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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Chris Vickers visits Fayette kids 2009.05.13

Written by David Green.


Chris Vickers of Channel 11 has found success as a television meteorologist, but he could probably succeed in an elementary school classroom just as well.vickers.pointing.jpg

He has an engaging style that draws the interest of children, and he has the patience to clearly explain a phenomena and then field a question from a little one asking for an explanation of everything he just covered.

No problem. He can review it one more time.

Chris visited Fayette’s after-school library program Thursday and faced a crowd of 50 youngsters to talk about—what else but weather.

“I brought a tornado with me,” he said, holding up a pair of soft drink bottles taped together mouth to mouth and partially filled with water.

“Turn it upside down!” an audience member suggested.

Nothing happened.

“”Shake it!” said another.

No action.

“Spin it!”

Then the tornado appeared inside the bottle.

Chris told the youngsters that wind inside a tornado can reach 300 mph.

He asked for guesses about how many thunderstorms occur every year. He heard a low guess of two and a high of 10 hundred, but said there are actually about 1,200 thunderstorms in the U.S. each year.

After a few false guesses, someone suggested that lightning is formed by static electricity when rain drops and ice rub together. When the charge becomes too big, a lightning streak shoots across the sky.

Chris asked about the temperature of lightning and was told that it’s five times hotter than the sun.

“That’s exactly right,” he said, impressed with the students’ knowledge—up to 50,000 degrees.

“Has anyone heard that lightning can’t strike in the same place twice?” he asked.

About two-thirds of the audience agreed with that statement, but Chris pointed out that the Empire State Building is struck about 100 times a year.

Chris reviewed the tools that weathermen use and asked the children how a meteorologist can predict the weather.

“You look to Indiana and see what’s going on there,” someone suggested.

“We do,” Chris said, “but who can look out the window and see Indiana?”

Satellites are also used in predicting,  he said, along with radar.

“Are you ever wrong about what the weather is going to be?” he was asked.

“What do you think?” Chris answered. “It’s predicting the future. It’s tough because it hasn’t happened yet. A lot of the time predictions are wrong. We have to learn from our mistakes and figure out what we did wrong.”

Chris said he became interested in the weather when he was a child.

“Since I was your age and probably younger, I always loved the weather.”

He studied meteorology at Ohio University and told the students that it required a lot of math and science courses.

“I enjoy predicting the weather. I love it. I think it would be the coolest thing to see a tornado.”

That prompted a question from a younger member of the group: “What’s a tornado?”

He already heard the question “What’s weather?” and “What’s wind?” and “What makes a thunderstorm?”

“Can you tell us what’s going on right now?” he was asked.

“The storms have gone through and we’ll probably see some sun this afternoon,” Chris said.

A perfect prediction.

Walking out the door of the library, the sun was breaking through the clouds.

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