The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Cameron Thompson home from Iraq 6.4

Written by David Green.

A familiar face returned to Fayette Elementary School Monday morning—familiar, at least, to the sixth grade class.

Cameron Thompson served as the social studies teacher for those pupils in the first semester of the 2006-07 school year. Then he heard from his Uncle Sam.

It was time for Mr. Thompson to report for active duty in preparation for deployment in the Middle East.school.cameron.jpg

Mr. Thompson attended the University of Findlay as a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). In trade for an education paid for by the government, he agreed to give eight years of military service.

Mr. Thompson served four years, then deactivated his status with the military and took a teaching job with the Fayette school district. That lasted a year and a half before he was ordered to report for duty at Ft. Sill, Okla., and then move on to Camp Shelby, Miss., for four months of training.

Those four months were very helpful, Mr. Thompson said. He joined a group of soldiers made up mostly of National Guard units from California. This brought together soldiers with a wide variety of skills and experience, and the long training period was beneficial.

Mr. Thompson ended up spending 11 months in Kuwait and Iraq, and he hopes this will be the end of his service, although he knows that in an emergency he would be called up again to fulfill his remaining 11 months, if not more.

The service he’s interested in now is in the classroom.

“I’m hoping to pick up where I left off,” he said.

Fifth and sixth grade students gathered in the cafeteria Monday morning when Mr. Thompson made a brief visit—and an impromptu speech.

“The last year and a half has been a long time for me,” he said. “The best thing about being back is being around all of you again,” he said. “I’m really happy to be back with my friends and teachers again.”

Mr. Thompson said he looks forward to the next school year and having the time to talk with his former students.

But what about the mustache? asked one student.

Mr. Thompson made occasional e-mail contact with students and one of his letters talked about a mustache-growing contest.

At first, he tried to convince the students that the mustache they saw in the photo was just a fake one, but then he admitted that he entered the contest.

It was just a way of passing the time in the Middle East.

“I shaved it off as fast as I could,” he said. “We like to do things to entertain ourselves.

 

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