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.
  • 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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

2006.08.30 Cell-phony

Written by David Green.


We were traveling I-75, heading south to Kentucky. Colleen was at the wheel of the van. Up ahead were our two daughters with Rosanna at the wheel of her car, on her way back to college.

The purpose of this trip was twofold: to carry some of Rozee’s junk back to school and continue the Tour of Colleges Maddie Has No Interest In Attending. You’ve read about past excursions across the page in my wife’s columns. This was my first leg of the tour.

As I said, we were heading south, approaching Dayton, and we had entered a torrential downpour. There was talk via cellphones of getting off and having dinner. The sky looked nasty, but it appeared that the bad weather was off to the side, so we drove on past the exit. A minute later the rain hit.

It didn’t take long before Colleen had had enough. The windshield seemed to be covered with a film and it was really tough to see.

I was ordered to pick up the cell phone and tell the other half of our party to abandon all hope. I pushed the call button and waited for the answer.

“Now she wants to get off,” I said


“She’s ready to get off now,” I repeated.

“Who is?”

“Your mother,” I said.

This is no time to clown around, Maddie, I thought.

“Who is this?” she asked.

“Well who is this?” I asked back.


So I was talking to Kylene Spiegel back in Morenci or off at college and giving her the news that her mother wanted to get off. I’m sure that didn’t make a lot of sense. What could I do next but say something stupid? Well, I suppose I could have told her about the rain and Colleen driving, etc., but instead I asked her how things were in the circus.

“The circus?” she asked.

I told her I had to go now. I never did mention my name.

Maddie examined the cell phone later in a restaurant and started in on the well-deserved “Dad is a cell phone idiot” routine. I thought it automatically re-dialed the last number dialed. I’m sure they told me that in the past.

Maddie: “How did you do that? You’d have to scroll down and...”

Enough already. I probably took a couple photos of my ear, too.

 We toured the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Nice place. Many, many gingko trees—really big gingkos—some pawpaws and Kentucky coffeetrees, of course. There was also the biggest catalpa tree that I’ve ever seen. It has to be in the running for the national champ. It’s a really good tree campus.

That’s my report of UK. Here’s Maddie’s.

Mother: What did you think of UK, Maddie?

Daughter: It seems nice.

Mother: Could you see yourself going there?

Daughter: I don’t know.

That was said with a little annoyance. I think she’s tiring of the where-are-you-going-to-college? routine.

We did a drive-by tour of Eastern Kentucky University and Transylvania University, just because we were in the neighborhood. It was nothing serious; she’s after a name-brand college, and Transylvania doesn’t make the grade, even if it is the oldest college in Kentucky.

We had one more campus to tour on the way home—Miami of Ohio in Oxford—but we had to jettison that plan after spending an hour in a traffic jam around Lexington. Miami might make it as a name-brand school—I think it’s known as the Harvard of southern Ohio—but Maddie announced that it was OK with her if we didn’t go. Just one more stop on the tour of places she’ll never go.

I’ve had more than enough of cell phones from this trip. At least once an hour an odd, muffled sound arises as someone has to check in. I was told the sound is a home-made ringtone that Maddie recorded. Always something to jolt you out of a highway snooze when someone else is at the wheel.

What I’ve learned about the cell phone from this trip is that it can extend the sphere of the back-seat driver. Colleen can now sit in Vehicle A and direct the driver of Vehicle B to slow down or turn here or get both hands on the wheel.

Now I’m back home where a real telephone hangs from the wall. I suppose I should call Kylene and explain, but I think I’ll just let her think it over for a while longer.


– Aug. 30, 2006

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