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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Council hears concerns about softball tournaments 6.11

Written by David Green.


Morenci Town and Country Festival committee members expect this year’s event to suffer without the draw of a softball tournament, and they know the loss will trickle down into the community.

“There will be an impact on businesses,” festival director Sue Snyder told council members Monday, “but my greatest concern is for the festival.”

After city council members voted 5-2 last month against issuing an alcohol permit for the tournament, the city’s softball director, Bob Ford, moved the festival tournament to Fayette.

The permit allows the consumption of alcohol in a specified area beyond the outfield fence.

The annual tournament brings not only team members to the festival, but also family and friends who spend time and money throughout the weekend.

“It brings people to the community who wouldn’t ordinarily come,” said committee member Michelle Bovee.

Snyder said a decrease in the sale of concessions will hurt the festival finances and vendors who experience of loss of income might not return to Morenci the next year.

“I don’t think it was necessary to pull the tournament,” said council member Tracy Schell. “I wish he would have tried it without alcohol.”

Mayor Doug Erskin said he would like to talk to Ford about his decision, but hasn’t been able to contact him. Ford’s job is to bring softball to Morenci, he said.

Ford is paid $1,250 a year to organize softball leagues and direct tournaments. The self-funded program is paid by the registration fees that teams pay to compete.

Councilor Keith Pennington pointed out that the city didn’t vote against softball. It was Ford’s decision to move the tournament.

Snyder said she doesn’t detect a lot of support for the festival from city council and she thinks a council member should attend festival committee meetings.

Snyder spoke of the frustration of planning for this year’s event over several months, only to have this happen just a few weeks before the festival begins.

“I just don’t understand why you had to change things that were working,” she said.

From her understanding, there have been no problems during the years that the alcohol permit system was used.

“It’s OK to have your personal views,” Snyder said, “but I don’t think it’s right to impose them on the whole city.”

Erskin said he made his decision based on the testimony presented at the council meeting and no opposing viewpoints were presented.

Pennington said the committee should look at the benefit of the festival to the community without promoting the use of alcohol in a public area. He believes it’s in the long-term interest of the community to avoid promoting alcohol as essential for softball games.

Erskin also mentioned the opposition to the alcohol permit by the city’s new insurance carrier.

“Our insurance carrier has strongly recommended that we don’t do this,” he said.

Nothing has happened in the past, but he would rather err on the side of caution.

Snyder pointed out that an insurance rider could be purchased to cover the tournament.

“You have our word that we’ll continue to try contacting Bob Ford and see if he’ll bring some games here,” Schell said.

Looking into the future, committee member Kori Christle said she hopes to see the tournament issue resolved for a success festival next year.

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