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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Sports roundup 1.30

Written by David Green.

Fayette boys: Fayette fans got their money worth Saturday when some last-second heroics secured an overtime win.

Trailing late in the game and trailing again in overtime, the Eagles came back to pull out a 48-45 non-conference victory.

Fayette was on top by seven points, 33-26, heading into the final quarter, but that’s when the Tigers started hitting—and the Eagles started turning it over.

Liberty Center was up by two points with time running out. A Tiger shooter missed the front end of a one-and-one and Evan Hibbard grabbed the rebound. He got the ball to Shelby Franks who raced down court and pushed the ball back to Hibbard when he started to fall.

Hibbard put the ball up to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The Tigers regained their lead, but buckets by Jason Rodriguez and Tyler Keefer gave the Eagles the lead. A free-throw by Keefer raised the margin to the final three-point spread.

Missed free throws were almost Fayette’s downfall as they hit just seven for 17.

“We’re doing a great job of getting to the foul line,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “we’re just not making them.”

Coty Griffiths led the offense with 13 points. Austin Hylander and Rodriguez each added nine. Liberty connected on seven three-point shots.

HILLTOP—Hilltop’s varsity boys outscored Fayette in the second half Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the Eagles’ strong start.

Fayette finished the BBC contest with a 44-39 victory.

Fayette girls: Tied at intermission, one point difference after three quarters—this one was going to go down to the wire.

Hilltop could have made it easy on themselves with success at the free throw line, but they hit only eight of 25 tries and eked out a 34-32 BBC win over Fayette.

The Cadets had already been to the line 11 times before Fayette had its first opportunity. Finally, in the fourth quarter, the Eagles made 12 trips and connected on seven shots, but they needed another couple buckets from the floor to pull out a win.

The game ended with four in foul trouble. JeriAnn Lewellen, Katelyn Downing, Danni Wyse and Trisha Bates each finished the game with four fouls hanging over their heads.

Wyse led scoring with nine, followed by Rachel Seiler with seven, including a pair from outside the arc. Bates was a solid four for four at the line.

Morenci wrestling: Morenci’s wrestlers have certainly had better days on the mat. Two lop-sided contests and two close losses left the Bulldogs without a win at the Jonesville Invitational.

“Everybody on the team won a match,” said coach Scott Clark, “they just couldn’t do it at the same time. There were some close matches, but they ended up getting pinned before it ended. It was our worst day of the season.”

Morenci started off with a 70-7 loss to the host squad. Chris Delaney (119) posted a 9-3 decision win and Jeffrey Nofziger (145) won 22-11.

Dustin Roller (130) lost a decision and everyone else was pinned.

The situation worsened against Edwardsburg. Delaney scored the Bulldogs’ only points with a pin at 1:03 and Morenci lost 75-6. Nofziger lost an 8-10 overtime decision and went out with an injury.

Morenci fell one point short against Portland, losing 39-38 and lost to Pittsford by six, 36-30, despite winning only a single match. Roller scored a quick pin in 42 seconds.

Morenci boys: With Jacob Bovee averaging 27 points a game from the past five contests, it was obvious what Sand Creek needed to do Friday night to stop Morenci.

The plan had to be to take Bovee out of the game and hope no one else would fill the gap.

One Bulldog did take over the scoring—Anthony Barron finished with 23—but that wasn’t enough to match the Aggie offense.

Morenci played close for a half, but watched the game slip out of control after intermission and ended with a 77-51 TCC loss.

Barron scored three times in the opening quarter, aided by a three-pointer from Anthony Tompkins to keep Morenci on top. Bovee dropped a three-pointer late in the quarter for a 14-14 tie, but he scored only once more all night.

Barron remained strong in the second quarter with eight more points, but when Devin Martinez made a lay-up halfway through the period to tie the game, 26-26, that was the last time the Bulldogs weren’t trailing.

Scoring dropped dramatically in the third quarter with shots not making their mark and the Bulldogs’ foul tally grew. Early in the third, they were called for three within about 15 seconds.

The Aggies (9-3, 7-2) ended up scoring 20 points from the line from 34 tries.

Morenci girls: A short-handed Morenci girls squad eventually shut down Deerfield’s outside game Thursday to claim a TCC victory, but they weren’t able to get the job done when Sand Creek visited Jan. 21.

“We had two starters out against Deerfield and that made a difference from the defensive side,” coach Jim Yatzek said. “They had a girl who hit seven threes in the first half. She was hot, but weren’t getting to her.”

Deerfield’s Shelby Shindler had 23 of her team’s 32 points at half-time, but a defensive shift by the Bulldogs took away her outside game and she scored just six in the second half.

The Minutemen scored only five points in the third quarter as Morenci increased its lead to 14 and finished with a 64-51 win.

“Without having two starters [Nicolette Swimmer and Tricia Black], I think the girls played well off the bench,” Yatzek said.

Morgan McVay and Jade Pfund each had season-high nights with 15 and 13 points. Chanler McCaskey also scored 15. Pfund led under the boards with 12 rebounds.

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