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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  • Front.ropes
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Functional Fashion: Dominique Cox and duct tape

Written by David Green.

You need to "really understand" duct tapeImage


When Morenci junior Dominique Cox’s cheap, faux-leather watchband snapped two years ago, she figured it would cost more than the watch was worth to replace it. Instead of chucking the watch and resorting to estimating the time from the position of the sun, she pulled out a roll of duct tape and stuck the band back together.

Before long, she found that the duct tape portion of the watchband irritated her skin much less than the faux-leather, so she scrapped the original band and fabricated a new one entirely out of the shiny gray tape.

Then she decided that duct tape would make a good raincoat. Using a slicker that used to belong to her grandfather as a template, she constructed one. It took her about six hours.

“It was an ambitious adventure in taping, to be sure,” says Dominique. But the project didn’t wear her out. Soon after, she completed a hat to match, which she describes as “a cross between a top hat and that hat that Gilligan wore on ‘Gilligan’s Island.’” When she wore the get-up to school one rainy day, she found it kept her dry and warm.

Thus began her affair with duct tape, a tape whose usefulness has won it a place in the hearts of utilitarians across the planet.

Aside from sticking together cracked glasses rims and mending holes in old sneakers, a faction of teenagers have, in recent years, devised a new function for duct tape—fashion.

These days, it’s not uncommon to see at least one or two kids in a given high school sporting shoes completely covered with the stuff, or to see a few book bags with messages spelled out in slender gray strips.

Dominique doesn’t expect the trend to hit the mainstream any time soon. She admits that, a lot of the time, the kids who integrate a lot of duct tape in their wardrobe are the same kids who dress to stand out, or to make a statement. She maintains that she wears her duct tape merely because she likes it.

For a lot of kids, there’s a novelty aspect to duct tape. For instance, Morenci freshman James Wright was hooked when he noticed “Duck” brand duct tape.

“I saw that there was a ‘Duck’ brand, and I thought ‘cool.’ And then I just started making things out of duct tape.”

Fledgling duct-tapers are helped by the fact that “Duck” brand tape also happens to be one of the best brands, at least according to the aficionados.

“Off-brand tapes have inferior glues and lesser thread counts than ‘Duck,’” says Dominique. “3M also has a nice tape.”

“You see,” says James, “we don’t just like duct tape, we understand it.”

The more the kids started understanding duct tape, the more they started branching out. About a year ago, Dominique started using different colors of duct tape in her creations. Along with the standard silvery sheen, duct tape comes in over twenty colors, including red, white, black, orange, green—even camouflage.

Her first alternately colored project was a camouflage neck tie, and is such an accurate reproduction of a real tie that it betrays the eye even up close.

Dominique also made a multi-colored book bag that doesn’t appear particularly duct tape-ish until she flips it open to reveal its silver insides.

The secret to making duct tape objects that don’t stick to her, says Dominique, is staggering the strips of tape, so that half the tacky side of one strip is stuck to half the tacky side of another. Using the adhesive sides to cancel each other out, duct-tapers can fashion pieces of fabric as big as their projects require.

The trade isn’t without its hazards, though. Long-haired artisans are at constant risk of snagging their locks, and if freeing them isn’t hard enough, washing out the legendarily robust adhesive is.

Dominique decided to abandon one of her more ambitious projects, a stuffed Tigger doll, after she cut her hand with an Xacto knife, which required seven stitches.

Now, she prefers to stick to safety scissors. Besides, she likes the color of them better.

When she unveils her newest creations, the reaction from other students is usually mixed, Dominique says.

“Some think I’m the coolest,” she says. “Some think I’m insane and try not to make eye contact with me.”

It’ll be interesting to see what people think when she unveils the finished version of her latest project—an all duct tape prom dress. She’ll also have her hands full helping James, her date, with an all duct tape tuxedo.

Who knows? If they stick together, maybe they can stick it out.

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