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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Wildlife loss tallied from manure spill 2009.08.19

Written by David Green.

What’s the price of some lost wildlife?

The Ohio DNR does put a figure on everything—every last minnow found floating in a stream.

A July 16 manure spill in Chesterfield Township fouled nearly four miles of Little Bear Creek, a tributary of the Raisin River, and resulted in a fish kill that brought Ohio DNR investigators to the scene.

Steve Thompson from the DNR’s Wildlife Division said the total count came in at about 8,300 animals, including about 1,100 larger fish, 200 crayfish, 725 Asiatic clams and about 5,000 minnows. There were also some tadpoles and mussels.

His agency was nearly finished identifying the various species last week and estimated the fine for wildlife lost at $2,000. Another $3,000 would be assessed to Chesterfield Dairy for investigative costs.

“It was a pretty good size spill,” Thompson said, but he expects no permanent damage. “It should recover in a couple of years.”

Thompson was surprised with some of the fish found in the small stream.

“We ran into a lot of pike and sunfish,” he said, in addition to the more common suckers and bullhead.

There were also creek chubs—which typically grow in the eight to nine-inch range—darters and crayfish. Only a pair of carp were found.

Darters and crayfish are generally the sign of a good quality stream, Thompson said.

He isn’t familiar with the invasive Asiatic fingernail clam that’s entered Lake Erie like the zebra mussel.

“They have a free swimming stage in their life cycle and they migrate,” he said, explaining their presence in Fulton County.

Thompson said the DNR assigns a monetary value by considering the price Fish and Wildlife would have to pay to replace the animals. The value is adjusted every six to eight years.

Pike, for example, are value somewhere in the $2 to $3 range where minnows are a penny or less. Game fish such as bass and bluegill drive up the cost of a fish kill.

In this case, the fine would have been larger if more crayfish had been counted.

“Crayfish don’t float and the water was too dark to see them,” Thompson said. “If we had been able to count the crayfish, that would have increased the cost considerably.”

Dina Pierce of the Ohio EPA said last week her agency is still investigating the manure spill and hasn’t yet concluded if further action or enforcement will be needed.

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