Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Those who left high school prior to graduating will now have a second chance to earn that diploma thanks to a new effort in education by the MAPS School Board and Holy Cross College in Merrill. School Superintendent Roger Lowney and high school Principal Ellis Evans were tasked with working out the details of the new cooperative program for high school dropouts at the college. The board also approved a measure to provide free or reduced rate lunches to needy children and to publish the lunch menus. Previously the board voted not to publish menus, but Mrs. Willis Bogenhagen, director of food services explained that when they publicize popular menu items they often sell out, however, when students are not aware what is on the menu many times the popular items are thrown out.
Could Lincoln County sell Pine Crest Nursing Home? The County Board authorized Supervisor Edward Weege, Town of Pine River representative and the chairman of the personnel and legislative, to join with District Attorney James Rogers to try and negotiate a deal with Edward Hong, owner of the Golden Age nursing homes in Rhinelander and Tomahawk. During discussion at the board meeting yesterday supervisors seemed to favor a short term lease of the facility with Hong and then his eventual purchase of the nursing home which currently houses 126 patients, 86 of those being welfare assistance patients. The County Board had considered building a second nursing home in Tomahawk but Hong instead broke ground and built the private facility on East King Rd. The board has quietly expressed dissatisfaction with the deficits Pine Crest has incurred over the last few years and of the overall management. Mrs. Margaret Stark, administrator of Pine Crest, was denied a raise similar to other county employees last month, and her appeal fell on deaf ears at the legislative committee.
A reminder that stores are open until 8:00 PM this evening as part of yet another event sponsored by the Merrill Chamber. The week long Spook Daze sales has a mix of fall closeouts and winter clothing discounts. On Saturday the Westside Businessman’s Association will sponsor a kiddie parade and Halloween costume contest. Those interested should assemble by 9:00 AM at the Lincoln County Bank parking lot.
Should the City of Merrill use a program called TIF funding to spur development in certain areas of the city? The idea, floated at a council meeting last week, is being considered for areas around the airport industrial park, according to Mayor Richard F. Holt. The idea of paying for projects, both public and private, with tax dollars was presented to the board by Richard Schubert, a financial consultant with Miller and Schroder Muncipals and James Feigleson, general manager of Gremmer and Bablitch, an engineering and survey firm. Schubert is the former village president of Plover, and Feigleson was the mayor of Stevens Point. The idea for the TIF district would use tax money collected in that zone to pay off development of property and infrastructure, but the drawback is other tax entities such as the county, school district, and technical schools would not receive tax money collected in that area. Tax collected in the district which would have gone into the school system is instead reimbursed by the state of Wisconsin. Projects funded with TIF money must be completed within five years and can be paid back over the next 20 years.
Brian M. Sladek will rejoin the Merrill Police force. Sladek, 24 of Rhinelander, had previously served on the department from 1976 to 1978 before he resigned to enter the private sector. He is the son of John and Kathryn Sladek of State St. He was selected from an eligibility list prepared by the Merrill Police and Fire Commission. Sladek takes the place of Edward Klein who resigned from the agency in September.
The idle Page Milk Company may soon be back in production after the Merrill Common Council approved a plan for an alcohol manufacturing plant at the site located at 2200 Sturdevant St. La Verne Henrich, president of Lincoln Processers Inc., made the request to the city to changing zoning in the area to allow his plant to operate. Henrich told of plans to produce 1 to 1.6 million gallons of 200 proof alcohol at the plant which will then be blended with gasoline at the former Lincoln Cooperative Services bulk plant north of the city to produce gasohol. If the project is launched the company hopes to employ 47 men. The plant will also utilize local farm crops and produce a byproducts which can be marketed in the area including pelletized garbage which can be used for boiler fuel. Neighbors of the plant should expect it to produce a smell similar to fresh bakery.
Local police have one man in custody and are working with area law enforcement in seeking others after a minor crime spree in downtown Merrill. The incident began when the owner of Skipper’s Restaurant called to report a 59 year old Madison man had dined but was attempting to leave without paying his bill. Police briefly detained the man until he had come up with the funds for his food. Soon they learned the man had stolen a $250 diamond and opal ring from Helmstadter’s Jewelers next door. When the man was brought to the jail he was found to be in possession of numerous prescription pads stolen from doctors’ offices from around the state. Area pharmacists confirmed a group of men had been trying to use stolen prescriptions since Thursday to obtain narcotics; Dennis Schalow of Schalow Prescription Center reported he had confronted one young man and found he had a wrist watch stolen from his store beneath his jacket. The group is now believed to be operating in the Rhinelander area.
Officials are concerned about the activities of area youth after two fires and a stolen vehicle were all blamed on juveniles this past week. A fire at a home north of Merrill last week was blamed on a child playing with a lighter, and a fire in a barn in Gleason on Saturday night was set by youths throwing matches according to Sgt. Robert Hartkopf of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Merrill Police are also investigating after a vehicle was taken from WCA Industries by two 14 year old boys and a 15 year old girl, all from Merrill. The car was recovered after a trooper stopped it in Antigo about two hours after it was stolen while the keys were in it.