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.
  • Front.sculpt
    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.
  • Front.tar.wide
    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.
  • Front.pull
    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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    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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Fayette offered electrical rate discount 02.10.10

Written by David Green.


First Energy is offering Fayette residents a reduction in their electricity costs providing they agree to stay with the utility for nine years.

The village government—considered the buyer of electricity—has to decide whether or not to place the issue on the May ballot.

Gary Keys of First Energy’s Wauseon service center, explained the offer at the Jan. 28 council meeting, stating that a decision about whether or not to place the issue on the ballot would have to be made by Feb. 19.

If approved by voters, the nine-year agreement would begin in July. The reduction is being offered to all communities in Toledo Edison’s service area, he said, and is already approved for the May election in Wauseon, Archbold and Defiance.

The contract would give a six percent discount to residential customers and four percent to business customers, only on the electrical generation portion of the bill. Keys said that represents about 35 to 40 percent of the bill. Current electrical rates would be locked in for the nine-year period.

The offer does not apply to larger industries, he said, since they already shop for their own rates.

Approval by Fayette voters will also result in a $50,000 grant to the village that can be used for any purpose.

The purpose of the program, Keys said, is to lock in customers for nine years to discourage the village from looking elsewhere for electricity. This would help First Energy manage its long-range investment in buying coal, he said, by forecasting who the utility’s customers will be five and 10 years into the future.

Audience member Kirk Keiser asked why there might be fewer customers in the future. Keys said economic conditions could cause changes.

If passed by voters, all electricity users in the village would be enrolled in the program, Keys said, but if something better comes along, each individual has the ability to opt out for a one-time fee of $25.

Audience member Craig Rower noted that it would cost the village millions to install new power lines if it chose to go with another provider. Why not just give the discount without a vote?

“Some people won’t want to change,“ Keys said. “They’ll want to opt out. They’ll say they want to stay with Toledo Edison.”

Another audience member, Gene Beaverson, said that if First Energy can afford to give the rebate and the grant, why not simply reduce the rate?

Keys answered that a rate reduction would have to be approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

“You can’t will something onto somebody that they don’t want,” he said. “It has to go to the voters.”

Beaverson questioned whether a rate discount has be to approved by PUCO and Keys answered that this discount program has to be approved. What about just the discount? Beaverson asked.

“It’s the same thing,” Keys answered.

Beaverson said he finds it hard to believe that PUCO would turn down a proposal to give Northwest Ohio a five percent discount.

“I don’t know,” Keys said.

Council member Tom Molitierno said there are ways to save six percent on costs without a long-term commitment, such as through home weatherization projects.

Village administrator Amy Metz said another workshop is planned in March to discuss energy savings programs.

Keys reminded the audience that anyone can opt out of the program at any time, whether or not another electrical provider is available.

“You can opt out any time. If a third party comes in, you have that option,” Keys said.

He said the utility faces a mandate to reduce electrical usage by 25 percent before 2025. The utility continues to look for ways to increase efficiency.

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