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 round-up 6.3.09

Written by David Green.

MORENCI BASEBALL: Morenci’s baseball squad had a high-scoring game going with Lenawee Christian School at the district opener Saturday.

Then, in the fourth inning, is suddenly became very high scoring—and not in the Bulldogs’ favor.

An 11-8 LCS lead ballooned to 21-8 to knock Morenci out of the tournament.

Eighth walks in the fourth inning, combined with a series of errors, put the game out of reach. The Cougars scored seven earned runs and took advantage of nine Morenci errors.

“We didn’t hit our cut-offs and we threw the ball around,” coach Roger Pontious said. “There were some wild pitches and passed balls, also, but we still played hard for as young as we are.”

BD—Britton-Deerfield claimed a 10-5 victory to end the league season May 27. Six of the Patriots’ runs were unearned.

Brett Bovee, Michael Snyder and Isaac Jeffers each batted two for four.

MORENCI SOFTBALL: Trailing 2-1 against Whiteford going into the seventh inning didn’t look unusual at all to Morenci’s softball team. The Bobcats captured the two league contests by one-run margins this season.

Then it turned to anything but the familiar.

Whiteford added six runs in the seventh to claim a Div. IV district title Saturday on its home diamond.

The inning started off with an error, then an out, and after that a triple.

“We probably could have got an out, but we had the infield pulled in close,” coach Kay Johnson said.

A walk, a single, a double—the game was rapidly getting out of control.

The Bulldogs couldn’t respond at the plate as they often have trouble with Whiteford’s pitcher.

Morenci’s only run scored on a base hit by Nicolette Swimmer. Tess Ramsey came through with three of the Bulldogs’ five hits and Jackie Paris had one single.

Jade Pfund struck out 11 batters, but she walked four and gave up seven hits.

The Bulldogs ended the season with a 22-14 record. Whiteford advances to regional play to face Camden-Frontier. Summerfield faces Homer in the other contest.


Morenci and Lenawee Christian School played a tight five-inning game in the opener except for an odd occurrence in the first inning.

The LCS pitcher was injured when a throw from the catcher struck her in the face. She left the game temporarily, but the Bulldog batters went wild against the substitute.

After a walk, Megan Cox and Pfund singled and Swimmer followed with a triple. Matea Garcia slammed a double, and on it went. Morenci scored 11 runs that inning and finished with an 11-1 victory.

Swimmer hit a grand slam along with her triple in the first inning and added a double later in the game. Megan Cox and Matea Garcia each finished with a pair of hits.

Pfund hurled a one-hitter and struck out six.

TRACK: Morenci’s four state track and field qualifiers each returned home with all-state medals following competition Saturday in Grand Rapids.

Phoenix Duncan finished third in Div. IV in the high jump and Lucas Johnson took fourth in the discus.

Zach Phillips came through with an eighth-place finish in the 1600-meter run and Chas Frey took eighth in the 200-meter dash.

“Phoenix finished the highest of anyone and she was the unhappiest,” said Bulldog coach Brad Brown. “She thought she could do better.”

Her best long jump of 15-3 was more than a foot below her top leap of the year and she failed to qualify for the finals.

In the high jump, the competition dwindled to just three girls. Last year’s champ, Sarah McCourtney cleared 5-6, but Duncan and the other competitor couldn’t get beyond 5-4. Because of an earlier miss, Duncan, a sophomore, slipped to third.

Johnson didn’t come through with his best toss of the season in the discus, but his 140-7 wasn’t too far off the mark.

The senior’s final throw went wide of the marker, Brown said. Had it been straight, Johnson would have likely set a school record and moved up from fourth to second. The winner tossed the disc 163-2.

Zach Phillips was in 10th place with a lap to go in his final 1600-meter run of his high school career. He passed number nine with about 200 meters to go, then sprinted to the finish to move into eighth place for a 4:34, just a second off his season best.

“It was a good time regardless of the place and a good way to finish as a senior,” Coach Brown said.

Phillips, the holder of two school records, earned his first all-state finish in the run.

A new Div. IV record was set by a Potterville runner at 4:16.94.

Chas Frey had a little luck in his 200-meter dash semifinals—just the thing that was lacking in his 100-meter attempt.

Placement in the semifinals is based on the results of the preliminary race, Brown explained. In the 100, Frey was in the semifinal heat with three of the fastest runners there, and he didn’t advance.

In the 200 semis, the leaders ended up in the other heat and he made it through.

“None of the times were anywhere near their best, with the wind,” Brown said, and that includes Frey’s run. “But it’s really good to advance to the finals.”

The junior ran a :24.32, about a second behind the winning time of :23.24.

Waldron’s Fletcher Masters earned a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash at :51.88. Katherine Baker placed eighth in the 100-meter hurdles (:16.74) and eighth in the 300-meter hurdles (:49.63).

Four Div. IV records were set Saturday, including a 6-10.5 high jump that proved to be the best in the state regardless of school size. Other records were set in the 3200-meter relay (8:03.94), 110-meter hurdles (:14.35) and the 1600-meter relay (4:16.94).

For the girls, Div. IV records were set in the pole vault (11-3), 100-meter hurdles (:15.14), 800-meter relay (1:45) and 400-meter relay (:50.63).


At the DTII all-county meet May 23, Duncan placed first in the high jump (5-5) and second in the long jump (16-2). Nicole Elarton took fifth in the discus (94-5) and the 800-meter relay team placed fifth at 1:57.9.

Coach Brown said Duncan’s jump was officially recorded as 5-5, but he measured the bar at 5-6.

For the boys, Johnson placed second in the discus (145-3, his personal best) and fifth in the shot put (45-9). Frey took second in the 100-meter dash (:11.8) and third in the 200-meter dash (:23.7).

Phillips was third in the 800 (2:09) and fifth in the 1600 (4:53). Nathan Grieder placed fifth in the 400 dash (:54.5) and the 1600-meter relay team finished second (3:35.4).

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