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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2009.04.29 Yipes! It's Skype

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

At the moment, there are 13,418,808 people using Skype and I think I should know at least one of them.

For those of you who don’t know, Skype is an internet telephone service. You download Skype software, your friend or relative does the same, and now you can talk to them via your computer for free. Anywhere in the world.

It’s really an amazing concept, not only for what it does but also for its entry into the always-changing field of communications.

Not so long ago, you had to use a telephone company to talk to your niece in Africa. I suppose I still do. I haven’t been able to locate her on-line yet, but I leave voice messages for her via Skype. I think she had a call from Margaret Thatcher and me last week.

I’ve had Skype downloaded on my computer for more than a year, but I never got around to using it until my brother Tom visited a few weeks ago. I finally started and now it’s the current obsession.

I talk to my brothers at least once a week. We seldom went beyond e-mail in the past. Last weekend we tried a conference call—three brothers and my parents all at once. Very confusing. Someone always talking on top of someone else.

A friend here in Morenci—another Skyper—suggested using the military form of communication. Say “over” at the end of your sentence. That might help some, but I think one person should be assigned to direct traffic.

It didn’t take me too long to decide to go beyond the basic free Skype-to-Skype feature. I decided to pay $8.40 for a three-month subscription so I can call anybody on any phone via Skype. I make a lot of long-distance calls at the Observer to far-away places such as Fayette.

There was a hitch, of course. My long-lasting Macintosh at work is old enough that it isn’t ready for modern communication. I had to buy an iMic to allow a microphone to work with it. Half-price on eBay. Then I took the next step, electing to look like a dork by purchasing a cheap headset with microphone.

Now when a customer walks into the Observer, I might appear that I’m ready to take someone’s order for the purchase of 500 words or maybe a dozen paragraphs.

I don’t like the idea of wearing a headset, but I like that fact that I called softball coach Kay Johnson at her home last week and it didn’t cost me the usual long-distance fee.

At the moment, there are 13,766,135 signed in with Skype. That’s another 350,000 from when I started writing this. That’s back when I wrote that I must know at least one of those 13.7 million. No one on my slim contact list is signed in but me.

This reminds me of when I go to New York City and I stand back at a busy subway station and watch people by the thousands stream by. It always seems like someone I know should pass by eventually. Sure, the odds are slim, but there must be someone.

It’s the same thing for me with Skype. There’s a “search for users” feature where you type in a name or e-mail address. I know that I have friends using Skype and every so often I think of another name from the past and type it in. Not much luck so far in my Skype fishing expeditions.

I’ve located one old friend from childhood who lives in Florida and we had a good conversation a couple of weeks ago. I now talk with a friend just a few miles away whom I’ve actually seen in person only three times in three years.

I forgot to mention the video. My computer at home has no camera like so many modern laptops have, but I have a little webcam attached to the top.

Now, when I call my brothers, we make stupid faces and stick objects into our nostrils. Tom has a great routine where he stretches one cheek and then lets it snap. Dan enjoys hovering near the camera as though he’s about to climb through and appear on the table in front of me. Colleen and I danced for Maddie a couple of nights ago.

I never thought of Skype as a potential means of juvenile behavior, but it’s working just fine.

Almost a quarter million more users have signed in since my last report. I’m going fishing for names.

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