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.

Festive Weekend 7.2

Written by David Green.

Morenci dodged the stormy weather last weekend for a successful Town and Country Festival.

As storms headed both north and south, only a brief shower Sunday afternoon sent Morenci Idol audience members heading for shelter. The remainder of the three-day festival went by under perfect conditions.

“I think everything went well,” said Sue Snyder of the festival committee. “

The number of people at Wakefield Park was often smaller without the annual softball tournament, but certain events drew a crowd.

“There were a few slow spots Saturday,” Snyder said, “but the carnival made good money and vendors didn’t complain.”

The Battle of the Bands drew followers from other communities and 366 votes were cast by those in attendance. The local band Kevlar was easily the winner by popular vote, but percussionist Zach Phillips had a hunch his band might do well since he had a family reunion in town for the weekend.

“There was a huge, positive response to that event,” Snyder said. “Kent Deatrick took over the entertainment spot and he handled it very well and very professionally.”

She and Deatrick both heard positive comments about the format, in which each of the nine bands played one song at a time. A variety of musical styles was presented as the crowd followed performances around the perimeter of the tennis court where the bands were set up.

The chicken barbecue sold out following the parade and a new event—a corn hole tournament—proved popular with 16 teams entering.

“It went over very well and people had a blast with it,” Snyder said.

“We actually had two tournaments,” said organizer Barb Foss.

Wes and Tyler Clark won the first round with six teams. In the 10-team second round, Matt Sewell and Shay Miller came out on top.

More than 70 children went through the child identification program offered by the Fairfield Masonic Lodge #125, in conjunction with the Morenci Kiwanis Club.

“Several people said how nice it was they offered that for free,” Snyder said.

The park filled up at dusk for the annual fireworks show, and then there was a little softball. With the main tournament in Fayette this year, an old guys vs. the young guys game was formed and a large crowd remained until the contest wrapped up around midnight.

Snyder knows there are other events competing with the Town and Country Festival for the last weekend of June, such as the Threshers’ Reunion, but committee members have decided in the past to stay with that date rather than change from year to year.

After taking a break for a few weeks, the committee will get together to evaluate this year’s event and consider changes for next year.

 As always, committee members are looking for new ideas and for new members to help plan and carry out the 2009 festival.

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