Bloomington native fills intern role at Courier Press

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Rachel Mergen, of Bloomington, will be the news reporter intern at the Courier Press through August. She has experience as a published author and enjoys talking to people. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The Courier Press office has welcomed an intern again this summer. Rachel Mergen, a Bloomington native who just completed her freshman year at UW-La Crosse, has joined the staff. She will be reporting on community news through August.

Rachel is a 2016 River Ridge High School graduate and the daughter of Al and Dawn Mergen. She is the granddaughter of Thomas and Ruth Mergen and Carson and Arlene Clifton. She has one older brother, Trevor.

Rachel, 19, possesses a multitude of skills necessary to interview and report about the people, places and things in the Prairie du Chien coverage area. She comes to the Courier having written and self-published four young adult books as a teenager, her first when she was only 16 and the other three in high school. She said she’s working on two more now.

“I wrote a lot of short stories in middle school. It was a nice escape from stress for me,” she said.

Because of her bold accomplishments at such a young age, Rachel was actually featured in the May 20, 2015, Courier Press for her published titles. So when she applied for the intern opening, she emerged as the most natural fit for the job.

Rachel is double majoring in English and political science at UW-La Crosse, and has a minor in literature. She works 30 hours per week at PetSmart during the school year. Prior to college, she worked at Subway in Prairie du Chien and the Bloomington Public Library. At River Ridge High School, she also kept busy as a member of the FFA, Spanish club and National Honor Society.

Her favorite diversions include music, reading and, of course, writing when she can. She said her mother also enjoys writing and that her grandmother likes to write too. She enjoys spending her time with family and friends. She’s a regular user of Twitter and Facebook and has a website showcasing her personal works and blogs at rachelmergen.weebly.com.

This summer, as a news reporter intern, she will be covering local events and activities, human interest stories and other topics as needed.

“I’m excited about gaining experience and getting more into the business side of journalism,” she said. “I enjoy talking to people. It’s also interesting just having more of an insight into what’s going on.”

Readers will see Rachel’s stories in the Courier Press newspaper, website and on Facebook. Anyone with suggested story ideas for her, or other staff members, may contact the office at 326-2441.

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