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 2013.01.09

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE BOYS BASKETBALL: It was all Fayette in overtime Thursday against North Central, giving the Eagles a 49-42 victory to remain unbeaten in league play.

It should have been easier, coach Todd Mitchell said, but 13-for-25 shooting from the free throw line helped keep things tight. 

The lead bounced back and fourth throughout the fourth quarter with a three-pointer by Chandler Sanford giving the Eagles a brief lead, then a bucket by Zayne Colegrove re-establishing a lead and another by Logan Franks for a late advantage.

Finally, with five seconds to play, Colegrove tied the game 42-42 with a free throw and missed a chance to put it away on a second attempt. A North Central player was fouled and the visitors had a chance to win it.

The front end of a one-and-one missed its mark and the game went into an extra session.

Fayette controlled the ball for much of the overtime, aided by three North Central turn-overs. Sanford canned a three pointer and the Eagles shot four for eight from the line.

Colegrove collected three steals and Tyler Cox made a pair of blocks.

The win keeps Fayette in a first-place tie with Pettisville.

HICKSVILLE—Six-for-eight shooting from the line helped the Eagles to a 43-35 win against Hicksville at home Saturday.

“We made free throws but missed lay-ups,” Coach Mitchell said. “We missed at least eight uncontested lay-ups. Our defense kept us in the game.”

A two-pointer and a three-pointer from Koby Biddix in the fourth quarter also helped seal the win.

Cole Burkholder led scoring with 15 points, including a seven-for-nine showing at the line.


JV BOYS: Fayette’s JV boys added a pair of wins to their record (9-1), but one of those victories didn’t come easily.

The Eagles led North Central by only two points going into the final quarter Thursday, but success at the free-throw line led to a 44-34 win.

A better job overall at the line would have made it easier (12 for 23) but Fayette added 10 points that way in the fourth quarter.

Grant Schaffner shot seven for seven and led scoring with 11 points. Danial Michael shot three for four and finished with nine points.

Coach Matt Maginn praised Skylar Lantz, Michael Brubaker and Michael for setting the tone on defense with an aggressive press. Tristan Bates grabbed seven rebounds in three quarters of play.

Hicksville played closely for a quarter Saturday, but the Eagles started running away with the game in the second quarter and finished with a 40-23 victory.

Fayette had plenty of missed shots early on, but soon Bates, Michael, Wade Burkholder and Jerad Seiler set up a strong inside game. Most points were scored inside the paint.

Burkholder scored 13 and Bates added 10. The Eagles turned the ball over only nine times despite a Hicksville press.


FAYETTE GIRLS BASKETBALL: Fayette’s varsity girls jumped to an 11-2 lead Friday at North Central, but that didn’t mark the direction of the game.

North Central tightened the game, then fell behind again in the second quarter. But after an 18-point third quarter and a 16-6 run, North Central (4-5, 0-4) trailed by only three points, 33-30.

Fayette (8-2, 3-1) came on strong one more time and claimed a 49-38 league win.

“North Central had a couple of good shooters who stepped up,” said Eagle coach Tim Nicely. “Our shooting has been off the last couple of games. We aren’t capitalizing on inside opportunities.”

Fayette didn’t let the three-point margin last for long.

“We got on a run after that,” Nicely said.

Taylor Griffiths opened the fourth quarter with three field goals. Alexis Fruchey added a pair plus two free throws. Griffiths added two more free throws to finish with 18 points. Fruchey also made it into double figures with 10.

North Central started to establish an outside game in the third quarter, but the Eagles responded with a zone to slow it down.

Fayette committed 14 turn-overs and shot around the 30 percent range.

Nicely praised Melani Seiler and Ashtyn Baker for their important contributions to the win.

SWANTON—After a quick 9-0 lead Monday against Swanton, Fayette and their guests were deadlocked at 22 points each at half-time. After three quarters, the Panthers were on top by a point.

Swanton’s scoring dried up in the final period to give the Eagles a 38-32 non-conference win.

The Panthers used a 12-4 run in the second quarter to tie the game and they hit a pair of threes in the third to take the lead.

Allison Cuff and Fruchey hit buckets in the fourth to put Fayette back on top and Swanton scored only one free throw in the final minutes of the game.

Griffiths led scoring with 11 points.

GIRLS JV: Fayette’s JV girls dropped a league contest to North Central last week before coming back Monday to edge Swanton.

The Eagles came from behind to take a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter at North Central, but ended up losing by two, 23-21.

“The North Central game left a sour taste in my mouth,” coach Sarah Bird said. “We still had too many unforced turnovers, which we have really been trying to emphasize lately.”

Bird said her players need to make smarter decisions in both shot selections and passing. She likes the aggressive play, but it has to be under control.

“I'm still trying to find someone who is going to step it up and be the leader on the court to help control things,” she said, and that’s just what she got Monday against Swanton.

Adriana Hylander got hot from the outside—hitting five three-point shots—and finished with 17 points.

Swanton led by seven points at half-time, but failed to make a field goal in the third quarter to trail by two points. Hylander hit two of her threes in the final period to keep the Eagles on top. 

“This is an extremely capable group of girls,” Coach Bird said. “We just have to keep working to put the pieces of the puzzle together.”

In the North Central game, Jessie Wheeler collected six rebounds during two quarters on the court.

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