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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Pushing the Limits 2013.01.09

Written by David Green.



Kelley Burrow is a perfect fit for “Pushing the Limits.” She’s just the sort of person the creators of the program had in mind.

When Stair Public Library director Colleen Leddy told her what the program was about—a project to emphasize science through reading novels—Kelley was interested in attending.

“I wasn’t very good in math and science when I was going to school,” Kelley said, but rather than shy away from the topic, she sees the program as an opportunity to explore science.

She thinks a science program for adults is a great idea, and to approach it through fiction makes it even better.

Stair Public Library is one of only 20 public libraries nationwide receiving grants to serve as pilot sites for a four-part series. The free program brings together books and video featuring authors, scientists and everyday people who thrive on exploring the natural world.

Discussion sessions will be led by  “science partner” Adam Coughlin, an exercise science professor at Adrian College.

Coughlin said he went to school as an art major, but his long-standing interest in science grabbed him and led him in a new direction.

“When I was a kid we had the Charlie Brown Encyclopedia and a regular encyclopedia,” he said. “I’ve obviously been fascinated by science for a long time. I’m a science geek and I enjoy sharing it with others.”

He sees the Pushing the Limits format as an interesting way to bring science into people’s lives.

“The opportunity to share science with the public is intriguing,” Coughlin said. “It’s a fascinating grant.”

He’s impressed that science will be brought to the forefront of people’s minds not in a classroom setting but instead from the pages of novels.

Coughlin expects that most participants will have read the chosen book before the discussion, but he said it isn’t a requirement.

Each of the four sessions will begin with a five-minute video focusing on the author. Information will be presented about the authors’ fascination with the topics and the motivation for having written the book.

Then, a 10-minute video will follow about one of four themes—Connection, Nature, Survival and Knowledge. That video is not connected to the book at all.

It’s up to participants to decide how the two might be connected.

“I think that’s a lot of what science does,” Coughlin said, “it takes two things and connects them together.

“I’m excited about the program. I think it will be interesting to show how science pertains to everyday life.”

Stair’s program will kick off with a family and community event—STEAM Extravaganza!—scheduled Feb. 2. A visit from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is included among a variety of activities planned for the day.

The first of four monthly discussion sessions begins Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. with “Thunderstruck” by Erik Larsen. The book is available now at the library in a variety of formats including CD, large print, paperback and hardcover.


• Stair Public Library is one of 20 public libraries nationwide to serve as a pilot site for the series. Eventually it will be extended to 100 more rural libraries in the U.S. 

The program was developed by a team of library professionals, scientists and filmmakers. Their organizations include Dartmouth College, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Califa Group (a California-based library consortium), Dawson Media Group and Oregon State University.

Since the beginning of time, humans have imagined and achieved ways to push the boundaries of the physical world.  We want to be stronger, smarter, and more aware, and we create stories to bring those dreams to life.  But many of those stories are no longer just stories; and with great new advances in science and technology, we are finding ways in which all of us are able to push the limits every day.    

This national program has been developed by a team of library professionals, scientists, and filmmakers. Their organizations include Dartmouth College, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Califa Group (a California-based library consortium), Dawson Media Group, and Oregon State University-- with generous funding from the National Science Foundation.

It offers an occasion to bring diverse groups together at the library to discuss how we as humans have imagined and achieved ways to push the boundaries of the physical world.  

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