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.

2008.10.01 What's keeping you awake at night?

Written by David Green.


I could barely keep my eyes open trying to read through the results of the new sleep survey from It wasn’t fatigue that made it a challenge, just a lot of small print.

The survey points to three reasons for poor sleep: finances, family and health. That doesn’t explain my situation. At 3:33 a.m. I was thinking about the mercury separating in my thermometer outside.

According to the survey, 47 percent of Americans cite financial concerns as anxieties that keep them awake at night. About 45 percent worry about health and lack of health insurance.

I should point out here that the survey was an on-line survey of 2,000 people. That means you have to be an internet user to have talked about your sleep problems and you had to be one of those people who would actually take the time to participate in a survey on-line about sleep.

There’s probably a good chance that it was 1 a.m. when many people took the survey because they just couldn’t force themselves to go off-line and get into bed. Little wonder they have sleep troubles.

Overall, the survey concludes that 75 percent of Americans don’t think they’re getting enough sleep and only a third rate their sleep as good or excellent.

Dr. Breus, SleepBetter’s board certified psychologist, talks about the vicious cycle: poor sleep leads to a poor work performance which leads to financial concerns (about getting canned, apparently) which leads back to more poor sleep.

There’s a hint of a solution in the final finding from the survey: 50 percent of Americans have not yet found the perfect pillow or mattress. Probably 25 percent of the world’s population doesn’t own what SleepBetter would distinguish as a mattress. I wonder how those people are sleeping.

Another solution is to take the website’s Zzzz Score test and learn from the advice offered by the doctor.

There are questions about your lack of exercise, the temperature of your feet, who you’re sleeping with, your sleeping position and the age of your pillow and mattress.

My Zzzz Score suggests using window blinds, which I have for years. My mention of cold feet triggered an alarm for Dr. Breus. This could indicate a serious medical condition and he recommends I talk to my doctor about it immediately and also get advice from my doctor about ways to increase comfort during sleep. Maybe I can get a prescription for a pair of thin socks.

Dr. Breus thinks I should consider buying a new mattress. If I like my old mattress and still find it comfortable, the doctor suggests that I could support the bedding industry in a lesser way by buying a mattress topper. Actually, we have an old mattress in need of replacing, but I’m not going to give Dr. Breus the satisfaction of knowing that.

I decided to mess with the doctor and his Zzzz Score. I signed in under a different name with some different answers. I’m told that sleeping with a pet might lead to allergies and body aches. One of us should sleep on the floor.

Even though my pillow is new, I might want to consider something specifically designed for my personal sleep style. And just because my mattress is new, he gave me something to worry about during those moments of insomnia: Some mattresses wear out in five years. I should probably buy a mattress topper or pad.

I very seldom have trouble getting to sleep. It’s the 3:33 thing when I wake up and my mind kicks into gear. I don’t consider it worrying; just thinking about things. The doctor says maybe I should make a list of my life’s current events before I go to sleep.

He says I should make my bedroom with its new mattress topper into a sanctuary and perhaps bring in the freshness of the outdoors. My wife already thinks it’s a sanctuary for spiders.

He says I should pamper myself with a massage and meditation before I use my new firm pillow. And after I see a doctor about the temperature of my feet, perhaps I should consult with a sleep specialist.

At least now I have something to worry about at 3:33 a.m.

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