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.

2006.10.18 Battlerats...er...star

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

I’m kind of digging the new “Battlestar Galactica” craze.

That’s right—it’s a confirmed craze. Last night, I asked my friend Amanda what she thought of the series and she said she was officially tired of people talking about it. She’s a student worker in a Western Michigan University computer lab, one of the campus’ social hubs, so when she says she’s tired of people talking about something, that means it’s popular.

Because I don’t have cable or an antenna (and don’t want them), I usually have to rely on my brother Jamie for news on which TV series are good and which aren’t. Jamie is one of the few people I can trust to sniff out good cinema, or at least cinema that I think is good.

But, as of last weekend, Jamie had yet to watch an episode of the series, but acknowledged that his friends wouldn’t shut up about it. So, on Sunday afternoon, I accompanied him to a nearby Best Buy where he purchased the first season DVD.

For some background, the “Battlestar Galactica” I’m talking about isn’t the 1978 TV series starring Lorne Greene and Richard Hatch, which some readers may remember.

In 2003, the Sci-Fi Channel, in conjunction with a British station, provided backing funds for a project aimed at “re-imagining” the original series, which was cancelled after one season despite much protest from viewers and the suicide of a 15-year-old boy who had become obsessed with the show.

One would think a show cancelled after a single season was a stinker, but according to Wikipedia, the series was actually quite profitable, although ratings did decline as the show progressed. Some speculate that ABC bumped “Battlestar” to give “Mork and Mindy” a more popular time slot. If that’s the case, it was a bad move. “Mork and Mindy” ratings plummeted following the move.

Anyway, the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” began as a three-installment mini-series which, after much critical acclaim, was parlayed into a regular serial drama. The premier, titled “33,” has since been regarded as the show that broke commercial television.

How so? While “33” aired in the UK in October 2004, producers postponed the American debut until January because it’s a slow TV month. The delay backfired—sort of.

“Battlestar Galactica” is one of those shows that dorks obsess over. Another thing dorks obsess over is computers. If you take one part British dork, one part American dork, one part “Battlestar Galactica” and one part computer, throw them in a bowl and mix them all up, what do you get? Multimedia piracy on a huge scale.

Tens of thousands of Americans had seen the first three months of the series by the time “33” aired stateside, but contrary to what you’d think, it did nothing but good for the show’s ratings. As it turns out “33” and the ensuing episodes were so gnarly that the pirate dorks talked them up to everybody they knew, even those who aren’t techno-savvy enough to download the files on their own.

As a result, the American premier of “Battlestar Galactica” was the single highest rated show ever to air on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Which brings us back to the checkout counter at Best Buy, where Jamie had snagged the last copy of the first season DVD, and where the cashier tried to con us into a “free” eight-week subscription to Sports Illustrated or Entertainment Weekly. Jamie said he couldn’t read. I suggested Best Buy offer free subscriptions to—well, it’s better I don’t relay such a brazen proposal.

As for the series itself, I had only time enough to watch the first three episodes, but here’s a snippet of my notes on them:

“Planet. No wait, Universal logo. Edward James Olmos. Guy with a tie on. Some girl. Why do people wear pants in the future? I like the blonde in the red. She’s a bad guy. Death to her. That cocky English bloke is getting on my nerves. I want to punch him in the neck. Jamie says an English guy would beat me up. Edward James Olmos again. He hasn’t killed anyone yet, which is kind of irritating...oh wait, okay, he just killed some dude...”

Later  on, “My first child will be called Battlestar Galactica Pickell and he will be a giant spaceship and run on chocolate milk and I will drink the chocolate milk.”

 – Oct. 18, 2006

 

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