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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Morenci teachers join Morenci staff 9.4

Written by David Green.

Five new teachers join the Morenci school staff for the 2008-09 year.

Brandi Boswell

Brandi Boswell’s face will be familiar to many Morenci Area High School students since she was a student teacher here last year, working with Char-Lene Wilkins. Brandi takes over her classes since Ms. Wilkins retired.

The Taylor, Mich., native attended Adrian College. She had already moved to North Carolina when she received a call about the opening in Morenci.

She really enjoyed the community when she was here earlier, so she jumped at the opportunity to take the job.

She’s also chosen to live in Morenci, saying that she thinks it’s important to show loyalty to the community and give back to the community where she’s employed.

Brandi will teach 10th and 12th grade English, along with a writing-intensive career communications course. She will also serve as a freshman class advisor and the Students Against Drunk Driving club advisor.

She’s a sports fan, with a special interest in the Red Sox and the Red Wings. Her new love is playing tennis. She lists poetry and music as her creative outlets.

Jason Austgen

Morenci’s new mathematics and science teacher at the high school grew up in Minnesota, but his high school years were in spent Tecumseh.

After earning a teaching degree from Eastern Michigan University, he taught in Stevensville, Mich., and he’s pleased to be back in Lenawee County where he has a lot of family and friends.

Algebra II, chemistry and physical science are a few of the courses he’ll be teaching here.

Running is Jason’s primary interest outside of work. He started running cross country in high school and he’s now competed in seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys being outside in general.

Jason has already started work on a master’s degree and he’s living in Morenci.

Barb Bernath

The new part-time high school English and social studies teacher Barb Bernath was born in Morenci, but she grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind. She came back to Lenawee County to attend Adrian College and has since earned a masters degree in social studies from Eastern Michigan University.

She taught in Waldron for eight years before taking a job at Quincy. Cutbacks there resulted in a layoff, but the part-time job here fits in well since she’s busy raising three children.

She’ll teach freshman English in Morenci, along with a course called global issues. She’s had a lot of experience in both English and social studies and enjoys teaching each one.

Barb lives in the Addison school district and enjoys reading and spending time with her children. She also has a love for volleyball.

Keith Filipek

Morenci Elementary School’s new music teacher has spent most of his life in Lenawee County, but Morenci is new territory for the Ogden Center native.

Keith Filipek graduated from Blissfield High School and attended college at Florida’s Pensacola Christian.

He taught school in Florida before returning to Michigan where he has taught at Lenawee Christian School and a charter school in Monroe.

He was pleased to see the job opening in Morenci, due to the retirement of KC Carter, because he now has a 13-minute drive to work.

Keith lives on a small farm east of Clayton with his wife and four children, aged 12, 10, 7 and 5.

The family has a variety of animals they care for, including ponies, chickens, goats and rabbits.

Keith looks forward to introducing Morenci students to musical theory, composition and instruments, with a focus on singing.

“We’ll have a lot of fun and play a lot of musical games,” he said.

Parents should expect to hear more about a holiday program and another in the spring.

Paula Grieder

Paula Grieder feels like she’s right at home and in the right place.

Her career goal was to teach in Morenci and she was hired late last month to serve as the developmental kindergarten teacher after an unexpected resignation.

The Morenci graduate earned a teaching certificate at Siena Heights College and worked with kindergarten teacher Brigelle Bovee-Vernier in her student teaching.

Since then, she’s served as a substitute teacher around the county.

Tuesday was her first day on the job with 18 youngsters in her own room—a little hectic but also really good.

“Everyone was so helpful and welcoming,” she said. “I feel like I have a lot of support. It’s a really good feeling.”

Paula and her husband, David, are the parents of two boys, Luke in third grade and Griffin in fourth.

Aside from taking care of her children and helping her husband with his small engine repair service, she tries to fit in some time for reading and scrapbooking.

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