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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Bill Keenist tells students to get involved 2011.05.18

Written by David Green.

bill_keenistBy DAVID GREEN

Everyone faces adversity in their life—some more than others, some worse than others, but everyone will have some tough times.

How you respond to the troubles will color your life and determine your future.

That was the message presented Friday by Bill Keenist, senior vice president of communications for the Detroit Lions.

Keenist spoke to Morenci’s seventh through twelfth graders at the invitation of Taz Wallace, the school’s athletic director. The two met when Keenist’s son played football at Adrian College.

For Keenist, a big challenge came in his junior year of high school when a knee injury put an end to playing football, his favorite sport.

He wallowed in his misery until a friend snapped him out of it by suggesting that he work for the school newspaper.

“If you can’t play sports, write about it,” his friend suggested.

He did and possibilities blossomed, eventually leading to the career he has today with the Lions.

“When adversity hits, accept it as an opportunity for growth,” Keenist said. “Do we quit and back off or do we move forward?”

It’s a guarantee that challenging, adverse situations will arrive; it’s a person’s reaction that can bring growth and gain.

Making mistakes is easy, Keenist said, and there’s only one way to prevent that: Sit in the bleachers and do nothing.

“It’s easy not to compete,” he said, framing life’s challenges in terms of athletics, “but that’s not life. You need to enter the game and compete.”

Keenist, a 25-year veteran with the Lions organization, spoke about the extra effort made by running great Barry Sanders. Long after everyone had left to go home, Sanders was still in the training room.

“He was making himself better when no one was looking,” Keenist said. “He did the right thing when no one was looking.”

It’s easy to do the right thing when others are around, but when the lights are out and it’s only you—that shows integrity.

Doing the right thing, he added, is often not the popular thing, and its rewards may be months or years down the road. The commitment to do right shouldn’t be made to a teacher or a coach, he said, but to yourself.

“Every day you have the opportunity to be part of something,” Keenist said, and he urged students to get involved in school activities. He was pleased to see there was a band member among the players on the small football team.

Keenist, a board of education member with the Oxford school district, spoke of the cliques that have long been present in schools, and of how he sees through them.

“There’s no such thing as the cool clique,” he said. “It’s all one clique. Through all of your differences, you’re very much alike.”

The world is a very diverse place, he said, but underneath we’re all very similar with shared likes, dislikes and concerns.

“This is a special, special time in your lives,” Keenist told his young audience. “Take advantage of it. Get involved. Don’t be afraid to fail. We’ll all face adversity, but we keep getting back up on our feet.”

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