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.
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2011.02.16 Lost at Kroger's

Written by David Green.


Remember when the first President George Bush was given a hard time about not knowing what a grocery store scanner was all about?

At least that’s the story that was told. He visited a grocer’s convention and was supposedly puzzled by the device that scans barcodes, as in, “What’s this new-fangled thing?”

It made an interesting story, except that it isn’t true. Still, I’ve always had some sympathy for him over that  incident. After all, everyone had the “new-fangled device” response at some time in their lives. For George, it seemed to come later than it did for most others and he was criticized for being an insulated, out-of-touch president.

I’ve had my share of those moments, and mine really are true. Check ’em out on Snopes.

A few years ago I wrote about my first experience at a Subway sandwich shop. It wasn’t a meeting of new technology; just an odd new experience because I couldn’t understand what the clerk was rapidly asking me. Since then it’s happened at Arby’s. They use that scratchy intercom system to ask something. I just say “No” and it seems to work out.

My wife loves it when I go shopping with her because my George moments are so amusing to her. I’ve mastered payment by credit card at the checkout lane and I’m still amazed that my signature can be an unreadable smush and that’s OK.

About a month ago I proceeded through my first self-checkout all alone. No problems. I consider that quite an accomplishment.

Saturday I transported my wife to the airport and drove off to a new experience. This followed a call from our daughter, Rosanna, at 6:30 a.m. She was pretty sure this was the day she would produce a child, otherwise known as a granddaughter.

Colleen had been debating whether to drive to Little Rock or take a flight. A plane left around noon and she had a chauffeur, so off we went. Colleen hoped to arrive in time for the birth. A call to Rosie made that sound possible. They were thinking maybe it was a false alarm.

I dropped Colleen off, drove back south on I-275 and missed my turn for Central Avenue when I was back in Toledo. I got off on Sylvania and noticed the big Kroger’s store. I decided to pick up some vittles to help get me through the week, and besides, I’d heard they have a great produce section.

I did my shopping and walked up to the checkout. (All the self checkout stations were in use, but I didn’t want to press my luck anyway.)

The checkout woman was talking up a storm to the person ahead of me. She was so deep in conversation that she didn’t notice the conveyor belt was still moving. I set an item on the belt and away it went. She wasn’t ready for it so I picked it back up and held my little grocery basket back from the belt. She never noticed.

Next she’s laughing and calling another clerk over to see what she’s done. The shopper is about to receive change for more than $7,000. She seemed puzzled how she could have made such an error. It was obvious to me. Keep your mind on the job, lady.

So finally it was my turn. I was already impatiently slapping my credit card against my wallet. The total showed and I raised my arm ready to swipe.

Not so fast.

“You need your Kroger card first,” the clerk said. 

I was immediately the elder George Bush. I imagined walking back through the store embarrassed, returning everything to its place.

“I can’t shop here without a Kroger card?” I asked.

The clerk explained that I wouldn’t get a discount or a bonus or something without a Kroger card.

“Don’t you want a Kroger card?” she asked.

“No, I just want to get home,” I answered.

The lady behind me whipped out her Kroger card and the clerk scanned it. And then, just to rub it in, she said, “Well, let’s see how much you saved.”

The answer was 16 gas points or frequent flier miles or something. 

“For me or for her?” I asked.

Of course it was for the wise shopper behind me. I said I was pleased to help her out.

Then I drove home, beaten down again by the new-fangled.

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