2010.12.08 Markelle Sanders: Challenging year for community

Written by David Green.

As we look back on 2010 we should be able to remember the good times we have had instead of focusing on the bad times we have been challenged with. 2010 has been a trying year for Morenci. It almost feels like a dark cloud is hovering over our community and doesn’t want anything good to happen to us.

The community has lost some great members this year. Many of these residents would do anything for anyone at a drop of a hat. They are all truly missed. After our town had its time to grieve these losses we were struck again. The accidental death of a young Morenci boy left our town in shock. Children have to go to school each day wondering why this has happened to them. That’s just not fair.

Now we are faced with another heart breaking challenge. The disappearance of the three young Skelton brothers has turned this town inside out. Saying that they don’t intend a positive outcome is just heart wrenching. I choose not to believe this. I choose to believe they are somewhere warm and safe. I can’t begin to imagine how the family must feel. I know when I return home every night from a full day of searching, I can’t wait until morning comes so I can do it again. I know we all hate sitting home and feeling like we are doing nothing. So many are eager to get moving in the mornings it is truly amazing.

It just makes me sick when people focus on Tanya’s past. I’m so very sorry for how the media is choosing to deal with this difficult news. She doesn’t deserve any of this right now. That is not the reason we are all here. We are here to help in any way we can.

Our small town has show in the past week that we will not give up. We will continue to search day in and day out for these precious little brothers. Morenci is a great little community and we surely know when to pull together and work as a team. Until Andrew, Alexander and Tanner are brought back to their family and our wonderful community, we all need to continue praying daily, keep our porch lights on, keep our focus where it needs to be, and tell our loved ones how much we love them.

Thank you to all the police officers, FBI agents, firefighters, sheriff’s department, dive teams, civilians, and the many people who cooked for us and anyone else I’m forgetting. It doesn’t matter if you are from near or far you are all truly amazing. I love this community and am so proud to live in Morenci. Remember, we don’t quit.

– Markelle Sanders

East Street North, Morenci

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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