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

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

Vreba-Hoff Dairy runs afoul with ODA 10.3

Written by David Green.

Vreba-Hoff Dairy has angered environmentalists over discharges of contaminated water, the Michigan DEQ over failure to comply with state law and to respond to its orders for a better operation, many Medina Township residents over road damage, the Lenawee County Road Commission over failure to pay the requested amount for the repair of damaged roads, and several citizens in the Morenci area over continuous hauling of liquid manure during a weekend in August.

Is there anyone else to add?

Try the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

That agency is considering enforcement action for unauthorized use of the Chesterfield Dairy—relating to the Aug. 27 to 29 movement of 678,000 gallons of manure from the two dairies northwest of Morenci to the dairy on Fulton County Road 14, a facility where Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development is serving as consultant and developer.

Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development and operator Karel Vande Kolk were notifed Aug. 31 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) that they failed to comply with a manure transport contingency plan developed in April 2007. The plan cleared the way for moving manure from the two Vreba-Hoff dairies to Chesterfield, providing five conditions were met.

According to the ODA, the Chesterfield Dairy failed to have a fully operational anaerobic treatment system approved for use before manure was received. In addition, the nutrient analysis of the manure transported into Ohio was not provided within the specified time.

“The terms of the contingency plan could not be made clearer,” said Kevin Elder in the letter.

• Update: The ODA is not pursuing enforcement action and has not responded to questions about why the agency decided to ignore the transport contingency plan.

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