Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
Authorities in Lincoln County, Oneida, and Marathon County continue to seek warrants and make arrests as nine Gleason men have now been identified as being involved in a burglary ring which stretches from Pelican Lake to Wausau. Lincoln County DA James T. Rogers said some of the cases date back to June of last year and involve cabins that were broken into in the Town of Harrison. Some of the suspects are in jail while authorities are issuing warrants for others.
Melvin C. Preusser, 306 Hendricks St, Merrill, has been promoted to the rank of colonel in the Wisconsin National Guard. Col. Preusser is a member of Wisconsin National Guard, Madison. His present assignment is acting adjutant general of that unit. He began his military service in 1939, serving as a private in the Illinois National Guard. He saw action overseas during World War II, spending time in the Asia-Pacific theatre of operations. Immediately after the war he served as a company commander in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was ordered to active duty with the 32nd Infantry Division during the Berlin Crisis of 1962. He holds the Bronze Star Medal for valor.
The City of Merrill has agreed to terms with two unions and continues to negotiate with a third as budgets for 1971 become finalized. Firefighters Local 847 have reached an agreement on a 7.5% raise while bus drivers and park employees were given a .26-cent per hour increase to their hourly wage. Similar cost of living increases were also given to most department heads and secretaries. Street and water/sewer employees will also enjoy the .26-cent increase, which averages to about 9% of their wages. The group was seeking a .65-cent per hour raise at the start of negotiations.
(This will get you in some hot water now) The Lincoln County Board’s Legislative and Administrative Committee has recommended the Pine Crest Board of Trustees terminate their contract with Mrs. Margaret Stark and instead hire a man for the job. Stark took over the job after the death of her husband a few years back and has constantly come under criticism regarding cash flow at the nursing home. The board of trustees does have the power to hire and fire administrators, but that three-member panel only has two representatives as Edward Smith’s term is expiring.
The Wisconsin Equal Rights Division has cited Lincoln County for discriminating against a former Merrill woman who was employed at the sheriff’s office. The woman filed the complaint after she alleged she was denied the opportunity to attend advanced training and not allowed to seek employment as a patrol deputy rather than her role as a secretary/matron. Michael Ravn, the attorney for the county told the law enforcement committee he would seek to negotiate a settlement with the woman who is now employed with the FBI. He further told the group that the county is now on probation and is being monitored by the Equal Rights Division.
Thanks a lot! That is likely the thoughts of residents of Weber and Arthur Streets this morning after their neighbors on the other side of the river petitioned the Merrill Common Council for the removal of fees for sewer work. In 1979 the council passed a resolution which passed on the cost of installing sewers in and water mains to the abutting property owners. Residents on Weber and Arthur Street were given exemptions from the rules because their project was planned before the rate system was put into place. Now residents on Cottage St are asking the council for a similar dispensation from the costs. Instead of granting the exemption the council instead voted to reconsider their original waiver granted to the residents on Webster and Arthur. The council also voted to remove the noon meal program from Lincoln Lanes and instead offer the meals all in the basement of city hall. Les & Jim’s caters the meals and then they are delivered to the senior center and residents in Gleason and Tomahawk, however if this is done the city will potentially see the loss of $13,000 in federal aid if the programs are run under the same roof. The council voted 6-3 to make the change. The council also voted to increase parking violation fines from .50-cents to $1. If you fail to pay your ticket within 48 hours the fine increases to $2.50 and then to $5.
Good Samaritan Health Center will see a change in leadership now that its president and CEO has resigned. Joe Younker has been with the hospital since 1986 when he took over as interim president. Paul Balerud has taken over as administrator of the 73 bed facility.
Lincoln County Clerk Elizabeth McHenry has good news for taxpayers: expect a lower county tax bill next year. McHenry credited an increase both in property values and in shared revenue for lowering the totals. This will be McHenry’s last budget as she will retire from the elected position right after the first of the year.
Sheriff Ronald Krueger has found himself in a dispute with the deputies’ union has he seeks to reduce overtime within his agency. Krueger reported to the county board that an increased workload, a full house in the jail, and a raging drug problem left his overtime budget soaring. The board denied a request in 1989 for additional staff but approved it in 1990, adding two of the three deputies that Krueger requested. Krueger asked the union to allow him to flex the two new deputies’ schedules in order to fill in for shift overtime. Krueger said union president Dale Fish agreed to the flex schedule for the pair if Krueger would keep the sergeants in the union, but, according to Krueger, the union has now filed two grievances saying he cannot change schedules. Phil Schneider, chairman of the law enforcement committee said he supports Krueger’s efforts to reduce the overtime which cost $45,000 last year, but he does not think many of his fellow board members understand the severity of the drug problem the county is facing as they deny the staffing needs.