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

  • 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.

Levi Hoffman competes in international meet 9.16.09

Written 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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