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

  • 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.

2008.10.15.Mary Shellenbarger: Packard Road project

Written by David Green.

Packard Road “Maintenance?”


Finally, the westernmost just over two mile paved portion of Packard Road is going to be “fixed.” The residents began hearing of the repair work verbally on October 1 from the Lenawee County Road Commission, and local telephone companies. The last notification I’m aware of was on October 9.  “Maintenance” is to begin on October 20.

The Road Commission is widening and straightening the road from 18 to 22 feet; they are excavating new ditches, and installing new culverts. They have asked residents to clear what they can from the entire state-allowed right of way of 66 feet. The Road Commission told the residents conflicting repaving information, anywhere from next spring, to one to two years from now. One resident was told that the road would only be repaved if there was money.        

This “maintenance” will make this short section of  Packard Road two feet wider than Lime Creek Road, with a much wider clear vision area.  Several people will lose one-third or more of their front yards, including their landscaping and large, old trees to the right of way. Even the large trees left standing on the right of way boundary may not survive the root damage inflicted upon them by the ditch excavation; thereby denuding the road and some people’s front yards.

Medina Township is funding this project.  A public hearing was not required because they are calling this a “maintenance” project.   

The Lenawee County Road Commission is calling the multi-year, multi-phase project “reconstruction,” which I have been told should have had a public hearing held.

Because of the magnitude of changes being made, several of the residents are very upset.  They expected to have their road fixed within its basic current confines, with minimal impact to the character of their road, yards, and homes. They would have appreciated earlier notification, and the opportunity to have been included in the decision making processes. They would like a full written disclosure of the “repair” work to be done. They are concerned that the project will be started, and not completed–leaving them with what? Hopefully, not a bigger mess than what they now have.

Could this be the fate for every other area road that is ruined and needs “repair”? If so, I hope those residents will be treated with more consideration and respect.  

 – Mary (Walter) Shellenbarger 

(former Packard Road resident)

Ionia, Mich.

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