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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Mayor would like to bring new fiber optics line to Morenci 05.19.10

Written by David Green.

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington is hoping that federal money dedicated for bringing high speed internet service to rural areas might benefit Morenci.

Pennington and city council member Joe Varga spoke to Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce members last week about a $41.6 million project that will link Monroe and Hillsdale with a fiber optic cable.

The line will pass through Adrian, Varga said, and serve the colleges and community colleges between Monroe and Hillsdale. Spurs off the main line will also connect with several municipal offices.

The line is being built by Merit Network of Ann Arbor along with four internet providers, including Adrian-based TC3net.

Instead of passing through copper lines, data moves much faster through the fiber optic cable, Pennington said. Enormous amounts of data flow are possible, he said, and security improves.

The main east/west line will be largely funded through a $33 million federal grant and Pennington thinks funding opportunities may exist to bring a line south into Morenci.

A 13-mile line to the city’s industrial park would cost $330,000, Pennington said, and the city wouldn’t be able to tackle the cost of the project on its own.

Chamber of Commerce president Brad Frederick said that it’s good to be ahead of the curve and investigate the possibility before the main line is laid. The cost would increase significantly if the spur were created later.

Pennington said that fiber optics could lead to many labor-saving moves for city workers, such as remote water meter readings.

“There are probably more benefits than we can think of,” he said.

Varga said he’s also spoken to TC3net about bringing WiFi internet to the city, possibly through an antenna. WiFi zones could be created for public use, such as in a spot downtown or in a park.

“We don’t know what businesses are doing now,” Pennington said. “Would it be a benefit to businesses to offer this or is it just a service that a modern community offers to visitors?”

Varga said he’s been told that WiFi availability is like a magnet for communities.

Chamber members voted to provide a letter of support for city council’s efforts to attract high speed internet service.

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