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.

Morenci Fire Dept. trains with new truck 02.17.2010

Written by David Green.

Morenci Fire Department members continue training in the operation of the used 85-foot aerial platform truck purchased from Archbold.front.firetruck.jpg

Although the truck is 35 years old, it has only 130 hours of use and is described as being in almost new condition.

The city bought the unit for $15,000. The Archbold department was eager to sell the truck to Morenci, Fire Chief Chad Schisler told city council last year, in order to have another aerial unit in the area when needed.

During training last weekend, Morenci’s training coordinator Matt Simpkins explained that teams of department members learned the capabilities of the truck to know “what can and can’t be done.”

A specialist in aerial trucks from Ann Arbor led the training sessions.

With the truck parked Sunday afternoon behind Dunbar Furniture, Simpkins said that truck placement is always a big concern due to overhead wires.

The extension ladder was maneuvered around wires before rising up to the roof.

Earlier in the day, the truck made a trip to Lyons at the invitation of that community’s fire department.

“Each community is different,” Simpkins said. “There are lots of overhead wire in Lyons.”

Utility lines in Lyons are strung throughout the downtown rather than in back of businesses as in Morenci.

Additional training sites over the weekend included Morenci’s Methodist church and Palm Plastics.

At the church, Simpkins said, truck placement was studied in regard to the “collapse zone.” If the building were to fall outward, the truck should be positioned to avoid a collapsing wall.

“We’ve had a lot of training sessions since we got the truck,” Simpkins said.

Five or six department members meet each week to become familiar with the unit and address safety concerns.

The training sessions this weekend followed a slow, methodical pattern, Simpkins explained, but in the future real-life drills will be used. Each training session will be followed by a critiquing process to look for strengths and weaknesses.

“I definitely think this is going to be an asset to the community,” Simpkins said.

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