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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Waiting for the snows of January 2012.01.04

Written by David Green.



January, our snowiest month, but this year we’re all still waiting.

Some of us aren’t waiting—we’re just glad we’re missing—but there are people who want to get out their snow machines and others who want to go sledding and a few who have skis. 

There’s even that minority that doesn’t  enjoy shoveling and sliding through a slippery winter, but gives in and says, “If it’s going to be cold, we might as well have snow.”

But where’s the snow?

Morenci weather observer George Isobar said 5.3 inches fell during December, but there was measurable snow on the ground for only two days.

Snow finally arrived Sunday in western and northern Michigan, but there’s not much to speak of here in the south.

“It’s entertaining to look through the long-range forecasts,” Isobar said, “particularly now that the season is underway. Who are you going to trust for an accurate forecast?”

Overall, Isobar said, forecasters are calling for a “brutal winter”—Arctic blasts and lots of snow.

And here in southern Michigan/northwest Ohio? We’re still waiting.

A meteorologist from AccuWeather said a couple of months ago that this area might jump quickly into winter in November due to a La Niña effect in the Pacific Ocean.

Not a great guess. November was significantly warmer than average and rain—not snow—was way above average.

That same forecaster said the weather in this area from December through February will bring above-average snowfall and temperatures a little colder than normal.

Let’s check that one out. As Isobar said, there was measurable snow on the ground only two days last month and the temperature was abnormally warm.

The meteorologist also suggested that this winter could certainly reach the top 10 snowiest ever recorded.

“He might be right,” Isobar said, “but it’s getting off to a late start. Last year’s snow didn’t really get going until February, but the season total was right around average.”

The AccuWeather snowfall chart is a little odd, Isobar said. Despite saying it’s going to be the worst ever in Chicago—“People in Chicago are going to want to move after this winter”—the chart shows less snow than last winter.

“I don’t suppose people would be excited about a forecast saying it won’t be as bad as last year,” Isobar said. “People tend to love forecasts of bad weather, so it’s usually made out to be rather dire every time a storm approaches.” delivers an end-of-the-world forecast: “Overall the winter of 2011-2012 will be one for the ages, one winter that will prove to bury cities with snow.…”

Weather Advance: Snowier and colder than average in this area.

The Weather Centre: Very heavy snowfall.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Colder and wetter.

What about the Old Farmers Almanac? Finally, a forecast that doesn’t come close to the word “brutal.”

In parting ways with the bad-news forecasts, the Farmer’s Almanac predicts slightly milder temperatures than normal, along with below-normal precipitation and near-normal snowfall.

But don’t put too much stock in the Almanac forecast, warns Isobar. 

“They said this area would experience some of the coldest periods in late November—when it was in the 40s and 50s—and mid-December—it was actually never below freezing. Mid-December was also supposed to be among the snowiest periods.”

The first four days of January were predicted to bring snow showers and seasonable temperatures.

“It’s still pretty green here,“ Isobar said. “Heavy snow came to the western side of the state and the temperature was the coldest of the season.”

It looks like the obvious thing to do, Isobar says, is to wait and see.

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