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

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • 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.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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