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.

Tim Downey of Honor Flight speaks at library 2012.03.21

Written by David Green.

honor flight downeyThe memories of World War II get pushed back further into history, said Tim Downey. It’s now two generations removed and will soon seem as distant as World War I or the Civil War appear to Americans now.

The purpose of Honor Flight was to acknowledge and salute the generation that served in World War II. This was accomplished by flying World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., for a day free of charge to visit the World War II memorial and other sights.

Downey, the producer of the film “Honor Flight Michigan: the Legacy,” showed the movie to an audience last week at Stair Public Library and then spoke about the making of the documentary.

Downey said that Michigan’s Honor Flight program was the most successful in the country, sending nearly three times as many veterans to Washington, D.C, as any other state. Michigan has the largest population of veterans still living in their home state.

When the program began, organizers thought they might transport a hundred veterans, but in the end, nearly 1,600 made the trip. With the auto industry booming after the war, many returning veterans came to Michigan for a job.

The Michigan program is not currently transporting veterans, but when it was in operation, 35 to 50 veterans were typically taken on a flight, along with a guardian for every one or two veterans. Assistance was needed throughout the day to help board the plane and various buses and to assist with meals. Guardians paid $350 to cover their expenses, but the veterans’ costs were covered by donations. Each flight cost in excess of $20,000.

At this time, the number of veterans healthy enough to make the trip continues to shrink, Downey said. World War II vets are now 86 years of age and older.

“It became increasingly difficult to get enough people for a trip,” he said, “and we took everybody that we had applications for.”

With the end of the flights to Washington, Honor Flight Michigan has turned its attention toward the construction of Michigan’s own World War II memorial. Park property is reserved for the project in Royal Oak where Honor Flight Michigan was founded.

“It’s going to be something spectacular,” Downey said. “It will make Michigan proud.”

The monument will celebrate not only the veterans, but also the industry of the state.

“We were the main state in the Union to produce the materials of war,” Downey said.

Munitions, tanks, jeeps, planes, bombs, artillery, guns, armored shields—the war was said to be won by what the auto plants in Michigan produced.

• The DVD can be purchased on-line at Various other resources are available, including a collection of more than 7,000 photographs. Information about the monument is also available.

A book and CD about the program and a copy of the DVD are available at Stair Public Library.

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