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.
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    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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Morenci's Distinguished Alumni to be honored 2011.04.06

Written by David Green.

Four Morenci alumni will be honored April 16 at the annual Morenci Education Foundation dinner. Two graduates from the 1950s, one from the 1970s and another from the 1980s are in line to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

alum.sampsonJack Sampson

Jack Sampson graduated from Morenci High School in 1953, sampled college life at MSU and Adrian, but after a tour of duty in Korea, he became a journeyman painter. He traveled to Alaska, Montana and Oklahoma before returning to Morenci in 1956.

Jack is known in Morenci as an extraordinary volunteer. From more than 40 years in the kitchen of the American Legion to the North Morenci Schoolhouse restoration project, Jack has assisted in many areas.

His retirement in 1998 gave him more time to volunteer and that’s when he got involved with the school house project with John and Peggy Zachel.

Among his numerous efforts, he has also painted the interior of the Stair Library Annex and the high school athletic building.

Dr. John Geisler

John Geisler, a retired professor from Western Michigan University, graduated from Morenci High School in 1956.

alum.john.geislerHe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Adrian College and followed that with a Master of Education in counseling from the University of Toledo in 1966 and a Doctor of Education, also from University of Toledo, in 1968.

He taught at Madison High School, the University of Toledo, Central Michigan University, and Western Michigan University where he remains as a Professor Emeritus.

Over his career, John has researched and published numerous articles relating to his counseling career as well as given presentations to various professional associations. Most recently he has been sharing his passion for local history with a program titled “The Sauk Trail/US 12 – Then and Now.”

John remains involved in his church, condominium board, the Adrian College Alumni Association, and Habitat for Humanity.  In 2002 he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni from Adrian College. In addition, he has also received recognition from Central and Western Michigan Universities as well as professional associations.

Teresa Foster

Teresa Foster graduated in 1976 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and social work  from Siena Heights College. She later earned a master’s degree in counseling from Siena.

alumni.fosterWhile working on her thesis about alcoholism awareness, she completed an internship as a counselor at a crisis center in Madison Heights, Mich. She wrote and produced a 30-minute program for area broadcast utilizing area experts in a panel discussion format.

She returned to school in 1994 to earn a master’s in human resource development from Western Carolina University.

For the past seven years she has worked in human resources and health care administration for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

She has also been active in Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce and her church. She has served as a literacy tutor.

Wendee Wolf-Shlarf

Wendee Wolf-Shlarf, a music teacher for 23 years in the Traverse City Area Public Schools, has served as varsity and junior high choir director and general music instructor. She has created a Choral Composer-In-Residence Program where students are involved from beginning to end with new compositions.

The 1980 Morenci graduate studied music education at Albion College and then at Michigan State University, specializing in vocal music and conducting.

alum.wendeeHer professional experiences include serving on the faculty of Interlochen Arts Camp, conducting with the Michigan Ambassadors of Music tours of Europe, conducting Michigan School of Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) honor choirs at Midwestern Music Conferences, and serving on various committees for the Michigan Department of Education Fine Arts Curriculum.

Wendee is an active member and past president of the MSVMA and is an active adjudicator and current chair of the Michigan Music Conference Planning Committee. In 2005 she was named MSVMA Teacher of the Year.

Wendee is also active in the music program of  the Central United Methodist Church.

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