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.
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    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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2011.12.07 More popular than Santa

Written by David Green.


Is there anyone in the nation in better standing than Aaron Rodgers? Wait, take it a step further—is there anyone in history more popular than Aaron Rodgers?

It turns out there are a couple historical figures that polled better, but that’s all. Just two.

The polling group Public Policy Polling  (PPP) decided to check out the favorability rating of public officials to see if there’s anyone left who people like. There are quite a lot of poison thoughts out there, and quite a divide among people.

For example, there’s only a handful of U.S. Senators—and maybe a small child’s hand—who are respected by voters on both sides of the divide. Maine senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are about the only ones, and they’re considered independent moderates. So why are we electing so many people on the edges instead of the middle?

Tom Jensen of PPP recently told radio host Brooke Gladstone that his firm likes to have a little fun along with its serious business, so they threw in the name Aaron Rodgers when they polled Wisconsin residents. 

Had I been called, I would have asked “Who is Aaron Rodgers?” That tells you two things: I’m not from Wisconsin and I don’t follow NFL football. Rodgers is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

He came through with an 89 percent favorability rating which, according to Jensen, was the highest rating for anyone anywhere in PPP’s history.

That got PPP wondering if there’s anyone who could top Rodgers. They asked for suggestions from the public and and conducted a nation-wide poll that placed the quarterback up against some pretty big contenders, including Santa Claus, Martin Luther King and George Washington.

Well, surely Santa Claus came out ahead. Wrong. Santa came in under 70 percent. Apparently there’s been some disappointment on Christmas mornings past.

“Clearly, he has a lot of folks to work on in order to get his popularity back on the level where he might want it,” Jensen said.

Santa got his worst ratings from both very liberal and very conservative voters. It’s the 18 to 29-year-old group that has the most trouble with Santa, and he loses a lot among Democratic voters.

George Washington come close to Rodgers with an 86 percent favorability rating, but George really falls short among African-Americans. Could it have something to do with the 300 slaves he owned at the time of his death?

Martin Luther King, Jr., had a decent showing at 74 percent, but Republicans and whites in general aren’t as fond of the civil rights leader.

Mohandas Gandhi came through at only 64 percent (really slipping with the conservative vote), and that’s two points better than Steve Jobs (holding steady among the political divide, but not so strong with blacks). 

Both fell short of Mother Teresa (83 percent) who lacks support among male voters.

Did anyone unthrone Aaron Rodgers? There are only two who stood tall among all demographic groups—Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ—but even those two had their detractors.

Jesus came through at 90 percent. The very liberal voters represent his weak area, but even the very conservatives stop at 96 percent. Jesus needs to do some work among the independents, especially the younger ones.

Abe Lincoln polled a 91 percent rating. Oddly, his weakest segment is the African-American vote.

The lesson: Take your team to the Super Bowl and you become beloved at a level unmatched by even the standard American icons.

Actually, there is someone else who comes through ahead of everybody on the list. It’s not exactly a single person. People were also asked for their opinion of themselves and together we came through with a 93 percent rating.

Our opinion of ourselves was weakest among somewhat conservative young men, and the independents are the most unsure about whether or not they like themselves.

This high opinion of ourselves means one of two things, according to the president of PPP. Either we’re a psychologically healthy nation or an arrogant one.

I’m felling pretty good about myself and I’m arrogantly pleased with our high rating. Take that, Aaron Rodgers. I didn’t even know your name.

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