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.

Becky Bismack: Consumers Energy operator 2008.07.10

Written by David Green.

Becky Bismack of Morenci has accepted the utility worker position at Consumers Energy's Adrian Service Center.

Previously, Bismack worked nearly 10 years as a residential meter reader for the utility.

Her current title is the first step in the sub-metro apprenticeship program. There are four steps to achieving the final journeyman operator position, and it takes a minimum of three years to progress through the program. Journeyman operators are on call seven days a week at all hours and are the first responders during storms or other emergencies that affect substations.becky.bismack.jpg

Out of 55 operators covering Consumers Energy's service territory, there are six women—including Bismack —currently working in the operations department.

Bismack is working in the three counties of the Adrian service area, where she is part of a crew that inspects on a monthly basis each of the nearly four dozen substations in the area.

Her duties include scrutinizing large substation meters that give information about temperature, amperage, voltage and the status of equipment inside the substation. She now works around lines that may carry 138,000 volts. The meters she read in and around Morenci in her previous position at Consumers Energy were typically 110-volt.

“Becky is a good problem solver—that's a good trait to have in her new position,” said Steve McDonald, Bismack’s supervisor. “Part of her job is to inspect substation equipment and to work with electric line workers to help prevent power outages.”

Bismack grew up in Morenci just a half block away from the Morenci substation. She began working for Consumers Energy in August 1998.

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