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.

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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