The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
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    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
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    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Plans remain on track for moving police department 8.26.09

Written by David Green.


Plans to move Morenci’s police station and recycling center to the back of Wakefield Park remain alive after a motion to rescind the decision failed Monday by a 4-3 vote.

City council members voted June 8 to approve moving the police station to the former NWD building, but the action has been discussed at several council meetings since then.

Councilor Keith Pennington cast the only “no” vote when the move was approved in June and he introduced a motion to rescind the decision at the council meeting Monday.

Pennington reiterated his three reasons for opposing the move.

“I don’t want to lose the opportunity to rent the facility to a start-up business,” he said. “I’d hate to lose the shared staff between the police department and city hall. I’m not crazy about the location on a dead-end street in an industrial area.”

Council member Tracy Schell said she has not heard negative responses to the move and she addressed several questions about the move that were previously submitted to council members by a resident.

It was noted that only a small portion of the building would be needed for the police office and garage and the recycling center. The questioner asked what would be done with the remainder of the space.

The storage area on top of the offices would be used for police records, Schell said, and space not needed for the recycling center would be used to store Department of Public Works equipment and materials that are currently stored outside.

Another question asked if the existing recycling center was inadequate.

Schell said it is inadequate because it lacks rest room facilities and that it is not convenient because users must drive down an incline from Baker Street. In addition, she noted that a fork lift truck must be driven from the DPW garage behind the park to the recycling center whenever cartons of materials must be loaded onto a semi-trailer.

Another question asked about the cost of converting the NWD building to a recycling center in light of the need to partition the police area. That cost is not known.

Schell spoke of the need at city hall for additional office and storage space, and she said someone is interested in buying both the recycling center building and the existing police garage across from city hall.

The NWD building has remained vacant since a business closed last year.

“If there was interest in the building,” Schell said, “this never would have come to the table.”

Mayor Doug Erskin pointed out there has been interest shown recently in renting the NWD building, but city supervisor Barney Vanderpool said the space was larger than what the prospects were seeking.

Audience member Jan Sampson criticized council for rushing the process out of committee and to a vote without first presenting the idea to the public.

Schell agreed that should not have been done, but she added, “that doesn’t make the decision wrong.”

Council member Leasa Slocum said she presented the idea to several people where she works and the majority doesn’t care where the police station is located.

“Did you tell them how much it would cost?” asked audience member Tim Decker.

The cost isn’t yet known, she said, but because changes in state regulations will force changes in Morenci’s police station, she favors taking what she believes to be a less-costly approach rather than face a major project later.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to do this tomorrow,” she said. “We might rescind it after examining the costs.”

Police chief Larry Weeks said he and volunteers have cleaned in the NWD offices and he bought a pair of desks with money from the state “drunk driving fund.” No refurbishing work has been started and doesn’t intend to do anything until council makes its final decision.

Pennington was joined by Art Erbskorn and Mayor Erskin in voting to rescind the motion. Schell, Slocum, Greg Braun and Jason Cook voted against the motion.

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