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.

Mayor looking at property code violations 10.24

Written by David Green.

Tracking down property maintenance violations is taking a more systematic approach in Morenci as mayor Russ Sutherland heads out to look for problems.

Sutherland said the effort began at the north end of Summit Street by taking a look at house exteriors for violations of the International Property Maintenance Code. The city adopted the code in 2003.

As he works his way south, he’s also traveling down side streets to the west of Summit, then he’ll head down North Street, then check on residences on side streets east of Summit.

Addresses of houses with violations will be given to building inspector Kevin Arquette who will contact the property owner.

A few violation letters have already been mailed, said city clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder. Incidents have included tall grass, a foundation problem, bare electrical wires, and a problem with an exterior stairway, a chimney and drains.

The most common violation is from the “protective treatment” portion of the code that covers painting and siding issues.

The goal of the effort is to reach compliance, said police chief Larry Weeks, not to pile on fines.

Arquette is willing to discuss an issue with the property owner to come up with a repair plan. The circumstances of the problem will determine arrangements about how quickly the violation should be addressed.

“We recognize there are some hardship cases,” Sutherland said, “but we want to see an effort.”

He said property owners might be able to obtain labor assistance through the high school Volunteer Club or from a church group.

Aside from the systematic look through town, Sutherland said that complaints from citizens will also be forwarded to Arquette.

“They will be number one on our priority list,” he said.

If a property owner disputes the existence of a structural problem, the case can be appealed to the Construction Board of Appeals. A $100 fee is charged.

When Sutherland’s plan was discussed at the Sept. 27 city council meeting, council member Tracy Schell noted that the International Property Maintenance Code is very extensive. She expressed concern about how thoroughly the code would be enforced.

 

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