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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Sports wrap-up 11.05.08

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY—Fayette’s two state cross country qualifiers didn’t get what they were after Saturday in Columbus, but they both capped strong seasons at an event that only the best runners get to take part in.

“They were both about a minute off from what they wanted to run,” said coach Bryan Stambaugh, “but I’m really proud of them for making it to state.”

Sophomore Darrell Randall was running  at a top-20 pace after the first mile at 5:05.

“That’s a little faster than I wanted,” Stambaugh said, “but he was running with Borton from Pettisville and looking good.”

After the second mile, Randall had slipped way back to 113th and he wasn’t looking good, Stambaugh said. There had been only one race all season in which a breathing problem caused a lot of pain, but the condition returned Saturday.

“The only other time it happened had to be at state,” Stambaugh said.

It was obvious that his sophomore was hurting, but Randall managed to gain back a few places and finish at 97th with a time of 17:31. Just a week earlier, he turned in a career-best 16:41 at the regional qualifier.

Isaiah Bradd of Cincinnati Fairfield win the race at 15:54, one of three runners to finish below 16 minutes.

In the girls run, Fayette junior Erica Goeltzenleuchter looked comfortable during her run, but that wasn’t how she was feeling.

“It wasn’t her day,” Stambaugh said. “She just didn’t feel up to par.”

She was feeling some ankle pain along with a recurring digestive problem.

She had a realistic goal of finishing below 19:50—she had already finished in the low 20s this season—and after her first mile she held onto 57th place. She slipped to 76th after another mile and held fast for a final 77th at 20:58.

One Div. III runner managed to finish below 18 minutes—Barnesville senior Stephanie Morgan who won the race at 17:57.

“Erica worked hard last summer and she had her best season this year,” Stambaugh said.

Since she’s improving as she gets older, she should have another shot at a state run next season as a senior.

Coach Stambaugh praised the good showing of fans who made the long trip to Columbus for the races.

MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY—It’s little comfort to Morenci senior Zach Phillips, but this year’s Div. IV state cross country run was one tough race.

“Nobody can say anything about Div. IV being weak,” said Bulldog coach Brad Brown. “It was one tough day in Div. IV.”

It was a tough day for Phillips, too, as he fell short of his goal and failed to repeat as an All-Stater in cross country.

His time this year of 16:41 was good for 33rd place—12 seconds off pace for a top-25 finish.

Two years ago, Brown noted, 16:41 took 15th in the state run. This year, the top six runners in Div. IV all ran in the 15-minute range, including winner Tec Adams of Harbor Springs who blazed the course in 15:22—the second best time of the day Saturday at Michigan International Speedway among all divisions.

In fact, the top four Div. IV runners posted better times than the best among Div. II runners.

Phillips was on pace after a mile with a time of 5:14 and stayed in contention with a second mile of 5:29.

“He just couldn’t close the last mile,” Brown said. “He didn’t lose on any, but he just held his spot.

“I know he’s disappointed. Zach puts a lot of expectations on himself and he was looking to improve, but he had a great year. In retrospect I think he’ll look back and realize that.”

Waldron’s top runners were Blake Fix, 21st at 16:28, and Allison Grimm, 66th at 21:31 in the girls race.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL—The Bulldogs put their offense to work Thursday at Deerfield to wrap up the regular Tri-County Conference schedule.

The Minutemen went down in three games, 25-15, 25-21 and 25-14. The win gives the Bulldogs a final 7-9 TCC mark.

“We were pretty good on serve/receive and were able to make 61 attacks in three games,” coach Dennis Owens said.

Chanler McCaskey scored six kills on 20 attacks and Tia Tompkins added four on 12 attacks. Tompkins also finished with three kill blocks.

At the serving line, McCaskey scored four aces on a 16/17 performance. Mariah Bovee scored a pair on a 15/15 night.

Kathleen Barron went 13/13 on serve reception, Bovee finished 7/7 and Kate Joughin was 6/6.

Amy Gillman gave eight assists and Dana Joughin gave seven.

HUDSON—Saturday at the Hudson Invitational, the Bulldogs won their bracket and finished the day at 5-5.

Morenci lost to the eventual champions from Napoleon, 23-25 and 22-25; defeated Hudson 25-22 and 25-13; split with Clinton 25-22 and 15-25; split with Hudson 25-6 and 23-25; and split with Addison 25-24 and 23-25.

Barron was the serving leader for the day, missing only one of 38 attempts and scoring four aces. Kate Joughin also missed only one on 28 attempts. Bovee and Gillman finished with eight aces each.

McCaskey scored 29 kills on 70 attacks. Bovee added 20 kills on 89 attacks and Tompkins scored 10 kills on 58 attacks.

“Kelsi Stover and Tess Ramsey had good days playing at the net and the whole team contributed to a good day,” Coach Owens said.

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