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Northwoods Spotlight - Packers Tailgate Tour in Merrill - Apr 23Submitted: 04/23/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas


MERRILL - The official Packers bus rolled into Merrill last weekend. It was the final stop of their 9th annual Tailgate Tour.

More than 650 fans of the green and gold were delighted to see current and former players up close.

"Fans come to watch us at games," Packers kicker Mason Crosby explains. "They come to where we are all the time. So this is really a cool experience to go out, go in the community and just tell them thank you."

Former Packers quarterback Lynn Dickey adds, "Every stop that we've had, the fans are all so hungry and just starving to see us."


"It's very important to us and that's why we come out and do these type of events," Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush said. "Just to let them know that we have their backs."

Travis Ziegel - one of the hundreds of Packers fans in attendance was excited.

"Being able to meet superstars, you know we're in the small town of Merrill," Ziegel explains. "There's not a whole lot of stuff that goes on around here and to get another autograph and add another thing to my collection, it's an incredible feeling."

It also gave the players a chance to reconnect in a relaxed atmosphere.

"There's not a lot of serious moments and that's the way we approached our football season too," Dickey said. "You've got to joke around and have a sense of humor. I could spend a lot of time with those two. They're a blast to be around."

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy enjoys the tour every year.

"What I really enjoy is seeing the interaction between the current and former players. By the end of the week they really have established a bond and they realize there's not that much difference even though there's about 30 years difference in age."

The party raised close to 50 thousand dollars. One hundred percent of it will go to improve the Riverbend hiking and biking Trail.

"Part of our whole purpose is to provide a venue for people to be able to enjoy the recreational opportunities first," Gene Bebel of the River District Foundation explains. "But also for the economic development of the entire community."

Now that the fun is over, it's time to get back on the field. Offseason workouts begin this week and the first OTA's are scheduled for May 28.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

PHILLIPS - An 82-year-old man from the Phillips area died after his kayak overturned in Price County.

An emergency call came into the Price County Sheriff's Department just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A kayaker reported that another kayak had overturned on the Elk River about 4 miles east of Phillips.

The report was that the man was out of the kayak but still in the water.

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MERRILL - The Merrill School Board will officially move forward with a new superintendent after unanimously selecting a replacement Wednesday night, according to a district press release.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us consider their dog as another member of the family. 

That's certainly true for a husband and wife in Eagle River, who are desperately searching for their dog--that they say was was taken from them in their own backyard on Tuesday. 

That dog is a three-year-old Boston terrier named Poco, and his owners are Scott and Laurie Schellinger.

According to the police report, a woman took the dog in a red Chevy Impala. The Schellingers say that woman is their niece. The Schellingers bought Poco from a man all three of them know about six weeks ago.

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The Schellingers say their niece came over for a visit on Tuesday and that's when it happened.

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"I just can't believe this happened," said Laurie Schellinger. "Of all people, family."

Police have been searching for Poco, and the Schellingers hope he comes home soon.

"I just want him home where he belongs," Laurie Schellinger said. 

Click on the link below if you have information or want to help the Schellingers. 

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