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.

Downtown Morenci grants 6.24.09

Written by David Green.

Several downtown businesses showing improvements in their storefronts are getting a financial boost through the Morenci Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

DDA officer Tim Decker told city council members Monday that the $2,000 set aside for the project has all been allocated.

Businesses were invited to apply for grants of up to $250 to pay for materials for façade improvements.

“Our goal was to provide $2,000,” Decker said, “and we accomplished what we wanted to do.”

Decker told council members the DDA board also voted to provide $500 should the city choose to improve the drive along the north side of Johnson Hardware and behind the Pizza Box.

There’s a standing water issue that needs to be addressed, Decker said, and city supervisor Barney Vanderpool is examining the problem.

Decker explained that the DDA captures increases in taxable value of all property located within the DDA zone. The city and council continues to receive the base tax money that was in place when the DDA zone was established; only increases go to the DDA.

Decker said it will take several decades for the DDA fund to grow large enough to tackle a major project, but the group would like to continue aiding city projects.

Chamber sidebar

The Morenci DDA isn’t the only group offering cash to help out businesses. The Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce has its own grant program.

Members voted to create a pool of $1,000 to help Chamber member businesses enhance the appearance of buildings. Grants up to $250 are available for any eligible project for reimbursement of materials. The funds are not to be used for labor.

The deadline to apply for a grant is July 7 and applications will be considered at the chamber’s July 9 meeting at noon at the Pizza Box. Projects must be completed by Sept. 1.

 Application forms for Chamber members are available from Renée Schroeder at City Hall.

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