Merrill kids ‘give back’ to prepare for Potato Festival

Merrill, Ore. – Thursday was ‘Give Back’ day for Klamath County School students.

Kids in Merrill were helping the town get ready for a big event.

Klamath County School students were out in force Thursday on a variety of projects.

Merrill was no exception.

“We’re picking up trash because it’s ‘Community Give Back Day.”   Noted Merrill Elementary School student Juan Carlos Navarro.

“We’re trying to get the town ready for the Potato Festival.”  Added fellow student Christian Zendejas.

The 850 population of Merrill will more than double later this month for the annual Klamath Basin Potato Festival.

“It’s just a big deal for the City of Merrill.”  Said Potato Farmer Dick Carleton.  “Lots of people come, and look forward to every year.”

The Potato Festival is organized by the Merrill Lions Club.

Festival Co-Secretary Vickie Liskey points out that 2017 marks some special anniversaries.  “It’s 80 years for the Potato Festival, and International Lions Clubs, it’s 100 years.”

On Saturday the 21st, there will be a parade down main street at 11:am, followed by a free barbecue for 1500 at 12:30 – and you’re invited!

A banquet and crowning of the Festival Queen will be held at the Merrill Civic Center on Saturday the 14th at 4:pm.

You’ll find a full schedule of events here:  www.klamathbasinpotatofestival.com

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle's job history is quite colorful. 

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

"The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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