Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Thomas Strick told the Foto News it took him several days to come back down to earth after the Fiscal Control Board voted in favor of the renovation plans of Merrill Senior High School. Work on the $3.8 million ($11.6 million today) project began immediately after the vote was taken last Wednesday evening for a new auditorium, gymnasium, and indoor pool. Three different committees have already been formed for each area of expansion, and they are planning on field trips to visit neighbor districts for ideas as well as holding open meetings to obtain input from the taxpayers. The district has also reached tentative agreements with three adjoining properties which must be acquired in order to expand the school to the east. A vocal audience turned out to support the project which passed easily with over three fourths of the required vote. Now the district needs to come up with 240 additional parking spots before the Merrill City Council will approve the plans for the project.
Another controversial decision was affirmed by the city council this past Tuesday, and the one way signs will start going up in the next week. The matter was called back in front of the council after passing last month by a 6-3 margin. After much discussion the measure was once again approved, but this time by a slimmer 5-4 vote. The council also approved a new position in the police department of juvenile officer; the one year trial will be paid for by a grant totaling $54,825.
Tomahawk Firefighters continue to search the Wisconsin River for Mark Pickard, 19, of Tomahawk who is presumed drowned after crashing his vehicle into Lake Mohawksin along Hwy 86 this past Sunday. The empty vehicle was found inside of the water 120 feet from shore but so far authorities have not been able to locate Pickard. Hidden debris in the water has hampered search efforts.
A capacity crowd filled Jay Stadium this past Saturday as the rolling Merrill Blue Jay football team chalked up their second victory of the season with an impressive 26-0 win over the Wausau East Lumberjacks. Dave Grisa was the offensive star of the game scoring three touchdowns while gaining 111 yards on the ground. The Jays will now defend their number one spot in the Valley this Saturday when the D. C. Evergreens come to visit.
The Merrill Area Board of Education will begin hearing plans for the future as the district makes plans with an ever increasing enrollment. In the last five years enrolment in the district has increased about 100 students, and Superintendent Tom Strick believes this trend will continue. The projected enrollment for 1989-90 school year will be 3417 students, up from 3384 last year. Strick says no firm plans are in place to deal with the increasing number of students and educators first must make sure the increases will continue before implementing any major building plans. (Almost down to 3000 by the year 2000 while last year’s enrollment was 3296 according to DPI)
A tip of the sombrero to South of the Border Restaurant on Merrill’s south side as they were recently featured in “Ford Times,” a publication by the Ford Motor Company which reaches 4.5 million people monthly. The magazine features favorite recipes and famous restaurants along the highways of America. A water colored picture of the restaurant was used to illustrate the article; it is shown being presented to Bob and Brenda Busterud by local Ford salesman Chuck Summers of Schroeder’s Ford-Mercury.
The Merrill Blue Jay football team is on a roll after knocking off Wisconsin Dells this past weekend to open the season with a 3-0 record. Coach Greg Schofield credits his team’s defense which held the non-conference team to just 100 yards of total offense. The lone score for the Dells’ team came on a 34 yard field goal in the first quarter. Jeff Bonnell, Robin Klade, and Mike Schielke led the offense for the Jays who scored 21 points in the contest. The boys come back to the Valley this week as they travel to Wisconsin Rapids to take on the 1-2 Red Raiders.
One of the most influential politicians on the county scene for over 40 years has passed away. Kenneth Oldenburg was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Lincoln County Board in 1942, from there he went on to serve a total of 26 years on that board, 12 as its chairman. In 1968 Oldenburg was elected Lincoln County Clerk and held that position until he retired in 1984. Besides his work in the court house, Oldenburg was known in Gleason as the operator of the former Texaco Station. Funeral services were held this morning; he was buried in Luther Memorial Cemetery, Town of Russell.