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.

Michigan Gas Utilities seek rate increase 5.21

Written by David Green.

Citing inflationary increases to costs, Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation (MGUC), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, today applied for an overall increase of 5.8 percent in its natural gas rates. The increase, if approved, would result in a monthly increase of about $6 for the typical residential customer using 92 MCF of natural gas annually.

Additionally, MGUC is asking for a 4.4 percent interim increase, subject to refund, while the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) considers the overall request.

The commodity cost of natural gas is not affected by this rate request.

“Due to inflation, our costs have risen over the past five years, so we need this increase to recover those increased costs,” said MGUC President Gary Erickson. “We are sensitive to our customers’ frustration at rising energy costs and we have tried to hold our request to a minimum. For example, all MGUC employees are now bearing more of the costs of employee benefits.”

Erickson said that natural gas commodity prices continue to be volatile and current indications are that prices could be higher next winter.  MGUC does not profit from the price of natural gas commodity. It simply passes the cost of the natural gas commodity through to its customers, under the oversight of the MPSC.

“The rate increase is only related with the delivery of the gas commodity,” Erickson said. “That makes up about 27 percent of the total bill for a typical residential customer.  The rest of the bill is the cost of the natural gas commodity itself.”

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