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.

End of year wrap-up 1.06.2010

Written by David Green.

The end of the year doesn't necessarily bring the end to a local issue. The following review covers some of news stories from 2009 that haven’t yet reached a conclusion. A few of them also appeared in the 2008 review.

• What about Morenci’s sidewalk repair plan?

The project slowed and got a little behind schedule, said Morenci city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder. The school delayed its construction projects and didn’t install a sidewalk until summer 2009. Now, all residences but one have installed walks in the East Locust/Washington streets area near the elementary school.

Gorham Street was the next targeted area and letters were sent to eight property owners in May. At least two of them have already completed the work.

• What about the vacant Charles Fay Village building on Morenci’s Coomer Street?

The facility is currently being rehabilitated to house the senior citizen center, Dr. Gray’s medical office and the Morenci Health Center services for lab work and physical therapy. It should be open for business by March 1.

• What about Fayette’s community swimming pool?

2010 should be the third consecutive summer of no swimming at the park. No money was appropriated for costly pool repair this year. Council voted against filling it in, but an accurate estimate of repair costs is unknown.

• What about the bird on the wire?

Funny you should ask. In September we published an odd photo of a dead bird hanging by its feet from an electrical wire, south of Munson. It remained suspended for four months.

We were ready to report that it’s still there, blown back and forth by the wind, but that’s changed. It was still in place the last week of December; it’s gone the first week of January.

• What about the plan to move Morenci’s police department to the empty industrial building at the back of Wakefield Park?

Engineering prints arrived this week, Schroeder said, and she expects that city council members will consider a motion to seek bids for the project at their Jan. 11 meeting.

• What about the Medina Township proposal to obtain fire protection service from the Hudson department instead of Morenci?

The township continues to pay on its existing contract, Schroeder said, and the Morenci department continues to serve the township. She said the city has heard nothing new about the issue.

• Are Fayette’s water and sewer rates going up?

Council approved a measure to increase water rates by six percent and sewer rates by 27 percent, effective with January billing. This will move the utilities fund out of the red to a break-even position.

• What about the Ohio EPA’s plan to clean up contamination at the former Fayette Tubular Products property and adjacent land where the school stood?

The agency announced its preferred plan in August and then collected public comment on the issue. Metz said she’s waiting for publication of the comments and for the announcement of the final plan of action. An Ohio EPA spokesperson has not yet responded to the question.

• What about Morenci’s need for an updated master plan for the city?

The planning commission asked city council to budget $10,000 to hire a firm to update the plan, but council declined.

The new zoning administrator, Jacob Barnes, has considerable experience with master plans, Schroeder said, and she expects him to speak to the commission about working on an update.

• What about Fayette’s sewer project to separate storm water from septic waste?

The Ohio EPA just recently approved the village’s revised long term control plan and planning for the project begins next week, Metz said. She’s working with the federal Rural Community Assistance Program with the hope of obtaining grants and long-term loans.

• What about that rusty strip of metal at the top of the Observer office in Morenci?

Did you have to bring that up? Another year went by and it didn’t get painted.

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