Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Two men were killed in a head on crash south of Irma last Thursday afternoon. District Attorney James T. Rogers said a vehicle being driven by a 47 year old attorney from Amherst crossed the centerline and struck a vehicle being driven by a Wausau man. Killed instantly in the crash was Hilbert W. Fricke, 61 of Wausau who died at Holy Cross Hospital. Richard Olk, was pronounced dead at the scene by a passing Wausau physician who witnessed the crash. DA Rogers reports deputies had been alerted to a vehicle being driven erratically prior to Olk crossing the center line. The two men are the sixth and seventh to die on Lincoln County roadways this year.
Once again the Merrill Chamber of Commerce has recognized those who are invested in the community with their annual MOM or Merrill on the Move awards. At a banquet held this past Sunday night at the Merrill Union Hall Mayor Ralph Voigt and co-chair Fred Mumma handed out awards to two organizations and three individuals. The event this year was coordinated with the Wonderful Wisconsin Week events. Joe Jackelen of the Merrill Area Housing Authority accepted his group’s award for obtaining public housing for the elderly in the Merrill Community. The Adult Advisory Committee for the Depot youth center was also hailed for their work guiding the operations of the youth center; co-chairs Dick Baumgart and William Mann accepted that award. For the individual awards, Harry W. Wildes was cited for his devotion to the chamber; he has served on numerous committees and recruited many new members to the organization over the years. Francis Fox was acknowledged for his dedication to youth sports. Fox coaches the baseball program at St. Roberts School and is an active supporter of Merrill Little League. Otto Bacher was lauded for his service to the community. Bacher retired back to Merrill after a long career as an educator. He has since been active in the Silver M Club, Merrill Community Chest, an officer on the Lincoln County Historical Society, and an organizer of the Lincoln County artists group. Outstanding retail personnel were also recognized with Emil Van Gothem, an employee of Mel’s Big Dollar, and Mrs. Jerome Isaacson, a clerk at McClellan’s, both cited for their work. Mayor Voigt served as master of ceremonies, and entertainment for the evening included the Sweet Adeline’s quartet composed of Mrs. Eugene Bondioli, Mrs. Allison English, Mrs. Jeanette English, and Mrs. Kirby Stoelting, along with a barbershop quartet of Lindy Porath, Eugene Chauvin, Les Schoemke and Ole Lokemoen.
Merrill will once again have a restaurant on the west side. Mrs. Kenneth Rowe has announced the purchase of the Kozy Korner, 427 Grand Ave. The building had previously been operated by Theodore Bronson as a snack bar and pool hall. The pool table has now been removed in order to make more room for dining. Mrs. Rowe will operate the restaurant by herself; she has been in the business for over 20 years, the last five cooking and managing two restaurants in Wausau.
The Lincoln County Board met yesterday and decided on salaries for 1971, but some of the discussion centered a controversy in the sheriff’s office involving Chief Deputy Harvey Woodward. Supervisor Patrick Nugent cited turmoil in the sheriff’s office for his move to block any raise for Woodward who has served as the chief deputy for the past year when he replaced the previous position of undersheriff when the office of the sheriff merged with the former traffic patrol. Salaries for next year include a 5.5% increase for Pine Crest employees, Norman Heideman, director of emergency government, will see a raise to $6,180 per year, Wallace Henrich, a court house custodian, will see a bump to $441 per month, Ole Hanson of the land and forestry department will go to $662 per month, the position of sheriff will receive a salary of $720 per month for whomever is sworn into that position come next January, a deputy will receive $500 to $587, a sergeant will receive $600 to $650 and the chief deputy will get a boost to $793. (That is more than the sheriff made, however the sheriff was compensated by the county for each inmate housed in order to feed the prisoners. Anything left over from the day’s stipend he kept)
The Merrill area has yet to completely benefit, but the price of gasoline is a welcome relief to area motorists. Experts say the economic recession has limited travel in the area while high prices from the last few years created a surplus of fuel. Currently unleaded gasoline is selling for $1.16 a gallon locally, however in Milwaukee gas wars among some fuel providers has brought prices down to near $1 per gallon.
MAPS is reporting declining enrollment according to Superintendent Dr. Thomas Strick. Student totals as of last Friday was 3,483, down 2.27% from 3,562 last year. The board of education did pass a tax levy for their proposed 1980-1981 budget with a 13.3% increase. Board members Thomas Sazama and Alan Drum pressed Strick to use a carryover surplus of $117,492 to reduce the levy, but Strick stood opposed saying if the district had emergency expenses during the year they would be forced to borrow. The high school renovation and expansion was cited as the main cause of the increase in the levy. In other action the board unanimously confirmed the appointment of Jay Tlusty to the BOE. Tlusty was appointed to the board by Board President Lester Voigt to fill an unexpired term. Tlusty, 25 of 10th Street, is a graduate of the University of Madison Law School and has a private practice in Merrill.
Don’t worry, you really don’t owe that much. Residents in Lincoln County who owe child support got some startling news this past week when letters received from the Bureau of Child support told them to pay up or get locked up, with one man being told he was in arears by over $50,000. County Clerk of Court Janet Beyer-Thums has been answering phone calls all week from parents but is assuring most of them the notices are wrong. Beyer-Thums told of how notices meant for Kenosha County residents were instead addressed to Lincoln County residents; the money owed is real she said just not by our residents.