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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2013.03.06 It's a dull dose of reality

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I asked Mr. Google for an update on a proposal for a reality show based on a small-town newspaper, but nothing new is coming through. Perhaps it's still in the evaluation stage, which is where it should die.

A few weeks ago NBC Peacock Productions put out a casting call for a small-town newspaper to become the star of the series. I was surprised to learn that more than 70 newspapers responded. And then I was even more surprised to learn later that more than 150 responses were received. NBC executives claim they were "inundated by all types of pitches."

Some papers wanted to show the plight of struggling to exist in the new-normal economy. Others just wanted to show off their talents (building a fire on a deserted beach, perhaps, or eating more insects than the newspaper in the next town). They wanted viewers to know they do much more than attend city council meetings. True; they also sweep the floor occasionally.

The staff from a paper in North Carolina is so excited about the prospects of fame that they submitted links to their two YouTube videos: first, a "Call Me Maybe" parody followed by an updated version with "Gangnam Style" moves. 

There's no telling what "small-town paper" means to the producers at NBC. Probably the Jackson Citizen Patriot is a small-town paper. The entry from North Carolina lists 46 employees. Move that operation to Morenci and you become the third largest employer in town.

For the privilege of being used and embarrassed by NBC, the chosen newspaper receives nothing but abuse and embarrassment. A senior vice president for development at Peacock Productions had this to say about compensation: "The advertising rate for that newspaper would go through the roof." Only in the world of television, perhaps. That’s not the way it works in newspaperland.

NBC might actually produce a show based on a "small" newspaper, but they'll quickly learn that really boring television is on the horizon. One evening at a school board meeting will probably be about enough for the series. Then the camera can return to the newspaper office and watch the reporter write the story.

I, too, could send a link to a YouTube video to introduce myself and the office to NBC. I think I would go with "Too Much Fiber" on Vudley's Channel. They'll be interested in having a wacky personality among my large staff and I guess that would have to be Kim Ekins since she's the only other person in the office for most of the week. I hope she doesn't mind if I embellish the description of her personality a little. If NBC were to take the bait, we would have to work on her actual presentation a little before the camera arrived.

Think of the thrill of watching us talk on the phone or taking a classified ad from a customer. 

The closest we could come to providing the thrill of a reality show with a little sniping between staff members would come on Tuesday afternoon when we're already 20 minutes late and I still have a sports story to write and Kim has gone home and a customer walks in to renew a subscription (people think about that on Tuesdays) and my wife notices that the border of an ad is slightly off the page so a new PDF of the ad needs to be made and updated on the page and then a new PDF of the page must be made and the phone is ringing and we're now 30 minutes late and grateful that the press room at our printer hasn't said, "We're going home. Try again in the morning." But how many times could you watch that same routine before NBC's ad rates begin to fall through the floor?

Actually, the most exciting thing to happen at the Observer in a long time was the arrival of Fayette's Tiger Cubs last weekend. I gave the popular Heavy Metal Tour that involves a paper cutter, printing press, foot punch, etc.

This year each Tiger had the chance to ride the wheel on top of the paper cutter. Point the TV camera on the face of each mother as her son climbed the chair to the cutter to the wheel. I was afraid to look.

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