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.

2012.08.22 Pre-paid cell phone may get me a “vacation”

Written by David Green.

BY RICH FOLEY

 

Back in 2005, a friend gave me one of those pre-paid cell phones that seem to be available for purchase virtually everywhere. At the time, I wrote a column titled in part: “Thoughtful gift or present from Hell?” Almost seven years and several phones later, I’m still not sure how to answer the question.

 Lately, however, the evidence in favor of Hell seems to be piling up. Living in Fayette often means you’ll have trouble getting decent cell phone reception. Over the past six months or so, that has become the case in neighboring towns as well. 

First my phone stopped getting service in Archbold, quickly followed by Hudson and Morenci, then Blissfield, and finally Wauseon. It still worked in Adrian and Defiance, but that’s a bit of a drive just to use the phone. It’s a good thing I still had a landline.

Besides that, I could no longer add minutes on the phone itself. Instead I had to go to the company website and jump through a series of hoops to keep my “service” active. 

Last month, I finally purchased a new phone online. This one included a camera which seemed like a neat feature. After missing me twice,  FedEx finally caught me at home on their final try. Then the fun began.

I actually managed to activate the phone without much trouble, but discovered I couldn’t receive or make any calls as a message advising me to call tech support appeared whenever I tried to use it.

The tech person had me try one thing after another, but finally admitted defeat and said he would send me another phone, asking me to return this one after the latest one arrived. But the phone still had some entertainment value in it as I waited for its replacement.

At 3:30 a.m. the next morning, I received a text message asking, “Shante still with y’all?” I couldn’t make or receive calls, but strangers in search of Shante were still able to reach me.

Along with the text messaging, the camera on the latest phone worked fine, so I took several photos of my Buick and of “Splinters,” the giant wooden bear at the Williams County Fairgrounds in Montpelier. I may not have been able to make calls, but my disabled phone had cool wallpaper.

The replacement phone finally arrived, complete with a broken charger. Since it was a different brand than my old phone or the one it was replacing, it was impossible to charge it. I called tech support again and was told it was about a 15 minute wait. After 31 minutes, I hung up, went to the library and emailed them, asking for a new charger.

The next morning, tech support called me. I can’t begin to tell you how tempting it was to put them on hold, then go grocery shopping or something. Instead, I took several minutes convincing the tech lady that I couldn’t turn on the phone and give them the phone number because it had no power.

She finally understood that I wouldn’t be able to turn the phone on until I had a working charger to charge it with and promised to send one to me. Six days later it arrived, inside a FedEx 2-day envelope with an “urgent” sticker on it. The 2-day package had taken five days to arrive from Indiana. Go, FedEx!

Once charged, the new phone seemed to work fine and all that remained was for me to return the previous one in the envelope provided.

The next morning, shortly before 6 a.m., I heard a short ring coming from my living room. Over the next 15 minutes, I heard it four more times. Figuring someone was texting my latest phone (Shante, perhaps?), I went out for a look.

I couldn’t find any messages, then I heard another ring—coming from inside the sealed envelope ready to mail back to the cell phone company. I carefully opened the package and found it was the low battery alarm going off. I changed the phone setting to “silent” and resealed the package.

As soon as I set the envelope down, it started squirming as if it was alive and I heard what I recognized from other phones as the “vibrate” feature. Not wanting to ruin the envelope, I decided to mail it and hope for the best.

I had planned to explain the situation to Postmaster Davis when I took the package in, but arriving after hours, I just put it in the out-of-town mailbox and said goodbye.

My only worry now is that I’ll soon receive a visit from Homeland Security regarding a quivering envelope with my return address on it. I wonder if I can make a cell phone call from Guantanamo Bay? 

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016