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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Joyce Koppenhofer: Electric hybrid owner

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

When Gorham Fayette High School library media specialist Joyce Koppenhofer lived in Blissfield, her 40-mile commute to work was long, but bearable. At the time, she drove a Pontiac Grand Am, which got about 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

Then Joyce’s living situation changed. Her husband, Keith—a pastor—accepted a new job and they moved to Oak Harbor, Ohio, a little more than 71 miles away from Fayette. With a round-trip commute of 143 miles, the Grand Am just wasn’t cutting it—Joyce was filling the gas tank about once a day.hybird.koppen

This summer, before the school year began, she decided to buy a new car. A friend had recommended the Honda Civic for its fuel efficiency and Joyce had been reading about automotive hybrids—cars that utilize onboard rechargeable energy storage systems to increase fuel efficiency.

Since 2003, Honda has offered a hybrid Civic, but new models were beyond Joyce’s price range, so she undertook the difficult task of searching out a used one.

“Once people buy the hybrids, they keep them,” she explained. It’s not hard to see why the cars are in such high demand—hybrid Civic drivers enjoy upwards of 50 miles per gallon.

Joyce was lucky. A Bowling Green State University professor had turned a 2003 model into University Honda in Bowling Green right before she showed up. After a few test drives, she was sold. The hybrid was unlike any car she had ever driven.

While hot rod and sports car engines often ignite with a roar, the hybrid Civic ignites with a hum. Most non-hybrid Civics from 2003 are propelled by 1.7-liter internal combustion engines, but the hybrid carries a 1.3-liter model.

However, it’s helped along by a 15 kilowatt, 20 horsepower electric “assist” engine. This is where the fuel/electric “hybrid” concept comes into play. The combustion engine creates provides most of the energy to move the car and the electric energy helps recycle it through a process called regenerative braking.

Thanks to another energy-saving innovation she enjoys a fuel efficiency of up to 120 miles per gallon while coasting. As many as three of the cylinders in the Civic’s engine cease operating during deceleration, which decreases both fuel use and engine deterioration.

“The way things are going with gas prices jumping up and down, I think you’re going to see more people exploring the smaller cars,” said Joyce.

    - Nov. 8, 2006

How the electric hybrid works 

Understanding the idea is a bit tricky, even for hybrid owners.

Traditional brake systems use calipers, drums or disks to slow automobiles through friction. During the slowing process, the kinetic force moving the car forward is converted to heat and, essentially, lost.

In contrast, regenerative braking converts kinetic energy into electrical energy. This is possible because electric motors and electric generators operate in a very similar fashion.

Electric motors create kinetic energy by using electricity to turn a turbine. Electric generators utilize the kinetic energy produced by turbines to create electricity. When the driver of a hybrid hits the brake pedal, the car engages turbines to slow itself down. The electric energy collected during the braking process is stored in a battery, and later used to assist the combustion engine, especially when the car needs to climb hills or accelerate rapidly.

As a result, Joyce has no problem accelerating to the speed limit as she enters the Ohio Turnpike.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016