The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Levi Hoffman competes in international meet 9.16.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Levi Hoffman was pleased with his own efforts, but he was truly amazed by what he saw other power-lifters accomplish.

At the international competition last week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he watched in awe as world record after world record was smashed.

After winning a national title last June in Denver at the USA Powerlifting tournament, Hoffman—then a recent Morenci graduate—was invited to join the American national team that would compete in Brazil in September. He would be one of 10 American lifters in the sub-junior class for 14- to 18-year-olds.

Eastern European lifters frequently come through as the champions, but Hoffman was pretty sure who would win his 82.5 kilogram (181 pound) division. It would be the 15-year-old U.S. lifter who established records at the Denver meet.

“I got beat out by the American kid who I said would beat me,” Hoffman said after returning home this week, but that lifter wasn’t the champion, either.

It was a Swedish lifter who surprised everyone, and perhaps even himself. He qualified with a total lift score of about 1,600 pounds, Hoffman said, but he left the tournament with a score around 1,800 pounds.

An instant world champion.

There was another surprise in the girls 132-pound division. A Michigan lifter was  expected to keep her title, but a Fillipino girl got in the way of that plan.

Hoffman was pleased with his third-place finish in a field of 17 lifters. One squat and one bench attempt were nullified on technicalities and his scores were below par for him: 518 in the squat and 334 for the bench.

He got in all three of his dead lifts attempts and finished with what he calls a respectable 540.

The Swedish lifter (a skinny blonde kid, Hoffman says) set world records in the squat and in total score.

Three world champions rose from the boys competition and five from the girls.

The U.S. team overall finished second to the Russians.

“We had two or three chances to win,” he said, “but we kept getting second places. One first place would have lifted us into first.”

Competitors came from 35 countries.

“It was really cool,” Hoffman said. “I hung out with everybody. We hung out with the Russians a lot.”

Hoffman is back at Adrian College after missing a few days of classes, but he says he’s not too far behind.

When he wasn’t lifting and visiting his international group of new friends, he was doing homework.

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