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.

Common raven returns to Ohio 6.4

Written by David Green.

For the first time in more than a century, common ravens have nested in Ohio. The nest was discovered this spring at Fernwood State Forest in Jefferson County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. 

This largest of all songbirds was last known to have nested in Ohio during the late 1800s - in a once heavily forested area of the northwest known as the Black Swamp. This region was one of the last Ohio frontiers to be settled and was the last stronghold for the common raven in the state. Once abundant statewide, the loss of nesting habitat due to the destruction of woodlands during the last few decades of the 19th century caused the population to decline.  By 1900, ravens could no longer be found breeding in Ohio.

However, these smart and resourceful birds have been expanding their breeding range throughout the Appalachian region for the last decade or so. Increased numbers began nesting in western Pennsylvania in recent years.  Scattered sightings of individual ravens were recorded in southeast Ohio during the past 10 years, probably representing "scout" birds expanding westward into now-suitable habitat.

At least two ravens were spotted in and around Fernwood in 2006 and 2007.  Researchers discovered this spring's nesting pair in March and documented five young birds.

The common raven is 20-27 inches in length, weighs up to 2.5 pounds and has a 46-inch wingspan. Both male and female birds work to construct nests, which are usually found on a high cliff wall or in the fork of a tree 45 to 80 feet above the ground. The average pair produces three to seven chicks and both parents work to supply food for the offspring.

Ravens are omnivorous eaters, dining on insects, eggs, small amphibians and rodents, garbage or the leftovers of other predators.

The return of ravens to Ohio symbolizes the recovery of the state's forests and the resilience of one of the most adaptable and intelligent birds.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016