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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  • Cheer
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2006.05.17 Driving in the Fast Lane

Written by David Green.


On the way to Cincinnati to pick up my daughter Rozee a couple weeks ago, I got caught in a traffic jam north of Dayton. There’s nothing worse than driving alone and getting stuck in traffic, especially with the bad omen of traffic coming to a standstill at Exit 57.

Fifty-seven is a problematic number for me. Whenever I can’t balance my checkbook, 57 is always involved. Whenever I have to return a purchase, 57 will be part of the receipt total. When I’m adding a string of numbers and the double check doesn’t work, a 57 is somehow involved.

There is always a hitch in my life when that number appears, and I groan loudly, both inwardly and out. But usually, things end up turning out OK after the initial blast of badness and time spent resolving the problem. It takes me a while to remember that, so I usually stew and moan until I realize that the silver lining is sure to appear.

So, even though I wasn’t accompanied by my daughters and their stuck-in-traffic CD featuring songs such as Barbra Streisand’s version of “Jingle Bells” and Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back” played at high volume, I eventually realized that all would be well. And it was—I was stuck there so long I didn’t have to drive through Cincinnati and meet Rozee and her boyfriend on the other side of the Ohio River. (In cell phone conversations before the traffic jam, we had decided that since I was making good time and they were running late, we should revise our meeting location.)

But beyond the good fortune of not having to drive through Cincinnati during rush hour, the traffic jam provided me with time to think and wonder. Wonder why every time I changed lanes when traffic began to move, the lane I changed to would immediately come to a standstill and the car ahead of me would have a license plate with the number 57 in it. I took it as a sign—don’t be in such a hurry. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.

I wish I could remember that adage when I am speeding on I-75. I have had two tickets in my life and they remain two of the most unpleasant occasions in my memory. Breaking the law is bad enough, but breaking the law in front of your kids is even worse. I deserved the second ticket. I purposely chose the Gorman Road way home so I could drive fast and avoid the open house traffic at Jesse Bach’s house on Weston Road.

But the first ticket was for an offense I’m sure I did not commit: driving 60 in a 45 zone on M-34 after Sand Creek Highway. I was on a noble mission—making copies of announcements for the next series of La Leche League meetings—and I was going 55 in what I thought was still a 55 zone. But I had recently listened to a radio program in which a speaker advised turning down the radio and listed the items you must have when stopped by the police.

So when I was pulled over I turned off the radio, fiddled through the glove compartment for my proof of insurance and registration and flipped through my wallet for my license. When the officer appeared at my window, I handed him the information. Only later did I realize that I must have seemed like a seasoned offender. What could he do but give me a ticket?

My husband has never gotten a ticket and neither have two out of three of my children. Rozee was driving her boyfriend to the airport, anxious to arrive on time when she was pulled over on I-75 for going 15 mph over the speed limit.

The first time I asked Ben if he’d ever gotten a ticket, he said no.

But last night when I asked, he said, “No, but I got pulled over once.”

“For what?” I asked.

“Going 15 over.”

He had recently returned from Europe—three months of not driving—and was on Abbott Road in East Lansing. The speed limit is 25 mph on one stretch of Abbott and 35 on another.

“Do you know what the speed limit is?” the officer asked Ben.

“I guessed 25,” Ben told me, but he wasn’t sure.

“The officer said, ‘Very good. Is there any reason you were going FORTY?’”

“He really barked it at me,” said Ben.

“I said, ‘No,’ and he ran my plates and license and told me to pay attention in the future.”

“That’s not fair!” said Rozee when I repeated Ben’s story.

“The officer didn’t ask me a single question at all!” she complained. “He told me he had me clocked at 80, took my license and registration and came back with a ticket.”

Rozee and I are perplexed in the ways of the police and their ticket-giving habits. She has blonde-haired blue-eyed cousins who get stopped, but never get tickets. She has friends who get pulled over, but never cited.

I’d kind of like to know the ins and outs of ticket writing, how people talk their way out of them, what you should and shouldn’t say, why the process, as Rozee claims, isn’t fair.

But I really think I’d be much better off if I encountered more traffic jams.

  - May, 17, 2006


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