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.
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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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2002.09.11 Forget the expectations, surprise me with bubbles

Written by David Green.

I am giddy, expectation whirls me round.

The imaginary relish is so sweet

That it enchants my sense.



My kids and I headed to New York last Wednesday evening to celebrate my Aunt Mary’s 60th birthday. Her children arranged the affair: a Saturday night surprise party at a Knights of Columbus Hall in the Bronx.

David and I had been to the funeral of his Uncle Bill earlier in the day and the gravity of that occasion made me wonder what I was doing devoting the next few days traveling to and being in New York for just a birthday party—and merely a 60th one at that. But the death of my mother has made me realize the importance of family and maintaining connections with them, being there for landmark events, sharing happy times as well as sad.

My kids surprised me by wanting to go also—even though it meant missing two days of school. We’re an odd lot—I’m a mother who encourages them to skip school for worthwhile excursions and diversions, or even just to take a break from the routine; they are kids who enjoy school and hate to miss class.

So we set out, eagerly anticipating our first stop, the Panera restaurant at the service plaza about two hours from Morenci. And what a disappointment to discover they were not serving food—they’d had a power outage and were not yet back in operation.

“Oh, I’m so bummed,” I said to the kids. “I had just been contemplating my soup choices—black bean or lentil.”

“Yeah, cream of broccoli or potato,” said Rosie.

She was in the same boat—the one where eager expectation drops to deep displeasure. At times like that, I have a tendency  to think, Is this a sign? Is this how the whole trip will go? It seemed it would after having to settle for McDonald’s at the next service plaza. But my outlook improved when we stopped for the night in Clarion, Pa., where our favorite cheap, clean, quiet, comfortable hotel, Microtel, came through with its usual high quality service.

I’m more likely to keep expectations low so I won’t be disappointed—especially after missing out on lentil soup—so it was such a treat to lie back in bed, road weary but without worry, and just contemplate the events of the day—from the solemnity of the funeral to the silly snatches of conversation heard along the way. Conversation with my daughters that uses very few words:

“Are those Munchables, Maddy?” I ask about the crackers I hear her eating in the back seat.

“Munch ’ems?” she asks, the one word standing for a whole sentence: Do you mean this box of sour cream and onion Munch ’ems here?

“Wheatables?” says Rosie with a smile, meaning “Are you talking about the box of Wheatables crackers and you’re just a little mixed up?”

 High expectations, low expectations...and no expectations. Sometimes having no expectations in life elicits the most fun of all—like this scenario at the service plaza on the turnpike:

I attempted to wash my hands but the soap dispenser was empty. I tried the next one in the long bank of sinks but it was empty, too.

“I’ve got the soap down here,” a woman said. She’d been fixing her hair in front of the mirror and I thought she was just a fellow traveler.

But she was the attendant and boy, did she have soap—a great gallon jug full of it.

“Here honey,” she said and tipped the jug as I held my hands underneath.

“Whoa, whoa, that’s good!” I said, laughing at the massive gob of liquid soap in the palms of my hands. As I lathered and blobs of soap fell into the sink, she went back to looking at herself in the mirror.

“Oh, I look tired,” she moaned.

“It’s the lighting,” I said.

“And my hair,” she said, as she ran her fingers through it. “It looks terrible.”

On the other side of the attendant, another lady pumped the soap dispenser to no avail.

“Here! here! I’ve got the soap,” the attendant called out. I laughed to myself knowing what was coming: the tip of the jug and then...

“Whoa, whoa!” the lady said. That’s enough to take a bath.”

“Yeah, let’s just plug the sink and take a bubble bath,” said the attendant.

Now wouldn’t that be an unexpected surprise for a weary traveler.

    – Sept. 11, 2002 

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