The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Kenny Maxfield: It's all about speed 09.17.2007

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Kenny Maxfield has no trouble describing what he likes about racing motorcycles: It’s the speed.

“It’s fun,” he says. “You get to go fast.”

The 13-year-old Morenci youth proved himself a state champion two weeks ago in Midland, finishing first in his class (7 to 13 years) in the 85cc short course—the quarter mile track.

He went on to place second in the 250cc event—an open class race where he faced drivers from any age group.

He was the youngest driver in the American Motorcycle Association sanctioned race and it was only the third time he’d been on the bike.

His father, Ken Sr., was impressed.

“I never knew he could ride it that hard,” he said.

The lack of practice time makes his feat even more impressive. There are no tracks available in this part of the state and the nearest opportunity for practice is more than three hours away.

“He raced all over the state over the summer,” Ken said. “We did a lot of travelingkenny.maxfield.9.17.jpg.”

Kenny’s sport isn’t motorcross, the high-flying stunt event often seen on television. He remains grounded to the old-fashioned dirt or clay track.

“The idea is to keep on the track and go as fast as you can,” Ken said.

Sometimes that means literally on the track, with the bike on its side. Kenny has had a few crashes over the years—he’s been racing since he was nine years old—and the seat of his pants has worn a little thin from the occasional mishap.

Track surfaces are either dirt, clay or cush—a loose gravel.

“I like cush,” Kenny said. “You can slide better on cush.”

He’s talking about a power slide around a corner, in which the handlebars are turned to the right to get the slide to the left.

Some oval tracks are banked for extra speed. Others depart from the simple oval into a series of right- and left-hand turns. That’s known as the Tourist Trophy or TT track, named after a famous race in England, and it makes for an interesting race.

On the 85cc, speeds up to 75 mph are reached on a good half-mile track. Kenny parted with that bike recently, because he’s now 14 years old and can no longer compete on that size.

He’ll focus on the 250cc, which, of course, is faster. He’s hit 85 mph on that bike, but he hasn’t yet run it on a mile track where speeds of 120 are experienced on a good surface.

He raced on Caro’s half-mile track last weekend and finished with a pair of fourth-place finishes.

The season is over in Michigan, but he might hit some events in Ohio and Indiana before cold weather sets in. That’s when he’ll turn his attention to ice racing with studded tires.

He competed at the nationals in Wisconsin last winter and he hopes the event moves to one of the 10 ice tracks he’s aware of in Michigan.

There’s also indoor racing, but before that happens, he needs to get his 125cc bike repaired. He’s a couple of years too young to climb aboard the 250 on an indoor track.

After that, it’s back to the dirt next summer where he will concentrate on succeeding with the 250.

Is there strategy involved in dirt course racing?

No really, Kenny says.

“You just go.”

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