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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Student from Ghana visits Morenci 10.8

Written by David Green.


In America, we hear stories from the older generation about how they trudged long distances through the snow to reach school every morning.

Peter York’s story has some similarities, and maybe some day he’ll be the older generation who tells tales of hardship to his children and grandchildren.

As of today, his stories are still the daily reality in his native country of Ghana.

Peter, who was named Papa Arhin in his native village, is now a student at Siena Heights University and he spoke Monday to three classes at Morenci Area High School.peter.york.jpg

As a youngster growing up in rural Ghana, Peter arose in the dark and got busy with a variety of chores such as fetching water. Then he joined other children in the long walk to school—about 14 kilometers or 8.6 miles.

“We were gone all day,” he said. “We only saw our parents early in the morning and again in the evening.”

The kids walked together, often passing through the forest and spotting scorpions and snakes. They sang songs to keep their attention focused on the long walk and to make the time pass faster.

“When you go in a group,” Peter said, “you don’t feel the pain of walking.”

They chewed sugar cane during their walk and that was often their only food for the morning.

The concept of leisure time didn’t exist for children in the village. It’s a luxury that millions of people around the world don’t understand.

Peter’s life changed when he was eight years old. An uncle took him to the city to attend school.

“When I went to the city, I started over,” he said. “About 10 years ago I began to discover who I was.”

He developed hobbies and interests and had the opportunity to dream about a future for himself.

His initial trip to the city of Accra was astounding.

“I never knew you could see so many lights, that there could be so many big houses and so many people,” Peter said. “It was a very strange place for me, but that’s where I was able to develop myself.”

He hopes to dispel notions of Africa as a slave nation, always at war.

“Africa is a good place to be,” Peter said, while acknowledging the problems of the continent.

Helping people realize their dreams and lifting them out of poverty could bring an end to the fighting that goes on in many areas, he said.

Peter describes Ghana as a beautiful country and Africa’s first constitutional democracy, a status achieved in 1957.

The country’s flag—red for the blood of it struggle for freedom, yellow for the rich minerals including gold, and green for the leading industry of agriculture—is highlighted by a black star.

“This not only depicts our black heritage, but it’s a star for all of Africa,” Peter said. “We were the first to gain independence and the star gave hope to the remainder of Africa.”

The nation remains very poor. When Peter was asked about medical facilities, he told students that clinics are scattered here and there. From his village, you often need to carry a person on your back to walk to a clinic and sometimes they die along the way.

Peter showed two objects from home and explained their significance to the students. He also spoke about his clothing and showed a robe worn at his high school.

His time in America will be used to enhance his skills, knowledge and experience, and to take a good look at how the country functions.

“I want to learn about what makes your country so rich, what makes it one people.”

All the while, his home will remain close to his heart.

“I don’t life in Africa,” Peter says, “but Africa lives in me.”

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