Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
Mayoral candidates continue to make their rounds at various civic group meetings speaking to potential voters about their vision for the city. Newcomer Kevin Kuehmichel speaking to the VFW, Lions Club, and East Side Business Association in separate meetings spoke of how his inexperience is actually an advantage as he can bring a fresh approach to the race and office and spoke of his desire to expand the transportation of the elderly and his concerns for pedestrian safety. Speaking in front of the Lions Club, Richard Holt spoke of his past experience with the Merrill Development Corporation and his desire to expand the tax base through commercial expansion among private enterprise, include a shopping center. Dick Baumgart also spoke in front of the Lions Club and once again took to task the Common Council, noting how the city recently spent $147,000 in airport improvements even though they never budgeted for those improvements. Baumgart stated when asked, most council members including the Mayor had no idea what the money was spent on. Candidate Jean Rogers spoke to the Lions about her solution to curbing property taxes by freezing the hiring of any additional employees. She said she would be willing to use the mayor’s veto power to enforce that freeze and would personally review any open position and address the actual need versus the want.
Members of Calvary Lutheran Church in the Town of Pine River are now called to worship by a trio of bells that were recently installed in front of the church. The bells once called congregants to service at Trinity Church in the Town of Hewitt and St. Luke’s Church in the Town of Pine River. Those two churches merged in 1966. Pictured with the new bells is Herbert Beyer (responsible for the design and construction of the tower), one of the churches oldest members – Mrs. Elsie Kufahl, and Edward Zander, responsible for the bell tower’s steel fabrication. (Rung those a few times myself)
When it comes to the Merrill High School, Colonel Fred Mumma has reached his coda. After directing the band and the students in it for nearly 28 years, the Janesville native is calling it a career. Besides his duties in the school Mumma also directed the Merrill City Band for 25 years. Mumma served five years as an artillery and gunnery instructor in service to his country stationed at Fort Sill and Fort Roberts in California and in China. He stayed on another 24 years in the National Guard where he retired as Colonel with his last assignment being commander at the Wisconsin Military Academy. Mumma is retiring at the age of 62 with hopes to do some traveling with his wife, Alice.
By a one vote margin the Merrill Area Board of Education ratified a new contract with long term Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Strick. Several members of the board expressed concern over a clause which adds on an extra year to the contract every February 1st. Board member Lester Severt told the board that clause could cost the taxpayers an additional $300,000 in salary and benefits. Recently the board spent ten hours behind closed doors conducting the administrator’s annual evaluation. The board voted 8-1 to place his evaluation in a confidential file and then 7-2 to destroy all previous drafts of his evaluation. In other action the BOE voted to change graduation from Sunday to Thursday to honor the wishes of the class of 1990. The last day of school is Wednesday June 6th and students felt holding the ceremony the next day would be better than waiting until the weekend. In total 92 voted for the change while 78 preferred Sunday. (I hear they still talk about the class of 1990, what with such famous graduates such as myself)
On page two of this week’s paper is perhaps a sign that the electors do not hold the same views as the current board as five new people have stepped up to fill three seats on the board. Char Seetan will not run for re-election on the board but current board members Jay Tlusty and Diane Mikkelson are seeking to retain their seats. Voters will also find on the ballot: Donna Caylor, Barb Chisnell, Richard Franke, Thomas Sazama, and Barb Nolan.
Members of St. Stephen’s Church will honor their Pastor, Rev. Dr. Dale G. Kuck, this Sunday as he marks his 25th year of ministry to that congregation. Rev. Kuck came to Merrill in 1965 after serving churches in Campbellsport and Milwaukee.
Coach Bob Yuska is wondering if Mindy Hartwig or maybe even his whole team might end up on a cereal box after his now 13-0 girls basketball team defeated Antigo, 46-31 in front of a rollicking home crowd. Hartwig sunk seven three point shots in the game, which ties the WVC record held by Tami Myers and Hartwig herself as she has drained seven three point field goals twice before. The Jays host Rhinelander this Tuesday then face Stevens Pont Friday.