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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    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.
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Craig Rower serving as Fayette's interim mayor 1.14.09

Written by David Green.


Fayette has a new interim mayor in place until the general election in November.

Craig Rower was chosen unanimously to fill the position vacated by Anita Van Zile who gave up her post at the end of 2008.

Village attorney Mark Hagans attended the regular council meeting Thursday to explain the procedure for filling the office.

When a mayor resigns, the council president pro tempore fills the role until the next regularly scheduled election, which is in November.

Because Paul Shaffer’s role as council president expired Dec. 31, Rower was actually elected council president rather than mayor.

Since Fayette’s population is less than 2,000, Hagans said, the council president pro tempore has the option of leaving his council seat vacant until November or appointing a new councilor.

“I’ll probably let council make the decision,” Rower said Friday.

If the other council members favor adding a sixth member, then candidates will be interviewed, he said.

If Rower is absent from a meeting, council will appoint a temporary chairperson to fill his role for the night.

Rower joined council in August 2005 when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat.

Fayette’s council could have a new look after November. In addition to choosing a mayor, voters will elect four council members. The terms of Rower, Shaffer, Jerry Gonzales and Ken Dolphous all expire this year.

COMMITTEES—Rower made the following committee assignments for 2009:

• Public Works—Shaffer, Delphous, Mike Maginn.

• Public Safety—Gonzales, Shaffer, Ruth Marlatt.

• Finance—Shaffer, Delphous, Gonzalez.

• Governmental Affairs—Maginn, Marlatt, Delphous.

Delphous will continue as council’s representative on the cemetery board.

Marlatt and village administrator Amy Metz were appointed to the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation.

LEAKS—Village workers tracked down three leaks in the water system after observing an abnormally high pumping rate. One of the leaks was inside a foreclosed house, Metz said.

COMPLAINTS—Metz said four residents called to express their concern about lowering the amount of water softener salt. The system will be evaluated this month.

Complaints also came in regarding the elimination of leaf and brush collection. Council will take a look at first quarter tax revenues before making a decision about reinstating the service.

For the year, income tax revenue decreased $31,319 from the previous year, leading council to make several budget cuts for 2009.

Unpaid water and sewer accounts stood at $5,681 at the end of the year. About half of those with delinquent accounts have called the village office to discuss full or partial payment.

RECORDS CLERK—Council voted 3-2 to change the status of the records clerk from a subcontractor to a part-time employee. Dolphous and Shaffer opposed the motion.

Dee Ferguson serves as clerk for $15 an hour. Her work will continue until all of the old records are examined and sorted.

SIDEWALKS—The annual inspection schedule for sidewalks was pushed back a year due to economic conditions.

The application for Safe Routes to School funding for sidewalk work was withdrawn for 2009 to allow additional planning.

TREES—The village tree commission is being revived after inactivity during the past two years. Four village residents are sought to join Eugene Rosinski on the commission. Other residents are invited to attend meetings.

The commission evaluates the health of trees in the village and makes recommendations for trimming and planting. Interest was expressed at the meeting about obtaining Tree City status.

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