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.
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    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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A weekend made for baseball

Written by David Green.


Three guys. Three days. Three stadiums.

Lots of baseball and lots of fun.

Gene Momyer thought it might take some careful planning to hit three major league stadiums in a single weekend, but once he looked through the schedules there really wasn’t much of a choice—not if he was going to do it by driving.

To see Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati all at home, there was the choice of August 9, 10 and 11 or Labor Day weekend.

Gene announced the plans to his son, Eric, and future son-in-law, Joe Castillo, and the trio headed off for Detroit’s Comerica Park on Friday afternoon, Aug. 9. It turned out be a rare treat for Tiger fans: Detroit won.

Comerica Park

This was Eric’s favorite stadium of the tour. It’s the newest park and there’s a lot to see. Statues, lights, carnival-type rides, fireworks.

“There are a lot of cool things to look at,” he says.

“It would be great for a family,” Joe said. “There are a lot more things to do than the traditional baseball game.”

Perhaps too much for Gene.

“It’s a nice stadium, but I could do without the Ferris wheel,” he said. “For me, you either go to a baseball game or you go to an amusement park. But the peanuts were good.”

Even Gene was impressed with the deal the Tigers give to fans. For the price of a ticket, you get good seats, a free drink and a free hot dog or piece of pizza.

“We got $9 worth of food on an $8 ticket,” he said.

However, that pizza came with a price, Joe noted. There were long lines in their part of the stadium.

“We missed two innings getting our pizza.”

Every game ends with an impressive fireworks show shot out in centerfield, but it does get to be a little much. Management doesn’t believe in pacing the action.

“It’s a 20-minute show,” Joe says, “but it’s like the grand finale right from the start. After about 10 minutes it gets a little tiring.”

Eric concedes that there are some bad seats at Comerica—in the corners where you can’t see a lot—but the good seats the trio landed led to a satisfying experience.

“We had a good time there,” Gene said, “and we watched a good game.”

Seats: Right field above the bull pen

Score: Detroit 3, Baltimore 0

Attendance: 26,000

Jacobs Field

A 1:05 p.m. game in Cleveland Saturday afternoon was next on the agenda.

“This is a really nice stadium,” Gene said. “It’s similar to Detroit but it’s more back to the old look on the outside. They have friendly ushers, too.”

More likely it was a matter of a kindly stadium worker willing to listen to Gene, the boys suggest, but it was a great experience and an excellent game.

Jacobs Field was easily Joe’s favorite stadium. It’s not just what happens inside the park that won him over.

“The atmosphere outside the park makes the mood even better,” he says.

There’s plenty of activity to watch on the walk up to the stadium, creating a festive feel to the day.

Cell phones are checked at Cleveland, but not at the other two stadiums. Fans aren’t allowed to take in bottled water, but once inside, everyone gets a free, large cup of water (“You needed it, too,” says Joe). Sign up for a credit card and get a free Indians t-shirt and a free Indians bobble-head.

Gene had trouble cheering for the home team, but he was impressed with Karim Garcia—a former Tiger, of course—who won the game.

With two Rangers on base in the top of the ninth, Garcia made a spectacular catch as he crashed into the outfield wall to end the Texas assault. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Garcia drove in the winning run.

At 4:30, the three headed south for Cincinnati.

Seats: Upper deck, right field

Score: Cleveland 4, Texas 3

Attendance: 37,000

Cinergy Field

Lying between two of Ohio’s largest cities is the capital, Columbus. There’s an important landmark there, according to Gene.

“I had to take the boys through Columbus to show them where the real team plays football. They weren’t impressed.”

“It took about three hours to find it,” Eric said.

“We were going south out of Columbus and Ohio State’s on the north side,” Joe said. “I was holding the map upside down.”

Cincinnati’s Cinergy Field (once known as Riverfront Stadium) offers a different baseball experience. It’s an “old” stadium, so to speak, since it was built in 1970.

“It’s the old style,” says Gene. “We about fell out of the upper deck. It’s steep!”

Joe walked up about 10 rows to the top of the stadium, then turned to walk back down and the dizzy feeling hit.

The rows are really narrow without a lot of leg room, and it’s a challenge to get out for a trip for food or the bathroom.

“Everybody has to stand and fold up their seat so you can get through,” Gene said. “It’s like tightrope walking.”

Your feet are at head level of the next row down, Joe said, and he accidentally kicked a couple people. But stay in your seat and the view is great.

Food is fairly similar from stadium to stadium, but there are some differences. Cincinnati, for example, sells cheese conies. However, they make a big deal out a small item, Joe noted.

“It’s actually a four-inch hot dog,” he said. “It’s like two bites and it’s gone. A rip-off.”

Michigan sports fans might be accustomed to McDonald’s, Little Ceasar, etc., in stadiums, but that isn’t the case in Cleveland and Cincinnati. But no matter who’s doing the serving, food is an important part of the experience.

“A baseball stadium is the only place I want to eat a hot dog,” Eric said. “I don’t even like hot dogs, but I wanted to have one.”

In Cincinnati, hot dogs are occasionally shot into the stands via a compressed air cannon.

“Joe and I cheered for Cincinnati,” Gene said. “Eric cheered for San Diego because he always goes with the opposite of what I do.”

The Padres roster read like a former Tigers listing, Gene said, including Alan Trammell who fills a coaching slot.

“You can see former Tigers all over the major leagues and they seem to do pretty well,” he said. “But being a Tiger fan, you get used to that.”

Morenci’s three travelers headed out of the stadium in the ninth inning with a 7-7 tie. A thunderstorm was moving in and a delay seemed likely. Leaving early proved to be a good decision. There was a 90-minute rain delay and the Reds didn’t win it until the 12th inning.

“We laughed a lot, talked a lot and goofed around a lot,” Gene said about the successful weekend. “If you like baseball, you would have a lot of fun. We hope to do something again next year.”

And who knows, maybe Eric will come through with his threat to run naked across the field.

Seats: Upper deck, behind home plate

Score: Cincinnati 9, San Diego 7

Attendance: 28,000

    –  Aug. 21, 2002 

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