Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Slippery roads have been causing problems all week on the roadways and have now led to the death of a young Merrill man. On Friday, rain, sleet, and snow started falling in the late morning, coating roads and trees with ice. This prompted some schools to dismiss early and caused problems on town roads. On Tuesday, James H. Hackbarth, 20, of Merrill Route 1, was traveling on the Highway 51 bypass near Rothschild when his vehicle struck a Marathon County plow truck. Hackbarth was killed instantly in the collision, which also injured two passengers. Hackbarth is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hackbarth; he attended Trinity grade school, Merrill Senior High, and Holy Cross College and was currently enrolled at UW Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Funeral services will be held Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church.
City officials are still waiting to see what the Public Service Commission will say about their plans to discontinue bus service in Merrill, however, the Park City Cab and Bus Service is now up and running. Ralph and Glenn Peterson, taxicab operators, are providing round-the-clock service with two radio dispatched cars. They have developed a system in which riders pay a set fee of .50 for the initial ride and then add on an additional .15 per zone that is traveled through. Daily commuters can get a discount and senior citizens will enjoy a flat rate of .50 for anywhere they wish to go in the city. If you need a ride to the airport at Wausau, the flat fee is $9 and to Mosinee it is $12. Bus service will have two daily runs in the morning and evening; other times will be covered by the taxi. The city sought to franchise out the service after having run deficits for years in their own operations.
How about Grace Wendorf? For the second time this season, she shattered the 600 mark bowling in the Mer-Wau Couples league in Merrill on Monday. She first rolled over 600 on December 19 when she hit 636, and Monday’s score was 606. That score was the 15th honor count this season for Merrill women bowlers.
The Merrill Board of Education asked their administration to study some more on the issue of spilled milk. Grade school principals were concerned about the waste of milk, which is provided to the students for lunch, so they conducted a survey at Washington School where the wasted milk percentage was at 31% every lunch hour. School Principal Robert Gruling substituted the usual milk choice with both whole milk, 2% milk, and chocolate milk. The results were astounding, as the milk waste rate dropped to 3%. The question for school administrator is whether the non-traditional milk is still good for children. The federal government, which subsidizes the lunches at schools, demands they serve milk; however, they have no guidelines on what kind of milk is served. Dr. Geoffrey Kloster, a Merrill physician, was in the audience and spoke of his concern over chocolate milk, which contains more sugar, salt, and caffeine, while whole or 2% contain added animal fats which is known to produce cholesterol. Brothers and farmers, James and Bruce Severt, said they would rather see students drink chocolate milk then to waste or drink no milk at all, noting their children drink raw milk at home.
Apparently Les & Jim’s just has better food, so says the Lincoln County Nutritional site manager for Tomahawk, who recently dropped a Rhinelander caterer and went back to Lincoln Lanes. Les &Jim’s had provided the food for years, but according to Marjorie Odegard, the program saw a 20% drop off when they went to Hall’s Catering.
A sudden surge of warm water has wreaked havoc in the area this weekend, causing one school to close and the highway department and many townships to quickly impose weight limits. Gary Drury, administrator of St. Robert’s School, told of how a crack developed in the roof of the building, causing a deluge of water. Drury canceled classes for Monday, as staff pumped an estimated 180 gallons out of the building Sunday night. The city received over an inch of rain between storms on Saturday and Sunday. Chief Charles Johnson has also temporarily removed all winter parking restrictions.
Homeowners on Crescent Drive are calling foul after the city began issuing special assessments on paving done on that street. The issue began when sewer installation in a new subdivision in the Sixth Ward was billed to the abutting land owners, but the city rescinded those payments, letting those property owners off the hook. Now that the city plans on paving Crescent this spring, residents are complaining about the proposed cost sharing. Alderman Patrick Nugent told residents he felt the new system was fair and cautioned that they can’t just borrow every time they have a road improvement project (where are you now Pat?). He added that the city needs to better itself financially before it takes on big projects.
The Lincoln County Board has commissioned (yet another) study to see if the board should be expanded or shrunk. Currently the board is served by 22 supervisors, eleven of which represent the rural townships while eleven more represent districts within the two cities of Merrill and Tomahawk, with eight in Merrill and three in Tomahawk. Supervisor Paul Garner of the City of Tomahawk made a motion that the redistricting committee seek out a 16-member board, this was passed unanimously after a motion by Supervisor Elroy Schmidt for a 25-person board died due to a lack of a second. The North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission will work on the study; they will use computers to draw maps to aid with the plans. Tom Geiger, Lincoln County Extension agent, warned the board that under current population, the board cannot exceed 31 members. Geiger said he expected to see a real shift in the population since the last study. (Spoiler alert, still at 22)