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

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    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
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    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
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    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
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    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
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    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.

Morenci zoning appeals board rejects variance request 2009.09.23

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously Monday against a variance request regarding property line setbacks.

Property owner Joel Morrison of Addison sought a variance for property he owns at the corner of N. Summit and Wilson streets where a house burned several years ago.

The 51 by 120 foot lot fails to meet the minimum size of 7,500 square feet and the minimum width of 66 feet for residential construction.

The board’s vote will leave the property as a non-conforming lot unsuitable for construction of a house.

Four members of the public spoke against the variance.

Esther Gilbert and her sister, Barb Vallieu—co-owners with their brother of the Hart property north of the lot—both stated that building on the vacant property would not improve the neighborhood.

“I think the lot is way too small,” Gilbert said. “I don’t think anything could be built there that would make the neighborhood look good.”

Vallieu also mentioned a problem at the lot where a portion of the old foundation caved in last summer following a heavy rain.

Michael Miller, who lives south of the property, said he wants to see the community grow, but he questions the ability to build on such a small lot.

Wilson Street resident Steve Clegg also questioned whether a house could be built on such narrow property.

Board member Greg Braun said it would take a shotgun-style house like those in New Orleans, and that wouldn’t conform with the neighborhood.

Morrison told the board he isn’t planning to build on the lot, but he wants to sell it as a buildable lot. He said he was encouraged by an opinion from the late residential zoning administrator Jack Baird who gave a suggestion on how it might work with a variance.

“If it’s deemed unbuildable,” he said, “I guess it’s going to have a ‘for sale’ sign forever. I don’t mean to upset the community, but if it’s not buildable, I guess I just wasted 10 years of footwork.”

Board member Ernie Schultz asked the owners of the Hart property if they were interested in buying the lot and also if they were interest in selling a portion of their lot to make Morrison’s property larger. Gilbert said she wasn’t interested in either proposition.

Braun and Schultz were joined by Al Acuña, Don Merillat and Art Erbskorn in opposing the variance request.

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