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.

Q & A about the fire siren 2.13

Written 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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