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.

Taz Wallace hired as Morenci athletic director/behavioral specialist 08.04.2010

Written by David Green.


Morenci Board of Education members approved Monday a new combined athletic director/behavioral specialist position. The board also approved a job description for a building engineer post.

Tim Kruse has served as athletic director for several years, but his duties grew to include an array of maintenance duties, as well. However, no job description was ever created for his expanded role.

He resigned from the athletic director post and will now be known as the building engineer. Kruse will continue to prepare athletic facilities for competition and will attend to general maintenance and repair of school facilities.

Adrian resident Tavarski “Taz” Wallace was hired to serve as athletic director and behavioral specialist. Federal Title I funding will be used to pay for the behavioral specialist role.

In that job Wallace will work with administrators to create behavioral intervention strategies for students in grades five through 12. He will also handle attendance and truancy records.

The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native graduated from Madison High School and was a three-time All-American linebacker with Adrian College.

He created and serves as executive director of the “Minds of the Future” foundation, an organization helping youngsters overcome difficulties by exposing them to role models and experiences.

“We had a very strong field of applicants,” said board president Scott Merillat about the athletic director job. “I think we’ve got a very strong candidate.”

Forty-two people applied for the position, including several local residents. A few community members and coaches helped review the applications.

“Taz offers the leadership we’re looking for,” said superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne, “and has the kind of character that will take our athletic program where it needs to go.”

In addition, he said, Wallace has a good understanding of young people and a strong commitment to youngsters.

Wallace thanked the board for the opportunity to serve.

Wallace said he has always been a leader and he intends to use that quality to direct the athletic department to make sure it’s moving in a positive direction. He wants students to win both on and off the field and he sees athletics as a good place to build relationships.

SECRETARY—Cindy Fankhauser will move from the middle school secretarial position to the high school. Many applicants were received, Dr. Osborne said, but he’s pleased that an experienced employee was interested in the position.

BIDS—Tri-County Fuels was approved to furnish premium diesel fuel for the 2010-11 school year and Lightning Quick Gas and Go was approved to supply unleaded regular gasoline.

Arps Dairy will furnish dairy products.

BUSES—County National Bank was approved to finance the purchase of two school buses. A federal program aimed at reducing diesel emissions enabled the board to buy two buses for the price of one. Former superintendent Kyle Griffith brought the plan to the board’s attention a year ago.

COMMITTEES—Carrie Dillon and Phil McCaskey volunteered to join a committee that will review the district’s policy manual.

Dillon and Dwight Mansfield will serve on a shared service council with representatives from Hudson to review the shared superintendent position on a quarterly basis.

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION—In response to an audience member’s question, Dr. Osborne said the district intends to continue offering the alternative high school program, although a staffing decision has not yet been made.

• The next meeting of the Morenci school board is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sept. 13.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015