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

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.

Arrests made in child prostitution sting 11.4.09

Written by David Green.

The sex trade—particularly the sex trade involving minor girls—isn’t a concept that rural people are accustomed to hearing about.

That added to the shock of news announced last week when the FBI arrested  four suspected pimps and 17 other individuals allegedly associated with prostitution activities.

Seven child victims were rescued in northwest Ohio and seven other individuals in Fulton County were detained on immigration charges.

The arrests were part of a three-day nationwide enforcement action in 36 cities, including Toledo. The effort led to the recovery of 52 children across the country and the arrests of more than 700 people, including 60 pimps.

The Toledo investigation included raids at a rural house northwest of Fayette on U.S. 127 and at a rural house on County Road E near Delta.

A Toledo woman was arrested for allegedly supervising and controlling the activities of her 13-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old girl while she and the minors were engaged in sexual activity for hire at a Toledo home and at the two farm houses.

According to an article in the Toledo Blade, Jose Fransisco Jimenez-Jimenez, 29, was charged with pandering obscenity involving a minor. He was a resident in the farmhouse on U.S. 127 on property owned by Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development.

The Blade report stated that Jimenez-Jimenez was recently fired by the dairy. Fulton County Sheriff Darrell Merillat told the Blade that migrant workers were living in each of the farm houses.

“Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces,” said Kevin Perkins, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization. Through our strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies, we are able to make a difference.”

Since 2003, the FBI effort has recovered 886 children and convicted 510 people.

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