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.

State housing rehab program announced 7.8.09

Written by David Green.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has unveiled plans to use more than $300 million in new federal funds to spur development and rehabilitation of multifamily housing throughout the state.

 The U.S. Department of Treasury announced the first round of federal funding recipients May 22 to Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas and Puerto Rico, with Michigan receiving $78 million as a first installment. Michigan earlier this year was among the first states in the nation to outline how it intends to allocate American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding legislation that was signed into law Feb. 17.

 MSHDA’s proposals for ARRA funds could create an estimated 12,000 jobs, renovate 16,000 housing units and generate $800 million in statewide development activity, said MSHDA Executive Director Keith Molin.

MSHDA officials also announced plans to distribute an additional $22 million in ARRA funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).

HUD’s HPRP program targets two Michigan populations: those who are currently in housing but are at risk of becoming homeless and need short-term assistance; and those residing in shelters or on the street needing longer-term assistance in order to obtain and sustain housing.

Michigan’s homeless population increased by 10 percent over the past year. The number of homeless people in Michigan grew from 79,940 in 2007 to 86,189 in 2008, the second annual MSHDA “State of Homelessness in Michigan” report shows. The report shows 76 percent of the state’s homeless citizens are homeless because they cannot find affordable housing. The average income of a homeless Michigan family is $730 per month, according to the report.  

The state housing agency’s “Save the Dream” campaign to prevent foreclosure was recently recognized by the Public Relations Society of America for outstanding public service. Since the campaign’s launch, contacts by Michigan homeowners seeking assistance from MSHDA foreclosure prevention counselors have tripled. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has enabled Michigan to receive $3 million in federal grants to boost efforts to prevent foreclosures, including legal assistance funds and adding more homeownership counselors than ever before to advise Michigan citizens in danger of foreclosure.

“Home ownership is the building block of strong families, strong schools and strong communities,” said Mary Townley, Director of MSHDA’s Homeownership Division.  “Unfortunately, in Michigan and across the country, the home foreclosure problem is a crisis that affects far too many homeowners.”

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