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.

Investigation continues in Teresa Pontious death 3.18.09

Written by David Green.

An investigation continues into the death last week of a Morenci woman at a factory in West Unity, Ohio.

Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently completed a preliminary on-site investigation at Kamco Industries where Teresa Pontious, 48, was killed in an industrial accident March 10.

A press release issued by factory management stated that the plastic extrusion machine and all safety features were found to be in working order and the cause of the accident has not yet been determined.

“We will continue to work with OSHA in their analysis,” the report said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Teresa’s husband, Roger, said his wife left for her third-shift job at Kamco last Monday night and he was awakened by a call from police about 1:20 a.m. to inform him of the incident.

“My life turned at that moment and it’s never going to be the same,” he said.

Pontious said his wife had worked on the large KSS extrusion system for at least six months. The press produces trunk component linings for automobiles.

The system automatically laminates fabric onto a resin sheet which is then thermoformed and trimmed in a single operation.

“She was caught in it and killed instantly,” Pontious said.

An autopsy report indicated no physical factors such as stroke, heart attack or medication, Pontious said, and the cause of the accident remains unknown.

Pontious visited the plant Monday to look at the KSS system where his wife died. As of Monday the machine remained shut down.

Kamco Industries is owned by the Kumi Kasei Company with headquarters in Toyko. The company also has plants in Thailand and Canada in addition to the United States.

Pontious was overwhelmed and thankful for the response from friends.

“I had no idea people cared about us that much,” he said. “Teresa was loved and the outpouring of concern from people was appreciated.”

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