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.

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 honorflightmichigan.com. 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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