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.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.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Morenci's Palm Plastics project on track 12.24.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

In the midst of worsening economic conditions, there’s one bright spot, right in Morenci: Palm Plastics.

The pieces are falling into place, said David Munson of Munson Development Company. Munson also puts in some time each week at the Palm Plastics facility, serving as Director of Corporate Affairs.

“I’m really excited about that and proud to be part of Palm Plastics,” he said.

There were three major steps remaining before construction, Munson said, and one of those was completed Monday.

“We’ve been waiting on the grant process since the project was announced in October,” he said.

Signed documents arrived last week from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and they were signed by Morenci mayor Doug Erskin Friday.

The $2.9 million CDBG is a contract between the state and the city. A signature by Palm Plastics officials Monday completed that step of the project, with the company formally acknowledging its role in job creation and in the building project.

A state representative will come to Morenci in January to go through details of the funding package.

The second step in the project is obtaining an energy contract to provide adequate electricity to operated the new presses on order.

Munson said the company is very close to reaching an agreement for additional power.

The existing production at Palm Plastics requires about 3 megavolt amps (MVA), but additional equipment coming to the plant will increase the need to 5 MVA. The new plant to be constructed will initially require another 4 MVA and eventually 6 MVA.

The final step is to find a developer to construct the new facility in Morenci’s industrial park and lease the building to Palm Plastics.

“We think we’ve done really well with a developer/builder,” Munson said. “We’re impressed with the expertise of the company.”

An agreement for construction won’t come before the energy pact is signed, but Munson expects all agreements to be in order in early January.

“We’re right where we want to be early in the construction season,” he said, expecting ground-breaking to occur in the spring.

The Fayette Business Park (former Fayette Tubular Products) is playing an essential role in the project, Munson explained. More than 50 jobs have opened there, allowing production to increase before Palm’s new facility is constructed.

Palm has made upgrades to the Fayette building that will make the facility more attractive for development in the future.

“In a tough economy, I think we’ve found all the pieces,” Munson said. “It’s very exciting. There’s not a lot of good news on the economic front and it’s great to have it here in Morenci.”

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