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.

Food pantry to open in Fayette 11.19.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

By the start of the new year, Fayette should have a top-notch food pantry, ready to serve those in need from throughout the area.

“It’s not just for Fayette,” said Bob Yano, who’s setting up the pantry with Don Stiriz and Elwyn Bates. “It’s open to everyone.”

That could include a trucker driving through town on U.S. 20 or a family in a nearby community that’s having trouble putting food on the table.

Yano and his wife have worked with food pantries in Toledo for several years, so they have a good idea of how a successful operation can work.

Yano intends to go beyond the usual small-town pantry that relies on donations of canned goods from area residents. Donations will still be essential, but he will also obtain food from the Northwest Ohio Food Bank located in Toledo.

“It’s meant to serve all of us in Northwest Ohio,” Yano said. “Certain foods are free; some cost 18 cents a pound. It’s a pretty good deal.”

Not just anyone can walk in and obtain food from the regional food bank, however. Federal tax-empt status is needed, so the new organization has incorporated as Fayette’s Helping Hands. Work continues toward obtaining federal 501(c)(3) status.

Don Stiriz has agreed to allow the pantry to be located in the former restaurant building that he owns in downtown Fayette. A walk-in freezer will be available to store meat from the Toledo food bank.

Yano had hoped to have the pantry open by Thanksgiving, but he soon realized that wasn’t going to happen due to required paperwork. He decided to wait until January for two reasons.

First, people are often very willing to help during the holiday season, but support typically falls off later and that’s when Helping Hands will fill the gap.

Additionally, Yano is hesitant to open the facility before the shelves are full.

“I don’t want to open the doors until we’re well stocked,” he said. “I want people to have a good first impression or they won’t be back.”

Yano will provide financial backing himself to get the project underway, but expects help from others will follow. He’s heard interest expressed from many people.

Elwyn Bates is contacting area churches for support and village administrator Amy Metz is hoping to get students involved.

Yano will speak with the managers of food stores in the region about obtaining donations. He’s heard some objections due to liability concerns, but he figures that can be cleared up through education. The federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to address the liability issue.

If butchering services can be arranged, Yano will investigate obtaining deer shot by hunters who don’t want to keep the meat, and injured, but healthy, farm animals.

Once the pantry opens, volunteers will staff the facility Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.

• The next meeting of Fayette’s Helping Hands is scheduled at 5 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Pizza Stop. Anyone interested in supporting the project is invited to attend.

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