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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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