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.

3.17.10 Julie Weatherington: Aquifer designation concerns not justified

Written by David Green.

At the January 13, 2010, US EPA public hearing in Bryan, Ohio, for the MICHINDOH Sole Source Aquifer (SSA) which I attended, there were a number of farm families, elected officials and farm bureau representatives who expressed grave concerns that SSA designation would impact USDA cost-share funding to agricultural practices.

I have contacted Soil & Water Conservation Districts, NRCS District Conservationists and a Farm Services Agency in Miami, Montgomery, and Preble counties in southwest Ohio where they have had the Great Miami-Mad River Buried Valley Aquifer SSA designation for 23 years.

I am pleased to report that there is no impact or hold-up for distributing USDA cost-share funds for any farm whether in or out of the SSA boundary. This is also true for the Western Allen County (OH) SSA (1992) in northwest Ohio. I called the NRCS Ohio State Office and was told that not only would there be no hold-up for funds, but that there would be extra consideration for farms in the SSA boundaries. This agrees with information from Ohio EPA and US EPA as well.

Furthermore, rules and laws of Ohio would not be imposed on Michigan or Indiana.  In addition, only under the SSA designation do private wells in rural areas get protection under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

This is the program that is implemented by state EPAs and DEQs which many at the hearing thought already protected them. Without designation, there is NO federal protection for private wells.

Also, the petition process creates a cost for replacement value for the aquifer that is certified by the federal government. This is a valuable and free insurance policy to everyone in the SSA boundaries. In case their ground water supply is contaminated, there is already a value established for the cost of replacement.

With this good news, I am sure that all of the farmers, local elected officials and farm bureau representatives will want to change their objections to one of full support. This is a great gift to all of the people of the MICHINDOH SSA.

– Julie Weatherington-Rice, PhD

Certified Professional Geologist

Certified Professional Soil Scientist 

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