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.

Isobar talks weather 12.31.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

First came the snow, then the ice and finally the wind. It was a wacky few days of weather—what forecasters refer to as a wintry mix.

It could have been a lot more snow, said Morenci climate observer George Isobar, but the warmer weather derailed that.

“We still had a white Christmas,” Isobar said, “but it was a pretty slick covering of snow.”

It started off with 3.2 inches of snow Dec. 16 and then a couple more inches two days later. But that changed to freezing rain and sleet and finally to a shower of ice balls Dec. 19.

“We would have had about 10 inches of snow if all of that had come down as flakes,” Isobar said. “But that was just the beginning.”

In Christmas week, more than sixth-tenths inches of precipitation fell—a mix of snow, rain and freezing rain.

“That could have been another six inches of snow,” Isobar said.

Finally, another inch of rain fell Friday and Saturday to melt off all the snow and take the area back to green grass.

“We had about 2.6 inches of precipitation all together during those 10 days,” he said. “Theoretically, that could have brought about 26 inches of the white stuff. But theoretical snow doesn’t amount to much.”

The freezing rain and melting and refreezing left streets coated with a thick layer of ice and several automobile accidents. The Morenci Fire Department was called to assist Wauseon with a trailer fire, but the lead truck out soon discovered State Route 108 blocked by vehicles that had lost control on the slick surface.

If only it had stopped there, Isobar said. The weekend melt was accompanied by wind with gusts at least into the 50 miles an hour range.

This area got off easy, with the exception of Larry and Karen Kast. They were awakened at 4 a.m. Sunday by a loud crashing sound.

They were unable to find the cause in the darkness, but eventually Karen discovered tree branches covering the sliding door on the back porch.

That’s when they learned that a large maple in the neighboring yard toppled onto their house, first punching a hole in the roof of the Kast house, then rolling and coming to rest on the back corner of the house.

“It was an usual ending to the year,” Isobar said. “There were even tornado warnings not too far from this area.”

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