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.

Morenci city council: Day care complaint 1.21.09

Written by David Green.

First at the city council meeting, then at the planning commission meeting, questions arose about an incident in December in which the residential zoning administrator gave a warning about unlicensed day care center.

At the Jan. 12 council meeting, audience member Peggy Decker asked how the investigation came about.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder explained that an anonymous letter arrived that listed seven or eight people as operating unlicensed day care centers.

She investigated city and state requirements and contacted Baird. He visited the people on the list and told them about the requirements.

“Why is it the city’s decision about where kids go?” asked Chad Schisler from the audience.

Schroeder said the city was responding to a complaint.

“Does the city respond to every anonymous complaint?” Schisler asked. “It seems that if a person was really serious, they would have signed their name.”

That same question arose Monday at the planning commission meeting. Scott Merillat thought that a name was required on complaints and mayor Doug Erskin asked if the city follows up on all anonymous complaints.

Merillat questioned the use of city resources to investigate an anonymous complaint.

Schroeder said she has mixed feelings about the issue. In this case, it could have been ignored, but if it was ignored and an incident occurred at an unlicensed day care center, she wondered if the city could be ruled negligent.

Erskin said the issue falls under the state’s jurisdiction and it should have been referred to the agency that handles child care matters.

Baird pointed out that city law addresses child care in homes that have fewer than six children.

“Some complaints aren’t acted on,” Erskin said. “I wonder why we jumped on this one.”

Baird said that some complaints are of a civil nature and they wouldn’t come to his attention.

“I think we would be negligent for not looking into this situation,” Baird said.

Erskin said that a problem in this case was the letter that was sent to day care owners. It sounded threatening, he said, and gave day care owners only five days to respond.

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