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

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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2005.12.07 Some are born to fish

Written by David Green.


WHAT DOES Al Fisher have in common with Terry Fisher, Sam Fisher, Frank Fisher and Robert Fisher? A last name, of course, but there’s more. It’s not geography. Al is from Arkansas, Terry is from Florida, Sam lives in Virginia, Frank hails from Tennessee and Robert is from Vermont.

Here’s a hint: It’s their favorite pastime. And here’s the answer: They’re all professional bass fishermen.

The word “professional” probably needs an asterisk. It all depends on how you define it.

1. Engaging in an activity as a source of livelihood.

That’s certainly not the case for Robert up there in Essex Junction, Vermont. He hasn’t earned a dime as a bass pro, although it might be interesting to know how much he’s spent in this pursuit. 2005 was his first season of competition, so let’s give him a chance.

2. Performed by a person receiving pay.

Sam Fisher has earned $300 in three years. That probably helped cover fuel expenses hauling his boat from lake to lake.

Frank has a more promising career ahead of him. This was his first year and he raked in $726. His wife probably isn’t convinced yet. His earnings represent 15 days of fishing in eight events, although he did get one for the wall: a bass weighing six pounds, seven ounces. I don’t really know if it’s on the wall. The bass tour people say that 99 percent of the catches are successfully released back into the water, suffering from little more than humiliation and an extremely sore mouth.

3. Having or showing great skill.

Terry Fisher can make a statement here. He claims a one-day best catch of 21 pounds, eight ounces. He’s averaged only $350 a year in five seasons, but his one-day record certainly comes out ahead of Al.

This final member of these Fisher boys is the guy you would call a bass pro, or to look at it another way, he’s one of those guys who inspire so many other suckers to think that they can make a living off a mustard-colored Little Pig crankbait tied to an eight-pound line.

Al has been around since 1998. His one-day best catch is only 17-2 and his Big Fish is only 4-11, but he’s won $27,697. That’s almost $4,000 a year. He’s got his gas and his food covered, with enough left over to buy a new boat.

I’m making it sound as if these guys are in it for the money, but of course that isn’t true. That’s just an occasional bonus for the lucky few. Everybody is just out doing what they love to do.

THEY’RE ALSO out there because they have to be. If your name is Fisher, you have to fish. The same goes if your name is Chad Reel or Michael Stringer or Kelly Hook or Avery Poles. The same if your name is Blake Jumper or Fred Guppy or David Scales. It’s especially true if your name is Joe Bass, even if you’ve never earned a cent off your black and blue Strike King jig.

I would hope you have better uses of precious brain matter than to recall my fascination with bass pro names. I’ve mentioned it before, I know.

Mike Rudder, Danny Helm, Mark Hull, David Craft, John Skipper, Chris Keel, Mike Keel, Johnathon Keel.

Tony Waters, James Marsh, Jr. Brooks, John Shore.

Dan Fry, Terrance Gaar, Morris Herring, David Pike.

Charlie Crisp? Maybe, but certainly Donald Odor.

They’re just perfect. It’s as if there were newspaper people named David Headline or Jeff Editorial. It’s a really special crowd out in those bass boats.

I love the names and I love the way they talk when they win.

“I feel great. I’ve never been tingling so hard in my life,” Trevor Janscasz said as he walked away with a $25,000 check.

“My grass pattern died earlier in the week and I switched to flipping docks for the final round.” Now that was a true professional speaking. Sam Newby is no fishy name, but he won $140,000 one day last month, pushing his career bass money past half a million.

How about this: “This is the most wonderful feeling any person could have. It’s like winning the Super Bowl.” That was a $62,500 statement, and now you know why people have hopes of making the big time on the lake.

That’s why James Hailstones of Cincinnati is in there and Ronald Morency of Attica, Ohio.

But where does North Carolina angler Flash Butts fit in? I suppose he serves a purpose like last May when he led an event for a day and the headline read “Kicking Butts.”

   - Dec. 7, 2005 

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