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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Fayette village council 2.18

Written by David Green.


Excessive water pumping has Fayette village workers attempting to track down a leak once again.

Water usage in the village increased unexpectedly over the Feb. 7-8 weekend, with a steady increase of about 30,000 gallons a day.

Increases in the past have been smaller, Metz said, and leaks have been tracked down. All but one of the leaks discovered so far occurred on private property.

Village workers continue to monitor the situation and Aqua-Line leak detective service from Findlay was to be contacted if leaks were not tracked down.

PERSONNEL—Following a closed session, Chris Garcia was hired as a full-time police officer, a move that will save the village $5,664.

A full-time officer is able to dedicate more time to police work, chief Jason Simon noted in a comparison of part-time vs. full-time. The village will receive better coverage, he said, costs for training and ammunition will decrease.

Simon noted that 206.5 hours of overtime was accrued in 2008.

Council approved spending between $3,000 and $5,000 for a park director and between $1,000 and $2,000 for a concessions worker.

The park board will recommend people to fill the two positions.

SOFTENER—Budget cuts approved in December called for a reduction in the amount of water softener salt used. A study of the softening system was ordered, but was later put on hold until a part arrived for the system.

Once it is installed, the study will get underway.

SEWAGE—Metz will meet next week to review the Ohio Public Works Commission loan program for phase one of the long term control plan for sewer system upgrades, as ordered by the Ohio EPA.

Metz also met with Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) to begin the application process for USDA funding for later phases of the sewer project. That process could take up to six months, she said.

To take part in federal economic stimulus projects, Metz said, “shovel-ready” proposals are needed. Fayette is not at that stage, she said, but if money becomes available for design work, the village will be ready to go.

Metz intends to have the village listed on as many nominating forms as possible.

TREES—The village tree commission met Feb. 10 with Stephanie Miller, regional urban forester with the Ohio DNR. Miller will assist the commission May 22 in creating a hazard inventory to create a priority list for trimming and cutting trees.

A fifth member of the commission is needed to join Metz, Jason Simon, Eugene Rosinski and Dennis Canfield.

SALT—About 62 tons of road salt have been used this season so far and 44 more tons have yet to be delivered.

CONTRACTS—Contracts for solicitor and engineering work expire this year. Metz said council will examine its options for new contracts.

STREETS—Metz is in the process of reviewing needs for street repairs and she’s also looking at funding possibilities. The major concern for 2009 is Maple Street.

RATES—A review of area water and sewer rates showed that Pioneer charges rates similar to Fayette, while Lyons and Delta charge higher rates.

Council has discussed in the past that the current rates charged do not cover the cost of operating the system.

PARK—Council approved an agreement with the school district for the use of athletic facilities. The school will continue to pay the village $3,000 annually. No outdoor athletic facilities are available at the new school.

CEMETERY—Payment was received from the Juvenile Division of the Ohio Justice Department for vandalism at the cemetery.

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