Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Crime reports fill this week’s paper. A photo of Deputy Peter Annis is shown on page two as he stands guard over a home in the Town of Scott where a 46 year old Merrill man was found dead yesterday. Lincoln County Coroner, Dr. James Janowiak, expressed concerns over the circumstances surrounding the death and requested a forensic autopsy be conducted. On Wednesday Sheriff Ronald Krueger and Sgt. Paul Proulx escorted the body to Madison where Dr. Robert Huntington conducted the autopsy. In the end the cause of death was linked to natural causes. Sheriff Krueger along with Detective Ronald Hirte joined law enforcement officers from throughout Marathon County as a search was conducted related to crimes in at least two counties; two former residents were arrested. Merrill Police had a busy week as well with thefts and vandalism filling the police blotter as officers investigated everything from the theft of an automobile from East Main Street to the theft of a 50 foot long garden hose from Wisconsin St.
A low scoring affair this past Friday gave the 6-0 Blue Jay football team the top spot in the Valley as they rolled past the Wausau West Warriors 10-0. The Jays scored early on a West fumble and controlled the ball for 65% of the game. Coach Ira Rebella expressed a little frustration over the ability to convert while deep in enemy territory. The local team is number two in the state, second only to Kenosha Tremper who moved into first based on their opponents’ win-loss records. The Jays will travel to Marshfield this Friday night to try and tame the Tigers. This past week Marshfield won against Antigo in overtime to accumulate a 3-3 record on the year.
The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors has an issue as the local sheriff is informing them his staffing is so low that he cannot provide adequate protection on the road or in the jail, but adding additional jail and patrol staff will not help the bottom line of a budget currently poised to be 32% higher than last years. If no changes are made in the budget taxpayers are looking at an increase of just under $2 per 1000 of equalized value in their taxes bills. Supervisor James Theiler spoke of his concern over a statistic presented by Chief Deputy Robert Lee which stated 8% of the calls for service go unanswered because there is no one to answer them. Two more sessions are scheduled including a public hearing before the final budget numbers will be known.
Longtime baseball sponsor and retired beer distributor, Milton “Buck” Schneider, has died. Schneider served in Europe during the WWII and came home to Merrill where he was president of Schneider Distributing. During his term as owner Schneider sponsored the “Blatz Bombers” baseball team in local play from 1947 to 1987. Schneider, 70, died at his home this past Saturday; he is survived by his wife Marcella, two daughters and a son.
The Merrill Blue Jay football team pulled off an upset win this past Friday night with 14-9 victory over the Antigo Red Robins. It is the first defeat of Antigo by Merrill since 1981 and the first time the Jays have accumulated six victories in the season since the 1980 season. Coach Greg Schofield now knows his team controls its own destiny as they prepare to host another surprise power house team this year, the Rhinelander Hodags, who will come into Jay Stadium at 6-1 in the conference. The game will take place this Tuesday and with a Merrill victory they will secure the remaining playoff berth. Coach Greg Schofield knows with the shortened week his team won’t have much time to savor the victory over their longtime rival Antigo, but he thinks with proper ball control his team can manage the explosive offense of the Hodags.
Merrill Mayor Michael Caylor is sounding the alarm over the city budget. If department heads spending is approved the city is looking at a budget of over $11 million dollars, but if Caylor gets his way cuts may have a healthier budget of around $10.6 million. Caylor would like to end the practice of paying city employees not to enroll on the city health plan, eliminate the full time city attorney, and combine dispatch of police operations with the county to save in total an estimated $223,000. Caylor also called for an immediate hiring freeze and called for rejecting any hour increase for part time employees in 2000. In a letter to council members Caylor asked them to stand fast as they would soon be lobbied by department heads, employees and members of the public seeking support for pet projects. Caylor ended his letter by reminding them that their first loyalty is to those paying the taxes.