The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Austin Hylander wins free tuition 2010.02.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

austin_hylander.2009.jpgIt probably seemed like a good risk to officials at Ohio State University. After all, what are the odds that someone is going to come out of the audience at the Value City Arena and throw a basketball through the hoop from mid-court?

Don’t talk to Fayette’s Austin Hylander about odds. Just look for the smile on his face and the dollar signs in his eyes.

Hylander made the shot, and as a reward, his tuition at OSU is free next year.

The freshman walked into the arena lobby  Thursday with some friends to watch OSU’s womens team play Minnesota, coached by Fayette native Pam Borton.

When asked if they wanted to participate in the half-time shooting contest, his friends turned down the offer for fear of embarrassing themselves in front of the crowd.

Hylander volunteered. He was one of Fayette’s top players last season and he figured he had a shot.

Here’s how the game works. The shooter has 30 seconds to show what he or she can do from four positions on the floor.

First comes a lay-up. Make that and receive a $50 gift card to Big Lots, sponsor of the Big Shot contest. Then comes a free throw which increases the winning to $100. Next up is a three-pointer for a $500 prize. If all three of those shots go through and there’s still time remaining, you can try for the half-court bomb.

“I missed my first lay-up and thought to myself that I was just going to embarrass myself,” Hylander said, “and then I air-balled a three pointer!”

That was after his free throw went through and after missing his first three-point attempt.

He moved to half-court and missed his first two tries. That third attempt was something else.

“You could tell just by the arc of the ball that it was going in,” Curt Phillips of Fayette told Hylander’s mother later. Phillips was among the 3,300 people in the stands.

Hylander said he was told there were about three seconds showing on the clock, but he wasn’t paying attention. He was busy running a lap around the arena collecting high-fives. The announcer on the television broadcast said something like, “I’ll bet someone even more excited are his parents.”

Hylander hasn’t yet received details on the tuition payment, but he said a typical course-load costs nearly $9,000. That’s just a bonus—a very big bonus—to the thrill of participating in the event.

“I didn’t even expect to make the shot,” he said. “I just wanted to say I got to shoot at half-time of an Ohio State basketball game.”

He became the first person in the four-year history of the event to win.

Hylander can’t remember ever making one of those last-second desperation shots from half court when he played in high school, but does recall a similar event from elementary school.

“I made a buzzer beater once in fifth grade to win against Pettisville in double overtime. That I still remember, but nothing like this one!”

Now he has something to take the place of his fifth-grade feat.

“This was absolutely incredible,” he said.

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