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.

Ben Laser joins SVSU Hall of Fame 11.17.2010

Written by David Green.

ben_laser.jpgA Waldron native was among the  honorees inducted into Saginaw Valley State University’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ben Laser, an All-American thrower, was a member of the national championship 1982 indoor track and field team. The track team members, along with six individuals, were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sept. 17 on the SVSU campus.

Laser was one of 10 All-American athletes from the talented track and field team that won the college’s first national championship in any sport. Many records set during the 1982 season still stand.

Other inductees were football coach Frank “Muddy” Waters; All-American basketball player Norwaine Reed; All-American football player Eugene Marve; All-American women’s basketball player Gayle Goestenkors; All-American golfer Steve Brady; and former athletic director and golf coach Robert Becker.

Laser competed in the hammer throw in outdoor track and in the 35-pound weight throw in the indoor season. He finished third in the nation in the NAIA Div. II competition when the Cardinals won the championship.

“We had some pretty good athletes on that team,” Laser said. “We were the first team north of the Mason-Dixon Line to win a national championship.”

At that time, Saginaw Valley State College had no indoor facilities and practices were held outdoors, despite the weather.

Laser said it was very enjoyable to visit with those team members who attended the ceremony, most of whom he hadn’t seen since college.

“It was phenomenal to see the successes of team members,” he said about the careers that the athletes developed.

In the early 1980s, only seven scholarships were given for track and cross country combined, Laser said, unlike today where athletic skills are often a student’s ticket into college.

Laser also played football with the Cardinals for three years.

Laser has served as a school administrator in Grayling, Springport and Alanson, and is in his third year as superintendent at Battle Creek Pennfield.

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