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

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    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
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    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
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    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
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    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
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    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.

Nick Hunt joins Wheelin' Sportsment event 2010.04.28

Written by David Green.

nick_hunt-er.jpgBy DAVID GREEN

Up at 3:30 a.m. to make a 4:30 breakfast in a warehouse at Toledo Express Airport, then into the field at 5:30 before the hunt began at daylight.

Not the best hours to keep for a teen-ager, but it was worth it to Nick Hunt. He came home with a 17-pound wild turkey in a special hunt sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).

Nick was at the Bass Pro Shop in Rossford one day with his step-father, Chuck Ekins, when he saw a couple of men selling hot dogs and brats for a NWTF fund-raiser.

“One of the guys noticed I have one arm and wondered if I wanted to go on a hunt near Toledo airport,” Nick said.

The NWTF sponsors special events across the country through the organization’s Wheelin’ Sportsmen program.

“It helps disabled people to become hunters,” Nick said.

As the NWTF puts it, the program brings back the joy of the wild to those with disabilities.

It wasn’t a matter of bringing back the joy to Nick—he hunts every year—but this was his first experience with wild turkeys.

The event—scheduled last Saturday and Sunday—is known as the Maumee Valley/Northwest Ohio Ultimate TeamUp and it’s successful enough that it was voted the number one Wheelin’ Sportsman hunt in the nation last year.

The event is coordinated with the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority—owner of the airport—on property surrounding the facility.

“The whole point is help prevent wildlife from getting in front of planes,” Nick said, and this hunt is one of many on the property.

“We have a group that hunts there already,” said the event coordinator Brad Christenson of Swanton. “Since we have all that land and since there are turkeys there, we said why not do something beneficial?”

That was four years ago and the hunt keeps getting better every year.

“We had eight hunters the first year and they got two birds,” Brad said. “We had 15 this year and they got seven birds.”

The fund-raising banquet is also growing. That’s one more segment of the busy weekend that NWTF members and their guests take part in.

On the first weekend of turkey season, local NWTF members meet at the Valleywood Golf Club in Swanton for a fund-raising banquet. This year brought the biggest attendance yet with 175 people.

There’s not much sleep for members. After cleaning up from the banquet, they’re back at it at 3:30 the next morning to prepare breakfast.

“It’s tough finding hunters to participate,” Brad said about the Friday-Saturday-Sunday commitment.

Nick was willing to make the commitment and he got his turkey from a blind about 8 a.m. Saturday.

He wasn’t going to make the return trip Sunday, Brad said—he got his bird and wanted to leave more for the others—but he was convinced that it was a two-day hunt.

“We saw four turkeys today,” Nick said Sunday afternoon, but they were all hens.

He also got some lessons on using a turkey caller (slate sound box and striker), and he also learned how and where to set up for turkeys.

Each guest hunter has a guide from the NWTF and there’s also an assistant or two to help get the hunter into the field.

“The other hunters had mobility problems but I could go where the others couldn’t,” Nick said.

That meant slogging through the mud where a wheelchair would get bogged down.

There were two female hunters this year, Brad said, and both are pregnant. The youngest hunter was 10 years old and this oldest participant was 74. Four of the seven birds were shot by first-time hunters.

“The experience is fantastic,” Brad said, and Nick agrees.

He’s already looking forward to another try next year. For now, the family will savor his success. Once dressed, the bird weighed in at 12 pounds and it will soon go into the smoker.

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