Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
No severe damage was found after lightning struck the Lincoln County Court House this past Thursday during a noon hour thunderstorm. Thankfully workers who are repainting the face of the clock had come down for lunch just before the storm rolled in. Some phone lines may not be working in offices for a week as a result of the surge.
The Lincoln County Fair is starting its second day today. As expected, the pens are full in the cattle barn and the carnival rides are full of youth as Belle City Amusements fills the midway. That crew started Monday morning in Monroe County before making the trek and setting up in Merrill. Merle Travis, a well-known country performer, will take to the stage in front of the grandstand this evening. Nip Nelson, will be the master of ceremonies on Thursday night, he will be joined by hypnotist Edwin Baron who has placed as many as 25 persons under hypnosis at one time. On Friday, the demolition derbies will have two runs, at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Henry Schneider is president of the 4-H group, and Harvey Schultz serves as vice-president.
The Gleason Community Club wrapped up their annual Gleason Festival. Linda Verpoorten, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Verpoorten was selected as the queen of the festival on Saturday evening and received a $25 savings bond. She was selected based on the number of festival tickets she sold. In all 11 young ladies competed for queen. A 16 team slow pitch softball tournament was also held where Beacon Bar took home the trophy in that affair.
Things got a little too heated at the Lincoln County Fair as police arrested a 21 year old Merrill man was arrested for discharging fireworks; police confiscated 250 firecrackers. Two fourteen year old boys were taken into custody for fighting, one of them was taken to Holy Cross for treatment of injuries. Things were also hot on the demo track as the annual event to end the fair did not disappoint the fans who filled the grandstand. Gordon Wiederhoeft captured first in the event earning him the $300 top prize, and second place went to Dennis Krueger while third place went to David Buck. Over on the other end of the midway Robert Christenson’s Holstein was named grand champion of the fair, while the reserve champion was shown by Bruce Klug. Young Joan Lutterbach got to be the highest kid at the fair, she won a competition to ride in a hot air balloon which was launched from the grounds Thursday evening. The hot air balloon was a promotion arranged by Michael Dudley, a Merrill Republican seeking the seat of District Attorney. Lutterbach took off with the operator Steve Meister of Phillips and Wilma Bloonquist of Gleason who also won a spot in the basket. The ride ended about five miles east of Merrill.
A 26-year old Merrill man is the victim of a pedestrian car accident in the Town of Schley. Lincoln County authorities reported they received calls about a man walking in the roadway on County Rd G near State Rd 17 in the Town of Schley early Sunday morning. Before a deputy could be sent another call reported that Gary L. Heller had been struck. He was brought to Holy Cross Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The son of Raymond and Harriet Heller was a member of St. John’s Church in Merrill.
The police log was lengthy Monday morning after multiple incidents in the county led to a stabbing in Tomahawk, a Merrill Police Officer being injured, and a squad car being damaged. Tomahawk Police are tight lipped about an incident in that city where a man was treated for a stab wound to the stomach at Sacred Heart Hospital Sunday evening. He was reportedly stabbed at the intersection of Fourth and Wisconsin St by a Merrill man who was later arrested by a state trooper and a deputy on County Rd K north of Merrill. A fight in the Sixth Ward left Officer Robert Akey of the Merrill Police Department injured Saturday afternoon. Akey had responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at 118 S Foster St, he sustained a blow to the head, sprained thumb, knee abrasions and blows to the body during the scuffle. He was treated at Holy Cross hospital as was the suspect prior to going to jail. The squad car Akey was driving suffered damage to a fender and door during the incident. Deputies also made at least one trip to the Corning Ballroom Saturday evening after several reports of fights at a wedding dance. Those involved were invited to come down to make reports once sober.
The Merrill Police and Fire Commission has scheduled a meeting in early September to discuss replacing longtime fire chief Ray Priebe who has announced his intention to retire at the end of the year. Priebe will turn 55 this year and he stated in his announcement he does feel protective service employees should work beyond that age. He was first appointed to the fire department on a fulltime basis in 1949. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to lieutenant (1955), captain (1958), and then named chief in 1966. Priebe is responsible for the development of the county ambulance service which serves on the south side of the county and the far northern part of Marathon County by Merrill firemen. Recently, Priebe was instrumental in convincing the city to purchase an aerial fire truck which is due to be placed in service this year.
The City of Merrill has given notice to six townships, pay up or we will see you in court. The Water and Sewer Committee voted unanimously yesterday to sue the towns of Scott, Rock Falls, Pine River, Merrill, Corning, and Birch unless they pay their fair share of the closure of the former Merrill landfill. The City of Tomahawk, and the towns of Harrison, Wilson, Bradley, King, Tomahawk and Harding have made full or partial payments of their costs. Several towns did not use the landfill which operated from 1975 to 1986. The city of Merrill was the primary user and will pick up most of the expected $1.1 million dollar costs which includes ground testing of groundwater near the landfill.