No, it wasn't a federal raid 2011.09.21

Written by David Green.

Things aren’t always what they appear. Employees of Phil Rubley’s accounting office in Morenci got a taste of that last week.

The problem started Wednesday when a van carrying the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team were in town looking for someone related to a methamphetamine incident. The team reportedly searched a Main Street apartment, then drove into the parking lot across from city hall to seek information from the police department.

While a member of the team spoke with Chief Larry Weeks, others milled around in the parking lot—behind Phil Rubley’s business.

The following day more people in uniforms were spotted at Rubley’s removing boxes and boxes of documents. The action drew the attention of many passersby and soon the rumor spread through town: Rubley’s office was raided by agents and documents were being stored in several Dumpster-like containers with padlocks.

Now for the real story.

Every year the accounting firm disposes of old records—securely deposes of records, hence the locked containers containing private information.

The Certified Document Destruction company of Wauseon handled the chore and the load was heavier than usual since disposal wasn’t done the previous year.

In a typical year, the company parks in back of the business and few people notice. This year, with the parking lot project, they parked on Main Street. To avoid double parking, traffic cones were placed to reserve a parking spot.

It all looked rather suspicious, but that’s life in a small town.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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