The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

2007.10.07 Catch a falling star

Written by David Green.


I saw a meteor a couple of weeks ago. That seems newsworthy as a headline. It was a spectacular one.

My wife and I were walking at the school track when it flashed across a large portion of the north sky. Very bright, very beautiful, and for me, very rare.

I read that on any given night a person can head outdoors and see a meteor. They’re that common. Maybe so, but I don’t have that many nights to lie around looking at the sky for hours. I leave that to the shepherds.

I’ve tallied dozens of shooting stars in my life and I can even remember some highlights.

When I was about eight years old, I remember lying on the deck of a sailboat at Devils Lake. I might have been on the heavy old Lightning that we owned with the Brashers, or I might have been at the lake with the Bryners.

There was a nice meteor spotted that night and it might have been my first. Maybe that’s why it’s still in my head after all these years.

I remember driving out to a dark area in someone’s big boat of a convertible in college for the Perseid shower. It was a pretty good year, although there were a lot of questionable reports where only one person made the sighting and everyone else was left doubting.

There was a night on a Mackinac Island beach when a good Perseid shower came to a close as a bright full moon arose in the east.

There were many nights on Fay Highway with my kids, lying on the hood of the car and looking for what Ben called “meat-eaters.”

That recent show at the track was also notable. There was no scheduled meteor shower. We weren’t out looking. It just suddenly appeared for a brief treat.

When we started walking at the track a few years ago, we quickly noticed the busyness of the night sky. Airplanes are nearly non-stop, mostly heading to Detroit. If you stop and look around, you might see five or six at one time.

And then Sept. 11, 2001, arrived and all continental flights were cancelled. It brought an amazing change to the night sky. It was quieter and the sky was empty except for the stars and planets, plus an occasional satellite far above.

I’ve been thinking about the night sky lately with all the attention placed this week on the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite put into orbit.

My family went out at night to spot it moving across the sky. A weekly schedule was published in the Toledo Blade so you would know when and where to look.

It was just last week that I read the crushing news that I wasn’t really looking at Sputnik.

Sputnik was about the size of a basketball. It couldn’t be seen from Earth. It was the second stage booster rocket trailing behind that we were actually watching. I’m glad we didn’t know that then. Slapping mosquitoes on those summer evenings in 1958 wouldn’t have been the same.

The Sputnik achievement was impressive, but it was also very worrisome. The U.S. feared Soviet supremacy and before long we were heading for the elementary school hallways to practice atomic bomb drills.

Yes, boys and girls, kneeling in the hallway with your head bent down to your knees with your hands over your head will protect you from an atomic bomb. Not a direct hit, of course, but from the flash of the bomb and I guess from the radioactive fallout. Crazy times.

We walked the track last night—only a lazy mile and a quarter—and, as always, I marveled at the night sky. When you look at a map of the Earth at night and see the areas of city lights, you see that this area isn’t considered among the darkest.

Toledo and the development to the west intrude on our sky. You can see the glow of Adrian to the northeast and Wauseon to the south. What we call dark isn’t really dark. The stars we see aren’t nearly the number of stars visable if you head north to less populated areas.

But I am very thankful for what we have. The stars visible at the track are certainly in the category of “countless.” I’ve watched meteor showers in my back yard. On a clear night, I can walk out onto my sidewalk right in town and follow the Milky Way across the sky. When I can see all of that, I know I’m in a good place.


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