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.

Lenawee County's Emergency Response Team disbands 03.02.2011

Written by David Green.

The Lenawee County Law Enforcement Emergency Response Team has ceased operations and will no longer be available for emergency calls from county law enforcement agencies.

The team was formed in 1999 as a combined effort between officers from the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office, Adrian Police Department and the Tecumseh Police Department. The team members received special training and equipment which prepared them for incidents involving barricaded gunmen, hostage situations, high risk drug search warrants, etc. An associated Hostage Negotiation Team is also ceasing operation.

Sheriff Jack Welsh, Chief Terry Collins, and Chief Troy Stern all agreed that the increasingly severe budget limitations placed on their departments resulted in a situation where a choice had to be made between having patrol cars on the road or training sessions for team members. Due to the specialized skills the team possessed, members were required to attend day-long training sessions on a monthly basis.

Over the years, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) had obtained a large supply of necessary equipment and weapons. The decision was made to store the items in case the team could be reactivated in the future when budget conditions improve.

With the loss of the ERT, Lenawee County police agencies will have to rely on either the state police or a nearby county to obtain an Emergency Response or SWAT team. The sheriff and chiefs express concern about delays associated with calling an out-of-county team. Potential delays were a large part of the reason Lenawee County’s team was formed.

ERT was authorized to operate with a total of 18 officers. However, due to budget cuts reducing the number of officers each department employed, the active officers had dropped to 14.

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