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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Tiffany Bates: Phone call from Taylor Swift brightens hospital stay 2009.11.09

Written by David Green.


There are few country pop singers hotter than Taylor Swift these days, and she’s certainly number one in Tiffany Bates’s mind.

Especially after that phone call last

The Fayette freshman is laid up in the hospital after receiving severe burns on her face, arm and shoulder in an accident with the family’s corn burner furnace.

She’s had some tough times in the hospital and her sister, Trisha, thought hard about a way to brighten her life.

Trisha’s boyfriend, Brodie Youtzy, came up with an idea—an autograph from Tiffany’s favorite artist, Taylor Swift. He found an address, but he and Trisha soon discovered that a reply could take up to three months. No good.

Trisha mentioned the predicament to Parker Stockburger and he went to work looking for a telephone number. He found what he was looking for: the number of her agent in Tennessee.

“I instantly called the number,” Trisha said. “From there, I got transferred six or seven times to different people. I ended up getting transferred all the way to California.”

The last person she spoke with listened to the entire story and was obviously touched by the situation. She produced the key ingredient: the phone number of Taylor’s publicist.

“I began calling around 1:30 that afternoon,” Trisha said. “I called six times throughout the day and left voice mails. Brodie and Mara Raker also called numerous times.”

The Bates girls’ father, Dale, refers to the group as Stalkers, Inc.

Several hours went by without a response and Trisha started to think she hit a dead end.

Then the call came.

Publicist Paula Erickson called while Trisha was in her sister’s hospital room. She quickly exited so Tiffany wouldn’t catch on to what was being discussed. If Taylor finally called, it was going to be a surprise.

Paula listened to the story, told Trisha to send the information by e-mail, and said she would call back the next day.

In the end, even Trisha was surprised because Paula called back later that same day.

“Trisha, this is Paula again. Would you happen to be with Tiffany?”

“Yeah, I’m at the hospital,” Trisha answered.tiff.sisters.jpg

“Could you give her the phone because someone wants to talk with her,” Paula said.

Trisha hurried back into Tiffany’s room, hit speaker phone and told Tiff she had a call. She was very tired and wasn’t too keen on talking.

“Her eyes opened wide and her mouth hit the floor when a young woman’s voice said, ‘Tiffany, this is Taylor Swift’,” Trisha remembers. “I was in shock and she was in shock.”

Trisha gave a nod of the head to let her sister know this was the real thing.

Taylor told Tiffany how strong she must be and offered a lot of encouragement. She talked about an incident from earlier in the day when she was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Ellen jumped out “and scared the crap out of me.”

Tiffany’s only response was to say, “It sounds like you had a better day than me.”

Before hanging up, Taylor told her to hang in there and said Tiffany would remain in her thoughts and prayers.

The call ended and the two sisters sat in amazement.

“It was incredible,” Trisha said. “We still can’t believe that it happened.”

At first, Tiffany thought someone was playing a joke on her, but it didn’t take long for her to become a believer. She now refers to Trisha as the best sister ever.

Trisha is just as happy that Taylor came through.

“It was an amazing sight to see Tiffany’s face light up like that. It was a moment in time that my sister and I will never forget.”

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015