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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.

Isobar looks at September weather 2011.10.05

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fungus aficionados have loved the wet fall weather that lasted through September. Mushrooms seldom seen in recent years have burst forth to provide an interesting walk through the woods—and even through the yard.

Two Morenci residents reported finding morels growing—one in a person’s back yard, another in front of a downtown business—but those were likely a “false morel” not suitable for eating.

“We certainly had the weather for it,” said Morenci climate observer George Isobar. “I recorded rainfall on 20 of September’s 30 days and we ended with a total of 6.01 inches.”

The temperature came out to be a full degree below average, according to the National Weather Service office in Toledo.

“Mushrooms are a very interesting form of life,” Isobar said. “You might think of a mushroom as the flower of a fungus because that’s where the ‘seeds’ are produced.”

A mushroom may appear to pop up out of nowhere, but it’s actually a small part of a large fungus that lives mostly underground. The fungus is present even without a mushroom showing.

As Ohio State Extension Service educator Glen Arnold describes it, the underground portion is like a vast web of tiny threads weaving through the soil. You’re not likely to see it if you dig into the soil because the threads are mostly microscopic.

The appearance of a mushroom occurs when the threads grow together after a rainy period. Temperature plays a vital role in mushroom development and that varies with the species of the fungus.

Many mushrooms have gills on the underside and that’s where its spores (“seeds”) are stored before falling out and spreading with the wind.

Underneath the surface, fungus is hard at work breaking down dead plant matter to release nutrients for plants to use.

The profusion of mushrooms this fall across a large part of the U.S. has also led to an increase in mushroom poisoning.

September weather

A month ago Isobar said it was likely to experience the final 90° weather of the season, along with the possibility of the first reading in the 30s. He was right on both counts, but not by much.

There were three daily high temperatures in the 90s and those fell on the first three days of the month, with a high of 96° Sept. 3. 

Down it went after that, with the highs reaching into the 80s only twice for the remainder of the month.

“It only made it into the 60s for 14 days last month,” Isobar said, “and there were plenty of chilly mornings.”

There were six mornings in the 40s and below, with a low of 38 recorded Sept. 16.

Rainfall ended about 2.5 inches above normal.

OCTOBER—Isobar doesn’t want to spoil readers’ enjoyment of the excellent fall weather this week, but he does want to point out that sometimes it snows in October.

“Take the last 36 years,” he said. “We’ve had at least a trace of snow on 10 of those years.”

It’s seldom anything measurable—unlike 1980 when when 2.6 inches fell—but then again, there’s been a lot of wacky weather in the past year.

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