Cost per student Mercer $25,097,
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

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Mercer Is Not Immune



While the Mercer School Board and Administrator Sheri Kopka are conscientiously looking for ways to safely reopen the school this fall, the Mercer Chamber of Commerce appears to have taken a different position about the dangers of the Covid-19 virus.  The Chamber agreed on Tuesday to go ahead with Loon Day festivities on August 5 even though virus cases in Iron County have risen to 33 with one death (37 cases by Wednesday afternoon, 42 by Thurday).


But the Mercer Town Board may have the final say of whether to allow Loon Day festivities to proceed at a risk to the safety of town residents and visitors.  The Town Board will decide Friday if it has the authority to not allow the Chamber to use town streets and property for the event.


It would seem that the Town Board does have that authority since it requires permits and fees for using the Carow park pavilion, the community center, and the town hall.


Medical authorities worldwide are advising against huge gatherings of people which, of course, Loon Day always attracts. They say that social distancing of least six feet and wearing face masks are essential ways to reduce the spread of the deadly disease. 


An Iron County Health Department spokesperson told a Mercer business owner that “having any large gatherings regardless of being outside is an absolute NO”.


Many organizations have postponed or cancelled popular events, such as the Wisconsin and Iron County Fairs, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Rhinelander’s Hodag Days, the Tomahawk Fall Ride, professional sports, the Olympics, and local service organization related fund raisers.


There is no doubt that many Mercer merchants have been hurt financially by the virus and would benefit from the huge crowd Loon Day attracts.  However, some merchants have said that they will stay closed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.


One business owner said she spoke to six other business owners who said they would stay closed and that “they were not supportive of  the Chamber and Town Board when they proceeded with the 4th of July parade, including throwing candy (insanity), and the firework display for the danger it posed to the community and visitors”.


One Mercer citizen wrote to the Town Board saying that it was in the town's best interests to cancel or postpone this year’s Loon Day festivities.  “ I realize that this adds another economic and social hardship on the community but in the short to medium term health interests of the Mercer and Iron County population, cancellation of the August event is the prudent and responsible thing to do,” he said.


“I cannot believe that Mercer is proceeding with Loon Days,” said another prominent person. “It is always is the biggest money-maker of the year, but I hope ‘loonacy’ will not prevail.”


It is now up to the Town Board if it will allow “loonacy” to prevail.


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