Cost per student Mercer $26,433,
Wis. $13,505, Nation $11,762
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. districts

Friday, September 25, 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020



Loon Day and Covid-19


The number of Iron County Covid -19 virus cases continues to rise in the aftermath of the decision to put money ahead of the health and safety of local residents and proceed with the Mercer’s annual Loon Day festivities. The Iron County Health Department reported Tuesday that to date it has recorded 85 Covid-19 cases.   Just before Loon Day there were 68 cases.


It remains to be seen what the Mercer School Board will do considering the increasing number of Covid-19 virus cases in Iron County.  At its July 27 meeting, the school board approved a plan for reopening the school with an option for students to return to normal five-day school week or attend classes by virtual study on-line at home.  (See MSF 7/20/20 Mercer School Board Meetings)  Some schools in other areas that open early have had to close back down because of major Covid-19 virus outbreaks in their schools.


The school board deferred making a decision regarding the fall sports programs --- football, volleyball and cross-country – until its August 24 meeting at which time a plan is to be presented.  Athletic Director Adam Miller was to develop the plan, but Miller is reportedly ill with Covid -19.  Some major college football leagues, including the Big 10 and Pack 12, have suspended their fall schedules until next spring.


Two more Mercer restaurants -- Tom’s CafĂ© and Liberty Way -- have closed as result of employees testing positive for Covid-19.  Earlier four other restaurant/bars closed because of Covid-19 infected employees.


There is no way of knowing how many Iron County residents were infected with Covid-19 by attending the August 5 Loon Day festivities.  Also, non-county residents attending the event could have been infected and carried the disease back to their own counties where they would be counted. 


In any event, Covid-19 cases continue to increase in the state with 70,796 confirmed cases and 1,050 deaths.  On a per capita basis, Iron County ranks number one in the state with the most cases, and number one of all counties east of the Mississippi River.


Mercer Loon Day was the only known crowd-attracting event held in Wisconsin.  Mercer Town Chairman John Sendra pushed for holding the event despite the threat it imposed.  He said that local businesses had been losing income due to the disease and that Loon Day was needed to help those businesses.  Sendra operates the Cranberry Inn and Motel.


At a July 24 Mercer Town board meeting, board member Vic Ouimette made a strong case for not holding this year’s Loon Day because of the danger the disease imposed.  Board member Opal Roberts stood with Ouimette.  However, Sendra and board members Mike Lambert and Eric Snow voted to proceed with Loon Day.  (See MSF 7/24/20 The Loon Day Controversy)


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