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Merrill Singer Goes NationwideSubmitted: 02/07/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MERRILL - Songs often come to Debbie Merkel while at home in Merrill.

But those tunes are now going national.

We caught up with a Northwoods recording artist getting her biggest break yet in music.

"I write about what's going on in my own life and what others can relate to," she says.

Now, people across the world will be able to relate to the Merrill Christian artist.

"I'll get inspired by something a friend says or something that I see, something that happened to me," she says.

Debbie's been singing since she was eight years old.

But she just broke through and signed with the record label Musik and Film.

She's been on the radio in 25 states since September, with the song "On Heaven's Wings."

Debbie is no stranger to the national stage.

"I've been to showcases in Nashville, I've been to Chicago, I've been to Minnesota, Michigan. Wherever anybody wants me - have microphone, will travel," she laughs.

Her goal for the listener is simple.

"It makes them feel joyous inside, it makes them feel inspired, it makes them feel happy, and I like to hear that feedback back, because that's what motivates me and that's what is my intention," she says.

Debbie's official signing release party comes up next Saturday, February 16 in Merrill.

The event will be at the First Street Coffee Station at 6pm.

The public is invited.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The rain we've had recently caused some problems with the potato harvest. We talked to potato growers in the Antigo area about how they think the season went.

Earlier this week the Northland Pines School Board approved drug testing. We'll tell you what it means for the students.

And we'll update you on the progress of the Rhinelander Ice Arena expansion.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ANTIGO - The rain this summer put a damper on some people's outdoor plans, but it was great for potato farmers.

The rainfall made this one of best growing seasons in Wisconsin's history, but now that rainfall is delaying harvesting.

Potato growers can't dig up potatoes when they're wet because they won't store well.

But if they wait too long growers run the risk of the crops getting damaged by frost.

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STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want your help finding suspects in two possible stabbings.  The stabbings happened early Friday morning and early Sunday morning near downtown Stevens Point.

Friday, four young men got into a fight on Main Street. One man said he was stabbed in the chest.  Police say the suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, about 5' 9" tall, with a muscular build and short hair.  The victim was treated at the hospital and released.

Sunday morning, police responded to an incident at 2nd Street and Crosby Avenue. Witnesses heard glass breaking and people yelling about a stabbing.  Police don't have a victim or suspect description in that case, but they don't believe the two stabbings are connected.

If you have any information about the stabbings, call Detective Sgt. Gruber at 715-346-1518.

You can also call Portage County Crimestoppers to remain anonymous at 888-346-6600.

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MADISON - Damage caused by flooding in Wisconsin already is getting close to $10 million dollars.

Wisconsin emergency management workers provided the estimate on damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.

In an update Tuesday night, the State Emergency Operations Center put the damage to homes and businesses at over $1.6 million dollars.

Damage to public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and trails, has reached over $8 million dollars.

The numbers should go higher, as some counties are still not reporting.

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APPLETON - Disability rights advocates say the death of a Wisconsin teenager who was allowed to end treatment of her incurable disease was an injustice.

The Post-Crescent reports that 14-year-old Jerika Bolen died last week after drawing national attention for her decision to end a lifelong fight against a progressive disease that left her mostly immobile and with severe, chronic pain.

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TOWN OF LITTLE RICE - Dennis Schoeneck's pickup truck sloshes through muddy logging roads these days.  But he'd prefer it if a much larger truck could even make it down the path.

"Heck, I think you could spit and make mud here," the Enterprise Forest Products owner said Tuesday morning.

Foot-deep ruts make up most of the logging road leading back to 23 acres of private land the long-time logger harvests in the western Oneida County town of Little Rice.  Schoeneck started logging professionally in 1979 and says 2016 has been "exceptionally wet" compared to any other year.

"The old adage, make hay while the sun shines, that's not just for farmers," Schoeneck said.  "That's for us too."

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CONOVER - Vilas County could see more ATVs on the road. 

Complaints about the popular sport decreased within the last year as safety precautions increased. 

"It's just a good way to get together and have a good time with a lot of comradery," said President of the Landover ATV/UTV Club Roger Flaherty.

Flaherty started the Landover ATV club in 2001 with him and his grandson as the first members. 

Now the club has over 300 members.

 His grandson is the trail boss and is responsible for making sure riders stay safe, by putting up road and route signs. Keeping riders safe was an important part of the clubs growth.

"Well it makes me feel really good it's an accomplishment.

 I was told many times it would never happen and I heard "no" so [many times] I didn't think there was any alternative word," said Flaherty. 

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