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

  • 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.

Police using portable radar sign 04.07.10

Written by David Green.

You’ve driven down a road before only to be shocked to see that you’re going 10 miles an hour over the limit, and it’s posted right in front of you on the electronic sign that shows your speed.

That could happen in Morenci now that the police department has a speed check meter on loan for a month.

The Speed Sentry Shield radar sign will be in use here during April, police chief Larry Weeks said, but he intends to make it a permanent feature in town.

Weeks will designate $2,000 from his 2010-11 budget and collect the remaining $3,000 from fund-raising efforts.

 The beauty of this design, he said, is the portability. Larger, heavier units are mounted on trailers, but the Speed Sentry weighs only 15 pounds and can be easily mounted to a street sign.

“It’s ideal for us,” he said. “I hope to move it around every three or four days.”

In addition to displaying speed, the unit also stores all data collected.

The chief said he wishes he had the use of the unit last year when a resident was complaining about speeding vehicles on Locust Street.

Speed Sentry tracks the number of vehicles passing the sign, computes the average speed and allows officers to determine if speeding occurs at a particular time of day.

“We could assign resources based on that information,” Weeks said.

All data collected can be wirelessly downloaded to a PDA (personal digital assistant) for review.

The unit could also aid the department in considering traffic flow changes. A state law requires a survey before making a change such as adding a stop sign, changing a speed limit, creating a turning lane, etc.

When the Main Street rebuild was undertaken a few years ago, police officers were posted downtown to make visual traffic counts. The Speed Sentry could have handled the work, Weeks said.

And if any local speeders look forward to challenging the Speed Sentry—to see just how fast they can drive past the sign—think again. The unit can be programmed for a maximum speed. When that is exceeded, the sign merely flashes without posting a speed.

Weeks isn’t sure if the sign will actually serve as a speed deterrent, but he expects that it will at least raise awareness and make drivers think about their driving habits.

“I’m interested to hear what people think about the sign,” he said. “I’d love to get feedback about it.”

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