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.
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    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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Jeff Yeager, cheapskate, to visit Morenci 2008.08.06

Written by David Green.


They used to call him a cheapskate. Now Jeff Yeager is just looking practical.

All right, so Yeager is still known as a cheapskate—the Ultimate Cheapskate, according to Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today show—but his approach to life is looking more and more sensible to a lot of people facing tough economic times.

Yeager will talk about his life as a cheapskate when he visit’s Morenci’s Stair Public Library at 1 p.m. Aug. 14. The Grand Rapids, Ohio, native is back in his home area for several appearances in Toledo Public Library branches and he agreed to make a visit to Morenci to present his humorous approach to living on the cheap.

Yeager wrote his book, “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Roadmap to True Riches,” two years ago and it finally made it off the press early this year, about the time that economic hardships were becoming more and more apparent for many Americans.

There’s a silver lining to tough times, he said. It forces many people to reign in their spending habits.

“Most people would be happier if they spent less money and bought fewer things,” Yeager said in an interview Monday.

During the economic expansion of the 1990s, two things happened, he said: Americans went further into debt than any previous generation, and they didn’t become any happier.

“They became stressed out and they wanted more,” he said.jeff.yeager.jpg

It’s odd, Yeager said, how in the last few years shopping has been billed as a patriotic duty—go out and buy more. If that’s the case, he says the most patriotic thing would be to buy something that’s going to break right away or something that’s going to soon become obsolete. This will lead to more trips to the store.

Yeager brings some humor to his financial philosophy, but he realizes there are people who are losing their jobs, losing their houses and genuinely hurting.

At a talk he gave recently, a woman wasn’t so keen on his light-hearted approach. She was nearly crying when she told how her family was forced to cut back. How had it affected them? They had to cancel their cable television service.

Yeager doesn’t expect everyone to go to the lengths of cheapness he does—he once tried to weave dryer lint back into clothing—but he does see value in living on less.

“It’s the only financial advice that will work for almost everyone,” he writes in his book. “It’s about a quality of life you cannot buy, a sense of satisfaction you cannot fake, and an appreciation for other that gives life value.”

Some people are touting his book as a survival guide, but Yeager prefers to call it a revival guide—how to return to some simpler times, to a more sustainable level of consumption.

Next book

After Yeager’s book was published, he went on a promotion tour by bicycle.

“It was a blast to do it,” he said. “I stayed with cheapskates.”

All the money he saved by couch-surfing was turned over to libraries along the way.

His next book is due out in 2010. This is where he will get to know “the cheapskate next door.”

“I’ll be writing profiles of people who know the secrets of living below their means,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing to live below your means.”

Reporter’s note: I wrote an e-mail to Jeff Yeager on a busy afternoon, listing some questions and inviting him to give me a call if it was convenient.

I could have called him, but I kept on with other things I needed to accomplish. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that cheapskate called me and he had to pay the bill?”

Sure enough, I got a call from the world’s biggest cheapskate.

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