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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Two Morenci groups back Project Soldier 01.19.2011

Written by David Green.

gun_winnerBy DAVID GREEN

Julie Waltrous is delighted with the support she received from the Morenci American Legion Post and the Morenci Kiwanis Club, but she’s really not all that surprised. She’s received help from a variety of sources over the past few years.

Waltrous, of Brooklyn, Mich., coordinates Project Soldier—an effort to send boxes of miscellaneous supplies to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We’ve brought a lot of people together,” Waltrous said.

School groups, churches, Legion posts and Kiwanis Clubs, concerned individuals—the assistance has enabled the group to mail 50 boxes overseas six to eight times a year.

The Brooklyn Kiwanis Club started the effort in 2004 and it’s grown since.

“It’s truly amazing,” Waltrous said, “and it’s so cool to see so many people come together for a common effort.”

The group places a high priority on sending boxes to area soldiers when their names are called in to receive supplies. When they run short of local soldiers, they contact the Texas organization “Adopt a Platoon.”

“We’re currently packing for a platoon from Michigan,” Waltrous said.

She described a recent effort that sent 100 boxes to a remote outpost in Afghanistan.

“There’s no running water, no PX, no chow hall,” she said. “We did our best to give them a good Christmas.”

Morenci’s Legion post has collected items in the past, but last year the group got involved with fund-raising and collected $600 through a gun raffle. They repeated the effort this year. The cash helps Project Soldier buy items to supplement donations and to pay for shipping—$10.95 a box.

“Russ Tompkins is the driving force behind [Morenci’s participation],” Waltrous said. “The American Legion post in Morenci has been wonderful.”

Tompkins pushes to get the effort done and he’s also helped out in Brooklyn. When people gather there to pack boxes, all the participants become teammates, Waltrous said, and the camaraderie is great.

In addition to food and hygiene products, Waltrous said they also send a little “silly stuff” such as Play-Doh and wooden puzzles, and Beanie Babies to hand out to children.

Hotel size soap and shampoo is a good size to send, she said, and when they get donations of large toothpaste tubes, they’re often able to exchange them for smaller travel size tubes.

She suggests saving the extra condiments from drive-through restaurants because those, also, are a convenient size for soldiers to use.

If donated items can’t be mailed, they’re given to a VA hospital, food pantries or other organizations.

“It’s really become a passion and I want to keep it going until they come home,” Waltrous said.

If they group ends up with left-over items, there are plenty of veterans here at home who can use assistance, she said.

As plans progress for another mailing, Waltrous will treasure the way so many people join together to make it a success.

“It’s not mine or yours—it’s ours,” she said.

Suggested items are listed below. See the Project Soldier website for a detailed list. The group can be contacted through the website or by calling Julie Waltrous at 517/315-1039.

• Toiletries and personal hygiene items, but no glass containers or aerosols;

• Snack foods;

• Coffee, tea and hot chocolate;

• Powdered drinks;

• Games, magazines and batteries.

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