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

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    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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2007.09.06 A few hours at the big lake

Written by David Green.


It was less than a month ago that I wrote here about a quick trip to Kentucky for a wedding. It was a great journey into beautiful country and I concluded: “Maybe I don’t need Lake Michigan this summer after all. Maybe I’ve had my fill of natural beauty.”

I saw some incredible sites in Kentucky that I could never find up here, but...there’s something about the color of Lake Michigan, about that view of the sandy beach and the dunes above and the way it fades off into a hazy horizon miles away.

Let me pull out one more line from that column: “How can a person go an entire year without staring at Lake Michigan for a while?”

I didn’t have to find out the answer to that question. Not this year. Colleen and I—kids gone, just the two of us—headed north for a quick look.

To write about this publicly means two sets of friends know that once again we’ve passed them by. Oh, the guilt.

We could have turned west and headed into Ludington, but we continued farther north. We could have made a little side trip into Tustin, but this was such a short trip—less than two full days—and we still had many miles ahead of us.

Going up north has come to mean only one thing in recent years—heading to Benzonia to spread out on Kate’s basement floor or grabbing an empty bed if available.

It’s a pretty complete respite from life-as-we-know-it when you hit Kate’s house. No newspaper, no internet, no television. I never laughed with glee about the University of Michigan football game until a day and a half later.

When we pulled up to Kate’s house—her wind turbine spinning away and her solar panel sucking up the rays—we encountered a bowl in her yard with a questionable-looking red substance at the bottom that seemed to be moving toward the disgusting stage.

Kate said she knew it should be tossed, but she wanted to take a look at it through her microscope. She has an appealing curiosity about her.

The red glop was a failed batch of kimchi, a fermented Korean food that she was trying to make with beets. She’s always looking for inventive ways to use beets. I’m sure if you questioned each of my children individually about beets, they would all speak of Kate’s beet-infested chocolate chip cookies.

I’ve fallen quite behind in newspaperland because of this trip, so I only have time to recount tidbits from the journey.

As always, we allow geocaches to take us to interesting territory. We sat on Kate’s couch for only a few minutes before she urged us to gather suits and towels and head for the lake.

But first, a geocache.

We failed in this endeavor, but it took us on a beautiful trail that led to a bluff overlooking the lake, then down a poison-ivy strewn path to a set of steps down to the water.

The coordinates on the GPS receiver never worked out right, but did it matter? No, of course not. And Colleen thought she saw a black bear cub crossing the road into the woods. That added a little suspense to the evening hike as darkness closed in.

The next morning we found a cache along the Benzie River before heading off to find one hidden up in the dunes. Old Baldy is the name of this particular sand dune.

It was a good three-fourths of a mile in, then another quarter mile along the top before we reached the “oasis” where the cache was hidden.

Then down to the water for a swim. Going down meant running/sliding along the face of the dune, down to where people looked like ants crawling on the beach.

We knew this journey would necessitate an uncomfortable climb back up where we would very slowly transform from ants back to humans.

Down we went, pausing to gaze at what we expected from this rushed trip north. The dunes stretching for miles. The sand beach nearly uninhabited. The large waves breaking in dozens of white rolls along the beach in both directions.

We were soon in the water, standing waist deep until an enormous roar of water crashed overhead.

Right then it was so obvious: This is why we came. This was the reason for the long drive.a

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