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.
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    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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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.”


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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