The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    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.

Morenci city council grants abatements 10.29.08

Written by David Green.


Three tax abatements for Palm Plastics were approved by Morenci city council members Monday.

According to city assessor Marty Marshall, standard 50-percent abatements will lead to a revenue gain of about $41,000 annually for the city when the company’s expansion is complete and production is underway.

Palm Plastics chief financial officer Todd Vanbynen told council members that six plastic pallet production lines are currently in operation and three more are coming. Some equipment for the manufacture of smaller products has been moved into storage to make room for the pallet division.

The three abatements include:

• $12.5 million for the new Palm facility to be built in the industrial park;

• $2.5 million for equipment now in storage that will be transferred to the East St. South location;

• $3 million for new equipment that will be located in the East Street South location.

The projects are expected to add 36 new jobs in Palm’s existing location on East Street South and from 80 to 90 jobs in the new facility within the first 18 months of production.

COUNCILORS’ ROLES—Following debate at a special meeting Oct. 23, council members voted Monday to accept a resolution regarding the working relationship of the council, mayor and paid staff. State law, the City Charter, city code, the employee handbook and employment contracts were reviewed.

A portion of the resolution states that:

“Council hereby interprets those governing documents to mean that individual council members, including the mayor, have no authority by virtue of their respective offices to govern the day-to-day activities of paid staff. Department heads are amenable only to the full council.”

GEAR—Council approved a request by the fire department to spend $10,000 for four sets of turnout gear to replace aging equipment.

LIBRARY—Stair Public Library was given permission to spend $1,257 for a DVD kiosk to display the growing DVD collection.

TREES—The city will apply for a $200 grant from the Arbor Day Foundation to plant two trees on Arbor Day.

A realignment of council committees resulted in the following assignments:

• Public Safety–Tracy Schell (chair), Leasa Slocum and Jason Cook.

• Public Works–Art Erbskorn (chair), Greg Braun and Slocum.

• Finance, Legal, Personnel, and Economic Development–Keith Pennington (chair), Schell and Erbskorn.

Mayor Doug Erskin serves as an ex officio member of each committee.

COMPLAINT—Property owner Kyle Schaffner told council he believes he is being unfairly targeted in property maintenance issues. Rules must be enforced equally on everybody, he said.

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