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.
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    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 village council 02.24.2010

Written by David Green.


Fayette residents have the opportunity in May to decide whether or not to accept First Energy’s offer of a nine-year rate fix for electricity, along with a six percent discount on a portion of the bill.

Passage of the proposal would lead to a no-strings-attached donation of $50,000 to the village general fund, although the deal would tie customers to First Energy as their electrical provider for nine years.

Approval of the offer would push all village electrical customers into the program, but individuals could opt out of the deal for a $25 fee.

The discount—six percent for residential customers and four percent for small businesses—applies only to the electrical generation portion of a customer’s bill. Mayor Ruth Marlatt said an average customer would save about $36 a year through the discount.

Gary Keys of First Energy’s Wauseon service center, said the offer is being made to all Northwest Ohio communities served by the utility in order to manage long-range investment in coal. The utility wants to maintain its customer base.

Councilors Julia Ruger and Tom Molitierno voted against placing the proposal on the ballot.

There was no discussion about the issue at the meeting, but Marlatt said later that at the committee level, council members favored approving the proposal in order to meet the deadline for the May election.

Council can take a closer look at it before the election and could decide whether or not to urge residents to vote one way or another.

TOWNSHIP—Mayor Marlatt urged council members to show support for township business by attending the board meetings. She spoke of making a schedule so all councilors would attend at least one township meeting a year.

CAMP—Marlatt and village administrator Amy Metz spoke with Camp Palmer and Harrison Lake State Park officials about scheduling a joint activity in the fall that could include an overnight stay at a camp, activities such as geocaching and the ropes course, and a meal in town.

They also spoke about the possibility of a community swim at the Camp Palmer pool.

GRANT—After the village failed to obtain a grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission for the $111,000 W. Industrial Drive sewer project, Metz told council she applied to the state’s Small Government Program.

She’s also seeking funds that would aid in widening Gamble Street leading to the new school. She sees the prospect of obtaining that grant as more positive.

VOLUNTEERS—Metz thanked Mike Maginn for donating time to make repairs at the village hall. His work was valued at $500. She also thanked Collin Barnhiser for volunteering his time to help with snow clearing during the recent snowstorm.

SIDEWALKS—Councilor David Borer said that sidewalks would be examined this spring to determine maintenance needs.

DENTAL—Village employees have received no wage increases since 2005. Instead of seeking a raise now, they are asking council for the addition of dental coverage on their insurance plan.

One quote to cover the village’s eight full-time employees came in at $6,000, said financial officer Lisa Zuver, but she’s hoping to find a less expensive offer.

PURCHASES—Council approved employee purchases at Kaiser’s Supermarket and D & R Hardware without the need for a purchase order.

The previous council stopped blanket accounts, Zuver said, and it’s resulted in a lot of paperwork for something as simple as a few nuts and bolts.

RECYCLING—Council approved a payment of $600 to Gorham Township as part of a five-year contract for joint operation of the new recycling center. The payment will help with installation of an electrical line to the facility. The village will pay only a dollar in each of the next four years.

Metz thanked the volunteers who help operate the center. Proceeds from the recycled material go to the Parks and Recreation board.

ASSISTANCE—Details on the second assistance night program will be announced prior to the March event. Representatives from various area agencies will attend the session to offer information and answer questions.

APPROVAL—Mayor Marlatt said councilors should expect a few short, one-topic meetings to approve items due to the new once-a-month schedule. With required three readings, four months would be needed before legislation would take effect. For an emergency meeting, however, at least five members are required to be in attendance.

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