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.

Easters sell DeMor Hills to Justen & Kristy Reitzel 2013.03.27

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Justen and Kristy Reitzel don't see a lot of changes ahead for DeMor Hills Golf Course. As the new owners of Morenci's 18-hole course, their first objective is to continue with the services already in place.

Reitzels"I've been telling Charlie [Easter] we want to keep a good thing going," Justen said.

After several delays, former owners Charlie and Diana Easter met with the Reitzels Monday afternoon to sign the sale papers, ending  28 years of ownership for the Easter family.

There is one change that golfers and non-golfers alike will notice when the course first opens this spring: there will be no full-service restaurant.

With the closing on the sale just this week, the Reitzels are getting a late start to prepare for the golfing season. Golf is the chief product, Justen said, and the restaurant will have to wait.

"There will be food and beverages for golfers," he said. "Just not the full restaurant as in the past."

The Reitzels are well aware of the popularity of the restaurant—even to those who never touch a golf club—and they aim to restore service as soon as possible.

Justen earned a turf grass management degree and has worked as an assistant golf course superintendent for four years. Kristy has office management experience. Visitors will see her in the office, Justen said, while he'll spend a lot of time out on the course.

The Bowling Green couple had heard about DeMor Hills as a good golf course, but had never played a round here until they heard that it was for sale and came to take a look. They liked what they saw. The country atmosphere with its natural setting, the small town link, a family operation—it was just the kind of business they wanted to be associated with.

The Reitzels are in the process of contacting representatives from last year's leagues and they've sent post cards to everyone on last year's membership roster to make sure they know the course will soon open. After all, the word got around that offers were made to turn the property back into farm land after 50 years as a golf course.

"Charlie gets credit for keeping it as a golf course," Justen said.

The offers were there, Charlie said, but he and Diana hated to see that happen.

“We stuck with the plan to keep it a golf course,” he said. “You put 28 years of your life into something and you don’t want to see it go away.”

The Reitzels have heard there was a lot of concern that the facility might close for good.

"It makes us feel good to know that people want it to stay open," Justen said, but for the near future, he wouldn't mind seeing snow in the forecast for a while longer.

There's a lot of work to do with equipment and grounds before an opening date is established, and the Reitzels are still settling into their new home at the course.

“It’s been a bittersweet day,” Charlie said after signing over ownership, but already he knows his life is going to be a lot less stressful.

There’s plenty of hard work involved in running a golf course and restaurant, but there’s a good side, too.

“All the good people we met—that’s how we justify it,” Charlie said. “We wouldn’t have traded it for the world.”

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