The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

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