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

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    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.
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    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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Changing of the Guard: Doyle Collar announces his retirement from General Broach

Written by David Green.


They say the average longevity for a plant manager in America is about five years.

They get fired, they move on to something bigger, they leave the field completely—whatever the reason, no one seems to stick around in one place very long.

So what happened to Doyle Collar? How come only now, 34 years after being named plant manager of Morenci’s Eklund Broach, is he finally getting out?general_broach

It’s just time, he says. It’s time to move along and let someone else take control.

Doyle hired in at Wayne Production Broaching in 1961. He worked as a machine operator and also did some truck driving.

Two years later, he went across the street to Eklund Broach on the east side of Salisbury Street. Another two years passed before he was promoted to foreman.

In March 1968, Karl Eklund asked Doyle to serve as plant manager and Doyle has remained with the company ever since.

The firm moved back across the street when Wayne went out of business. Later, an addition was constructed, and last year, when a machine division was added, the company began renting 25,000 square feet of space at the former Morenci Rubber Products building.

It’s been a history of success and growth under Doyle Collar’s leadership.

“It’s been a heck of a ride,” he said. “I’ve seen the good times and the bad times, but I think this company’s going to be here a long time. We’ve got a strong foundation.”

General Broach now ranks as either the first or second in the nation for the production of perishable broaches. The company is the largest buyer of powdered metal (high-speed steel) in the nation.

Collar has known for a long time that the day for him to step aside was getting closer. He’s mentioned it now and then to parent company owner Stefan Wanachek, but the threat was always brushed aside. Finally, it couldn’t be ignored.

“The hardest thing I had to do was to spend about an hour with Stefan breaking the news to him,” Doyle said.

It’s not until the end of January that Doyle will walk out of his office for the final time, and that will be a bittersweet moment.

“Everyone wants to know if I’m going to enjoy retirement. I don’t know. I’ve never tried it,” he says in a typical Collar wisecrack.

But leaving the company won’t be easy.

“I think I’m going to miss the guys more than anything,” he said. “I won’t miss the meetings.”

Meetings don’t easily fit into the Collar management style. However, a good relationship with each employee does.

“Karl Eklund told me, ‘Doyle, you treat them the way you want to be treated.’ I never forgot that. If you don’t have a team effort, you aren’t going anywhere.”

He’s proud of his work force, including the new, younger workers.

“Don’t tell me the younger generation doesn’t want to work,” he said. “They’re working great.”

Of course he does his best to make sure he hires the best workers. Ask an employee about the job interview.

“I put the fear into them during an interview,” he said. “If they get through the interview, I figure they’re going to be good workers.”

All in all, it’s been a good match between Doyle Collar and General Broach, and he’ll go out feeling proud.

“I’d guess you’d say I’m pretty happy.”

    – Dec. 18, 2002 

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