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.

Nathan Arno seeks Eagle Scout rank 2009.09.30

Written by David Green.


One day when Kathy Arno and her son, Nathan, were driving past Morenci’s Oak Grove Cemetery, she noticed the sorry condition of the wrought iron fence along the front of the property.nathan.arno.jpg

Over the years, paint had chipped off and left the once-beautiful fence in need of attention.

“‘Oh my gosh,’ I said to Nathan. There it is—your Eagle Scout project.’”

“Yeah!” Nathan answered. He was enthused.

In order to earn the Eagle Scout badge, a Boy Scout must organize a community service project, and in Nathan’s case—a young man with Down Syndrome—his mother would play a large part in the effort.

“Nathan understands a lot,” Kathy said. “As far as organization goes, it’s my job to lay it out in front of him. I read it off to him and he signs it off.”

The Boy Scout council office in Ann Arbor is giving Nathan some leeway due to his special needs, but he still has plenty of work to do.

“They haven’t let him off the hook much,” Kathy said. “He still needs to earn five Merit Badges.”

Eagle Scout candidates are required to earn a minimum of 21 Merit Badges, including 12 required badges. When Nathan completes work on the five remaining mandatory badges, he’ll have a total of 30.

He was recently inducted into the Order of the Arrow—an honorary Scouting rank—and Kathy said he made it through the challenge without any problems.

He and his father, Bob Arno, slept out under the stars and then got up to complete kitchen duties at the Scout camp.

Nathan has been a Scout since he was seven years old when he joined the Tiger Cubs. It was a natural choice considering Bob’s heavy involvement in the Scouting organization for so many years.

“It’s been a wonderful program for Nathan,” said his mother. “The other boys have really taken him under their wings. He’s learned a lot from them and they’ve learned a lot from him.”

They were willing to provide some time and muscle when it came to the cemetery project and they met Saturday morning to scrape paint in preparation for the painters.

They weren’t the first ones. Kathy, herself, spent hours on the job and volunteers from the Gus Harrison facility in Adrian also scraped a lot of fence.

On work day Saturday, members of the high school Volunteer Club showed up to paint and they were joined by a couple of Nathan’s friends from when he attended school through the LISD.

His teacher from the Sylvan Learning Center in Adrian also came Saturday to volunteer, along with Jon and Nancy Gandee. Materials were provided by the City of Morenci.

A lot was accomplished, but a lot remains yet to finish.

“There’s a long way to go, but I’ve got more people lined up to work,” Kathy said, “and the Volunteer Club members said they would be back.”

Jack Sampson intends to enlist some help from Legion members.

Once the fence is finished, Kathy figures her work is done and Bob can finish up working with Nathan on his Scouting requirements.

When Nathan was just a toddler, Kathy stated in an Observer story, “I’m going to do everything possible to open doors for him.”

She remembered that statement Saturday morning when Nathan was busy spreading paint.

“This is one of those doors,” she said.

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