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.
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Sports round-up 4.1.09

Written by David Green.

MORENCI TRACK: Morenci track coach Brad Brown doesn’t know when he’s seen numbers like these on a Morenci track team.

There have been girls squads close to this year’s 20, but many years have passed since there were 30 boys on a team.

Not only that, Brown says, but most everyone is back from last season.

Looking through the season-best times and distances from last season, Lucas Johnson returns to lead the boys throwers and Nichole Elarton is back for the girls. Johnson was last year’s regional champion in the discuss.

Boys high jump? Zach Phillips returns. Girls high jump and long jump? Phoenix Duncan is back. Duncan was a state qualifier in the high jump as a freshman last season.

The boys’ distance leaders are back again, including Phillips who broke the school record in the 1600-meter run and qualified for state in the 800-meter run.

Chelsea Howard returns to lead the girls distance running and the boys 3200-meter relay team members are all returning.

Chas Frey and Reece Graham return to the boys sprint events and Kate Gallup is back for the girls hurdle races.

Both squads have freshmen and a few new members to help fill the ranks for what should be a competitive season.

The Bulldogs continue to prepare for the season opener that comes after the spring break with a trip to Sand Creek April 16.

Weekend events include invitationals at Pittsford, Hudson and Litchfield. No home meets are scheduled due to the condition of the track that’s scheduled to be rebuilt this summer.

FAYETTE TRACK: Now that’s more like it.

Fayette track coach Ryan Colegrove is surprised by the turnout for this year’s boys track team, but he certainly isn’t complaining. With 20 members on the squad, the Eagles will be able to compete as a team rather than a collection of individuals.

“The guys should be able to fill out most events,” said Colegrove, who’s sharing head coaching duties with Bryan Stambaugh. “They’ll be able to be more competitive. It’s going in the right direction.”

The girls have a few more out than in some recent years at 12, although four of them are throwers and two others are recovering from injuries suffered during the basketball season.

The Eagles lost very little through last year’s graduation and the young girls team still has only one senior.

Last year’s regional qualifier Erica Goeltzenleuchter is back to lead the distance runs for the girls, with help from veterans Hannah Schrock, Olivia Molina and Sarah Kovar who all have cross country experience.

Elisha Hartman returns to the long jump and sprint events and Alexa Kessler is back for running events.

Returning point-winners on the boys squad include BBC 110-meter hurdle champion Austin Hylander who also placed fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.

Shelby Franks placed second in the 300s and he also earned a lot of points last year in the long jump.

Darrell Randall returns to lead the distance squad with veteran Ben Kovar and younger runners with cross country experience.

The Eagles will also score points from Eliott Richardson who returns to throwing events.

There are a lot of young athletes on the team, Coach Colegrove said, and they’ll help fill the ranks to deliver team points when the Eagles go up against other smaller teams.

• Fayette kicks off the season Thursday with a trip to Edon. They travel to Pettisville Tuesday.

MORENCI SOFTBALL: Morenci’s softball squad got off to a strong start March 24 at Manchester, blanking the Dutch 7-0.

The Bulldogs had the advantage of missing Manchester’s top pitcher due to illness, coach Kay Johnson said, but the Dutch had more than they could take from Morenci’s ace.

Senior Jade Pfund fanned 15 batters while walking none and giving up three hits. The absence of any walks was a big plus, Johnson said. In the end, Manchester never advanced a runner past first base, thanks to a Bulldog double play.

Morenci scored a pair of runs in the opening inning after Mariah Bovee singled, Nicolette Swimmer drew a walk and Chanler McCaskey slammed a triple.

In the third inning, Pfund and Swimmer each drove in runs on ground balls. Megan Cox singled in the fourth, advanced on a base hit by Tia Tompkins and scored on a wild pitch.

In the seventh inning it was Tompkins’s turn to drive a triple, scoring Cox who was safe on an error. McCaskey scored earlier in the inning after she was safe on a bunt, stole a base and came home when Cox was at bat.

Manchester’s pitcher struck out seven and walked four.

• Morenci was scheduled to entertain Addison on Monday but the Panthers chose not to play. The Bulldogs face Hudson in a double-header today played at Adrian College.

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