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.

Texting while driving ban

Written by David Green.

text.drive.jpgBy DAVID GREEN

When July 1 arrives next week, many Michigan drivers will need to make a change in their behavior behind the wheel.

Michigan will soon become the 27th state in the union to ban sending and receiving text messages while driving. Legislators passed the measure in April by a 74-33 vote.

As a primary offense, police officers will be able to ticket a driver for that offense alone if seen entering data into a two-way electronic communication device while driving. The civil infraction brings a $100 fine on the first offense and subsequent offenses will cost $200 each. The infractions would not assess points on a driver’s record.

There are four exceptions in the law. Drivers will not be ticketed for:

• Using dashboard mounted GPS devices;

• Dialing and talking on a phone;

• Texting while pulled over on the side of a road;

• Texting to report drunk driving or some other crime.

Michigan legislators favoring the ban relied on research from a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study that found that texting to be the riskiest use of an electronic device while driving. The study found that drivers sending or reading a text may have their eyes off the road for more than four seconds in a six-second period. Some researchers claim the practice is as dangerous as driving while drunk.

The likelihood for an accident was found to be 23 times more likely than with a driver not distracting by an electronic device.

Michigan State Police legislative liaison Matt Bolger stated that distracted driving is reckless driving. If a texting motorist tells a police officer he was just punching in numbers to make a call, Bolger said, he will face a choice of accepting a texting ticket that carries no points or a careless driving charge with four points.

Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks noted the law is repetitive in that respect because a law are already on the books in regard to careless operation. The new law only give drivers the advantage of not receiving points on their record.

Weeks’ concern is that drivers may misconstrue the law to think it includes other activities that distract a driver from safe operation, such as reading, putting on makeup and eating. Unsafe behavior other than texting will still result in a careless operation infraction.

OHIO—A similar bill recently cleared the Ohio House of Representatives and the Senate is expected to consider the ban after its summer break.

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