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.

Health Department discusses rabies 9.17

Written by David Green.

Several Fulton County residents have had to begin a series of post-exposure rabies shots due to encounters with bats and a raccoon.

One individual was bitten while removing a burr from the fur of a baby raccoon, while another reached out for what appeared to be a piece of paper and was startled when a bat bit her finger.  Others have awakened to find bats in their bedrooms. In each case, the animals were not available to be tested and could potentially carry rabies.

The individuals bitten are under the care of a physician and are receiving a series of five injected doses of vaccine.  Infection with the rabies virus can be deadly. In 2007, 86 animals in Ohio were confirmed positive for rabies. Bats were the most commonly confirmed rabid animal, with 66 reported positive.

Rabies is typically found in wildlife, such as bats, skunks, and raccoons, but family pets can contract rabies from contact with rabid wildlife. It is important for all pet owners to make sure that their pets are properly immunized. The rabies virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of most animals. Sick animals spread the virus through saliva. People and animals can be infected when the virus-laden saliva gets into a wound, usually through a bite.

For indoor bat encounters, first determine if there has been any possibility of person or pet contact, such as a bite or scratch, with the bat or if the bat may have been in close proximity to an unattended young child or sleeping or impaired person, or was in a room with an unattended pet. If such possibilities cannot be ruled out, a professional animal control company should be contacted to capture the bat. Bats can be tested for rabies if the head is not severely damaged.

If professional help is unavailable, use the following precautions to capture the bat safely without damaging its head.  Close windows, the door to the room and closet doors, and wait for the bat to land.  Wearing gloves, cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat, and tape the cardboard tightly to the can. Contact the Fulton County Health Department at 419/337-0915 to arrange examination of the bat.

If you have confirmed that there was no possibility of human or domestic animal contact, it can be allowed to leave on its own. Close the room and closet doors, open windows, and observe the bat until it leaves.

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