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.

Vague wording in Seneca ordinance causes confusion 9.02.09

Written by David Green.

Some vague wording is contributing to a problem for a Seneca Township resident and her child care business.

Dayna Cordts applied in September 2008 for a special use permit to open a child care facility at her new home on Weston Road. The permit included a requirement to enclose an area of at least 5,000 square feet inside a fence, as listed in the township ordinance.

The fence wasn’t erected by June 1, the deadline set, but Cordts pointed out two problems with the requirement. First, the word “fence” is never used in reference to child care centers. The requirement is for an area to be “screened” from adjacent lots. In other areas of the ordinance book, the word “fence” is used, but not for child care facilities.

She also told the planning commission that her facility is classified as a day care group home (for seven to 12 children) and the ordinance applies only to nursery schools, day nurseries and child care centers.

Since her permit was voided, Cordts applied again and on Aug. 3 commissioners  voted 5-0 to grant another one. Cordts said she thought the issue was settled and she was surprised to learn later that she must either comply with the fence requirement or she would be reported to the state licensing authorities.

“I thought they were done with me,” Cordts said. “I wasn’t aware that I was going to be discussed at the meeting. I did things their way [paying $250 to apply for another permit], but then seven days later it wasn’t good enough.”

Planning commission chair Bob Walton said he wasn’t aware that the second permit would require a fence. He also acknowledged that the ordinance needs some attention. When the zoning rules were written in the 1970s, home day care centers didn’t exist. He said the wording should be updated.

Township supervisor John Gould said the Cordts issue wasn’t on the agenda, but the township attorney was at the meeting and offered to address any concerns. He was asked about the fence issue and he advised speaking with state authorities if compliance wasn’t reached.

Cordts wishes she had been at the meeting to explain her position and she intends to address the township board at the Sept. 14 meeting.

At this point, she’s concerned parents might think her day care will be shut down, but that isn’t the case, she said.

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