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

  • Snow.2
    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.
  • 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.
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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.
  • 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.
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2009.09.16 It's tough farming ants

Written by David Green.


11:40 p.m. on a Monday night is not a good time to be a day short, but that’s how I still feel. The paper comes out a day late because of a Monday holiday and we’re instantly one day short for the next issue.

I was doing Thursday chores on Saturday and Saturday chores Monday morning, and now I’m running out of time all around.

You know what that means. It’s when I pull out the archives and start looking for something worth repeating.

Here’s an item from Sept. 1989 that I still find amusing because I can still picture the guy doing it:

A few months ago I wrote about the hardships of farming ants, including the extremely painful bite from a harvester ant.

I recently learned that my cousin-in-law Ralph in Oregon had a similar experience in his ant farming, but it was really much worse than mine.

Ralph came home from work one day to find that his children put far too many crushed Wheaties in their ant farm. He knew the little critters could die from overeating just like a goldfish might do.

Ralph first turned to a pair of chopsticks to lift the cereal out, but that didn’t work. What he needed was a really tiny vacuum. A flash of genius came to him. He stuck in a drinking straw and went to work.

As Ralph puts it, “My family watched, breaths held, at my brave and brilliant solution. Suddenly the bottom of my tongue felt like what the bottom of an ashtray must feel like when a smoker tries to jab out a cigar.

“It was like a lightning bolt, like a tablespoon full of horseradish, like a yellow jacket sting.”

He started spitting and out came one wet, excited harvester ant.

Ralph walked around with ice cubes wedged around his tongue and worried about a possible trip to the hospital if his tongue swelled to the point of obstructing his breathing.

Can you imagine explaining that to an emergency room doctor?

TWO weeks later I was writing about ants once again. This time I was defending myself due to stories circulating at the elementary school, something to do with ants in my son’s lunch box.

Let’s get this ants-in-the-lunch-box business straightened out right here in black and white.

Following the uproar in the elementary school cafeteria recently, Ben started telling everyone that I glued plastic ants inside his lunch box. Not true. I merely opened the glue for him.

Honest, it was his idea. OK, it was our idea. I walked into the kitchen a couple of weeks ago and found his lunch box swarming with ants—plastic ones. That was his idea. I told him he ought to glue them down for lunch tomorrow at school, and so it went.

It was a big hit. A couple of teacher aides took samples home to their husbands. A friend of Ben’s made 50 cents selling loose ants to other kids. A good time was had by all.

ONE week I wrote about how the police and fire radio scanner had worked its way into my life. There was a time when I hated listening to the thing, but of course that was before I owned one.

Once I had it, I became addicted like millions of others. It was like the soap opera of the radio waves, with interesting snippets of what was going on all over the area.

The value in owning a scanner is simply for entertainment. Here is some actual “traffic” as they say in scanner-land:

• A child is caught in a chair at the Carleton Inn.

• A four-year-old has climbed to the top of a pine tree and they can’t talk her down.

• A child has her hair stuck in the chain of a swing.

• A child is caught in a La-Z-Boy; no, the person called back and said it’s a lazy Susan.

My wife figures our youngest, Madelyn, has the best chance of making the airwaves due to her adventurous spirit. In fact, she almost did it a couple of weeks ago.

It would have sounded like this: A baby at 318 N. Summit has a coat hanger stuck in her mouth. Colleen managed to get Maddie off the hook without the rescue squad’s help.

I should be relieved, but it would have made great traffic.

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