Editor's note: Beat Notes are filed weekly by Daily Herald Media reporters discussing events on their beats and observations they have made while reporting.
? The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently awarded a $100,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to the Merrill Fire Department to buy three new cardiac monitors and defibrillators.
The three monitors will replace the aging ones in each of the department's three ambulances. The purchase brings the department into compliance with standards of the American Heart Association, the National Fire Protection Association and the Food and Drug Administration.
The grant is the largest AFG the department has ever received. It has received about $200,000 through multiple grants in the past to buy new equipment.
The Merrill Fire Department covers much of the southern half of Lincoln County, including the city of Merrill and the towns of Merrill, Corning, Harding, Birch, Pine River, Russell, Rock Falls, Schley and Harrison.
? Use one of your Wednesday nights this summer to check out the Merrill City Band, whose weekly concert series starts this week in the gazebo at Normal Park, at the corner of Sixth Street and Center Avenue.
The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and continue through Aug. 7. In the event that two or more concerts are rained out, a make-up day will be added Aug. 14.
Each concert celebrates a theme - Wednesday's is "three ring circus," which will include a ringmaster, a juggler, face-painting, a stuffed animal parade (the kids bring their favorites), and a tightrope contest.
The Merrill Lions Club will sell concessions at the concerts starting at 5:30 p.m.