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.
  • 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.
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Electical Outage

Written by David Green.

Closed Thursday.

That’s what you’ll find throughout much of Morenci tomorrow when Consumers Energy shuts off the lights to take care of a major maintenance project.

Many downtown businesses will be closed during the power outage Thursday, however, a survey of a few business owners shows that  some will remain open.power.pole

At Borchardt Brothers Market, the generator will be fired up to keep the freezers cold, so the doors will remain open.

“As long as I’ve got to have power, I might as well be open,” Bill Borchardt said. “I hope it will be a service to the town.”

For example, Borchardt said, without power in people’s homes and with a reluctance to open and the close the refrigerator door, he suggests that people remember his deli foods for some ready-to-eat lunch items.

Adam Johnson and his staff have worked in the dark before during power outages, and he plans to remain open Thursday.

Mike’s Pharmacy will be open, as will The Pub although food won’t be served.

Mail will be delivered as normal Thursday morning, but the Morenci Post Office will most likely be closed during the outage.

The Deli will be open until the outage begins at 7 a.m. and the store will open again when the power is back on at 3 p.m.

Pizza Box owner Trish Burrough also intends to open late when power is restored.

The banks, the library and city hall will be closed. What about the Observer office? Owner David Green says he’ll try to get some work done near the window. Failing that, he’ll lock up, too.

As far as Consumers Energy’s service area goes, the outage affects only Morenci, but there’s a catch for some rural customers. Because the substation southeast of Canandaigua is fed by the Consumers line coming into Morenci, an area of Midwest Energy’s service north of town will also be without power.

That’s why De-Mor Hills Golf Course has announced the restaurant will be closed until 3 p.m. Thursday.

There's maintenance work to be done

Post cards sent to Consumers Energy customers last week stated the planned blackout is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Consumers spokesperson Terry DeDoes doesn’t expect much deviation from that plan.

Eight hours are scheduled, he said, and the company is generally quite accurate in its predictions.

The work Thursday is designed to prevent a problem in the future, DeDoes explained.

There’s one main electrical feed into Morenci, entering town on the north side after working its way down from the Hudson area. Two poles supporting the lines are becoming increasingly close to the edge of Bean Creek due to bank erosion. One is located north of the city sewage lagoons and the other is located farther north. Continuing erosion of the creek bank will endanger the stability of both poles.

If the pole toppled on its own, he said, the repair time would be much greater than that scheduled Thursday.

“It’s always better to do the work on a scheduled basis rather than wait until there’s a problem,” DeDoes said.

Unfortunately, it isn’t safe for workers to complete the task in darkness, so the work is scheduled for daylight hours.

Consumers has done as much as possible ahead of time to minimize the outage time.

Power will be cut to approximately 1,040 residences and businesses, DeDoes said. Consumers worked with city officials to determine the best day of the week for the outage, first wait ing until school was out of session.


The first step in the process is to de-energize the system for workers’ safety, DeDoes said, and that takes about an hour.

Lines will be relocated to the two new poles, and when that work is completed, another hour will be needed to power the system back up.

“In addition to replacing the poles, we’re going to perform crossbar maintenance at five other locations,” DeDoes said.

This additional work won’t increase the outage time, he said.

Weather conditions are expected to allow the work to go forward as planned, however, Consumers set the following Thursday, June 21, as a backup date.

Is it a community-wide vacation day?

A planned power outage? How convenient is that? No rooting around for candles and matches or flashlights and batteries, no wishing you had made dinner earlier.

When the lights and everything else electrical go out in Morenci and environs tomorrow, residents can plan where they’re going to be. And, anticipating a free day, some already have.

Where will you be when the lights go out? What are you going to do when there’s no power on Thursday?

Head to somewhere where there’s lots of power.

Curley Girdham

I’m going to the county library. I just got to figure out where it is.

William Reid

I’m going to Hudson. My daughter lives there and I’m going to watch the grandkids.

Sherrie Lauffer

I’m going to Sam’s.

Dianne Grieder

I do things on the spur of the moment. I haven’t planned that far ahead. I can find something to do. I have two jigsaw puzzles to do.

Marilyn Rorick

I’ll probably be watching my grandkids.

Diane Varga

I might do homework.

Stephanie Mossing

We are going to go to the zoo.

Becky Mock

We’re going out to eat.

– Lori Drogowski

I’m going to Toledo. My daughter Kathy lives in Maumee. I’m going to visit her and my little granddaughter.

Anne Johncox

I haven’t really figured it out yet. I figure it’ a good day to to to Adrian for and early breakfast and go shopping and bum around.

– Ruth Downer

We’ll go out to eat breakfast. Shopping, maybe to Toledo. Take in a movie or something.

Gayle Dominique

Going to the movies in Adrian.

Courtney Kruger

I’m cleaning rocks for my grandma.

Nate Grieder

I'm using my Toledo Zoo pass to take Cindy Lazarz out for a treat during her last week at the Bank of Lenawee. I can’t take my granddaughter so I’ll take Cindy.

Renée Schroeder

Playing cards at my house.

Dominique Cox

Going to the lake.

Tommy McVay

Running around getting in condition for track.


Going to my friend’s house and ride bikes.

Kaitlyn Bovee

    –June 13, 2007 

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