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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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