Fotos from the past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
After years of wrangling, ground has finally been broken to expand Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill. Earl Hodgson, 82, a 20-year resident of Pine Crest, and Ellen Myers, 78, who has lived in the county nursing homes since 1952, turned the first shovels full of dirt to mark the event. The expansion has a price tag of $1.9 million. County Clerk Ken Oldenburg noted that the original building only cost the county $600,000 twenty years prior. In city business, the council heard the preliminary plans to change the makeup of the school board. Attorney Michael Nolan, who represents the school board, told the council some of the plans may be illegal, while City Attorney William Wulf assured the councilmen that all the plans are in order. The City also agreed to sell land on First Street, south of the Depot, to Pamida, a company based in Nebraska who is looking at potentially building on the site. The council also approved the site plan for the new home of Church Mutual Insurance Company. Church Mutual plans on building a new headquarters near the intersection of State Road 17 and Johnson Street. The city purchased the current Church Mutual building last month but will now lease the building back to the company for $3,628 per month. The city hopes to gain $43,544 in rental payments, enough to cover the interest on the loan they took to buy the building.
The Merrill Bluejay football team handed the Marshfield Tigers their third loss of the season, defeating the visitors 14-0 thanks to a stingy defense. The score should have been higher, but penalties negated three touchdowns in the game, none bigger than Mark Struthers interception of Merrill quarterback Bob Semling for a 35-yard score. A clipping penalty ended the Tigers’ celebration on that play. Coach Ira Rebellla praised the work of defense team members Russ Akey, Dan Yorde and Steve Rajek in the game.
County Clerk Ken Oldenburg has announced deer party permits are gone. Anyone who still wants a shot at a tag should submit a letter to the DNR. You must include the names of four license holders and four license stubs. One of the four license holders must be designated as the party leader. You must include $5 with the application. (We never won one).
The Solid Waste Committee has announced the hiring of a waste manager for the county, Robert Reichelt, who had previously worked with the county in the Soil Conservation Service after graduating from Fox Valley Technical Institute. Reichelt went on to work for the federal Department of Agriculture for the past two years, based in Wausau. Committee member Anita Gebert praised Reichelt’s qualifications for the $23,000 a year position. In other committee news, Committee Secretary Charles Pierotti reported that the transfer station to send solid waste out of the county should be up and running by mid-December. No fee schedule has been set.
The firemen at the Merrill Fire Department will soon have a new tool to assist cardiac arrest patients, a machine to defibulate their heart. Nancy Laabs, head nurse in the intensive care unit at Holy Cross Hospital, is pictured demonstrating the unit for United Way Chair Dr. Duane Luedke and Merrill Fire Chief Harvey Emanuel along with Jane and Carl Bierman. The United Way contributed $2,500 to the purchase of the unit while the Biermans contributed the remaining $6,000 in memory of their son Tom, who died in an auto accident five years ago. Jane Bierman stated that when they read about the machine in the paper they immediately called Chief Emanuel and offered to assist in purchasing the unit. Emanuel estimated 10-13 firemen will begin training on the machine next month.
Editor/owner of the Merrill Foto News James O’Day knows we need it, but he wants to know if we can somehow hide it. In a column on page two, O’Day talks about the city sewage plant on East Main Street and how it is now an offensive eyesore that greets visitors entering Merrill. “For more than half a century, the entrance to Merrill was noted and remembered as being one of the most beautiful in the Midwest. Much of Merrill’s early recognition came from that lovely view of the hospital, the bridge, and the courthouse, with tree canopied Center Ave beyond. Then a funny thing happened, the highway was rerouted and we now have Highway 64 as our entry point.” O’Day has some bright ideas to make the eastern entrance more attractive, but before he shares his ideas he would like to hear his readers’ ideas.
After 31 years of ministry at St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ in Merrill, Reverend Dale Gene Kuck will retire at the end of December. The church is planning a grand send off for their retiring leader, and they invite anyone that was baptized or married by Rev. Kuck to attend church services on November 12. A reception will follow both services that day.
October is Restaurant Month, and in a full page ad the following eateries are showing off their pride: Kozy Korner has a new menu and new owner, Connie Fisher is pictured with her daughter Sherry and Pine Ridge Restaurant is showing off its rolls, giant breakfast rolls are a staple at the restaurant which now has a smoke free dining room. Ashby’s in Gleason has the Friday night fish buffet and offers prime rib and BBQ ribs on Saturday. Diamond Dave’s in the Merrill Ridge Mall has steak and seafood specials every night along with a Tex-Mex dinner selection. Champ’s Restaurant serves up all you can eat homemade potato pancakes every Wednesday. Hardee’s has family fun night and senior citizens bingo every Tuesday. KFC and Les & Jim’s, both on Center Avenue, have buffets; KFC offers it every day for lunch and dinner while Les & Jim’s serves it up on Friday only, but proclaims, “it is much more than a fish fry.” The Arena Bar and Restaurant serves a full menu every day until 10 p.m., and has seven TV’s for you to watch your favorite sports team on. Club Modern is celebrating their 28th year and offers a complete salad and snack bar. 3’s Company has a happy hour every week day from 3-6 and brags of having “Central Wisconsin’s Finest Salad Bar.” At Mulligan’s Supper Club, Chef Andrew is preparing a pasta dish of your choice every night beginning in two weeks. Club X to C and Club X to C on B have casual dining and a full menu; their Monday special is liver and onions. Harry-O’s offers daily specials and a taco bar, while chicken by the bucket is just a phone call away. Club 64 bares it all in their ad, reminding readers they are getting ready for their 7th annual sexy legs contest during their hunters ball next month; a new feature there is chimichanga night on Tuesday. Chip’s Hamburgers is a tradition in Merrill for over 20 years, reminding readers that they have the one of a kind “Chip’s taste.” The Highway 51 Truck Stop Restaurant north of Merrill has a spaghetti and chicken buffet on Tuesdays. Hugo’s Pizza has old fashioned root beer, pizza, and BBQ ribs along with seating for 30. Time Out Sports Bar has their kitchen open every day at 11 a.m.; specials include the Friday shrimp basket for just $3.95. McDonald’s is open seven days a week and is locally owned and operated; they have a value meal for everyone. Grecian Delight has authentic Greek food and popular American food, inviting everyone to try one of their fantastic gyros. Subway of Merrill located on North Center Avenue is now serving breakfast, and is open every morning at 6:30 a.m. (Now I am hungry!)
While looking for their first win of the season, the Merrill Bluejay football team should not have chosen Stevens Point as the place to look. The Panthers handed the Jays a 42-0 loss on Friday. Coach Greg Schofield noted the Panthers played all around good ball and were aided by some of the best players in the conference, including lineman Ross Kolodzie who outweighed the average Merrill lineman by 100 pounds. Merrill quarterback Brad Marlowe was hurt in the game but still contributed 17 yards on nine runs. Coach Schofield noted running back Mike Krueger had his best game in two years gaining 71 yards on 12 carries. Ben Henrich led the defense with nine tackles, while Matt Rybarczyk had eight. Tim English and Cian O’Day each had interceptions for the Jays with English returning his for 20 yards.