2-1-1 service coming to Lenawee County 4.30

Written by David Green.

Lenawee County’s new 2-1-1 health and human services telephone line is expected to be ready for use in September.

Lenawee United Way director Kathleen Schanz told Morenci city council members Monday the program will offer ‘round-the-clock service for less-than-emergency needs.

The program started 10 years ago nationally, Schanz said, and has operated out of the Jackson Call Center for several months. Lenawee will join several other southeast Michigan counties through the Jackson center.

Schanz listed three benefits of the service. The 2-1-1 line diverts many non-emergency calls from the 9-1-1 service and allows those personnel to do a more efficient job.

2-1-1 helps cut through red tape with a live responder assessing the situation and consulting a database.

“People get tired of hearing, ‘We don’t do that’ when they call for help,” Schanz said. “2-1-1 does do that.”

Finally, she said, the service provides each participating community with a barometer to gauge the social needs of an area.

The need for the service appears to be growing, she said. The Jackson center received 27,000 calls in 2007. In the first three months of this year, nearly half that many calls have been made.

Morenci police chief Larry Weeks gave his support for the service.

“I don’t know if people realize the number of calls that come to city hall,” he said. “There are so many services that we aren’t even aware of.”

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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.
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  • 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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