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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Billy Williams puzzled over his topadoes 7.23

Written by David Green.

Doubters come laughing, but they leave scratching their heads. And Billy Williams is every bit as puzzled as the gawkers.

What’s the fuss? He has tomatoes growing on potato plants.

Williams has a couple of rows of tomatoes growing in his back yard garden on Burley Street in Morenci and he also has a few rows of potato plants.topatoes.billy.jpg

“I thought it was a little goofy,” he said,  when he saw both yellow and white flowers on a few of the potato plants, but he didn’t think much about it until he saw tomatoes growing from those yellow blooms.

That’s when he dug down into the dirt and also found a healthy crop of potatoes down below.

“I thought there had to be a tomato plant down there,” Williams said, but there was nothing but potatoes.

He cut open a tomato and found an ordinary piece of fruit with seeds just like any tomato.

“Lots of people have looked and they can’t believe it,” he said. “I probably had 30 people over here and nobody’s seen anything like this. Nature never fails to amaze us.”

It’s baffled a lot of experienced gardeners who laughed until they came to look for themselves. Williams watched his aunt dig down. She thought there must have been an explanation down below the surface.

Maybe he grew tomatoes in that area last season. No, that’s not the case. And besides, these are cherry tomatoes and he grows a regular size crop.

Did he buy the potato seed somewhere? No, that’s not it either. Had he bought the seed somewhere, he would have suspected some genetic modification, but he cut up the Yukon Gold potatoes himself.

“I planted them just like my grandpa and dad taught me,” he said.

Among all of his potato plants, five are showing the—what do you call it, Williams wonders, a topato?

Williams did a little searching on the internet to see if could find other occurrences of the mystery, but he didn’t come up with much more than dinner ideas.

A bulletin from Iowa State University mentions tomato-like fruit on potato plants. Normally, it says, potato flowers dry up and fall off plants, but occasionally they produce fruit—a fruit that’s of no value to the gardener.

That seems to explain his strange produce, but what about the yellow flowers?

Williams isn’t sure if he wants to eat any of his topatoes—a wise move since they’re said to be high in solanine, a poisonous alkaloid found in potatoes, tomatoes and all members of the nightshade family—but there’s one other thing weighing on his mind.

“If I dig down underneath my tomatoes and find potatoes growing, I’m moving out of here.”

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