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.

Q & A about the fire siren 2.13

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

You’re enjoying a chance to sleep in on a weekend morning, but there it goes, pulling you out of slumber.

You’re walking downtown when the blast begins and the volume is almost painful.

It’s Morenci’s fire siren, and many people wonder why it even blows these days since fire department members all carry pagers.

There are two reasons the siren continues to sound, said Morenci’s fire chief Chad Schisler.

It’s true that pagers alert firefighters, but it’s also true that pagers don’t always operate as they should.

“We continue to use the siren as a backup to our pager system,” Schisler said. “The paging system is continuing to be improved through the funds that all telephone users pay on their monthly phone bills.”

When the siren is activated at the dispatch system in Adrian, a tone also triggers the pagers.

Schisler said there are no plans to discontinue use of the siren. Even if the paging system were to become more dependable, the siren serves in another way that he finds valuable.

“The other advantage is that it makes citizens aware that we are responding to an emergency and they start looking for emergency vehicles going to and from the station.”

All right, so the siren is going to stay, but does it have to be so loud?

Schisler said before the existing siren was purchased, there was a discussion about buying two sirens—one for each end of town. Because that would have doubled the price, the decision was made to go with a single siren that can be heard at the edges of the community.

Schisler said where he lives on the west side of town, it’s not loud at all and a lower volume could easily be missed.

So if the volume is going to stay loud, couldn’t it at least blow for a shorter duration? This would minimize the disruption to people in downtown businesses making telephone calls and it would shorten the blow to pedestrians.

One 360° rotation takes one minute, Schisler said, so the cycle is set on two minutes for two rotations. Sometimes it’s cut short if a firefighter is at the station and turns it off early.

OK, so if it’s going to blow loud and it’s going to blow long, couldn’t it at least be used only for the fire department?

We no longer have volunteer rescue squad members rushing to the fire hall, so a warning to look for vehicles isn’t needed. Besides, there’s often quite a delay between the siren and the appearance of the ambulance, so it doesn’t really serve as a warning to look out for the ambulance. It’s equipped with lights and a siren anyway.

It’s not that simple, Schisler said. The fire department and the ambulance service both use the same paging system, so it’s not a matter of using it for one but not the other.

The ambulance service could use its own radio channel, but once again it’s going to cost a lot more money.

Due to his work schedule, Schisler sleeps during the day and he, too, would be pleased not to be awakened for rescue calls. A large majority of Morenci’s sirens are for the ambulance.

All right, you win—or, perhaps, the ambulance wins, but one more question. What about those occasional night time sirens? That’s not supposed to happen except for the severe weather siren blast.

“The fire siren is operational from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., approximately,” Schisler said. “The unit is on a timer and through power interruptions the timer will occasionally be off until the technician re-programs the unit.”

Any other questions?

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