Fotos from the Past
MICHAEL J. CAYLOR JR
Merrill and the rest of Lincoln County are digging out after two waves of snow pounded the area into the New Year. Snow moved into the area early Monday morning and piled up to nearly a foot by the time the storm had ended. Fierce winds then caused blowing and drifting leaving many roads impassable. Schools were called off, and many businesses closed or worked with skeleton crews. Local factories all went back to work after the holiday weekend only to close up and send their workers home by 8:00 AM. Merrill firemen reported they put chains on all the city trucks but could not promise making a run into the rural area with impassable roads. Crews started early Monday morning and then went back out late Monday night after a quick rest. Merchants reported selling out quickly on toboggans, shovels, and tire chains.
Merrill Police are looking for a handkerchief holding bandit after an attempted New Year’s Day burglary at the Consumers Co-op Exchange. Whoever broke in tried to gain access to a safe in the building, which set off a hidden safety feature in the safe – a bottle of tear gas. Police surmised the robber(s) fled when the gas canister was deployed. An attempted burglary early that morning at Richard Hayes’ Westside Supermarket was also thwarted that same morning when Patrolman Charles Batchelder scared off the potential thief. A screen had been cut to gain access to the building.
Officials at the Weinbrenner Shoe Company averted a strike by their workers as they came to a last minute deal to extend negotiations one more week. The contract between the company and the Boot and Shoe Workers Union was set to expire Friday at midnight, but the extension allows both sides to come back to the bargaining table. The contract and union covers over 700 production workers in Merrill, Antigo and Marshfield. Company president James Greenlee said the company incurred over $2 million dollars in losses the last two years; Greenlee said the company will not cut staff or wages but felt they were not in a position to increase wages or benefits.
Merrill Police Chief Gerald Plautz has announced the pending retirement of traffic officer Edward Martinson and the appointment of Michael J. Caylor to the force. Martinson has served the city for the past 25 years and has been the traffic officer since 1963. Caylor, 25, was originally scheduled to attend the new police recruit training at NCTI this month but that class has been postponed until March. (He finished first in his class) Caylor quickly caused a police call of his own Sunday night when the desk clerk at the Merrill Motor Hotel phoned the police station to report someone in the bank across the street with a flashlight. It turned out that the burglar was Patrolman Tom Schotz who was showing Caylor around the building on their nightly rounds.
Holy Cross Hospital has an abundance of newborns in the New Year as Brenda Ann Stine has claimed the spot as first born, arriving at 1:14 AM on New Year’s Day. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. James Stine of Oregon St. Following Brenda into the world was another baby girl born to Mr. and Mrs. John DuPont of 808 Mill St. Not to be outdone, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Waldburger welcomed twins at 2:00 PM Friday. The last baby born in Merrill in 1970 was a boy to Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Giese; he arrived at 9:13 Thursday night.
Five Merrill residents rang in the New Year at the Lincoln County Jail. The five, three men aged 18, one man aged 21, and a 21 year old female all found themselves behind bars after police received a report of a fight in the street at 10:19 PM in the 600 block of E 2nd St. Allwere arrested for disorderly conduct.
Dr. W.E. Braun has announced his retirement. William Braun was born in Merrill and has served the community for the last 26 years specializing in orthopedics. For many yearsBraun was on the consulting staff of the hospitals in Medford, Antigo, Tomahawk, Holy Cross in Merrill, and Wausau. He attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash, completed his pre-med and medical school training at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and then interned while serving 2.5 years in the Navy. Upon his discharge from the Navy Braun served hospitals in Iron Mountain and Milwaukee and then was in private practice in Kenosha before returning to Merrill in April of 1954. Braun also served as the Lincoln County Coroner for many years. His practice has been turned over to the Bone and Joint Clinic which is leasing his offices at 712 E 2nd St.
Merrill Police have announced the arrest of four individuals, two 15 year old boys, a 17 year old girl, all from Merrill, and an 18 year old Gleason man, and cleared up 22 burglaries. Guns, jewelry and electronics were all discovered during searches. Det. Lt. Thomas Schotz said the investigation was complicated because some addresses were entered multiple times.
The race for the Merrill School Board appears to be over before one vote was even cast. Only three people turned in papers to appear on the spring ballot. Incumbents Tim Sandholm and Bruce Severt along with newcomer Earl Welker returned nomination papers. Sandholm was seeking his first full term on the board having replaced Tom Wardall who resigned in July. Lester Voigt opted not to seek another term on the board; he has served on that board since 1970.
Former State Representative Sheehan Donoghue will return to Madison as she has been appointed head of the Equal Rights Division of the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations. Donoghue is a Merrill native; she served in the 35th Assembly District from 1972 to 1984. Donoghue left the assembly and went to the UW Madison law school and now practices law in Elkhorn.
A Merrill Police Officer did not have to go far to make an arrest, but he likely had to walk. Juvenile Officer Ned Seubert was conducting an interview in the 1300 block of W Main Street and returned to find two tires on his squad car slashed. The tires, valued at $155, were slashed by a 19 year old Merrill man who confessed to the act.