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

  • 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.

Shelby Franks attends Junior Cadet Week program 2008.07.10

Written by David Green.


The 5:30 a.m. wake-ups were more than a little difficult for a high school senior, but Shelby Franks met the challenge.

On June 28, he was one of 20 former Boys’ State delegates to graduate from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Junior Cadet Week program.

For someone like Shelby—who looks forward to a career in criminal justice—this was a dream come true.shelby.franks.cadet.jpg

He applied for the program while attending Boys’ State earlier in June and was interviewed by a Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) officers.

He figures his strong interest in law enforcement gave him an advantage over other candidates since he was only one of 20 chosen. The program was also attended by 20 Girls’ State representatives plus a handful of seniors who are children of OSHP officers.

The program is scheduled annually at the patrol academy in Columbus and is designed to resemble the real thing.

Every day started the same: Up at 5:30, a challenging physical activity at 6, a one-minute shower, then breakfast.

After that, activities varied from day to day. There was a fair amount of classroom work and a whole lot of hands-on action.

For Shelby, the best activity involved a driving simulation with two cadets and a pair of troopers—and, of course, the bad guys.

“We had to get out of the car and take control of the situation before they did,” he said.

Control was taken via paintball pistols, but the bad guys didn’t let it get easy. They changed their tactics every time to simulate the unknown situation an officer could face in real-life action.

“That was pretty challenging because the troopers are really quick,” he said.

Building searches on the academy’s campus also proved a favorite of Shelby’s.

Other activities included self defense, K-9 units and weapons. The OSHP’s version of a SWAT team—the Special Response Team—gave a demonstration of its gear.

“They keep it pretty much like the actual academy,” Shelby said.

That includes getting yelled at for doing something wrong, keeping your room clean, making those 45° folds look sharp at the corner of the mattress and learning to march. And that dreaded 5:30 a.m. awakening.

“It was definitely intense,” he said, but definitely worthwhile.

After he finishes high school next year, he intends to enroll in the criminal justice program at either OSU, the University of Toledo or Tiffin University. He’ll earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and then he’ll be off to the academy for the real thing, although not necessarily with the highway patrol.

He knows some college programs offer internships at agencies such as the F.B.I., and that sounds good to him.

His week at the academy let him know he’s on the right track.

“It gave me really good insight into the field,” Shelby said. “I definitely want to go into criminal justice.”

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