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.
  • 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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2011.10.26 Baby, grow some fur

Written by David Green.


Sometimes I wonder how our children ever made it out of infancy. Actually, I suppose it’s Ben that I wonder about the most. He arrived at his new home with two inexperienced parents and he survived their ignorance. 

Of course that happens over and over again every day of the year all around the world. There must be a lot of natural instinct involved that gets us all through the new experience.

I was thinking about Ben as a baby recently when I received an e-mail about the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) about the expanded safe sleep guidelines for infants.

Scientists continue to try to understand the puzzling Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There are several theories, and statistical analysis points to potential problems, but there’s still a lot of unexplained mystery.

Some people are convinced there’s no medical problem at all. It’s simply a matter of poisonous gases from a baby’s mattress. Wrap the mattress and the problem ends, they say.

When I saw this new recommendation:

“Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads...”

I had to visit the AAP website to see where the organization was located. No blankets in the crib? The AAP must be from California or Florida. Someplace in the south. 

Wrong. The headquarters are located in a Chicago suburb, where it gets plenty cold in the winter. A baby in bed without a blanket? Come on, baby, grow some fur.

This issue brought my son Ben to mind. He was a September baby and soon experienced cold weather. Colleen had read the cautions about responding to babies every time they cry. You don’t want to spoil them.

One night Ben lay in his crib outside our bedroom crying and we tried to ignore him as the crying went on and on. One of us finally decided that this was nuts. Colleen got up and found a baby with his blanket fallen off, crying for some warmth.

He came to our bed and stayed there for a few years until he decided to go off on his own. Ah, the family bed. That’s definitely not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians due to the increased chance of suffocation, but all three of our kids survived it. So did us parents as the children grew and kicked. I think Rosanna was the leading night kicker.

I did a little Googling to see some reactions to the no-blanket rule. Some people tried to clarify the issue: the AAP guidelines are for safe sleep in general. Blankets aren’t part of SIDS, but they can  lead to suffocation. There was a lot of talk about toddlers and their blankets and I soon tired of reading the word “blankey.” Does-um have a widdle blankey? 

I learned about risk-free infant sleep sacks to keep a baby warm at night, so perhaps parents don’t have to keep the furnace blasting away all night for a blanketless crib. And be careful; the AAP also warns against letting your baby get too hot.

It makes you wonder how the human race has survived for so long. Think of the millions of years of human survival before the invention of infant sleep sacks, and before the invention of a furnace.

With our kids long gone, I now worry about SABS (sudden adult breathing stoppage). It’s still a family bed issue, but the family is down to just two people.

Babies are supposed to sleep only on their backs, and then spend ample “tummy time” while awake to prevent “positional plagiocephaly” which is a kinder way to describe a flat head.

I should check the back of my wife’s head because she prefers to sleep like a baby on her back. There’s a problem with that. Every now and then, I’ll be awake and hear her breathing come to a halt. I just give her a little Rosanna kick and her respiratory system kicks in again.

Here are my recommendations for safe sleep:

• Always place your wife on her side for sleeping. 

• A pillow can be used to wedge your wife into remaining on her side.

• Do not allow your wife to sleep sitting up.

• Overheating is fine; wives need more blankets than husbands.

• And even for snoring wives, supervised tummy time is always recommended.

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