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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Glenn Stout to speak Thursday 2012.03.21

Written by David Green.

stout.fenwayBy DAVID GREEN

 Don’t let the phrase “sports writer” catch you off base, because there’s much more to author Glenn Stout than that.

True, he’s nationally know for his books and articles about sporting events, but his work—and his interests—go beyond the baseball diamond and the football field.

When Stout visits Morenci’s Stair Public Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, he expects his talk to interest a wide range of readers.

“I think the talk will be of interest to anyone interested in writing, as not all my work is sports related,” he said. “I suppose anyone who is interested in writing, particularly sports writing, and how a person becomes a writer.”

“My journey was sort of accidental,” he added, as a teaser to his talk.

 Stout said he will discuss some of the stories behind the stories told in the books he’s written, along with some information about how some of his books came to be written.

For example, he will recount the oral history he recorded at the site of the World Trade Center cleanup (Nine Months at Ground Zero”), and he will talk about the process by which an idea becomes a book.

The Ohio native began a free-lance writing career in 1986 and made the decision to go full time as a writer in 1993. That wasn’t the easiest choice to make. 

“Looking back now, I can't believe I did it,” he said. “It was definitely the kind of decision you make as a younger person, because I don't think I admitted to myself the possibility that I would fail.”

His decision also came as somewhat of a relief.

“At the time, I was exhausted from essentially both working full time and writing full time and I figured, ‘Well, I'll give this a try and if it doesn’t work after six months or a year, I’ll get another job.’”

He never had to look for that new job.

He’s written, ghostwritten or edited more than 80 books, representing sales of almost three million copies.

Stout continues to edit the annual “Best American Sports Writing” series—a project he got off the ground in 1991—and is the author of the “Good Sports” series for juvenile readers.

After publishing the Boston Globe bestseller “Fenway 1912,” Stout was awarded the 2012 Seymour Medal by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Stout branched off from baseball stories in a big way a few years ago when he wrote about an American teenager who became the first woman to swim the English Channel.

 “I stumbled across the story of Trudy Ederle while researching another book and was surprised that I had never ever heard of her,” he said.

He filed the story away for a few years before deciding there was a book waiting to be written.

“Without her, it would have been another generation before women would have been allowed to compete in sports,” Stout said. “She’s the Jackie Robinson of women’s sports.  It all starts with her.”

Stout says that he isn’t a very good swimmer, but he did spend some time in and on Lake Champlain where he lives. 

“I did try to get inside her head by spending some time in the water when it was colder than comfortable, and a lot of time out by myself kayaking along in poor weather conditions, just to get and understanding of what it feels like to be out on the water, cold and wet, for six or eight hours, completely dependent on you own physical efforts. I can't imagine swimming the Channel myself, but I know my book has inspired others to do so.”

After his visit to the library Thursday, Stout will spend Friday with Morenci high school and middle school students.

He’ll start the day with Heather Walker’s AP English class, then move to the middle school to speak with fifth and sixth grade students. Seventh and eighth graders will get their chance in the afternoon.

Even during lunch Stout will be on the job. He’s going to have a meal with members of Sally Kruger’s writers group.

“I’ll be talking about my career and tying to motivate them about reading and writing by explaining that writing isn’t done by other people but by people just like themselves, and I’ll try to use examples from my own life and career to underscore that point.”

He would be delighted if students gained a greater appreciation for the written word.

“I think reading is transformative, something that can and does change your life,” he said, “no matter what you want to do in the future.”

Stout aims to write a few more books in his future—more material for readers to devour.

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