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.

Rain leads to flooding 3.18.09

Written by David Green.

What happens when a month’s worth of rain falls in a little over four days? It gets deep, obviously.

Just ask Maschel Sanchez who lives near Bean Creek on property north of Morenci that borders Mulberry Road.

The water kept rising last week and eventually her home was surrounded. She tried to drive out but the water was deep enough that her car stalled out in the driveway.

Wednesday afternoon last week she was still waiting for a relative to show up after work with a boat to take her to dry land—and escape the two inches of water in her bedroom.

Sanchez has never seen the river overflow its banks to that extent. Despite living less than 50 yards from Bean Creek, she said her insurance agent told her that the area is not an established flood plain.

You might have trouble convincing Sanchez of that.

Actually, said Morenci’s National Weather Service climate observer George Isobar, it was more than a month’s worth of rain.

“It could never rain a drop for the rest of the month and this March would still be the third wettest over the past 35 years,” he said.

So far he’s recorded 4.76 inches of rain.

“We had 5.11 in 1977 and 5.10 in 1985. Then comes this year, and it can’t possibly stop there. It won’t take much for a modern-day record setter.”

Isobar said there have been occasions where four, five or more inches have fallen all in one storm, but this one was spread out.

“We’ve had five-inch deluges where it falls, it floods and then it’s gone,” he said. “That wasn’t the case this time.

“First we had 1.07 inches a week ago Saturday, then another 1.02 inches on Sunday. It stayed really wet and then we had the crescendo—2.67 inches Tuesday and early Wednesday.”

Water began running over several roads in the area, resulting in closures in some areas. Bean Creek flowed into Wakefield Park and reached the east side of the circular drive. Many farm fields are still dotted with small ponds.

“Before you complain too much about how wet it is, don’t forget that it’s still March,” Isobar said. “We’re just over half way through the month and we haven’t yet had one flake of snow.”

That’s unusual for March, he said, since the average is a little over seven inches.

“Maybe we’re clear of it this year,” Isobar said. “Maybe this will be our rare snowless March. Just sayin’.”

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