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.
  • 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.
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Sports round-up 2012.11.07

Written by David Green.


Morenci has its second all-state cross country girl in school history following the state finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Bulldog junior Tatyana Pless finished among the top 30 runners in the Div. IV race to claim all-state honors, Morenci’s first girl to achieve the feat since Leonie VanderHoff in 2000.

Pless slipped into the top group with a 29th-place finish and her season best run at 20:10.5. Classmate Mariah Gillen just missed the cut by taking 34th place with her career best time of 20:17.8.

“I thought one of them might make it in for all-state and one wouldn’t,” said Morenci coach Brad Brown. “They were on the bubble and they’ve gone back and forth on who finishes first.”

Gillen was disappointed with her finish, he said, but Pless was the first one to console her with a hug when the results were announced.

Gillen qualified for the state meet as a freshman and Brown said it was a great accomplishment for her to return and produce a much better time.

Pless was also a qualifier in Div. III as a freshman and she made strong gains throughout the season.

“She really made tremendous strides,” said Coach Brown, “not just athletically but also in the team aspect.”

Those two could face even more of a challenge in their senior year, Brown noted, since only three of this season’s all-staters are seniors.

Sophomore Madi Gleckler placed 139th at 22:06, followed by sophomore Sammy Mikuski, 171st at 22:48; senior Taylor Baugh, 210th at 24:11; senior Maëlle Delhaise, 219th at 24:58; and freshman Andy Mikuski, 237th at 27:12.

Brown was pleased that Baugh was able to close out her career at the state finals.

Morenci finished 17th as a team, about where they were expected to end up based on rankings.

Morenci’s top male runner, Luke Spaulding, gave his career best time with a 63rd-place finish at 17:19. 

“He saved his best for last,” Brown said about the senior, “and I can’t ask for more than that.”

Junior Reagan Stowell lowered his time to 18:16 for 135th place and senior Jake Spaulding was near his best at 18:49 for 176th.

“Both teams were incredibly enjoyable to work with,” Brown said. “I was happy with the season we had and I’m looking forward to next year.”


MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s volleyball team was ousted from the Class D district tournament at home last week by Lenawee Christian School.

The Cougars won the match in three sets and went on to win the district title Friday night against Camden-Frontier.

LCS toppled the Bulldogs 25-15, 25-17 and 25-19.

In the opening game, an ace serve by Emma Binegar kept the score close at 6-8, and when a serve from Hannah Jeffers wasn’t returned, the Bulldogs trailed 9-14. After that the Cougars opened up the scoring to claim a big win.

Morenci trailed by seven points early in the second set, but the Bulldogs fought back. Two kills from Breanna Gilson, a pair of aces from Erin Vanderpool, a tip from Binegar and a kill from Jeffers tightened the score to 13-18. Brooke Bovee scored a kill to make it 15-20 before LCS finished it off.

The Bulldogs trailed by 11 in the final game, 7-16, but rallied to pull within four points. Taylor Schisler added points with a block and a kill, and Ashley VanBrandt scored a kill. Bovee served an ace to make it 16-23 and Julie Terry added a point when she placed an attack into a hole.

Bovee scored one final kill for a 19-23 margin before the Cougars ended it.

Statistics: Bovee, 9 kills, 12/12 serving, 3 aces, 7 points; Gilson, 8 assists, 2 kills, 8/8 serving; Vanderpool, 6 digs, 7/8 serving, 2 aces, 5 points; Binegar, 3 assists, 4/4 serving, 1 ace;

Jessica Storrs, 8/10 serving, 1 ace; Jeffers, 1 kill, 1 block, 9/11 serving and 5 points; Schisler and VanBrandt each had 1 kill and 1 block; Allison Piercy, 1 kill; Terry, 3 digs and 1 kill.

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