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.

2002.10.02 Cat bored? Have money to waste? Buy it a video

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Anyone out there have a cat? Let’s see your hands. OK, has anyone fallen for the nationally advertised “Cat Adventure Video?” I don’t blame you for not admitting to it, but over 100,000 copies “are now keeping an ever-growing feline audience entertained while their owners head to work, to play, or simply try to get things done around the house.”

Steve Cantlin, a video producer, noticed that cats responded to images on a monitor while he was producing a video. He began shooting images he thought might appeal to cats. He showed each new segment to the feline Roger Eberts and kept the most promising clips. Four months later, the video was done.

Guilty cat owners have been snapping up the tape ever since. The testimonials in the ad are hilarious. Bunny Hooley’s cat, Nina, “a black six-year-old with white boots and a little black beard, used to get listless every time the weather got chilly...she’d even come and wake me at 4 a.m. to eat.”

I guess it never occurred to Bunny that the cat might be hungry. But now “the video perks Nina right back up,” says Bunny. “She’s enraptured and is her old self again.” Except for never being fed, of course.

Isn’t it bad enough to use television as a babysitter for children, we now have to buy specialized videos to entertain our pets? The ad even has a cartoon of a cat watching the video, remote in one hand and martini in the other. The cat looks happy all right, or maybe he’s plastered.

Thomas M. Byrne, identified as a school psychologist from Rockville Centre, New York says, “Now in addition to my family, I have to wrestle the cats for the remote!”

You’d think a school psychologist would recognize the potential danger that too much television can have on or nation’s pets. I’m really concerned about “Cuppy,” Gloria Soltis’s 3-year-old black cat who didn’t want to leave the TV room.

“When she finally got too hungry, she raced into the kitchen, gobbled down some food, then ran right back to her seat in the TV room,” Gloria reports, adding, “She’s a couch potato now.”

Yes, this video is producing a nation of lethargic pets who only leave the television long enough to eat (or mix another martini). And even worse, all this TV viewing is starting to alter their perceptions of reality.

The ad claims that “Some kittens even jump on top of the TV and try to dip their paws into the televised aquarium to get at the tropical fish.” If you really want to confuse your cat, put your aquarium on top of the TV, then turn on the video.

As dumb as I think this video is, the company selling it has one even dumber, the “Ultimate Fireplace Video.” Yep, a video of wood burning. The ad makes it sound better than that, obviously.

“The next best thing to having your own fireplace,” the copy reads. “In fact some savvy homeowners may even prefer it. No chopping wood. No fancy equipment to buy. No cinders and soot to clean. And no smoky living rooms.” Sounds pretty good so far, doesn’t it?

But then, the marketing department gets a bit carried away. “So realistic you’ll almost be able to smell it. Perfect for relaxation. Adds warmth to family gatherings. Creates a romantic atmosphere for special evenings.” Get real, people. It’s a video of wood burning. Next, I suppose you’ll say it’s so realistic that some humans have tried to roast marshmallows in front of it.

I’m sure there’ll be some buyers for this, of course. Some people will fall for anything. But they may never get to watch the video. At least, not until they buy the cat its own VCR.

    – Oct. 2, 2002 

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