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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Taylor Griffiths going to Hoop Shoot finals 2011.03.30

Written by David Green.


Taylor Griffiths was just one shot better than the competition March 19 at the Elks Hoop Shoot semifinals in Angola, Ind., but that was good enough.

Her success there made her the winner of an expense-paid trip to Massachusetts to see if she can become the national champion.

She faced the state champions from Indiana and Michigan in the 12 and 13-year-old age group division and each of them hit 21 of 25 attempts. Taylor put 22 through the hoop.

sports.taylorHere’s how the competition works.

A participant is allowed to shoot up to five practice shots, followed by the first 10 competition shots.

“Then after we go through everyone, we have to get back up and shoot the last 15 with no practice shots,” Taylor explained. “I had to shoot first this time.”

She missed one of her first 10, which she found a little unsettling, and followed  up with 13 good shots from the remaining 15 attempts.

At the Angola event, each of the six winners (three age groups, with a male and female winner in each) sank 22 of 25 attempts.

Taylor will face eight other regional winners at the national championship April 30 in Springfield, Mass. One of those eight scored a perfect 25 of 25. Other scores ranged from 16 to 23.

Ties are broken with a series of five additional shots, as many series as needed to produce a winner.

Taylor’s competitors’ home towns range from the big city of Miami, Fla., to the small town of Ozawkie, Kan., a community less than half the size of Fayette.

Taylor will travel with her parents—all expenses paid—for a get-acquainted reception and a visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield on April 29. The Hoop Shoot gets underway at 9:45 a.m. the next day at Western New England College.

An awards banquet is scheduled in the evening.

Taylor and her family do plenty of traveling in the area for her AAU basketball team, but this trip will be her first experience flying.

“I can’t wait,” she said. “It is going to be so exciting.”

Whether or not she emerges as the national champion, skill at the free throw line is taking this seventh grader far.

Finalists in the girls 12-13 age group

Great Lakes Region: Taylor Griffiths, Fayette, Ohio 22/25

Northwest Region: Mikayla Pivec, Lynwood, Wash. 20/25

Northwest Central Region: Leslie Hibl, Wahpeton, N.D. 16/25

West Region: Danielle Craft, El Dorado Hills, Calif. 20/25

Central Region: Karen Baker, Mexico, Mo. 21/25

West Central Region: Samantha Stallbaumer, Ozawkie, Kan. 21/25

North Central Region: Jenna Taylor, Creston, Iowa 23/25

Southeast Central Region: Kendal Cloninger, Dallas, N.C. 25/25

Southeast Region: Amanda Portal, Miami, Fla. 23/25

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