Morenci council appoints Greg Braun 2.27

Written by David Green.

Morenci city council is whole again with a vacant seat filled.

Council members voted unanimously Monday night to appoint former planning commission member Greg Braun to fill the unexpired term of Jason Bryant.

Braun will serve until the November election. At that time he can seek voter approval for another year in office until the end of Bryant’s term in November 2009.

Mayor Doug Erskin praised Braun’s work on the planning commission when Erskin served as chairperson.

Sandy Wheeler was appointed to fill a vacancy on the zoning board of review. Wheeler works as a real estate agent.

City clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder told council the state’s prison labor program was reinstated, but at a large increase in costs.

The program was halted last year due to the state’s financial situation.

“I think they met with a lot of opposition when they canceled the program,” Schroeder said.

To help pay for the program, the rate was nearly doubled to $30 a prisoner for an eight-hour work day. Mileage is also paid.

City supervisor Lonnie Vanderpool pointed out that prison work crews from the county are still available at a much lower cost.

The city has hired prison crews in the past to help with miscellaneous maintenance projects.

EXEMPTION—Council passed a resolution establishing guidelines for granting poverty exemptions from property tax.

Exemptions are based on federal poverty guidelines. The current poverty threshold for a single person is $10,210 and $20,650 for a family of four.

Applicants must file a request with the board of review. Exemptions may be granted for only one year at a time.

 

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
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    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.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.

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