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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Insurance claims from severe weather 6.11

Written by David Green.

 Severe weather that hit the state this weekend will undoubtedly result in many residents filing insurance claims.  Tornadoes and wind damage is generally covered by homeowners insurance policies.   However, flooding is not covered by a regular homeowners policy, but can be purchased through the National Insurance Flood Program.

It is important that the claim process be approached in a knowledgeable and organized manner, according to a representative from the insurance industry.   (See general insurance coverage questions attached to this news release).

“Residents affected by the storm want to know their insurance company is responding to their claim,” Pete Kuhnmuench, Executive Director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM), said.   “If the policyholder is informed and organized, the process will move along more quickly.”

If you have a claim, report it to your insurance agent or call your insurance company's claims telephone number.  After alerting your insurance representative of a claim, take necessary steps to prevent further damage.  Make sure to cover holes in the roof, walls, doors and windows with plastic or boards.  Be careful not to risk your own safety in making the repairs, however.   Also, it is important to keep an accurate list of supplies purchased for emergency repair.   

The policyholder can help by making a room-by-room inventory of damaged property.  Important information is needed to accurately determine the value of the damaged or destroyed property, according to Kuhnmuench.   For each damaged item, include brand name, model number, age, purchase price, place of purchase and the estimated cost to replace.    The Insurance Institute of Michigan has free home inventory software available on its website,

Also, keep all receipts.  If you have to stay at a hotel, your policy may provide reimbursement for lodging and meals.

Use reputable companies for all repairs.  Ask the contractor to thoroughly identify the work to be performed and provide a written estimate, including the proposed cost.  Also, ask for a warranty on the work.

If you have questions about your coverage or a specific loss, call your insurance agent.  However, if consumers have general insurance questions or need help resolving a problem with an insurance company, they can call the Michigan Insurance Information Hotline at 1-800-777-8005.  The toll-free service is operated 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.   Insurance consultants provide consumers with quick access to information on all types of insurance or provide assistance when they have a problem with their own insurance company.

IIM is a government affairs and public information association represents property/casualty insurance companies that provide insurance to 74 percent of the automobile and 66 percent of the homeowners markets in  Michigan.   For more information about insurance, contact the Insurance Information Hotline, toll-free, at 1-800-777-8005 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or visit the website at


Storm Damage Coverage Question and Answers:

How can I prevent water damage?

- Never store perishables or valuables in basements that you can't afford to lose or replace (i.e. photos, clothing, electronics, collectibles, etc.)

- Do not store items near basement drains.

- Check storm drain lines to make sure they're clear of debris, roots, etc. 

- Make sure your sump pump and/or dehumidifier are in working order.   

- Use shelving to store items several inches above the potential water level.

- Make sure your home's downspouts are extended far enough away from the foundation to prevent water from entering your basement through the walls.

- Grade the property around your home to drain water away from it.

- If you have water seepage following storms, take corrective measures to alleviate future problems. For instance, install a sump pump or have a waterproofing expert take a look at your situation to see what can be done to eliminate the potential of major water damage losses. Most basement waterproofing companies offer guarantees. Also be sure to tell your insurer when such improvements have been made.


Are tornadoes covered under my homeowners policy?

Damages caused by high winds, tornadoes and hail are covered by homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies.


Do I have coverage for flooding?

Flood coverage is excluded from homeowners and renters insurance policies, however, this protection is available through the purchase of a flood insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent or company representative for details. Many licensed agents offer flood insurance. If you're having trouble finding flood insurance, call the National Flood Insurance Program's agent referral program at 1-888-CALL FLOOD. Also, visit to assess your flood risk, get an estimated cost for flood insurance coverage, or browse through a list of insurance agents writing flood insurance coverage in your locale.


Is there coverage for water backup?

Coverage for sewer drain back up is available through many insurance companies as an endorsement to your current homeowners or renters policy. Coverage limitations vary by company, so it's important to understand how and where it applies. Some insurers offer coverage up to the limits of the policy, while other insurers limit the coverage to a specified amount such as $5,000 or $10,000. Other variations include full coverage for sump pump failure to other insurers specifying what items will be covered in the event of such a claim.


Does my policy provide coverage for debris removal?

Typically, the cost associated with removing a fallen tree (or trees) is covered up to a specific dollar amount under the following circumstances:

 - The tree was uprooted due to windstorm, hail, or the peril of weight of ice, snow or sleet or a neighbor's tree was downed under the same circumstances, and

 - The tree damaged a covered structure such as the roof, garage or shed, or

 - The fallen tree has not damaged covered property but blocks the insured's driveway or handicap access ways.


Is there coverage for my trees and shrubs?

Trees, shrubs, plants or lawn are NOT covered from damage caused by wind or hail. Such damages are covered from the perils of fire, lightning, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, nonowned vehicles, vandalism, malicious mischief or theft. The limit is 5% of the dwelling amount, but no more than $500 for any one tree, shrub or plant.  If lightning strikes a tree and falls on your home, homeowners coverage applies as noted.


Is hail damage to my vehicle covered?

Vehicles pot-marked by hail or damaged by flooding are generally covered under the "other-than-collision" (also known as "comprehensive") portion of an auto insurance policy. This is optional coverage that protects insured vehicles in situations other than a collision. It is recommended that if severe weather threatens, vehicles should be moved under cover to prevent damage from high winds, flying debris and hail. Deductibles apply.


I had to make some repairs to prevent further damage to my home.  Can I get reimbursed?

Costs incurred from taking measures to protect against further damage (such as placing plastic over a damaged roof, covering windows to prevent further rain damage, etc.) are likely reimbursable under your homeowners policy. Make sure to save the receipts.

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