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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    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.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    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.
  • Front.code.2
    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.
  • Front.gym.new
    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.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Morenci city council: parking lots 02.17.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council heard plenty of response to a proposed rebuild of two parking lots, and few very of them supported the project.

Facing a Feb. 22 deadline for submission of an application for grant money, council will meet in another special session at 8 a.m. Thursday to make a final decision about the proposal.

Scott Merillat of Associated Engineers reviewed five proposals with various parking layouts. Each call for additional curbing and each include small concrete “islands” for shrubs, trees or other plantings.

Merillat expressed concerns about the narrow width of Baker and Orchard streets. Police chief Larry Weeks also talked about safety issues on the narrow streets and wondered if one-way traffic would be needed if the streets were curbed but not widened.

Mayor Keith Pennington noted that if the city obtained the grant, 80 percent of each dollar spent would come through the grant. This, he said, might make encourage council to overcome some obstacles, such as widening Baker Street.

He said his main concern for the rebuild would be to create traffic patterns that are safe for both drivers and pedestrians.

“I want everybody to be thinking that there are solutions beyond what’s here now,” he said.

Concerns were expressed about reducing the area of the parking lot that the fire department uses for training and maintenance; about the closure of a private drive north of city hall; about the difficulty for trucks to make deliveries at the back doors of businesses; about the addition of sidewalks behind businesses;

About a plan to have parking spaces up against the back of businesses; about the difficulty of maintaining green areas; about the lack of parking spaces for election days; about green space along the back of businesses; about trees and shrubs blocking vision for drivers; about the possibility of people throwing trash inside the proposed Dumpster containment areas, and other concerns.

Concern about snow removal was mentioned, but city superintendent Barney Vanderpool responded by saying that his crew could work around anything.

Planning commission member Brenda Spiess was one of few people in the audience of 25 people who appreciated the open spaces and addition of greenery to the parking area.

“If we’re going to attract new businesses to Morenci and keep our downtown vibrant, aesthetics are very important,” she said. “Right now, this is an eyesore out here and it could be welcoming.”

Colleen Leddy suggested starting with the assumption that it’s important to incorporate beautification and then work toward making it happen.

Jacob Barnes, the city’s zoning administrator, also agreed that greenery is an important aspect for attracting businesses and customers.

Mayor Pennington thanked the audience for their attendance.

“You have raised very valid concerns,” he said, but added that he doesn’t want to allow the funding opportunity to pass by.

“We’ve never seen this kind of grant before,” he said.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder said it’s very rare to find a grant opportunity that would address parking areas.

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