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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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Cody "HiZe" Long prefers rap 8.13

Written by David Green.


Cody Long knows what he’s up against in his quest to become an accepted rap artist.

1. Small town.

2. White boy.

“Ha, ha. Let’s make fun of the white boy,” Long said. “I get discriminated against.”

Long, who calls himself HiZe when he’s rhyming, often gets mocked by his classmates since rap is associated with a much different culture. He can’t fault them when he thinks back on his earlier work.cody.long.jpg

“I had a low quality mic and the output was really bad quality,” Long said. “They made fun of me. I’ve had a lot of criticism over the past two years.”

He sees that changing. When he performed at Adrian’s L.A. Café in April—the Spring Jump-Off event for Runnin’ Records—he was the opening act and it turned out to be a much longer act than he originally planned.

“I totally rocked the place,” he said. “They knew this kid’s serious.”

In a small town where country and rock rule, Long ventured out into strange territory.

“I started something that nobody else was doing,” he said, “but I have more fans now. A lot of kids from Morenci are starting to listen to me.”

His development in the field has been aided by connections made through Tom Phipps, owner of Runnin’ Records. He’s helped Long connect with several rap artists from other parts of the country. Through his MySpace page, Long works with DJ Ant from Ft. Lauderdale, Young Money from North Carolina and others.

A recent song drew more than 2,000 hits in a month on MySpace. Long thinks that’s impressive for a Morenci kid, and his latest song is doing even better.

Rap songs are known for violent lyrics, often filled with sexually suggestive phrases. Long figures most rap artists don’t actually live the life they’re talking about.

“In real life I’m shy,” he said. “I don’t encourage kids to go out and do what I say. It’s entertainment. It’s something for fun, something to listen to. It doesn’t really relate to my life.”

Long faced a hurdle convincing his parents of that, but “I’ve got them into it now,” he said.

He sees rap as a means of self-expression.

“You write what’s on your mind down on paper,” the 16-year-old said. “Not everybody goes through drugs and lives in the ghetto. But everybody has troubles. That’s just part of life.”

But he tires of people telling him, “You’re not hood. You’re not black.”

“It doesn’t mean I’m trying to be something I’m not,” he said. “I’m just myself.”

Small-town white-boy rap isn’t a genre he’s developed, but maybe that will come later.

“I have 20 or 30 songs on the back burner,” he said. “I spend hours every day networking and writing and revising.”

Long has been a fan of rap for about four years and he’s been rhyming for more than two years. He didn’t get really serious about it until last year.

He comes up with the lyrics and performs them with free beats available on websites. He paid money for his last one—the better ones generally cost—and he’s considered buying software such as Fruity Loops to create his own.

Long has earned the respect of Dustin “RitZ” McLaughlin, a rapper from Adrian who helped Long get started.

“Cody is doing great,” McLaughlin said. “He’s talking with some big artists and he’s really doing good. I’m really proud of him.”

Long wants to bring in a couple other rappers to get a show together in Morenci, and if this whole rap thing doesn’t go anywhere, he’ll fall back on his other plans—to work as a radio host.

For now, he’ll keep on rapping.

“I want to be one of those white boys who makes it,” he said.

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