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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Cost of Thanksgiving dinner shows slight increase 11.17.2010

Written by David Green.

with graphic


The price of a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased by about 1.3 percent this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

AFBF’s 25th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 servings is $43.47, a 56-cent price increase from last year’s average of $42.91. However, this year’s meal is actually $1.14 cheaper than what shoppers paid two years ago, when the total was $44.61. And the big ticket item—a 16-pound turkey—is actually cheaper this year at $17.66.

“While this year’s meal remains a bargain, at less than $4.35 per person, America’s farmers are perhaps most proud of the quality and variety of the food they produce for America’s dinner table,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “It is fitting that the food we produce from our land is a focal point of our nation’s thankful celebration of its collective bounty.”

And at just $4.35 per person, the traditional Thanksgiving feast is still a better deal than most fast-food value meals, said John Anderson, an AFBF economist. “Plus it’s a wholesome, home-cooked meal,” he said.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk—all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10, with plenty for leftovers.

While a whole turkey is the biggest contributor to the final meal total, it is also the food item with the largest price decline compared to last year.

“Turkey prices are down some this year despite the fact that, according to Agriculture Department estimates, turkey production has been slightly lower in 2010 than in 2009 and supplies of turkey in cold storage are below last year’s level,” Anderson said. “This suggests that retailers are being fairly aggressive in featuring turkeys in special sales and promotions.”

A gallon of whole milk increased in price by 38 cents per gallon, to $3.24. Other items that showed a price increase from last year are: a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $2.62, up 17 cents; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.46, up 12 cents; a half pint of whipping cream, $1.70, up 15 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.19, up seven cents; a one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, 77 cents, up five cents; and a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.12, up four cents.

“Some of the Thanksgiving dinner items have rebounded from quite low price levels in 2009,” Anderson said. “For example, last year’s milk price was at its lowest level since 2001. Dairy product prices have climbed some in 2010, largely reflecting better consumer demand as the economy has gradually improved this year.”

A group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter), also increased in price to a combined total of $3.22.

Along with the turkey, other items that decreased in price this year are: one pound of green peas, $1.44, down 14 cents; and a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.64, down one cent.

Another of the traditional Thanksgiving items, fresh cranberries, is unchanged from last year, with a 12-ounce package selling for $2.41.

Anderson said despite retail price increases during the last year or so, American consumers have enjoyed relatively stable food costs over the years, particularly when adjusted for inflation.

The 1.3 percent increase in the national average cost reported by Farm Bureau for this year’s classic Thanksgiving dinner tracks closely with the organization’s 2010 quarterly marketbasket food surveys, available online at http://newsroom.fb.org and the federal government’s Consumer Price Index, available online at http://data.bls.gov/.

Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers were asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey. More than 112 volunteer shoppers from 34 states, including Michigan, participated in this year’s survey.

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