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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Distinguished alumni to be honored 4.22

Written by David Green.

Four Morenci Area High School graduates will be honored as Distinguished Alumni at the Morenci Education Foundation’s Dinner and Auction May 9 in the high school cafeteria.

Larry Gould

Larry Gould, the oldest son of Jay and Alberta Gould, graduated from Morenci High School in 1961 and from the Institute of Agricultural Technology program at Michigan State University in 1963. He is a partner in Gould Farms along with his father Jay, his brother Alan, and his son John.

Larry has been actively involved in 4-H as a community leader for many years and has earned numerous 4-H and FFA awards.

He has served the Cattleman’s Association in many different roles at the county, state and national level. He has been involved with the Lenawee County Farm Bureau and the International Farm Youth Exchange. He has served as chairman of the board of managers of Great Lakes Wind, LLC, and as an advisor to the Board of Managers for Great Lakes Ethanol.

Larry served on the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners from 1974 to 2006 and served as chairman of that board for a number of terms.

He enjoys gardening, fishing, hunting, traveling and collecting antique farm equipment. Larry and his wife Joan live on a multi-generation farm near Morenci. They have two children, Jennifer Wheeler and John, and five grandchildren.

Kathye Phelps-Hererra

Kathye, the daughter of Arlene and the late Mickey Phelps, graduated in 1967. She attended Western Michigan University and graduated from Adrian College in 1987 with a degree in business administration.

While at Adrian College, Kathye served as an intern with Catholic Social Services and upon graduation gained full-time employment with the agency. For many years she served as executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, now known as Big Buddies/Little Buddies. She is currently the program director for the organization which serves more than 150 children. Her primary responsibility is to match children with the appropriate adults.

Kathye has been a speaker for Mothers Against Drunk Driving for many years, and has been involved with Morenci’s Town & Country Festival committee. She is a member of Zonta and Adrian Morning Rotary, and serves as president of Adrian Noon Rotary.

She has served as director of the Adopt-A-Family County Christmas program for 15 years. She is a member of the Morenci American Legion Auxiliary and the Morenci United Methodist Church.

Kathye is married to Doug Herrera.

Dwight Mansfield

Dwight, the son of the late Basil and Hazel Mansfield, graduated in 1968. He attended the one-room Ontario School for the first two years of his education and once the new Morenci elementary school was constructed in 1957, transferred to Morenci.

In high school Dwight was active in the Bean Creek Valley 4-H Club and FFA. After graduation he enlisted in the Army National Guard and served for six years. After fulfilling his military duties, he returned to work with his father on the family farm. Besides managing the family farm, Dwight owns Tri-County Feeds in Fayette.

Dwight has been a member of the Lenawee County Holstein Association and a delegate to the Rupp Seed Company Dealer Council. He was awarded an Honorary Chapter Farmer degree by the Fayette FFA Chapter in appreciation of his generosity toward their efforts.

He is a past member of the Medina Township Zoning Board and is an active member of the Fayette Church of the Nazarene where he has served on many committees and boards.

Dwight has been a member of the Morenci Board of Education for 18 years. He served as president of the board for many years and is currently serving as treasurer.

He and his wife Ruth Ann have two sons, Jason and Christopher, and a daughter, Lesley.

Timothy Kruse

Tim Kruse, the son of Carl and Wanda Kruse, graduated in 1977.

In high school Tim participated in football, baseball and track. After graduation he was employed by May’s Body Shop and later worked for the Lenawee County Road Commission. In 1981 he began work in the appliance repair business for his father-in-law, Maurice Clark.

Tim was hired in 2000 by Morenci Area Schools to assist in the athletic department and the building and grounds maintenance departments. He is described as a quiet, humble, behind-the-scenes guy who has made a huge impact in dealing with the economic reductions the school district has faced.

With his diverse skills, Tim has helped the district through many challenges, from refrigeration problems to field preparation before athletic events.

He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He has been involved with the Morenci Athletic Boosters for many years and previously served on the Town and Country Festival committee.

Tim and his wife Julie have three children, Kyle, Travis and Valerie.


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