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.
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    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.
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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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