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.
  • Front.sculpt
    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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Good Samaritan has car stolen 5.21

Written by David Green.


It isn’t exactly what Monica Pennington had in mind when she received her federal economic stimulus check.

The Morenci resident cashed the check, placed the money in her purse and later the purse was stolen.

But it’s much worse than that. The purse was in her car, and that was stolen, too.

The incident that started May 6 came to somewhat of a close last Friday with the arrest of Miles Lancelot Thompson, 23, of Alvordton, Ohio. He faces five counts ranging from carjacking to unarmed robbery.

Pennington was driving home about 7 a.m. May 6 from her nursing job in Adrian when she saw an approaching car swerve on Sand Creek Highway.

“He swerved and I thought, ‘That’s going to be an accident,’” she said.

The driver seemed to gain control of the vehicle but suddenly the car was airborne and overturned off the road.

Pennington dialed 911 before she came to a stop and noticed smoke coming from the crashed vehicle. She couldn’t see any movement from inside the car and was asked by the 911 dispatcher for details about the location.

Pennington got out of her vehicle and started to walk toward the nearest intersection to read the street sign. That’s when she heard someone furiously kicking against the back door trying to get out.

She thought it was probably a passenger and maybe a child of the driver. A young man emerged with blood running down his cheek.

“He was in pretty bad shape,” she said. “He tore off his jacket and came running toward me. He looked confused, a little delirious.”

By now she was wondering, “Where is the ambulance? Why haven’t the police arrived?”

“He grabbed ahold of me and started stomping on my foot,” she said.

He reached his hand inside the partially lowered window of her 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix, trying to break open the window. She knew then he wanted to steal her car.

Another passerby arrived, comforted Pennington and walked her away as the accident victim sped off in the Grand Prix.

She received reports about the investigation—the driver stole gasoline in Montpelier, Ohio, was spotted in Blissfield a day later, was last seen in Alvordton—but the story went cold until she heard from police in Sherman, Texas. Her car was found there with Illinois license plates and the driver was to be extradited to Michigan within 10 days.

After the theft, Pennington was visited by police from Pioneer, Ohio, and she identified the accident victim from a photograph. The night before the theft, she was told, Thompson had been stopped by police who suspected driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was released with a promise that he would return home.

Later they learned that he had stolen a car owned by the mayor of Pioneer. It was that 2008 Chrysler Aspen that Pennington watched leave the road and roll over.

And what about a future role as a Good Samaritan?

“I would probably stop again, but I think I’ll stay in my car until the police come,” she said. “I wasn’t injured. It could have been a lot worse.”

And she shudders to think about the situation had her children been in her car.

“He was desperate,” she said. “He was in my vehicle and gone so fast that I hardly knew what was going on.”

From now on, her purse goes with her rather than getting placed under the seat.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015