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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Natural gas prices to rise 7.23

Written by David Green.

Even though it is only July, Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation (MGU) is telling customers that unless the market price of natural gas falls considerably, they should prepare for increased heating costs this winter.

As a natural gas distribution company, MGU does not profit on the natural gas commodity, passing those actual costs on to customers.

“It’s very early, we know,” said spokesperson P. J. Livernois. “But summer natural gas

market prices are higher now than ever before. If that trend continues, we’ll see heating

costs this winter hundreds of dollars higher than last year. We’re giving our customers an early head’s up so they can plan and maybe make some preparations to reduce natural gas use.”

“At the same time, we’ll be doing what we can to make smart gas purchases so that the prices we pass along to customers are as low as possible.”

MGU is especially concerned about low-income customers and urges them to apply for energy assistance as soon as it becomes available. Those funds are usually limited and are exhausted quickly.

Historically, natural gas prices have eased somewhat just before winter. But high speculation in the marketplace, increased demand from utilities refilling storage following last year’s colder winter, and forecasts for an active hurricane season are holding prices high.

“We hope that market prices fall, but there is no guarantee,” Livernois said. “Everyone is feeling the pinch of higher prices across the board it seems, and no one wants to think about winter yet, but we should. Now is the time to plan for managing energy use and bills year-round. There are things we all can do.”

Conserve

Energy conservation is the primary way to reduce energy use and bills. The company’s website has a section which provides tips and ideas to increase energy efficiency at little or no cost. Some quick and easy tips to conserve energy include:

• Raise the thermostat in the summer; lower it in the winter

• Close curtains and blinds during the day to keep rooms cooler in the summer; open them during the winter to let in warm sun rays

• Open doors and windows for cross ventilation in the summer

• Use shorter wash cycles and cold water rinse

• Always run FULL LOADS in dishwashers and clothes washers

• Clean lint filters in dryers

Low-Cost Investments That Pay You Back

• Tune-up heating and cooling systems

• Install ceiling fans

• Caulk around doors and windows

• Insulate outlets

• Fix drippy faucets

• Invest in CFL light bulbs

• Install a programmable thermostat

Budget Payment Plans

MGU strongly encourages customers to consider enrolling in the budget payment plan now. In the plan, customers pay an average bill monthly as opposed to seasonal highs and lows—ensuring more stable bills and allowing customers to avoid high bills that may be difficult to pay in winter months.

By signing up now, customers will pay more in the summer when they use less gas to build credit for the winter months. Spreading natural gas payments over the year allows customers to budget more accurately for their monthly payments and avoids big swings in bills.

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