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.

Bean Creek watershed marketing discussed 7.1.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The Lenawee Conservation District office will create a marketing and educational brochure of the Bean Creek watershed and continue discussion about the possible formation of a watershed council.

In addition, the agency will create a list of best management practices (BMPs) to complete the requirements of a $10,000 grant received from Maumee Valley Resource Conservation and Development.

At a public meeting Thursday in Hudson, Judy Holcomb of the Lenawee Conservation District (LCD) said she is seeking ideas for points of interest to list on the brochure. She would like to see items such as parks, bridges, dams, cemeteries and historic markers.

The reverse side of the pamphlet would list historical events from the area, along with past and present prominent people.

Audience member Janet Kauffman of the Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition pointed out that the pamphlet appears to be more historical in nature than watershed-based.

County commissioner Rob Hall asked how the pamphlet would be distributed with the limited funds available.

“It sounds like once the money is gone, the project is over,” he said.

Holcomb said $1,000 would be allocated to printing the brochure and two copies would be given to each government unit in the county. A second brochure will feature BMPs and the remainder of the grant would support staff salaries for those involved in the project.

Hall wondered if the existing brochure created by the Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition would suffice since it highlights the watershed and natural features.

“The Bean Creek Coalition created a great pamphlet,” Holcomb said, but she noted that the creation of marketing materials was required in the grant.

She wants to put the word out to communities in the area to collect ideas that would help give someone not familiar with the watershed a good overview.

Kauffman suggested including pre-settlement maps that show the contrast to contemporary vegetation. Christie Cook, another coalition member, suggested including historic wetlands information. Natural streams could be shown on the map in one color, Kauffman said, and waterways under county control in another.

“People aren’t aware of natural streams and what the designation means,” she said. “We should have something in the brochure that generates interest in protecting Bean Creek.”

“We have our ideas, but we want your ideas, too,” said Kathlene Kurowicki of the LCD.

“It’s important to show that this is a public project,” said Tom Van Wagner of the LCD. “The District is only serving as a facilitator.”

The purpose of the grant is to determine if there’s interest in forming a watershed council. County drain commissioner Steve May will attend the July 16 meeting to outline the process of creating a council.

Forming and maintaining a council is a long-term, time-intensive commitment, Holcomb said. Van Wagner agreed, but added that status as a watershed council makes a group more competitive for grants.

After a discussion of the difficulty of  attracting volunteer help, Kurowicki said that DEQ approval of a watershed management plan could be sought without forming a council.

“You need to decide what you want to do in order to see what’s needed,” Holcomb said.

The public is invited to the next meeting scheduled in the Hudson Middle School gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. July 16.

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