Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
April 22, 1970
The Community Club of Gleason voted to send a letter of appreciation to Sheriff Al Giese and his deputies for the services they provided during the recent student “invasion” of the village early this month. The only issue on the table is who is going to pay for the band. An unknown group of students hired the band to play on Saturday, but they were never paid and submitted a bill to the Community Club for $125. Kenneth Oldenburg, Russell Town Chairman said if the club pays the tab they will end up losing $50 on their $75 profit on their food stand. A bill has been sent to Hyer Hall, a girl’s dormitory, where the idea for the invasion is believed to have originated.
All employees of Weinbrenner Shoe Company are reminded they are being called back to work this Monday at 7:00 AM. Although the truckers’ strike has not been resolved the company feels it has enough raw materials on hand to make a week’s run.
Local governments are beginning to form in the wake of the spring election. Two new aldermen took their seats as Mayor Ralph “Fata” Voigt began his sixth term as Merrill mayor. The only major agenda item was a measure to install storm sewer lines on Eugene Street. Residents of that street have been trying to get the roadway expanded for years and have been trying to get storm sewers to help deal with rain waters. Attorney Anthony Earl spoke on behalf of his client and property owner Ray (Bud) Nelson; he told the council not only is it their obligation to provide for a the runoff of the rainwater, but they were foolish not to commence the project now as matching federal funds are available to help pay for it. In the end the council voted down the project 6-3. Fred Reger made his final appearance as an alderman at the meeting; he has served the city both as an alderman and as mayor for a total of 30 years. On the county side of things Adrian Schoone of the town of Harrison was elected chairman of that board. Schoone has served as supervisor since 1951 and has previously been vice chairman. He also represents the town of King on the board. Ed Weege was elected vice-chair. As the chairman of the Town of Pine River, Weege has been a board member and chairman for the past 13 years. Fred Reger was previously the chairman of the board; his term was a dual term which went with his aldermanic position.
Marie Laabs has retired as a registered nurse at Holy Cross Hospital. Laabs has worked at the hospital for 40 years and had been the supervisor of the obstetrics department at the hospital since 1961. Mrs. Laabs started working at Holy Cross after graduating from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Marshfield. Erika Scheffler will take over as head of the OB department.
The Merrill Area Board of Education has approved salary increases for administration and support staff for the next two years. In total those staff members will receive 9% raises. The superintendent will be compensated $38,638 beginning on July 1st, and base salaries for a secretary would be $4.94 per hour while aids would make $3.85.
Alderman Ellsworth Plautz has been re-elected president of the Merrill Common Council at its reorganizational meeting yesterday. The “Bauer rule” came into effect for some of newly elected mayor Richard Holt’s appointees; the Bauer rule was adopted in 1973 and prohibits a citizen from serving more than two consecutive terms on committees. Phil Russell and George Diagostine fell victim to the rule as they completed four years on the library board, those roles will now be filled by Helen Burk and Robert Francis. One special committee created by Holt is called the city properties committee where Aldermen Plautz, Gebert, and English will hold regular reviews on city owned property.
Dave Borchardt has been elected governor of the Merrill Lodge 984 of the Loyal Order of Moose. Borchardt succeeds Dan Caylor. Other officers elected were Richard Johnson, Jerry Leopold, Greg Spoehr, James Kalafice, Robert Galella, and Michael Schneider. The lodge meets the second and fourth Tuesdays at Galella’s Cork and Dyne.
Residents of the Town of Corning packed the town hall Monday night to hear about a proposed sludge pit to be constructed in the township for the Weyerhaeuser Company. William Hall from that company explained the plans the company has for the pit. The Corning Town Board and many area residents have come out in opposition to the plans, a hearing in front of the DNR will be this Friday at the court house.
Mayor Ken Sparr has reorganized Merrill’s Common Council. No large surprises came about as he announced his appointments, and once again aldermen voted to re-elect Ellsworth Plautz as council president. This is Sparr’s second term after running unopposed after previously defeating eight year incumbent Richard Holt. Sparr did form a new group, the Parking and Traffic Commission. The group will be tasked with monitoring parking and traffic concerns as they report back to the health and safety committee. Members of the new group are Patsy Woller, Roger English, Capt. Dennis Hintze and citizen members Steven Drew, M.L. (Bud) Nelson and Jim Koebe.
Merrill residents will have to find a new way to the Sixth Ward starting Monday when work begins to replace infrastructure and eventually the Donoghue Bridge which spans the eastern most stretch of the Wisconsin River. The $1.1 million dollar project will hopefully be completed by September. City Engineer Charles Pierotti advised that the bridge will not come down immediately as the first project is sewer and water main replacement at W Main and State Street. Detours will take motorists around Foster, Tannery, and State Streets. Fire Chief Harvey Emanuel said the plans for the complete cut off of traffic over the bridge may not occur until mid-May but his department is ready for the challenge. EMTs from the west side station will respond to all ambulance calls west of the bridge, fire vehicles will respond in the same manner but will be delayed slightly as they make the detour. The current bridge was built in 1922.