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.
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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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He's not your average Joe: Ohio resident Joe Schriner runs for President

Written by David Green.


He might use the campaign nickname “Average Joe,” but Joe Schriner is no ordinary guy—he’s running for president.

Yes, that’s President of the United States.

While running for president, Schriner, along with his wife, Liz, and their two children, Sarah and Joseph, is campaigning tothumb_schriner bring social, economic and environmental problems to light in small towns across the country.

“We have a vision of changing the country at its roots, instead of putting Band-aids on symptoms,” the Bluffton, Ohio resident said.

Schriner’s bid for the top office in the country began during the 2000 election and continues now with a goal of winning in 2004. While he doesn’t have any concrete political experience—his background is in journalism and counseling—he has “common sense and connections with a lot of small town common sense people,” he said.

“I want to uncomplicate the heck out of this country,” Schriner said.

During the 2000 campaign, Schriner and his family traveled around the country in a 1974 Dodge van talking to people and gaining support. The 27,000-mile trip also included a bicycle tour of the Midwest.

Currently, Schriner’s route covers all of Ohio’s 88 counties. Along the campaign trail, the family stopped Monday in Fayette to hear from residents.

“When we go into towns, we look for people and projects that are making [the community] a better place,” Schriner said.

In Fayette, he interviewed Carla Green, clinical supervisor at Serenity Haven, an alcohol and drug treatment facility for women.

“As a politician, I would like to see a Serenity Haven in every county in the country,” Schriner said.

If people with drug and alcohol problems don’t get help, it leads to many problems, Schriner said, including a higher incidence of domestic violence, crime and death.

“The bottom line is we have a constellation of social problems that need to be dealt with at the roots,” he said. “A program like [Serenity Haven] is an excellent way to do that.”

Schriner also looks for people who are trying to help in underserved areas, including working with the poor, children or the environment.

“We’re running as concerned parents,” Schriner said. “As parents, we couldn’t just sit back and watch society go in the direction it’s going.”

If people want to deal with problems, they need to stop doing things that cause the problems, especially regarding environmental issues. So, Schriner promotes non-polluting technologies and also asks people to walk and bicycle more.

Schriner found one crusade for the environment in Nebraska City, Neb., where the town of 7,000 residents started an “urban forestry” project to plant 10,000 trees in the next ten years.

“What if every town in America started doing that?” Schriner asked.

Schriner hopes that people hear about grassroots projects and find inspiration to start their own. His goal is to plant as many seeds for ideas as possible, he said.

“We’re very serious,” Schriner said. “We’re intent on winning but for us it’s an uphill battle.”

The good news for this average Joe is that although he may not be in the White House, he’s spreading the word about simplifying life and solving the country’s problems.

The Road to Washington

Campaigning for president is hard work, especially without a team of highly paid professionals helping along the way.

Joe Schriner’s campaign is modest, to say the least. He is his own speech writer and public relations consultant. His wife, Liz, is campaign manager.

“We don’t have millions, so we do the best we can with what we have,” Schriner said.

The couple and their two children, Sarah, 6, and Joseph, 4, live in a 1975 Dodge van equipped with beds and a refrigerator.

“It’s a low budget campaign, so that’s our home,” Schriner said.

Family time is important to Schriner. Each morning, the family spends time in prayer. And while Schriner spends three to four hours campaigning, Liz home schools the children.

“We try to balance it so that the campaign never outweighs family time,” Schriner said.

Some of the campaign activities on the road include parades, whistle stop events where Schriner holds meetings in town squares, and visiting with residents in town cafés.

    – July 17, 2002

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