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.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.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.

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