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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Fried bologna: it's the specialty at the Buckboard Bar & Grill

Written by David Green.


Few may have known that last Tuesday was National Bologna Day, but for Fayette residents Debbie and Gary Ragsdale, every day is bologna day.

The owners of the Buckboard Bar and Grill in downtown Fayette, their Red Burger—or fried bologna sandwich—is a hit. People have come from Toledo to sample the restaurant’s signature item, which includes a nearly half-inch thick quarter-pound slice of bologna topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayonnaise.fried.bologna

The Red Burger—named after Red Keller, the bar’s fried bologna-loving former owner—sells just as well as the hamburger, said Gary.

“Most fried bologna sandwiches contain stacks of individual slices. We give you the one thick patty,” said Debbie.

Not a burger or bologna fan? There’s a sandwich on the list for almost everyone—the rueben with homemade sauerkraut, the steak sandwich, the breaded pork sandwich.

Gary, who considers himself a sandwich artist, often receives comments about how his sandwiches look like they come right out of a TV commercial.

“I put plenty of tender love and care into making them,” he said.

The Buckboard has been open for lunch for nearly a year now, and the sandwiches are a takeout favorite for workers downtown. Still, many local residents aren’t aware of its menu. Fayette resident Mike Figgins, who hadn’t been to the restaurant, was surprised to see Gary making sandwiches when he stopped in last week.

Now, with a newly installed fryer, the Buckboard’s menu has grown even more comprehensive, featuring appetizers and other fare.

That’s not all that’s new at the Buckboard, which takes its name from a wagon used during the 19th and early 20th century.

When the Ragsdales bought the bar —formerly called Harry’s—from Red and Artie Keller two years ago, their goal from the outset was to transform it from a generic establishment to an authentic “country and western” bar and grill.

Both Gary and Debbie spent years in the country music industry. A guitar player and singer, Gary has played in a number of bands, including one headed by Merle Haggard’s son, Marty. He was once so involved that he played five to six shows a week in addition to working a day job.

Things have slowed down since the move to Fayette, but the Ragsdales still host jam sessions at the Buckboard beginning at 2 p.m. Sundays.

Anyone who can play an instrument is welcome to attend, said Gary, but it helps to have a taste for country music or southern rock and roll.

The Buckboard Bar and Grill opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

    - Nov. 15, 2006 

It's actually Italian sausage 

What exactly is bologna, anyway? A common joke is that it’s a combination of whatever a butcher sweeps off the floor after carving the choice cuts. In reality, bologna is just as noble a sausage as any other variety.

Technically, bologna is a version of mortadella, an Italian sausage comprised of finely hashed pork sausage combined with lard pieces, typically from the pig’s neck. However, in addition to pork, bologna can be made from chicken, turkey, beef and soybeans.

The sausage takes its name from the Italian city in which it was popularized, but no one knows when people first started making it. Some food experts claim bologna was around as early as A.D. 500, while others think it didn’t appear until after the renaissance.

Traditionally, bologna consists of cured beef, cured pork or a mixture of the two that is seasoned with salt, pepper and sugar. Various regional recipes also add seasonings such as cayenne pepper, coriander seed and garlic, but, as with many foods, there’s no one way to make bologna. Bologna recipes exist that make use of venison and moose.

While mass producers of bologna puree the meat so that machines can pour it into synthetic collagen sleeves, the experts say a good gourmet sausage is best served chopped fine and stuffed in sleeves made from the gastro-intestinal tracts of cattle, sheep or hogs.

If you’re particularly bonkers for bologna, you might want to plan a trip to Newfoundland, where the inhabitants are known to serve up a tasty cut of barbecued bologna, referred to as a Newfie steak.

Finally, don’t be fooled. Spelling bologna “baloney” is a bunch of baloney. Coined by the French, “baloney” refers to the incomprehensible legalese for which graduates of the University of Bologna law school are known.

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