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.
  • Front.sculpt
    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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Isobar reviews August weather 9.4

Written by David Green.


Remember when it used to rain?

“It sure doesn’t happen very often,” said Morenci area climate observer George Isobar. “We had only about an inch and a third in nearly two months.”

The last big rain fell July 8, Isobar said, and only 1.39 has been measured since then.

“That includes a lucky six-tenths that came during a quick storm Aug. 14,” he said. “I call it lucky because it wasn’t very widespread. It missed Fayette. It missed Jasper. It was even a little bigger in Toledo.

“But without that storm, we’d be looking at less than an inch in just about two months time.”

That’s pretty slim, Isobar said, but it hasn’t yet approached drought level. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows southern Michigan as “abnormally dry,” but the nearest drought regions are southern Kentucky and northern Wisconsin.

“It looks like about a third of the country is in some degree of dryness right now,” he said. “That includes portions of Louisiana where there are a few areas of severe drought. That won’t be the case by the time you read this.”

How are area crops holding out?

Seneca farmer David Stutzman said that corn has suffered a little, but there should still be a good harvest.

“We should have had some rain in August,” he said. “Two inches and it would have been a good crop.”

There was adequate moisture at pollination, he said, and yields should remain fairly strong.

The soybean crop is a different matter. He’s not yet certain if it’s going to be “a little hurt or a big hurt,” but beans will be smaller and fewer in number.

There hasn’t been much grass mowing in recent weeks and Stutzman considers that a good rule of thumb.

“Any time we don’t have to mow our grass for a while, it’s not good for the crops,” he said.

The total rainfall measured by Isobar in August came in at nine-tenths of an inch which is about three inches below normal from the past 33 years of record-keeping. The long-term average for Toledo was two inches below normal.

“Either way, that’s a big departure from normal,” Isobar said. “We had a little bit of thunder on the 29th. Hardly enough to call it a thunderstorm.”

That’s unusual for August, too, he said. There’s an average of about five a month and he’s counted as many as a dozen.

“It’s easily the driest August we’ve had since 1976 when only four-tenths of an inch fell.”

There were only two days in the 90s, including the high of 94° on Aug. 23, and for the month, the average temperature for Toledo was listed as 0.8° above normal, buoyed up by three extra-warm days Aug. 22, 23 and 24.

The low came in at 47° on the morning of the 26th. That was one of two mornings with a temperature in the upper 40s, Isobar said.

The Toledo National Weather Service office reported 25 sunny or mostly sunny days last month.


There were many days in August with predictions of rain that just never came, Isobar said. If that pattern breaks in September, we should expect more than three inches to fall before the month ends.

“Farmers fear that it will break just about the time they want to get into the fields for harvest,” he said. “The average for the month is about 3.5 inches.”

After the hot weekend, Isobar says people might be pleased to know that most Septembers here bring at least one morning in the 30° range.

“They probably won’t be quite as pleased to know that occasionally there’s a low in the upper 20s.”

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015