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.

Daniel Gautz competes at HOSA convention 8.20

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

First at regionals. First at state. That was good for a trip to Dallas for Daniel Gautz for a chance to compete in the national competition.

Gautz joined 14 other Lenawee County students who qualified for the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) finals earlier this summer. He competed in the Researched Persuasive Speaking category.gautz.daniel.jpg

Gautz didn’t come through with a first-place finish in Texas, but he was pleased with his performance.

“My coach had me practice a lot and I felt quite comfortable up on stage,” he said.

Students prepare by writing a researched paper on a topic. Then comes the effort to become completely familiar with the subject—familiar enough to give a five-minute speech. The talk is given before three judges and a timer. The goal is to talk for five minutes without going over the limit.

Contestants are allowed to consult note cards, but Gautz and most serious contenders avoid them. His talk—“Vegetarianism: a healthy alternative—was given from memory, and it helped that he knows the topic from experience. He’s been eating a vegetarian diet for four years.

Gautz, a recent Morenci graduate, took EMT classes at the LISD TECH Center and his teacher, Tom Ayers, served as his speech coach.

About 5,000 students from across the country competed at the national convention and Gautz enjoyed his time there immensely.

“It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of people to meet,” he said.

During their free time, students were advised to travel with a buddy when they went out to look around the city. When Gautz abided by that rule, he said he just picked out someone at random and asked if they wanted to go exploring.

“It was fun trying to navigate the bus and rail systems,” he said.

Gautz enjoyed his time with the HOSA organization—“I like to say it’s the hospital version of FFA”—and he’ll soon be leaving for classes at Grand Valley State.

He’s thinking of putting his LISD TECH knowledge into practice by obtaining part-time EMT work. He isn’t sure what he’ll major in at college, but he currently has a long-range goal of obtaining a doctorate in physical therapy.

And if he has the occasion to talk in front of a crowd, that challenge should now come more easily. His speeches so far have only been in front of a panel of three judges, but he does have a little crowd experience. It came after the announcement that he won the state title in the speech competition.

“I did a back-flip on the stage before several hundred people.”

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