rooms on the second and third floors as well as in the AODA Unit. The cost of the project was $16,000 for the individual units. Central air was considered but the initial installation cost would have been approximately $100,000. A patient not desiring air conditioning in their room can simply turn it off. (Once the refuge of the sick, injured, and drug and alcohol dependent the former hospital will soon be reduced to rubble as developers plan on building a new retirement/care facility)
The Lincoln County Fair starts this Tuesday and runs through Friday at the fairgrounds. Tuesday night the Booze Brothers Revue will be in front of the grandstand. On Wednesday the tractors pulls will have two shows; the local competition is at 1:30 p.m. and the championship is at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday the River’s Brother’s Movie Land Animals will feature chariot races, racing ostriches, racing camels and a wild animal show; there will be two shows at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. On Friday the action packed demo derby starts at 8 p.m. The Belle City Amusements ride specials are five rides for $2 on Wednesday and Thursday and unlimited rides on Friday afternoon with a $5 wristband.
Despite a large crowd and some close calls, no serious injuries were reported at the high speed bed races held last week outside of Boogie’s Bar on Merrill’s west side as a part of the Crazy Day’s celebration. Dave Barney and Mike Weckwerth teamed up to win the 30 yard race with a best time of 5.14 seconds.
Once again candidates are stepping forward, and November should have a pretty full ballot in local and district races. Jolene Callahan has announced she is seeking re-election to the Register of Deeds post. The Republican has served two terms after previously serving as Deputy Register of Deeds since 1981. Paul Goetz has filed papers to seek re-election to the seat of District Attorney. Goetz brings 21 years of service to the job and is seeking a second term. Goetz noted in his announcement he is still working with the state to bring a second judge to Lincoln County to handle his growing caseload. After a two-year hiatus from the job, Ron Krueger would like to be your Sheriff again. Krueger has been serving as a Deputy since his defeat in the 1992 election after he served as Sheriff for 18 years. Krueger said in his announcement he would like to see the Neighborhood Watch program expanded. Current Sheriff Harvey Woodward is seeking to hold on to his job with a second term. Woodward filed papers on the Democratic side and hopes to continue what he started after his return to law enforcement since being elected in 1992. Woodward points out his accomplishments such as improved in-house training, reduced overtime, and the soon to be introduced 911 system.
Two men have come forward to challenge incumbent US Congressman Dave Obey. Chuck Wenzel of Stratford is running for the seat using his own cash. Wenzel is a Petty Officer First Class in the US Naval Reserves after serving eight years. The chief focus of his platform will be campaign finance reform. Obey has served in Congress since a special election sent him to Washington in 1969. His chief goals according to his release are universal health care and college enrollment based on achievement not cash. On the state level, State Representative Tom Ourada is seeking another term. First elected in 1984, Ourada hopes to focus on keeping health care costs down if re-elected. He also hopes to reform how public schools are financed and bring about property tax relief. If Merrill resident Scott Doerr has his way, Ourada will be watching the next legislative session from his native Antigo. Doerr is running for the 35th Assembly seat on the democratic side. He also hopes to change the way schools are financed and wants universal health care reform. He is the president of Carpenters Local 2344 and has worked at the Semling Menke Company for the past 17 years.