Fotos from the past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The T. B. Scott Library Board of Directors has a real fowl problem to deal with, and it appears they won’t be able to duck it anymore. The parking lot of the library building has been overrun by ducks, lots and lots of ducks. A local wildlife expert from the DNR believes the solution is a simple one, stop feeding them. Library Director Kathy Gosz relates it has gotten to the point that as soon as the mallards hear a car door slam the parking lot is overrun with the ducks looking for a meal. Many residents visit the nearby Stange’s Park and feed the ducks on a daily basis, and observers note many start feeding the ducks as soon as they get out of their car. Alderwoman and President of the Library Board of Trustees Anita Gebert also spoke of the sudden increase in vermin in the area of the library, vermin who are enjoying the leftovers from the corn and other food left behind by the ducks. In addition, the surface of the parking lot has issues for shoes, which are quickly covered in duck droppings. It is expected the matter will likely result in a complete feeding ban at the park.
The Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce will have yet another event-filled weekend. Those who wish to take a ride downtown can do so via a horse and sleigh this Saturday. The rides leave from the parking lot of Merrill Federal Savings and Loan at a cost of just .25 per person. A softball tournament sponsored by Gooze’s Blue Jay Bar will be held at Ott’s Park. If indoor shopping is more your thing local merchants have you covered as Delores Olson of the Chamber said most Merrill merchants will have specials throughout the weekend. Ice drags for the weekend have been canceled due to the poor ice conditions.
Political items are starting to fill the paper on a weekly basis. Four candidates have now stepped forward to seek three posts on the Merrill School Board. Lester Voigt, Wayne Schultz and Vivian Borchardt, all incumbents, have announced their intent to seek re-election, and David Haskins has previously announced his intention to seek a seat on the board. Advertisements are also cropping up for the three candidates, J. Michael Nolan, William Wulf and Richard Olson, who are seeking the post of Circuit Court Judge being vacated by the retiring Donald Schnabel.
More good news on the local business front, Semling-Menke has announced the expansion of their plant in the Sixth Ward. The company will add 40,000 feet to Plant 2 to be utilized for assembly operations. John Semling, Secretary and General Manager of Semling-Menke, plans to move into the new facility by the first of March. Semling also indicated that the factory in Salt Lake City, UT will double in size by spring. That factory was purchased in 1968 and produces frame parts for the Merrill division. Semling explained that the Utah expansion was necessary to keep up with the increased production demands at the Merrill operations. Currently 125 to 150 people work in the Utah office, while the home division employs 306. The company was founded in 1941.
Merrill Winterfest is just two short weeks away and the chamber is outlining all of the activities they have planned. The Quest for Cash contest will start airing clues on Jan. 20. Those clues will lead someone to a half dollar bill which has been hidden somewhere in the city. The person who is able to match the halves will win $100 thanks to WJMT radio and the chamber. Other events include the Council Grounds candlelight walk, men’s broomball tournament, bus shelter house giveaway in conjunction with WJMT and the Kiwanis Club, snow bowling in the parking lot of Lincoln Lanes, a five mile fun run, youth hockey games, co-rec volleyball tournament, youth activities day at Lion’s Hill with the Merrill Optimist, and the senior dance at the Moose Club. For more information contact the chamber or Merrill Park and Rec.
The Merrill City Council has said no to the efforts of Harold Dahlke to re-zone his home as commercial. Dahlke has run a shoe repair business across the street for many years but his business was destroyed by fire. Dahlke through his attorney Bill Wulf made the request which was ultimately denied by a 6-2 vote. Wulf noted his disappointment in the council, remarking that the council was willing to extend the business district on the east side but will not even consider a request from a small business to continue operations.
A 22-year-old Merrill man became the first person arrested by city police under the state’s new domestic abuse law. The law became effective Jan. 1 and requires police to make mandatory arrests in certain incidents which meet the mandates in the law. Police have until April 1 to enact the law locally, however both Sheriff Krueger and Police Chief Johnson said the days of domestic violence being a private event are over and they will now be making mandatory arrests in accordance with the new law. The 22-year-old arrested by police on Jan. 5 was charged with battery.
Town of Corning Firefighters are enjoying some donations. The department has been responding to calls for two years now, and the Town of Harding showed their thanks for mutual aid responses to that township by making a donation. GTE also donated a van to the department. The used van was previously a technicians’ vehicle but now will serve the township as an equipment vehicle. GTE has been donating used vans to volunteer groups such as Corning for the past six years. Jim Rammer and Norm Duginski are pictured making the donation with fire chief Ed Dinges, assistant chief Stan Wendt, and Chair Bob Wendt.
If you drive out by the Merrill Ridge Mall you will see the walls for the new WalMart store are going up. No date has been set for the open of the store; Drew’s Piggly Wiggly will be the anchor store on the west side of the complex. So far, Wisconsin Public Service has moved its operations to the far east side and River Valley State Bank has opened a new branch there, developers hope the shopping center is open by August.
Devastating fires are told of in this week’s paper as three local families are recovering. This past Thursday Carl Uttech looked out his window after hearing a rumble and saw smoke pouring from his barn. Firemen from Merrill and the towns of Texas and Hewitt worked for hours to control the fire which destroyed the barn. The milk cows were removed from the barn after firefighters got the blaze under control but all had to be sent to slaughter. The Larry Erickson family lost their home three days after Christmas. That fire was reported at 3:30 in the afternoon on Foster Street. The cause of that fire may be connected to a stove that was left on accidently. The home of Bill and Sharon Schneider suffered damage after a blaze broke out the week before Christmas. The fire’s cause was electrical in nature and was contained to a bedroom, but the family lost most of their possessions in the fire.
Ron Hornischer has announced he is retiring from Lincoln County Bank. Hornischer began working for the bank 34 years ago as a consumer installment lender and is now retiring as president, a position he has held for the past 15 years. The bank will hold an open house to celebrate his retirement on Jan. 21 at Club 64. John Zulliger will take over as president of the bank.