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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Quotes from 2007

Written by David Green.

“Every engine on every one of these planes will have parts made with General Broach tooling.”
– David Graham, former plant manager of General Broach in Morenci talking about a new aerospace contract with Boeing.

“When people say the ground water is protected by clay, you can say ‘No, it’s not.’ It’s a mixed story.”
– Mary Ann Thomas, a member of the U.S. Geological Service talking to a group concerned about protecting fresh water in the Michindoh aquifer.

“We obviously have a lot of issues with them.”
– Bob McCann, spokesperson from the Michigan DEQ talking about continuing disputes with Vreba-Hoff Dairy.

“My kids kept telling me when I finally came to that I was not Y2K compliant.”
– Deb (Frantz) Gleckler, talking about her recovery from a heart attack that she suffered on Dec. 31, 1999, the eve of the new millennium.

“I got really pumped. I got really aggressive. I was trying to take advantage of every second out there.”
– Zac Johnson, Morenci wrestler talking about the match when he earned a state championship.

“We recovered a significant amount, but not every last cent. It’s a healthy amount. It’s a large settlement.”
– David Nunn, attorney for the Gorham Fayette school district discussing the $3.9 million settlement with DH Holdings over contamination of school property.

“Packard from Dillon down to the lagoon is a fright. They’ve gone beyond the road.”
– Bob Eichler, discussing the condition of Packard Road after Vreba-Hoff Dairy began hauling manure from lagoons at the farm to a new lagoon several miles away.

“We’re looking at a different approach to marketing.”
– Gary Cates, of ProMedica explaining the decision to convert the Charles Fay Village assisted living facility back to an independent  facility. The senior citizen apartment complex started as independent, but was changed to assisted due to a low population.

“I can only remember the bad things.”
– Zack Craig, All-Stater thinking back over his record-setting basketball career in Morenci. Now he’ll remember breaking his foot near the start of his first college season at West Liberty State.

“It wouldn’t take much of that to get us complaining about the heat.”
– George Isobar, area climate observer talking about approaching spring and how there could be some hot days in April.


“My belly’s getting in the way.”
– Edwin Arroyo, Fayette student talking about wearing the Empathy Belly that gives a hint about what it’s like to have a pregnant body.

“I didn’t think I heard the dispatcher right.”
– Chad Schisler, Morenci fire chief discussing a day in April in which the department helped battle the largest fire it ever experienced (downtown blaze in Wauseon) and ended in a mailbox fire—another first.

“The first time I saw ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
– Michael Schlesinger, television weather forecaster telling kids at Fayette’s library about his decision to study meteorology.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever met with a reading group while totally nude.”
“So are we.”
Author Steven Sorrentino followed by Dorothy Okray of Morenci, at the start of Stair Public Library’s first book discussion via speakerphone.

“It looks like a good place to do business and we’d like to grow here.”
– Jim Lyon, co-owner of Alpine Manufacturing, talking to city council at a tax abatement hearing.

“I had an ex-boyfriend who put it in the river.”
– Annette Nichols, Morenci resident talking about her blue Buick that was pulled up from the bottom of the St. Joseph River in South Bend. Annette had reported it stolen 27 years ago.

“It gets in your blood and you can’t get it out.”
– Larry Pieplow, talking about his love for gas engines, a fondness that led to his construction of scale model tractors.

“They have no trouble collecting taxes on it, but they don’t want it there.”
– Jeff Davis, discussing a dispute with the Medina Township board about a house trailer that doesn’t meet zoning regulations.

“My wife tells me, ‘You’re going to have to take a break. It’s consuming you.’”
– Calvin Teal, rural Lyons resident talking about his efforts to write a book about former businesses along U.S. 20, and becoming overwhelmed with leads.

“The agreement says no buildings, ever. That’s what the school board and DH agreed on.”
– Edward Onyia, Ohio EPA representative telling Fayette village council about the future of the school property after demolition is complete.

“We’ve defined the edge of the plume.”
– Edward Onyia, a statement that appears annually in this collection of quotes, in reference to the always-moving plume of contamination on Fayette school property.

“How can you have a ‘for rent’ sign in front of a house that’s being sold on land contract?”
– Becky Erskin, Morenci resident speaking at a city council meeting about houses sold on land contract to avoid rental inspection.

“Don’t be scared; we’re not going to hurt you. Put a smile on your face.”
– Jayden Smith, Morenci first grader giving advice to the new class of kindergarten students.

“People think beauty shops are gossipy places, but they’re not really. People just talk about their families.”
– Karen Lavinder, Fayette hair salon owner, talking about her life as a dresser of hair, just before her shop closed up for good.

“They just hone right in and let you have it. There’s no reticence.”
– Dr. Edward Walker, MSU professor talking about the floodwater mosquitoes that have hatched in large numbers following a very wet August.

“If you believe in the village, it’s not a gamble.”
– Gerry Gonzales, Fayette council member discussing the need for a new sewage treatment system in hopes of attracting new industry; existing capacity problems limit new development.

“I’m not comfortable confronting an eight-year-old child and saying, ‘Get off the bike or I’ll ticket.’”
– Larry Weeks, Morenci police chief telling city council there should be some “give and take” when tackling the problem of bicycles on downtown sidewalks.

“Once we know the rules, we break them.”
– Karley Schmidt, Morenci Area High School student describing the “Out of the Box” art showing at Stair Public Library.

“My intensity and passion are often misunderstood, but there’s nothing wrong with passion as long as you’re genuine about it.”
– Blaise Winter, former NFL lineman telling Morenci students to believe in themselves.

“They’re like big babies.”
– Beth Tuckerman, program coordinator at Parr Highway Correctional Facility, talking about the tender, loving care needed to grow a giant pumpkin, such as her 711-pound specimen.


“Those were very, very bad times, but we made it through.”
– Jeannine Price, talking about growing up in her native France during World War II, when her Jewish family was always hiding from Nazi troops.

“We don’t feel it’s a sound academic decision.”
– Suzette Boesger, Fayette teacher stating opposition to closing school during county fair week. The school board agreed—until a month later when the vacation was approved.

“We had to come to an understanding that I lived inside and the animals lived outside.”
– Nancy Salerno, discussing the challenges of moving to the country and contending with birds, bats, snakes and more.

“It’s not a very bright picture, but you’ve got to stay positive. That’s about the only advice I can give you.”
– Tim Harmsen, engineer with Arcadis, talking to Fayette council members about proposed sewer work costing $4.5 million plus the need for a new treatment plant costing another $3.2 million.

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