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.

Molds stolen from Palm Plastics 7.2

Written by David Green.

When Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks received a report about the theft of expensive brass molds from a local factory, he paid a visit to local scrap metal buyers.

On his fourth try, he found what he was after and an employee of Morenci’s Palm Plastics factory now faces larceny charges for taking nearly $90,000 worth of molds.

Matthew Jay Harsh, 24, of Washington St., Morenci, was arraigned June 25 for the theft and faces two counts of larceny $20,000 or more and one count of larceny $1,000 to $20,000.

Palm Plastics president Jeffrey Owen discovered 10 molds were missing from the factory in May. The specially-designed molds were created in Europe for a manufacturing process at the plastics plant.

The molds weighed about 50 pounds each and Weeks suspected they might have been sold for scrap due to the high prices for scrap metal.

A scrap buyer near Fayette remembered buying unusual looking items and told Weeks he paid about $90 for each one. He told Weeks the identity of the seller who was an employee at Palm.

Harsh confessed to taking the molds, but he told Weeks he didn’t believe they were of any value. He thought they were to be thrown out, although they were wrapped and stored inside the plant.

Weeks was told the molds were already melted down due to the time lag between the theft in April and the questioning of Harsh.

Harsh admitted to stealing six molds, Weeks said, but four additional molds were taken. Weeks is asking anyone with information about the theft to call the police station at 458-7104.

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