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.

Mysterious bell found in St. Clair County yard 2012.06.06

Written by David Green.

morenci.bell.no.3What’s the connection between an old bell found in St. Clair County, Mich., and Morenci?

A St. Clair County resident believes the bell once hung in the North Morenci school, but that might not be the case.

Mark Peck, who lives in Columbus Township in St. Clair County, wrote to Morenci mayor Keith Pennington seeking information about a bell and the letter was forwarded to Bill Van Valkenburg, head of the Morenci Education Foundation. The Foundation now owns the North Morenci school house.

“The previous home owners were big antique collectors,” Peck wrote in a letter to Van Valkenburg. “I really have no idea how they got the bell. When they moved they left a lot of antiques behind including the bell. I wanted to know the history behind it.”

Peck said he really enjoys having the bell in his yard, but he also has an interest in returning it to where it belongs—and he thinks that might be the school house.

The inscription on the yoke reads “Morenci Mich No 3.” Peck located a similar bell with the words “Perin & Oaff MFG Co Cin O”, noting the name of the manufacturer from Cincinnati, Ohio. Peck figures this was custom made for use in Morenci and he thinks the No. 3 refers to Fractional #3, the North Morenci school.

It’s a size three bell, Peck said, but he believes the size is imprinted in another portion of the yoke where the number three appears with a circle around it.

Van Valkenburg isn’t yet convinced the bell came from the school house, but he’s seeking more information. When John and Peggy Zachel began a renovation project at the school in 2000, they believed the original bell hung in the belfry.

At this point it’s still a mystery, but it seems obvious that the old bell used to ring out somewhere in the Morenci area.

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