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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    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.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    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.
  • Front.code.2
    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.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    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.
  • Front.gym.new
    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.
  • 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.

Volunteer effort fills ranks of search team members 2010.12.01

Written by David Green.

skel.volunteers.jpgBill Foster said he was among several people who got together when the Amber Alert notice warned the public about the disappearance of the three Skelton children.

“Friday night we started posting the Amber Alert and Saturday everybody wanted to gather at the Tourist Camp and start looking,” Foster said.

That was the small beginning of an outpouring of help that followed the next three days.

Foster estimates there were about 250 civilian volunteers Sunday—in addition to members of 12 area fire departments—and an ever larger number on Monday. He’s heard that number might swell again Tuesday.

“They just kept showing up,” Foster said.

Not everyone signed in at the fire hall, so the exact number of searchers is impossible to know.

“It’s been remarkable,” he said. “Just tremendous. We’ve had people from as far away as Indiana.”

Foster said he was put in charge of the civilian volunteers Sunday because the group needed some organization.

“The FBI is calling the shots and we have to do what they tell us,” Foster said. That’s not easy for some searchers.

The federal agents have some strict rules about evidence and they’re the ones choosing which area to investigate.

Morenci Fire Chief Chad Schisler concurs.

“Sometimes it’s hard for the community to understand because they just really want to help,” he said.

“People have to be patient,” Foster said. I’m here to help find the boys and I can put up with anything.”

After Sunday’s search in the Lime Creek Road/White Pine Highway area and Harrison Lake State Park, efforts Monday turned to Williams County, Ohio, looking in ditch banks and searching a campground. The departure orders weren’t given until mid-morning and by then volunteers were more than ready to move out.

Schisler said he was asked to direct two-thirds of a collection of volunteers to the new staging area in Pioneer, Ohio, but when he told them that, they responded that they were all going.

Fire officer Bronson DiCenso was left in charge at the Morenci station. Small crews were dispatched to the roadside park on U.S. 20 south of Lyons, to the Green Valley Campground west of Morenci, and to the gravel pit north of Morenci along Mulberry Road.

“They’re all wanting to get out and look,” DiCenso said. “Everybody’s doing a good job of coming together.”

That statement applies not only to those scouring the countryside; it also includes those providing food for the volunteers. In addition, Foster said, those unable to walk helped serve food, register volunteers, and perform other tasks.

Donations from local businesses helped feed the crew, plus food from individuals. Chips, soups, cookies, pies, bottled water.

“It’s just been outstanding,” Foster said. “Some people dropped off sandwiches on their way to work.”

The outpouring of food was really overwhelming, Schisler said.

“The Salvation Army canteen said it was the most food they ever served,” he said.

Schisler said Monday night he expects to hear the FBI’s next directive the next morning and the process will begin again.

“We’re going to be ready to go out,” he said.

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